“We are trying to construct a more inclusive society. We are going to make a country in which no one is left out” . Franklin D. Roosevelt
What is awareness and acceptance? According to Cobuild dictionary – Awareness means “be aware of something is happening because you hear it or see it”. So when it comes to raising awareness about Autism, many groups, organizations, teachers and parents advocate what autism is about. In the other hand, Acceptance of someone with austim is to think of them as part of the group or in our society.
Besides, we (parents and educators) are trying to discuss and dialogue about this important issue that has been increased every year. Studies have shown autism cases on the rise and many discussions are going around.
And what about the Educational field? What about deal with them in a regular school? Are we ready for them? Inclusive Education – what is it about?
Last week, I was on twitter searching for some news about inclusive education, when I came across #neurotribe a best seller book written by Steve Silberman who is explaining in a very fascinating perspective about autism. In fact, I am still reading his book and I agree with some statements on it and, others that I reckon, we have a long road to investigate as well. It is a book that I highly recommend for Educators and Teachers – It is really worth taking some time and read it.
Meanwhile, I was preparing a lesson, to adapt some social skills for three SEN students in a regular classroom. I was wondering why it is so difficult to adapt a lesson that includes social skills (socialization.). Most of the time, the problem is not SEN students but how students (in general) will accept them. That is the moment that we have to raise awareness to accept these new issue in our schools (in other words – What is autism or Dyslexia or ADHD? (Awareness) and How can we learn together? (Acceptance).
Thus, They have to create the rules together and emphasize that they will use them during the school year. This inclusive project might help all the students to understand how they can have fun, learn and interact with all kind of people everywhere else. That is what an inclusive enviromnent does and it is possible to achieve one, if we are ready for it.
One of the materials that I have read for my MA project in inclusive education, it was this guideline from Unesco Bangkok. Our Educational system has to bring up new forms to engage our students. Education means acquisition of knowledge and teachers may interpret education as means for creation a new inclusive society so that, put into practice these ideas, projects might bring children with disabilities in our regular classrooms. Although we have many publications and researches about inclusive education, we have been faced bureaucracy and the continued neglect of their right to education. It is sad to see that many children are taken away from school, because of the lack of interest, investment and good will.
To sum up, we have to be aware of the diversity of dialogue and development. Every citizen has the right to learn and live in a more inclusive society. All of us have our differences and respect each other, it is our best choice to survive in this world. So, it is not only AWARENESS but also ACCEPTANCE… One coin, two faces in an inclusive world.