As an autistic , I sometimes feel boxed in by the best practice strategy of inclusion . Please don ’ t get me wrong – inclusive education is a very good thing ! Historically , people with disabilities were not given access to public education . Then , over time , laws changed . Today we have special education classrooms in our schools , and the progressive schools practice inclusion .
Today ’ s Inclusive Education Inclusion means that all students have the opportunity to learn in the general education environment . Instruction is differentiated while physical , sensory , emotional and other needs of each student are taken into consideration so that all students learn together , each one doing and being his very best self . Inclusion allows each student to belong to the community of his peers .
My Personal Take on Inclusion I love the idea of inclusion . It is right and good . It is very important . AND … sometimes this setup doesn ’ t work well for me . I am not able to access my thoughts and words in real time . Even a quiet environment with several people in the same room does not necessarily allow me access to those people or even to my own thoughts . Sometimes this sort of situation can
“ While I love being part of the everyday fabric of life in my community , I also need to spend time living my life with other autistics .”
propel me into shutdown or a meltdown .
In fact , now that I have access to the typical world and experience an inclusive adult life in my community , I am discovering that I don ’ t always want to participate in the typical world . If inclusion is good and right , then why is this ?
A Breadth of Inclusive Experience As I ponder this question for myself as an autistic , I realize that the world is run according to the majority . This means a neurotypical ( NT ) brain is what is behind the conventional constructs of our society . Inclusion looks the way inclusion works for the NT majority . Inclusive opportunities and , indeed , all of inclusive education and life , happens via NT style . It is what we have . It works for NTs , and it even works for me some of the time . It allows a breadth to inclusive experiences .
A Depth of Inclusive Experience But at other times I need to honor my autistic neurology . While I love being part of the everyday fabric of life in my community , I also need to spend time living my life with other autistics . This is where I find the depth of inclu-