This article is only my reflection and does not claim to be the ultimate truth. I come from the characteristics of my child and can not speak on behalf of the parents of other children.
My daughter has a category of disabled child, her official diagnoses are autism, mild mental retardation and ADHD. Specialists who work with it (speech therapists, speech pathologists, neuropsychologists) are more inclined not to autism, but to sensorimotor alalia, on which autistic traits are superimposed. So, for example, it is inherent in the ritualism of actions, food selectivity, fear of loud sounds, etc., in more detail about us I wrote here and here. But in this article, the specific diagnosis is not so important. I want to discuss with you the inclusion in kindergartens.
In a situation where a child with a similar diagnosis comes to the most ordinary group of an ordinary kindergarten, in order for his stay there to be successful, it is necessary that a lot of moments come together.
First, and in my opinion this is the most important point – educators. They should be at least mentally ready for the fact that a child with special needs will join the children’s team. When they chose this profession and were trained, most likely they planned to work with the most ordinary children, to help them master the world, to make their stay in the garden pleasant and useful. If a person plans to associate their future profession with children who require a different approach, they usually choose other specialties or go to work in correctional groups and kindergartens (perhaps correctional kindergartens is the wrong expression, but I hope the essence is clear). So, the teacher may be afraid of such a child simply because they do not understand each other. This does not mean that some of them are bad, not at all, just the teacher was not trained to work with a child who has impaired perception, attention, thinking, etc. There is a caveat, if the teacher is at least morally ready for this and parents can suggest how to communicate with their child, everything can even happen. The main thing here is to try to establish friendly communication as a teacher and parents, because they are primarily interested in the fact that the child in the garden was comfortable, so that he was understood and accepted there. Expect from the teacher that he will take the child with open arms is not worth it, but if parents want to give the child to a normal garden, you can try to find a teacher who will not accept your child as a heavy duty and not knowing how to communicate with him will accumulate negative. At a very early age, especially if the child is not very serious disorders and he is not afraid of society to the point of loss of pulse staying in a group with children who successfully develop according to their age can be very useful. Often such children have good progress in the development of speech and therefore understand why parents want their child to go to the usual garden is quite understandable.
Secondly, the important point is the number of children in the group. Imagine a group of 35 people and one of them requires constant attention and control. This is really difficult for the teacher and even more exciting, because he is responsible for all the children and if everyone is listening to a fairy tale, and one is always trying to climb somewhere or go to another room or crying, trying to explain what he wants, then it is extremely difficult for him to break. Often it happens that the whole group makes a mistake, and the child does not understand what others are doing and the teacher can not deal with him, leaving the others, he just sits alone. Again -???, stories about how, that such a child educators shut down one in room, to he not prevented, about how beaten and camping on D., too, periodically emerge. But still, for the most part, we are good people and always want to proceed from this. Therefore, again, parents and kindergarten staff need to look for options for interaction. It happens that the child is brought for a few hours, when the children play or walk, it happens that the child comes with a tutor, who helps him to join the group, communicate with children and thus helps the teacher to pay attention to all children. It often happens that the tutor is my mother. Not all kindergartens today are ready to work under the inclusion program, but there are successful examples. The drivers of such success are most often parents who achieve such an opportunity for their child, who help educators communicate with a new pupil, who often quit their jobs and study for a tutor. It happens that the teacher finds a common language with the child, is not afraid to take him into the group and helps with communication. I just want that before saying that inclusion is bad or good we tried to evaluate each case and did not accuse in absentia educators of cruelty or parents of stupidity, and went to meet each other. If you did not succeed with one teacher, not the fact that it is a bad teacher, the person should also be ready to accept such a child. Parents also do not immediately accept the diagnosis of their child, they need time to realize, with educators the same story.
Third, other children and their parents. The image of the child, which has features of development today is very blurred. If a person has not encountered such children in his life, he can have absolutely any idea about them. Very often, parents are simply afraid that their child will suffer from the actions of a disabled child. I can understand their concerns, we are always afraid of what we do not understand, and even more afraid for the life and health of their children. Therefore, there may be conflicts. In my opinion, in such a situation it is necessary at least at the parent-teacher meeting or the parent himself to tell about his child, say what his diagnosis is, what features, how children can communicate with him. Not all children have aggressive behavior and if parents are aware of what kind of child will now attend kindergarten with their children, most of them will react to this more calmly than if they were simply put before the fact that now in their group will be, say, autistic. Of course, this does not mean that all parents will accept the appearance of the puppy, but if the children from the garden will come and will not complain that the newcomer or the newcomer beat them, then the process of adapting to each other will be easier. If aggressive behavior is still present, then, of course, we must first cope with it or think about choosing a special kindergarten, where the child will pay more attention, where they know how to behave with him and how to cope with aggression or self-aggression. In the process of preparing for kindergarten, the parents of the teenager will have to make efforts and before sending the child to the usual group to teach him how to behave. To help in this case, psychologists or AVA-therapists can come, if there are brothers and sisters, then it will be easier to teach interaction, of course. Thus, if try, if not to accept another immediately in bayonets, then can be with success to forge tenure student in conventional group. Perhaps what I have just described is an idyll. There is a negative experience of both parents of children, and parents of children in whose usual group the child got, for example, with aggressive behavior. It also happens that a child suffers from aggression, quite healthy from the point of view of the psyche, but growing up in bad conditions, for example, in a family where parents suffer from alcoholism. The world is very diverse, we can not foresee all possible situations, but if I really want us to meet each other halfway, to treat responsibly the issue of adaptation of the child in kindergarten, so as not to cut from the shoulder.
As for Alice, we go to the usual kindergarten, but in the group “Special child”. In the garden she is 3 hours, they have 10 children in the group, all with diagnoses. In the garden, they arrange common holidays and try to involve our children in the General fun, for this they are very grateful. Thus, despite the fact that the group seems to be separate, but our children see how they play, how other children interact and are not completely isolated. We are very lucky with the specialists who work with our children, although getting used to kindergarten Alice was not easy (I wrote about this here). We have ahead the last year of stay in kindergarten, further school, it too very exciting and responsible step-to choose school and I only plunge into this question and very much hope that with it to us also will carry, as well as with a garden. Having a positive experience of being in the kindergarten of my child, I want to believe that this is not an isolated case and most of all will be lucky!