I was recently talking to a friend and mom of typical peers at Will's school about how important inclusion is for both my kid and hers. I was telling her how great it is for Will to be around typical kiddos so that they can model things for him in the classroom. The possiblities here are endless...from speech to jumping, painting, eating, to pretending and socializing. I could go on but everyone knows why playing with typical kids helps children with developmental delays progress. What I really wanted to tell her is what a huge service and gift she is giving her kids by putting them in an inclusion program at such an early age. Her son in particular is extremely patient and compassionate towards Will. At age 4 he shows more acceptance for people of all abilities than most adults do. Most important of all is the awareness and exposure to children that might act and learn differently. It will become comfortable for him to be around children that talk different, have different social skills and sometimes look different. Of course I see this from a different point of view than others may because of my personal situation, but if we want patient, compassionate and accepting adults, we need to teach our children these traits through practice. To me this seems to be way more important than our ABC's!
If you need another point of view as to why it is important, read this article. I put it up on Facebook but I don't think most people noticed it. I felt it was one of the most profound articles I had ever read. It is so honest. It also explains why many adults are uncomfortable with disability and why it is so hard for us to accept when our child has different abilities and challenges.