Inclusive Karate is one of our most successful classes and fills up every semester. This semester I was speaking with one of the moms, she was so grateful for our program and had thanked me a few times. She went on to explain that her son spends all day trying to measure up to his typical peers, and he now had a place to just be himself. I had similar feelings about my son, but had not been able to communicate it so clearly.
Inclusion is something I have dedicated my life to fighting for, but I do not think inclusion looks like one thing for any one kid. Sometimes inclusion looks like the option to play the same sport, but playing with typical peers may not always be best for your child. My son can get easily frustrated with of his lack of communication and inability to understand directions. But he sure is smart enough to know that he doesn't understand like everyone else, so an adaptive environment is a better choice.
In school Sully is in a life skills classroom, he is very well taken care of but I would like to see him have more time in the general education classroom. In this scenario I see the benefit both from his peers and for them. If we need to learn to live in society with one another, we should certainly be sending our kids to schools where they are exposed to kids with differences. I also know parents that are notinterested in full inclusion into the general education classroom, and I respect that tremendously! They know their own child, and they are making the best choices for their child.
I find inclusion as a hot button topic within the special needs community, we also have to remember to respect one another and learn to see things from all perspectives. Like the examples above, they are all inclusive, just different levels of inclusion for each individual. In founding my organization, I have met some resistance from other adaptive sports programs, I always find that crazy! If we are all fighting for our kids to have options and opportunities similar to their typical peers, should't we welcome other warriors onto the battlefield of inclusion. They don't have to be doing it the same way to be fighting on the same side as you. I like to think that I use my bare hands to fight, but I will gladly welcome a warrior with an axe to fight along side me.