Tuesday, 2 October 2012


I have done a general study of the autistic spectrum both during my B.Ed and when we tried to set up an early intervention kindergarten centre for autistic children. Autism is a spectrum disorder and so generalizations about inclusion, therapy etc will not be valid throughout the wide spectrum, which has been my understanding. I have some wonderful books on autism written by experts and parents who have struggled and won with the education of their autistic children.

Reading about the child in Jamnabai and siding with the parents is all good but we need to focus on the main issue, does this kind of inclusion in a crowded classroom with no adaptations for autism help this autistic child? Here we are not to be worried about the ‘disturbance’ to the other 44 children but the ‘disturbance’ to the already frail mind state or emotional state of the autistic child.

In some kinds of autism the children are very very sensitive to crowds, loud sounds, and constant chatter and hate the constant change in adults. Such children would not thrive in an inclusive environment as all this would be constantly grating on their nerves.

This child has been in this environment since 2007, what is the opinion of the therapists, is this kind of an environment really helping this child?

Yes, autism, deaf and mute and dyslexia are in the news these days, thanks to the movies and yes schools in the past have been insensitive to such kids  but inclusion is a decision that needs to be taken not by the school or government or any such body, such decisions should be left to the experts, the medical and therapy experts who take care of such children, they are the best judge of whether inclusion in a regular classroom will really help the condition of the autistic child or only the social morale of the child and the family.

I think a discussion needs to be initiated on this at the earliest and instead of forcing inclusion on children who would actually not benefit from it, it would be better to think of options that would aid the growth of such children. Let’s move away from the two extreme ends of inclusion and exclusion and think of a more moderate and sensitive way in which to help these kids adjust, grow and thrive.

1 comment:


Over and above the angle potrayed by your enlightening article there is another equally important angle to be considered that of role of the parents...There are very few "educated"educators who empathise in the manner that you have highlighted. This poses a drawback, as teachers play an important role in educating the parents. Moreover,a dearth of well equipped inclusive schools that view the persona of the child in totality is lacking. Peer pressure and "follow the herd mentality" on the part of the parents, result in many parents refusing to wake up to the alarming signals that they have seen in their children and for the sake of "save our face in societal circles" relentlessly force their children to bend and succumb to the mounting academic pressure that these special angels of God find impossible to cope up with,resulting in slow death of the childs self esteem and self worth.I have seen drastic results of self denial on the part of the parents result in irreversible damage on tiny minds.
Autistic children display behavioural traits, which rational social inclusim can help overcome largely...the idea behind offering inclusive opportunities is dual purposed not only will such children stand to benefit from acceptance and approval but you will find that other students will thus be sensitised to their classmates needs and will reach out to them and embrace them in a warm hug......it is afterall true that what love and acceptance can offer is unmatched to all else ....DIANA TYAGI