Recently there was a school event in my son’s general education classroom. I wasn’t planning to go, because I’d have to rush there from a doctor’s appointment. And, to be honest, it’s sometimes hard to go because the difference between my son and his peers is a reminder of Evan’s daily challenges.
My plans changed when Evan asked if I could come to his party. I couldn’t say no. Well, actually I did say no (because I wasn’t sure if I could get there on time and I didn’t want him feeling disappointed), but I had every intention of being there. Fortunately, I didn’t have to disappoint him.
“My mom is here. I’m so happy,” he shouted to no one in particular as we walked down the hall from his special education classroom to his general education classroom, where he spends approximately 10 hours a week.
I was happy, too. But some of that happiness was unexpectedly shoved aside when we entered the classroom and I saw that Evan and two classmates from his special ed class had their own table in the back. This was a marked change from the last time I was there, when Evan and the two girls sat with the rest of the kids.
What’s the point of inclusion if kids aren’t included? Evan already sits with the two girls from his other class most of the time. He goes to the general ed classroom so he can interact with his typically developing peers, not observe them from the back of the class.