Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Don't Do Us Any Favors: I've wondered, in my blog, why the growing number of kids with special needs doesn't give their families any sort of clout. If you could add up all the kids with autism and the kids with food allergies and the kids with learning disabilities and the kids with chronic illnesses and get their families to act as one big interest group, wouldn't somebody have to try to cater to us instead of acting like we're an anomaly? Lisa Jo Rudy makes a similar point in Inclusion Is Not an Act of Charity on her new Authentic Inclusion blog. Accommodating kids with differences should be as natural and as expected as accommodating any kid -- if not because it's the right thing to do, then because they're customers and constituents like everybody else. What other group is it so acceptable to exclude anymore? Why should we be happy with whatever inclusion anybody deigns to dole out?

1 comment:

Lisa Jo Rudy said...

Actually, I think that there IS growing interest in providing autistic "constituents" with appropriate programs and supports. I'm now consulting on inclusion with several museums; I've worked with YMCAs; I see an interest in musical organizations as well. One HUGE issue, though, is that "people with autism" is too broad a group to consider. When I talk about inclusion, I also ask the question "which people with autism do you want to include?" That question usually stops everyone cold: they didn't realize that people with autism don't all want or need the same thing!