Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Janey is in an inclusion classroom. She was there originally as one of what they call community members---kids without any IEP or disabilities that act as models to the kids with them. Now she is one of the kids on the other side. I love inclusion. My sons both went to the same school, and I think everyone involved benefits. I love seeing how the other kids love Janey. She is mobbed as she arrives. I wonder sometimes what she gives back. She doesn't talk much, or join into their games. But there is always someone holding her hand, someone wanting to play with her. The teachers tell me that all the parents they have spoken to mention Janey as a friend. It makes me feel like she is part of a group---and I feel very lucky that she is at the school she is. When she was diagnosed this past Saturday, we were told that we should put her in another school---that inclusion doesn't work well for kids with autism---they need more intensive services. I am inclined to ignore this advice, but like everything else lately, I am struggling with self-doubt. Is Janey missing out? Is she some kind of classroom pet---everyone loves her because she doesn't demand much? Is inclusion just cheaper for the school district? When I see her at school, I am sure, but when I am home, I'm not sure. Yet another tough decision the next few months has in store for me.