How do parents find a school able to meet their child’s special needs? Do they hope their local school fits the bill? Do they move? Do they look into open enrollment? Each of those options can be the right one, depending on circumstances.
Ten Traits of an Inclusive School
Whatever your family’s circumstances, there are some things every parent should consider. The mom of a child with Down syndrome chose to put her house on the market and move to a neighborhood where the school welcomes children with special needs. She shares those ten traits at Bloom, the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s blog.
- The principal must believe in the education of all children.
- The teacher must believe your child can be successful.
- The teaching assistant must execute his/her duties with kindness, compassion, and common-sense.
- The children in the school must have a sense of humanity fostered by their parents.
- Twenty percent of the parents should be willing to be your friends.
- The school should be large enough to allow options for your child.
- The school should appreciate diversity and not try to make everyone the same.
- Live in the neighborhood so you’re seen not just as the parent of the child with special needs, but as the parent who lives down the street.
- Neighborhood demographics matter. Those not in the higher socio-economic groups tend to be less inclusive.
- Choose a school where you can get involved. Your involvement promotes inclusion for your child.
These ten traits of an inclusive school for kids with special needs are discussed in greater detail at the Bloom website.
What’s Your School Experience?
Have you been a school shopper? What was your experience like? What traits mattered to you? What traits would you add to the above list? Leave a comment.