Lessons on Inclusivity

Posted by on September 6, 2021 at 4:50 AM

Children have been or are returning to school to some sort of 'new normality.' There have been a multitude of changes occur over the past eighteen months and, I'm sure, there will probably be more to come.

One change which I have been happy to see 'disappear' from many classrooms is the need to keep a 'tally' of the children who are doing what is expected of them and those which aren't.

The public shaming of the 'naughty side of the board' is something my son was subjected to when he was in primary school. He was undiagnosed but highly suspected of having ADHD. At that time we didn't realise he was also autistic. His behaviours, at home and with his family, were part of him and were our 'normal.'

I would pick him up from school and his peers would run towards me to tell me the number of times the teacher had written my son's name on the board. They would list each of his crimes; standing up, walking when he wasn't supposed to, looking out of the window etc.

I was horrified that this public display of shaming my son was acceptable. He was being vilified by an educated adult, beaten into submission until every last shred of his self-esteem and confidence was no longer visible.  

This was the straw that broke the camel's, proverbial, back. I moved him to a school that accepted him, quirks and all, and he flourished. He had a newly-qualified teacher who had been bought up with foster children who were Neurodiverse. She understood him and helped him grow and be accepted for who he was.

Thankfully, this was over ten years ago and understanding, education and inclusive practise has emerged from the shadows.  

So, as our young people start back to school I hope they are accepted, celebrated and honoured for the wonderful, diverse resilient individuals they were born to be.  

#adhdawareness #autismawareness #neurodiversity #acceptance#adhdawesome #adhdsheppey

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