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Inclusion Programs for Children with Disabilities and Autism

Salman Almalki

Saint Louis University



The purpose of this study is to explore the benefits of inclusion for children with disabilities and

autism, as well as how inclusive practices aid in developing their social skills. The exploration of

this study is significant as it highlights how these children are assisted to live and conduct their

daily activities just as those without disabilities. Social skills are discussed in this literature

review in a quest to discover how important their participation is in this program. This study

addresses children with special needs of various disabilities and how inclusion improves their

involvement in social skills. Additionally, the study presents students with autism during early

childhood and how their participation in activities is vital during this phase of brain

development. This study further states questions as to how the interaction of these children with

typical groups would create a positive difference in a social setting.


Benefits of Inclusion Programs for Children with Disabilities and Autism

1. Introduction

Although children with disabilities and autism are being included with those without

disabilities in similar school programs, much more needs to be done. As these children require

special needs and assistance, it is their right to involve themselves in programs carried out by

regular groups. With the help of inclusion program set in place, children with special needs have

reached a milestone with their incorporation. Not only has this been of significance but also

through the dedicated support from their mentors. The role of parenting is essential in making

this possible even with the challenges that come along with raising children with special needs.

Inclusion programs have been of help for children with special needs. Inclusion refers to

the partial or full involvement of children with disabilities in community activities and services,

which are carried by normal children of their age (Dixon et al., 2014). In the aspect of education,

inclusion is essential for children with disabilities as they also participate in regular learning at

classrooms with other non-disabled children. The purpose of integration for this kind of children

is to provide them with a sense of belonging in the society (Hebbeler & Spiker, 2016). By doing

so, these special needs children would develop themselves and realize their educational and

social potential as they fit in the regular programs from these outstanding activities and

programs. With inclusion programs in place, children with special needs can be categorized

according to their age group and enrolled in the diverse inclusion programs that would help them

develop slowly (Tonge, Bull, Brereton, & Wilson, 2014).

Child care has been essential in transforming lives of children with disabilities and autism

through an early recognition of these disabilities and enrolling them into meaningful programs

for them (Sainato, Morrison, Jung, Axe, & Nixon, 2015). The support of teachers with diverse

knowledge in caring for these children has been remarkable (Sainato et al., 2015). Their role in

making inclusion a success among children with particular needs has been exemplary. Due to

this, children with disabilities and autism are now capable of achieving their educational goals,

as well as participating fully in social activities. Child care providers present the desired skills in

handling these special children. Research by Kasari et al. (2016) argued that through adult

teaching, more children with disabilities continue to emulate such behaviors a significant

development for them. Additionally, the programs put in place for them enhances their childhood

development as they slowly grow to adapt to the ideal environment.

When children with disabilities and autism become inculcated to these programs at an

early age, they would show a quick response through engaging in similar activities as other non-

disabled children (Lee, Yeung, Tracey, & Barker, 2015). It is necessary for their development in

that it would significantly aid in their development and make them participate fully as other

children. As for children with autism, they would develop their brains during early childhood

from adapting and doing what other kids do in classrooms and outside the classrooms.

Additionally, they would develop social relationships with non-disabled children making it ease

in fostering communications between their peers (Wong et al., 2015). It shows that autism can be

controlled at an early age by proper parenting at an inclusive environment and from the support

of other peers and childcare providers.

1.1.Statement of the problem.

Inclusion is currently an essential activity practiced within educational institutions to aid

people with disabilities. This dissertation seeks to identify on the concept of inclusion programs

for children with special needs and how beneficial in developing their education and social skills.

As more research shows the importance of inclusion, families continue to step up in enrolling

their children during early childhood to inclusive environments such as learning institutions

where they will acquire knowledge in learning just like the other children.

1.2.Research questions

Even as inclusion appears to be of help children with disabilities and autism, more can be

done to aid them to realize their full potentials. Research questions are vital in elaborating how

inclusion programs are of significance and how they may be improved for the purpose of the

welfare of children with special needs. They highlight the key areas in the study, which are;

a) How is inclusion during the early years of children with special needs significant?

b) How can social skills of the special needs children be achieved?

c) Which social skills can this type of children learn to assist in their general


d) How does an inclusive environment foster relationship and communication with

the kids with no disabilities?

