Inclusive Classrooms Don't Necessarily Increase Friendships for Children with Disabilities
[Source: Science Daily]
For parents of children with disabilities, the concern is even greater as four-out-of-10 of their children will enter kindergarten without the social skills necessary to develop close friendships. The response from schools has been to create inclusive classrooms, where a significant number of students with disabilities now receive the majority of their education and are believed to have a better chance at developing close relationships with peers.
But after studying six inclusive classrooms, Lori Erbrederis Meyer, assistant professor of early childhood and early childhood special education at the University of Vermont, has found that inclusive classrooms with disability awareness curricula alone do not increase friendships for students with disabilities. Her study, forthcoming in Topics in Early Childhood Special Education and available now via the journal’s OnlineFirst service, also showed that having a best friend helps children with high rates of problem behaviors and low rates of social skills still gain peer acceptance.
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