The other day I was on the phone with a Rett dad (and personal friend) we were talking about school and our daughters and I made the comment “Even the worst day in inclusion is still better than the best day in “seclusion!” He said “ohhhhh, that is good. You should do a post on that”
I believe those words with my entire heart and soul.
Inclusion – honest to goodness FULL INCLUSION (see photo above) is nothing short of amazing…..it has been life changing for Brooklyn this year. Now, what I mean by the above statement is that inclusion is not going to be perfect every day. There are days where she did not get a good night sleep and might doze during class, there might be days that there is a substitute teacher and the schedule is just a little “off”, we might send in the wrong worksheets or not have things adapted just right, or maybe she is having a little “attitude” and will not give responses when asked (with no real reason why.) Just like every 7 year old, tough days happen! Thank goodness her aides (she has one aide in the morning and a different one in the afternoon) are getting pretty good at knowing when she is just giving them a hard time!
But, even on the worst day – when NOTHING seems to go right, with inclusion – she is with her peers, being exposed to age appropriate curriculum, she is still taking it all in and. that. is. HUGE!
I love that Brooklyn is learning to read, add, and all of that good “school stuff” but another awesome benefit of full inclusion (and possibly what I love even more) is the amazing friendships she is developing. I love seeing my daughter being pushed around the roller rink, I love receiving a text from a mom asking if her daughter could come over after school and work on homework together with Brooklyn (because her daughter has learned how to use Brooklyn’ eye gaze board – and has seen Brooklyn do homework “just like her.”) Or receiving facebook message saying “my daughter saw Brooklyn’s Furby in your facebook photo and can’t wait to get their Furby’s together!” These interactions happen because Brooklyn in in class with these girls, at lunch with these girls, and at recess bonding with these girls….and that my friends, takes INCLUSION.