.Nameplate February 2013 Issue
Starting Point                                                 Page 6


Inclusion Over the Years


In his President’s Corner column this month, Benny Gooden recalls a time when students with disabilities were written off as uneducable by the schools they attended, usually out of sight of school-age peers.

I remember those days, too, as a young student at an elementary school that set up a classroom down at the end of the hallway. It was known as “the Sunshine class” (I’m sure it didn’t occur to us that it was the only classroom with a name). The kids in that class didn’t see much light of day. They did everything together as a group, including lunch in their own room, never with the rest of us in the school cafeteria.

This scenario played out in Auburn, N.Y., my hometown, but I’ll bet the same picture could be painted of just about every public school community in the 1950s and ’60s. I can’t help but contrast that to the fully inclusive preschool run by the ARC that my daughter attended 20 years ago, touted as the first of its kind in Maryland.

Inclusive schooling is our cover story this month. We also look at how one school district is attempting to serve its escalating population of students on the autism spectrum. Another piece, by Sasha Pudelski, AASA government affairs manager, shares the association’s stance on the use of restraint and seclusion in schools.

As always, we invite readers’ views on any of our editorial fare.

Jay P. Goldman, Editor
Voice: 703-875-0745
E-mail: jgoldman@aasa.org


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