Adventures in Autism: A Case for Mainstreaming

As our autistic children grow up, one of the key questions that we face is where they will go to school. To mainstream, or not? From Chandler’s Mommy is this Case for Mainstreaming:

In 1998 Yad Hamoreh became the first conventional educational facility in the world to open its doors to severely disabled autistic children and to integrate them into day-long studies and activities with mainstream pupils.

While the first years were chaotic, today the school stands as the world’s pioneer in the field of school integration with low-level autistic pupils. The endeavor was initially an unmitigated disaster. In class, where they had been placed with healthy pupils, autistic youngsters would rock back and forth, beat their heads against the walls, pull their classmates’ hair, scream, and savagely bite both themselves and others.

As the quote above states, the article addresses mainstreaming of low-level autistic children, but is worthwhile for the parents of any kids on the autistic spectrum. Unfortunately, the process this school adopted, and the participation of the “typical” students and their parents, is not going to be the norm at most schools. Neither will most schools be willing to accept the hard times early on.

Still, it gives you hope.

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