1.3.Research objectives

A statement of objectives enables researchers to provide valuable information concerning

the subject matter. Research objectives stated here studies on the aspect of inclusion and its

programs for students with disabilities and autism. With sufficient objectives, it will formulate a

hypothesis to enable researchers through their research.

a) To know the role of child care providers towards the development of children

with disabilities and autism

b) To describe how early childhood is beneficial for children with autism

c) To describe between full and partial inclusion and its application in an inclusive


d) To mention factors employed in inclusive classrooms

1.4.Significance of the study

The inclusion of children with disabilities has become an important aspect of today’s

educational institutions, which aims at helping such children together with their families attain

their full potential by going through the same standard educational system. Through studies on

the benefits of inclusion with its programs to children with disabilities and autism, they can be

able to develop themselves as other non-disabled children. Additionally, this study helps us

understand how inclusion aids this type of children to develop their social skills. We also learn

how early years of childhood of children with autism helps them develop mentally and

emotionally while adapting to the behaviors of other non-disabled children. Collectively, the role

of the inclusive environment makes these children do things as they see others do it. Although

they may have permanent mental disorders, they will grow into adults having adapted to

behaviors of the non-disabled.

2. Review of Literature

The inclusion of children with disabilities and autism is currently enrolled in most

schools and organizations in the United States. Through the support of The Americans with

Disabilities Act, it is giving more Americans with disabilities the opportunity to engage and

experience activities just as other non-disabled persons (Tonge et al., 2014). Children with

special needs can undergo two different kinds of inclusion in their schools, which involves either

full or partial inclusion.

2.1.Full Inclusion

Children with special needs are always educated together alongside those without

disabilities. Ip et al. (2016) argue that full inclusion does not only apply this way, but there are

support and services, which are available for the special children to help them whenever they

require to use them. Therefore, this kind of inclusion does not speculate on the indifferences

between these groups but allow for efficient learning where resources are fully available

(Hebbeler & Spiker, 2016). All students learn the same content at regular classrooms together.

As a result, no special classes are available even for those who require some unique features.

Through the integration of these two groups together with classes and education support

facilities, no additional special needs are provided for the students with disabilities (Able,

Sreckovic, Schultz, Garwood & Sherman, 2015). However, this type of integration is complex

and pose a challenge in making it a reality. Camargo et al. (2014) argued that students with

disabilities needed to be taken via a different approach in the way they are taught since they

undergo difficult experiences in schools. Since full inclusion is not considered for the integration

of these types of group, more can be done to ensure that these classrooms are fully functional and

have adequate resources (Able et al., 2015). These facilities would enable students with

disabilities to have the total experience by accessing services from their particular classes. With

sufficient support for the students, the students would have the accessibility of whatever they

need while in full inclusion (Able et al., 2015). The joint support from parents, teachers,

specialists and school administration can change the perception of full integration and make it

successful (Estes et al., 2014). The professionalism of these participants is a necessity to ensure a

smooth running of learning from a well-organized curriculum. Lastly, since this concept is

expensive, educational institutions need to uphold sufficient funding to support the programs.

2.2.Partial Inclusion

Partial inclusion can be referred to as regular inclusion. There is no much difference as

from full inclusion because students with disabilities are integrated with those without

disabilities in same classrooms. The only difference is that they are not included for the whole

day with the rest of the students (Kasari et al., 2016). Additionally, exceptional support and

services in the form of special assistance like instructions are provided to them in inclusive

classrooms (Carter et al., 2014). This type of inclusion is the most commonly used, which may

be of great significance to the students with disabilities and their instructor. This kind of

integration gives room to students with special needs the inclusive environment, as well as an

environment of their own (Kasari et al., 2016). Integration would be essential for their discovery

of their social skills and learning capabilities. Furthermore, it would add value to their

communication skills, which would additionally boost their confidence with students without

disabilities fostering a healthy relationship (Carter et al., 2014). In addition to this, partial

inclusion is characterized by the use of teaching models, which define how teachers collectively

manage the two different groups together (Sainato et al., 2015). In most of these models, a

specialist must be involved to provide assistance to special needs students.

a) One teaches one support. At this moment, a teacher provides content in the whole

classroom as a teacher for special education provides any necessary assistance to

individual students.

b) One teach, one observe. This model involves two teachers in a classroom whereby

the one with vast experience in a particular concept teaches the class as the other

one follows the process (Camargo et al., 2014).

c) The parallel teaching. This system divides a class into two, where a content

teacher teaches one-half of it, and the teacher teaches the other in the special


d) Alternative teaching. It entails a content teacher educating the classrooms as the

school teacher instructs a small group of students an alternative lesson.

e) Team teaching involves equal sharing of responsibilities by both teachers, who

engage in planning and education. They also support one another in the classroom

activities (Hebbeler & Spiker, 2016)

2.3.Practices in an inclusive classroom

An inclusive classroom entails various activities that have been set by teachers, which

students of distinct differences need to be a participant (Camargo et al., 2014). Research by

