Christine, the mother of Luke, a 3 year old boy with developmental delays shares her view on a dilemma to include her son in a childcare program (running time: 2 min. 20 sec.).
When we first thought about enrolling Luke in a childcare program, we were nervous and excited at the same time.
At the time, we were receiving early intervention home-based services, and Luke had already come so far with the help of his therapists.
We had a great babysitter who loved him dearly and put a lot of energy into teaching him.
We were somewhat reluctant to give that up, but we knew that Luke was missing the social piece of his development, not being around many children his age, and we heard great things about this particular school.
Everyone talked about the idea of inclusion which was new to us. He would be in the same classroom as typically developing children, but we were hesitant. Would he actually be playing and participating in this classroom?
My biggest concern was communication. Luke is able to communicate quite well within our family, but that’s because we’re familiar with his signs, his augmentative communication devices, and his general likes and dislikes. Would a teacher have the skills or the time and desire to gain those skills to successfully communicate with Luke in order to truly include him in the classroom?
If he can be successfully included, we are hopeful that Luke will learn more being surrounded by peers and be motivated to try new things. It’s an opportunity for him to learn how to fit in with children his own age, make friends, and be part of a community. The teacher we met, Jackie, seems open to working with Luke, although she acknowledged that she doesn’t have a lot of experience working with children with disabilities and knows only a few signs.
We were hoping that Luke’s speech goals would continue to be addressed through one on one therapy with a specialist. But the director told us that these goals would be embedded into Luke’s daily routines and activities in the classroom. That makes sense to us in theory because that’s basically what we had been doing at home already. But are we ready to hand over the reins to a teacher who also has an entire classroom to manage? We aren’t sure.