autism · Education

An #ActuallyAutistic View on Classroom Inclusion

Alex Kronstein is an autistic adult and one of Halifax’s most outspoken neurodiversity advocates.  I have had the pleasure of getting to know him through Facebook, and working with him on his Neurodivecast podcast (hosted by D’Artifactory Radio).

Alex has taught me a lot about the autistic perspective, and how to be an ally to those labelled as “disabled.” So when he told me he wanted to do an episode on Classroom Inclusion, I was thrilled.

While there have been many strong opinions of non-autistic educational experts and parents of autistic kids on the topic (mine included), there has been very little attempt to include the autistic voice on classroom inclusion in the media or public dialogue presently happening in Nova Scotia.

In this 3-part Episode of The Neurodivecast, Alex has researched the practice of classroom inclusion from a variety of his trusted sources from within the global Neurodiversity community, and presents a wealth of information from advocates around the world.

After hearing Alex’s podcast, my main takeaway is: While inclusion, in principle, is a noble idea which is important to neurodivergent individuals; in practice, it can victimize those who require specialized learning environments if it is not properly funded.  Further, the amount of investments required in the education system to support a truly “inclusive” model, is beyond what most governments are willing or able to make.

These are the links Alex to the articles Alex presents:

Information on the Nova Scotia Teacher’s Union Job Action

All you ever wanted to know about the Teachers Union work-to-rule, but were afraid to ask

Thoughts on inclusion in the classroom

–Michelle Sutton

Being present is not the same as being included: More thoughts on inclusion in the classroom

–Michelle Sutton

Tips for Teachers: Supporting Neurodivergent Students

Barriers to Learning for Autistic People and How You Can Help

How to Support an Autistic Child in the Classroom

What Autistic Children Learn from Adult Responses

Creating True Inclusion in Education

–Nina Fiore