I just read Dave Hingsberger's latest blog and it struck me once again why it is important for our children to be taught inclusively as much as possible. Sure, there are times when we think, "Wow, if we were in a self contained school, everyone would know how to help, everyone and everything would be more accessible to ourselves and our kids.". That's not the point though, our community, schools should and can be accessible (thanks to an amazing Mom at my school, our playground is accessible and inclusionary). Our students need to be out and about in the classes, hallways, cafeteria and with their peers.
I truly believe this can be done with everyone getting the education necessary for their growth and enrichment while not sacrificing the emotional and social aspects of being one community. It will definitely take a paradigm (I love that word:) shift, but it is both necessary and doable.
It's hard, when you grow up, to realize that sometimes you are just wrong. Believe me, I have experienced it myself more times than I would like. But sometimes, we're just wrong.
By the way, this big boy in the picture comes to my classroom and plays with my students whenever he can. He asks his mother and myself why some of the kids do things that he doesn't understand and we give him answers. He accepts and moves on. His world view is much richer than mine was at his age.