What Are the Benefits of Inclusion in Preschool Children?

Written by becky swain
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What Are the Benefits of Inclusion in Preschool Children?
Children benefit from diverse teaching strategies in an inclusion classroom. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

An inclusive preschool classroom serves children with varying forms of disabilities in a general education classroom for all or a portion of the school day. Federal law mandates that children with special needs can participate in the general education classroom as much as possible. However, Federal law failed to extinguish the controversy about the benefits of inclusion among educators, parents and school administrators.

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An inclusive preschool classroom can facilitate the development of problem-solving skills. From their earliest classroom experience, the children can observe that challenges are an inherent part of the learning process. Requesting assistance from others is taught and reinforced. All preschool children learn to recognise their differences as well as their individual learning styles. The teacher models successful problem-solving scenarios for the children, who learn to problem-solve as they gain awareness of their strengths and weaknesses.

Financial Benefits for Communities

Communities learn to value the long-term financial benefits of early intervention for preschool children with special needs. Early intervention helps the children to achieve a greater level of independence and productivity in society. The inclusion of children with special needs in preschool classes preserves resources by reducing the need for separate, specialised programs. Preschool children who continue to participate in inclusion at the elementary level require fewer resources than children who continue in separate programs.

Tolerance for Diversity

Preschool children without disabilities share real-life experiences with their special-needs peers in an inclusive classroom. The preschool classroom provides an early awareness of diversity and the needs of others. These experiences enable children without disabilities to accept others who appear different and to demonstrate tolerance and compassion. Families of preschool children without disabilities teach and model tolerance for diversity when they initiate relationships with families who have special-needs children.

Benefits for Children With Special Needs

Starting the school experience in a normal classroom setting nurtures self-esteem and connectivity to the community for preschool children with special needs. The children reach their academic potential with the help of a teacher who uses diverse teaching strategies while accommodating individual needs. The social interaction with other peers facilitates communication and the development of social skills. Special-needs children acquire genuine friendships and life experiences that exist in the community. Their peers serve as role models who teach new skills and permit the practice of older skills.

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