Some children see differently, some think or learn differently, and others move differently. When these children with special needs are in quality early childhood education and care environments, right alongside typically developing children, everyone benefits. Society is rewarded down the line because when children grow and learn together, all are enriched. Children become adults who are able to look beyond someone else’s disability to value that person for his or her abilities.
Supporting and including all children in activities together encourages us to celebrate individual differences in a way that has far-reaching benefits for all children, caregivers, families and communities involved.
When we focus on the positive and remember that “Together – Children Grow”, it becomes very natural to include children who have special needs in all activities.
What you should know about including children with special needs:
Especially for Parents:
You are the expert where your child is concerned. You are a key member of the team and your ideas are valuable when it comes to planning the support your child needs. Federal and state laws give children with developmental delays or disabilities specific rights and protections in public early childhood settings.
Especially for Providers:
Each child is an individual. Always look for strategies that build on the child’s unique strengths and help him or her participate fully within the community.
Children with special needs have many different providers in their lives. It is critical to the child’s development that everyone work together as a team.
For more information about including children with special needs, contact your county Birth to 3 Program, public school