The Power of Inclusion

A discussion of the method of including special needs children, specifically autistic children, in mainstream classrooms.

This report dwells on strategies presented in existing literature related to how the teacher can help autistic individuals and individuals with autism operate together with more confidence, control, and efficacy in the mainstreamed or regular classroom as part of an inclusion program.
“When looking at the history of perceived disability, the inclusion program, in which an emotionally disturbed, behaviorally isolated, or disabled individual is encouraged to assimilate with their peers and become a productive member of society, is a fairly recent development. This type of program encourages the acceptance of the disabled individual as a functioning and productive member of his/her peer group, at least potentially, rather than cloistering them away and, as is often the case, isolating them profoundly. Historically, most individuals with mental health problems were isolated in special classes or, more often, private institutions, throughout most of the twentieth century. Special education programs only began to become widespread in the latter half of the twentieth century, as the public perception of institutions began to change and the government began to shift the parameters used for classifying disabilities.”