Autism Inclusion Programs – School and Work:
Inclusion is VERY important for children with autism. Inclusion offers many benefits including the following
- Opportunities for peer interactions
- Opportunities to learn through peer modeling
- Opportunities to learn social skills
- Opportunities to access the general education curriculum and reach one’s highest potential
Many schools are now moving into an inclusion-based model, which means there will be fewer self-contained classrooms and more children will be educated with their typically developing peers. Inclusion classrooms help the child with special needs learn appropriate behavior that the typical children demonstrate, and also help typically developing children learn to support and be kind to other children.
When thinking about having your child work in an inclusion classroom, check out the classroom first and see how your child would fit in. Things to think about are size of class, ratio of student to teachers, level of children, and noise level.
Many inclusion classrooms bring ABA techniques, such as token economies and self-monitoring systems into the equation. They are more tolerant of some of these techniques
- FIGHT for your right. Parents must not hesitate to push school systems to allow some inclusion time.
- At IEP meetings, ask for this option
- Track the time your child attends and make sure there are criteria for advancement in terms of time in the classroom based on learning and positive behavior.
Employment opportunities are also available for individuals with autism to work in inclusive work environments. Some of these places of employment include: Home Depot and Publix. Autism Speaks has an abundant amount of resources to prepare individuals who are transitioning from high school and/or college into the work environment – autismspeaks.org.
Also, high school counselors/career advisors can help make this transition smooth by providing information and resources to those individuals who are seeking employment in an inclusive environment. Talk to your BCBA about inclusion programs in school and the community for more information and support.