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Everyone Benefits From Inclusive Classrooms

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This week, in honor of Inclusive Schools Week, the National Down Syndrome Society is sharing real stories about how inclusive schools have made a difference in the lives of families of a child with Down syndrome.

In the first week of inclusive schooling we saw a huge difference in our boys, Elijah and Gabe. We have been amazed. Elijah and Gabe are the most popular kids in the school — the students in their class love them! There has not been one thing negative about the whole experience. Elijah is a hands-on learner and the school has totally accommodated this. When the school bus drops them off at home everyone is waving to them.

We feel so blessed. Our principal has said to me, “This is not nearly as hard as I thought it would be!” General education teachers in the upper grades have already said they are excited to have their own inclusive classroom. Parents of typically developing students in the boys’ class have approached us to thank us for pushing for inclusion for our boys because they can already see the benefit for their children.

We would not have been able to do this without the National Down Syndrome Society and Sara Jo Soldovieri, the manager of inclusive education policy and programming. Before NDSS got involved, the school was set against inclusion and now they want to be the school that everyone else looks to.

David Coffee, New York
Sons Gabe and Elijah, 6

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Originally published: December 5, 2017
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