Monday, August 12, 2013

Is Your Child's School Inclusive?

Here are Indicators from the National Down Syndrome Society to help determine if your child’s school is inclusive:

1.      Your child attends the school that (s)he would have attended if (s)he did not have a disability;

2.      Your child is a member of an age appropriate general education classroom;

3.      Your child’s name is on all class lists, lists of groups put on the board, job lists, etc.;

4.      Your child’s related services are delivered primarily through consultation in the classroom;

5.      Your son or daughter receives the same or similar materials as students without a disability, with the needed supports (i.e. accommodations and adaptations as necessary);

6.      Your child passes classes with other students arriving and leaving at the same time;

7.      Your child has a locker/cubby alongside “typically developing” students;

8.      Your child rides the same school bus as his/her peers without a disability.

August is back to school month at DSI and with a new school year come new questions and concerns from parents about school inclusion for their child with Down syndrome. Based on a study published in 2008 and entitled,  Membership, Participation and Learning in the general education classroom for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders who use AAC”  the indicators above can help you determine if your child’s school is inclusive or if there may be some areas where improvement can be made. 

Research has shown that there is a positive relationship between the amount of time that a student spends in the general education classroom and a student’s academic achievement, communication skills and social relationships.

An inclusive school/classroom is really important! 

There is an excellent webinar from the National Down Syndrome Society on this topic at: