INCLUSION

Disability or children with different kinds of ability – what makes more sense? It has always been a debatable topic but what really matters is how we look at the issue. Talking about the educational perspective in regard to the children with special needs, what matters the most is how the teachers address this issue. What we do not realize is that each child has some kind of disability – be it inability to comprehend numbers or lack of focus in class, it could be weak eyesight or the mere inability to memorise poems. It is just that in some children, these disabilities are more prominent and noticeable and hence they are categorized as children with special needs. What makes it worse with these children is a lack of attitude, empathy, sympathy and the skill to handle such children amongst the teachers, which makes their approach towards the education of such children extremely negative, making it impossible for them to fit in with normal kids. What needs to be done is to shift the focus of the teachers from the children’s disabilities to their abilities which alone can bring about a world of a change. We all learn from our five senses – they are the different pathways of learning. Now what we need to realize is that even if one or two of these pathways are destroyed, we still have three or four other pathways open to learn. We have to ensure that keeping the abilities of these children in mind, we reach out to these children and this is why, inclusion in a class in extremely important. Inclusion means, including children with special needs in the regular, day-to-day activities and the learning process and not segregating them in the special class category. For inclusion to happen, what needs to change is the teaching strategies used by the teachers in regular classrooms. Keeping in mind the needs of the children with specific disabilities, the teachers should be able to include different methods of learning in her class to ensure that the child’s cooperative and group learning is happening and that the child is a part of each activity that takes place in the class. Teachers will need to accept such children with all their heart and change their perspectives towards their learning process, also ensuring that the other children in the classroom accept the children with special needs equally well, by giving out the right messages and not pinpointing any child for his/her disabilities. Since children always follow and learn from their teachers, the right attitude of the teacher will ensure the children also have a positive attitude towards such children and will automatically drive them towards befriending such children. Inclusion is a part of a process which requires teachers to understand the process and to be educated and trained for this purpose. Therefore, my endeavor has been to create such strategies and methodologies for teachers to help them in the classrooms and provide them the support they need to deal with the issue of inclusion. The faster it happens, the better it is and thus, it is all focused around the pre-primary years. All my books deal with the four major types of disabilities that children have. The books look at how each ability can be enhanced, what strategy the teachers should use and when to use them. I hope the books help every teacher in the classrooms and this dream of inclusive education is realized at the earliest.