Sometimes Inclusion is Just About Listening

Sometimes inclusion is just about listening; Removing the Stumbling Block

There’s a young boy in our school who has been struggling this year. He likes coming to school and gets along with the other children, but he has a very tough time settling down, focusing, and he speaks inappropriately to the teacher, often demonstrating a great deal of disrespect.

Mom and I speak a lot. This is the younger of her two boys, and she has already gone through the process of having her older son diagnosed and supported in school. So this isn’t new for her and she is very open and willing to discuss the challenges. She is both sympathetic and supportive, recognizing that the teacher is doing her best to support her son.

The Power of Yet to Advance Inclusion

If you have done any reading or learning in the area of mindset, you know that the word “yet” can be a powerful game changer. It can help move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. 
The Power of Yet to Advance Inclusion; Removing the Stumbling Block
The concept is simple:

Help students change from saying and thinking “I can’t” to believing “I can’t yet.”

Shift them from “I don’t get it” to “I don’t get it yet.”

Push them from “I don’t know” to “I don’t know yet.”

And encourage them to abandon “This doesn’t work” for “This doesn’t work yet.”

How Do We Widen the Net of Inclusion?

How do we widen the net of inclusion? Removing the Stumbling Block

I had an interesting exchange with the social media/communications manager of an organization almost solely dedicated to the advancement of inclusion for individuals with disabilities in Jewish life.  He was pulling together a “best of” article to highlight posts from Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month. (Of course I was more than pleased to share a couple of my own). I commented that I was pleased to see that there so many articles written. His reply, “Yes, but they always seem to come from the same people and the same sources. How do we widen the net?”

Don't Use Inclusion as an Excuse for Bad Behavior

One of the things I do as a disability inclusion consultant is coach organizations and their staff as they work to become more inclusive. One of the most significant ways to accomplish this is to reframe both the way we think about certain situations and the language we use when talking about those situations.
Inclusion Is Not an Excuse for Bad Behavior; Removing the Stumbling Block

Here’s a perfect example:

An Inclusion Coordinator recently asked me the following question, “How do you explain to a parent that their kid was hit, bit, touched by a kid with a disability and explain why we let them [the child with a disability] attend camp? Also, do we explain to parents, before camp starts, that we are an inclusion camp (says this on our brochure) and behaviors may occur? Specifically we have kids with shadows who are included and as great and trained as those shadows are, there is the unexpected behavior.”

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