Inclusion Works

Can you believe that while my little family is going on with life in Fort Worth that I am sitting in a fancy hotel in Austin watching cable TV, surfing the internet, and eating cheesecake??  🙂

It is true.  But besides all the luxuries the hotel offers me here, I am attending the Inclusion Works conference — a whole  4 days dedicated to discussing inclusion.  Inclusion is what we’re doing with Chloe this year — a special ed student placed in a general ed classroom (with typical students) with aids and supports to ensure success.  Inclusion is a common practice in some areas, but man, oh man, have we got a long way to go!!

I came to this conference to gain power and knowledge and inspiration to keep up the inclusion that we’ve started with Chloe. 

The first breakout session I attended was one encouraging a range of response in the classroom to allow for students’ individual skills and interests.  The presenter spent time using examples of different types of media and activities to spur teachers on in their efforts to include all students.  He was so knowledgeable and passionate.  I left from that session thinking that if I were a teacher, I would go home and have a different approach in my classroom — not just apps on the ipad for my one or two special ed kids, but apps on the ipad for all of my students. . . . not just the chance to respond by podcast for my special ed students, but response through podcasts for all of my students.  It was a great reminder that any special thing done in the classroom for a special ed student would actually benefit every student in the classroom!

But I’m not a teacher.  I’m the parent of a special ed child.  A special ed child who is being included in a general ed classroom.  A special ed child who is the first to ever be included at this level at this school.  We are treading new waters in this whole inclusion thing.  So instead of leaving with a feeling of empowerment, I left that session with a feeling of helplessness.  I would’ve loved for Chloe’s teachers and therapists to have been there.  They are the ones who would implement something like that.

Yes, perhaps it is my role to do my part to educate and empower the folks working with my child.  But oh, how I would love for them to have attended this conference.  Instead of hearing it from me when it could be dismissed as a high-maintenance mama with a big agenda for my little girl, I would love for the teachers, therapists, and administrators to hear it from the experts just as I am hearing it.

I believe Inclusion Works.  I believe it with all of my heart.  But I want to be empowered at this conference . . . not made to feel helpless.  What can I do to be an effective parent?

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by papa on February 24, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    WOW !! sounds like you are in the right place this week=end.you are NOT helpless,you are empowered by THE ONE AND ONLY ALL POWERFUL LIVING GOD who told you that HE will go before you and make your path straight!! make a lot of notes,ask a lot of questions,and enjoy your week-end.GOD gave Chloe to you and Paul and our entire family because HE knew we would make sure she receives love,attention,support,encouragement,and education that she deserves and is intitleded to. YOU GO GIRL!!!!we WILL BE PRAYING FOR YOU, PAUL,AND YOUR CHILDREN THIS WEEK-END.

    Reply

  2. […] Inclusion Works Conference 2011, Austin, Texas. […]

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  3. […] Inclusion Works (ourordinaryday.wordpress.com) […]

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  4. […] the other week when I was away for the weekend at the Inclusion Works conference, Paul loaded up all three kids and headed to the dealership to test drive a van he had found […]

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