Today we bring to you the benefits of inclusive education and how children can be taught the value of inclusiveness via stories.All parents want their children to be accepted by their peers, have friends and lead regular lives. Inclusive settings can make this vision a reality for many children with disabilities. Let us see how stories can teach children empathy to create an inclusive learning environment.

Benefits of Inclusive Education

Children develop a positive understanding of themselves and others

When children in class reflect on the similarities and differences of people in the real world, they learn to appreciate diversity. Respect and understanding grow when children of differing abilities and cultures play and learn together.

Social skills develop

Schools are important places for children to develop friendships and learn social skills. Children with and without disabilities learn with and from each other in inclusive classrooms.

Children learn important academic skills

In inclusive classrooms, all children are expected to learn to read, write and do math. With higher expectations and good instruction children with disabilities can learn academic skills at the same pace.

Stories that teach The Value of Inclusiveness

Summer is a fantastic time for exploring new books that foster meaningful conversations between children and adults. Help children understand and welcome peers with and without disabilities by reading one or many of these books this summer. These stories are apt for early school age children.

All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome by Kathy Hoopman

All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome takes a playful look at Asperger Syndrome (AS), drawing inspiration from the feline world in a way that will strike a chord with all those who are familiar with AS. Delightful color photographs of cats bring to life familiar characteristics such as sensitive hearing, scampering at the first sign of being stroked and particular eating habits. Touching, humorous and insightful, this book evokes the difficulties and joys of raising a child who is different and leaves the reader with a sense of the dignity, individuality and potential of people with AS. This engaging book is an ideal, gentle introduction to the world of AS.

All Kinds of Friends, Even Green! by Ellen Senisi

More than just a story about friendship, “ALL KINDS OF FRIENDS, EVEN GREEN!” looks at difference—such as being in a wheelchair or missing toes—in a unique way. With this beautifully photographed and engaging story, children discover that living with disability and facing its challenges can be seen as interesting, even positive.

We'll Paint the Octopus Red by Stephanie Stuve-Bordeen

Six-year-old Emma anticipates the birth of her new baby brother or sister, she vividly imagines all of the things they can do together. Emma feels ready to be a big sister! Then when the baby is born, her dad tells her that it’s a boy and he has something called Down syndrome. In this touching story, Emma helps her father as much as he helps her to realise that Isaac is the baby they dreamed of. The book concludes with a set of commonly asked questions about Down syndrome with answers for children and how it might affect their sibling and family.

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