No matter age or ability, it’s critical that schools make inclusivity a priority for all students. Parents often struggle to find inclusive environments for kids with special needs, which limits abilities to capture memories outside of the home or secure a space in traditional memory books like yearbooks or other school representation.
In-person schooling can be challenging for the special needs population, and virtual learning exacerbates common barriers for families. Nearly seven million students have a disability, which oftentimes lowers self-esteem and hinders socializing and building friendships with peers.
Whether it be attention deficit disorder or having a diagnosis like autism, where a child may struggle with communication and have repetitive behaviors, disabilities can position students to not be seen in the same way as other students. This not only creates an unfair advantage for these students, but it is sometimes a difficult road for parents, too, as most parents and guardians want their child to feel included or “part of the group.”
The value of inclusion
Students with disabilities make up 14 percent of national public school enrollment but can often be overlooked when it comes to traditional school activities. Inclusion is only truly effective when educators believe in the value of an inclusive educational model and choose to collaborate internally and with parents to get the support they need.
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