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Autism and Education: The Full Inclusion Mainstream Classroom For All Standard Discriminates Against Some Autistic Children

Posted Nov 07 2010 5:02am
Imposing a standard, namely that the inclusive classroom meets all needs, is a perception not based on reality and is stereotypical. In other words, the standard takes the position that one environment meets the needs of all special needs children. By its very nature, such a standard is discriminatory, as was made clear by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Meiorin, Grismer, Law and Mercier decisions.


THE FULLY INCLUSIVE CLASSROOM IS ONLY ONE OF THE RIGHT WAYS TO MEET THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD

Presented by Yude M. Henteleff, C.M., Q.C.
to the
C.A.C.L. NATIONAL SUMMIT ON INCLUSIVE EDUCATION
OTTAWA, ONTARIO
NOVEMBER 24, 2004
The above document by Yude Hentelleff  QC should be mandatory reading for Educators and Human Rights Commission and Tribunal  members across Canada.  Unfortunately that does not appear to be the case particularly in New Brunswick where the extreme full mainstream classroom inclusion model has been pushed relentlessly by Gordon Porter, the New Brunswick Association for Community Living and senior officials in the Department of Education.  
Meanwhile some children, including some autistic children, for whom the mainstream classroom is not the right learning environment are forced into situations where they injure themselves, or others, in order to get out of an environment which is not the right option for them; an environment that overwhelms and harms therm.  My son, fortunately, has been accommodated in a separate learning environment for his primary ABA based instruction in our neighborhood schools with time spent in common areas of the school for other activities where he does get to interact with other students.  Conor was removed from the mainstream classroom, at our request, after he came home every day with bite marks on his hands and wrists.  He has been well accommodated by our schools and our school district. Other students for whom the mainstream classroom is not the right option have not always been so fortunate. 
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