Every child is different. They have distinct likes, dislikes, mannerisms, and preferred learning methods. No two children are alike, yet all children have something in common- they are young learners. With this in mind, it is imperative to understand that whether you have sons or daughters who have different or special needs.
And like most children in a classroom, there will always be kids who do not have a problem with being attentive in class, and youngsters who easily distracted and troublesome. The same fact goes for children with special needs. Whether it is ASD, Down Syndrome, and ADHD, each child has a different level of learning abilities and disabilities.
In this blog, we will be discussing inclusivity in education for children with special educational needs or SEN.
What makes a school inclusive?
Inclusive schools, as the name implies, accepts all children regardless of learning ability, and educational need.
An inclusive school employs both general education and SPED or special education teachers. These educators work together to provide educational support for children with special educational needs.
Inclusive schools encourage the participation of SEN students with their normal peers and create a conducive environment for them to learn, and take part in school activities.
Inclusivity in the Classroom
Today, several schools are becoming inclusive- meaning, they can accept children with special educational needs. Typically, educators of inclusive schools are often trained in ABA Therapy and have vast knowledge about Autism, since it is the most common disorder. According to a study from St. John Fisher College, educators can benefit from the knowledge of the strategies that are used for teaching kids with ASD in application to a normal classroom setting.
Additionally, the various trainings that are conducted that cover the management of ASD children in the classroom, are effective in managing students with mild to moderate learning abilities. Autism centers from all around the world agree that most children with special needs can, to some degree, and with the right supervision and aids, learn side by side with normal children in an inclusive classroom.
Benefits of Inclusive Schools
According to the British Council, inclusive schools prepare SEN children for functional and meaningful adult life. It also helps children form deep relationships such as meaningful friendships. Apart from this, an article published by IIT Kanpur, SEN children who went to an inclusive school had a higher sense of acceptance and belongingness in society and social interactions while also having an overall higher academic achievement.
Additionally, inclusive schools teach SEN children with better communication and social skills and remove any barriers that can hinder these children for further education.
The flexibility in the curriculum of inclusive schools enables children to grow academically and become adults that contribute to society.
Inclusive Education in The UAE
In a progressive country like the UAE, the Ministry of Education has made huge steps in the effort to provide inclusive education for children of determination. This includes providing schools with educators that are experts in dealing with SEN children.
In fact, the UAE government has published the Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework  to support Dubai’s initiative and Dubai Disability Strategy 2020. This aims to make the city disability-friendly by 2020.
The mentioned framework is also for guidance and the list of standards that should be upheld to ensure the quality of education and inclusion for students of determination or special educational needs.
Several autism centers in Dubai like the Pulse are in partnership with inclusive schools as an initiative to participate and contribute to the government’s efforts in integrating SEN children to mainstream education.
If you seek to learn more about inclusion in education for your child with special needs, talk to our experts at The Pulse.