Price‐Dennis, Holmes, and Smith (2015) illustrated that teachers have an obligation to build

positive relationships with students of special needs with those without disabilities. With early

development of these virtues towards the students, they would be able to understand themselves

as equal members of the community and classroom no matter the nature of their diversity (Estes

et al., 2014). This policy encourages cooperation among one another and removing barriers,

which would pose a threat to their friendship. One of the techniques applied by class teachers

involves students participating in problem-solving equations, thereby requiring a mutual

involvement from all students (Hebbecker & Spiker, 2016). They are also put to share on their

differences in classrooms, which are significant as they would open up to one another together

with their teachers. For inclusive classrooms to run smoothly due to its integration, several

factors need to be in place (Price‐Dennis et al., 2015).

 A good partnership between families of children with special needs and schools.

 Training and development of the staff who would help in managing the affairs of

both kinds of group.


 Goals and objectives of every student must be well planned, which would be

useful during students’ evaluation.

 Formulated leadership from the administration and teachers in classrooms.

Research by Kasari et al. (2016) notes that a successful inclusion program entails the

unification of the administration, teachers, and specialists from the education sector. Proper

funding is also necessary to make sure that planned inclusion programs run smoothly and

without interference. In general, teamwork is the core value of for inclusion program to be

enforced (Dixon et al., 2014). Support from the staff, child providers, together with family

members would make it work substantially. The skills of the staff are not necessarily enough for

a fruitful collaboration (Kasari et al., 2016). The team would also benefit from additional training

and participation in disability awareness programs. Through modifications of programs, children

with autism would have the capability of sharing their experiences and activities with other

participants (Dixon et al., 2014). Students with autism need to engage in interactions with their

peers to build their communication and relationships.

2.4.Benefits of inclusion

When children with disabilities get early childhood intervention, they would integrate

themselves into the routine activities, which would strengthen their progress and after some time

become fully engaged in activities (Dixon et al., 2014). Students with such needs can develop

both social and emotional skills that additionally build their relationships. Research conducted

three decades ago shows that children with disabilities in an inclusive environment acquire social

and emotional behaviors that their peers have no access to in non-inclusive settings (Ryan,

2014). Inclusion aid these students to develop their fluency in the language, as well as

knowledge. Research by Camargo et al. (2014) supports this to be of great significance to them

as it would enable them to integrate the two to promote their language skills. It is also worth

noting that through the study of behaviors of non-disabled persons, they would use them to meet

their particular needs, which they could not do by themselves (Lee et al., 2015). One of these

behaviors includes feeding oneself, which through daily practice, the student with a special need

would be able to adapt it fully. Children with disabilities who have interacted with those of the

same group or adults have shown remarkable results regarding developing in diverse aspects.

Collectively, students included in classrooms with sufficient resources demonstrate outstanding

performance in their developments.

Imitation is a fundamental aspect, which helps children with disabilities and autism.

Through interaction with those of their peers, especially those with high levels of social and

educational skills, they imitate their behavior and slowly practice them with time (Wong et al.,

2016). Full and partial inclusion may also be of advantage to children with special needs (Able et

al., 2015). It is because their classrooms are fitted with different support from the teacher,

specialists, students of their peers and opportunities. Ip et al. (2016) illustrated that from the use

of these capabilities on a daily routine, they would be able to expand their knowledge while also

challenging themselves. Long term benefits are also incurred for inclusion. Through increased

interactions with those without disabilities, they would drop the feeling of stigmatization, which

they earlier felt. Ryan (2014) notes that lack of stigma makes them participate more socially,

therefore, improving their communication skills. They would be able to understand and nature

social behaviors that are well accepted in the society, and through their practice, they would be

able to inculcate within themselves further, which would be a positive attribute (Camargo et al.,

2014). Their school performance would rise, thereby making them achieve highly in their

examinations, which would in turn, lead to their high school graduation.


3. Summary

The focus of this study has been to describe how inclusion is beneficial to children with

disabilities and those with autism. This study demonstrated a broad view of inclusion programs

that have been set in educational institutions and how they are formulated to be of significance to

students with disabilities (Ryan, 2014). Two kinds of inclusion are mentioned in the study, which

is partial and full integration. More so, benefits of inclusion are referred to as short and long

terms. From its vast benefits, it’s clear that inclusion is itself of tremendous importance to these

children. Another aspect of this study highlights how inclusion in early childhood has more

positive attributes for those children. Additionally, the inclusive environment is of immense

importance as it nurtures the children with special needs. Therefore, with the expert support from

family, peers, teachers, and administration, children with disabilities would have the right

conditions to develop themselves gradually.



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