A heartwarming, colorful illustration depicting a diverse group of children, both neurotypical and neurodiverse, learning and playing together in a harmonious classroom setting. The image should showcase a range of activities that symbolize inclusivity, such as sharing toys, helping each other with tasks, and engaging in group discussions. The classroom should be vibrant and welcoming, with educational posters about inclusivity and diversity on the walls. Children of various ethnicities, abilities, and backgrounds should be represented, engaging in positive interactions that reflect acceptance and understanding. The overall atmosphere of the image should be joyful and uplifting, embodying the essence of inclusivity and the importance of teaching these values to children.

Inclusive education provides equal access to social and academic opportunities for all students. It’s essential to teach inclusivity to neurotypical children for many reasons. The advantages apply to all students–those with special needs and neurotypical children. Differences are a normal part of life–the sooner we teach that to our children, the better we will all be for it. 

Reasons It is Important to Teach Inclusivity to Neurotypical Children

1. Provides Support

Whether a child has special needs, is neurodiverse, or neurotypical, they all need support. Fostering an inclusive environment can help children build friendships and maintain them. With a better understanding of differences, children are more likely to show empathy and have diverse and caring friendships.

Inclusivity provides students who need extra support with attention from teachers who typically focus on children with special needs. Children often don’t qualify for special needs education, although they can benefit from support for many reasons. Children can benefit from teachers willing to step outside the box and utilize teaching methods tailored to different learning styles. Differentiated instruction can help children learn better from visual aids and children who are more hands-on learners. 

Traditional special needs settings require children to go into separate classrooms to learn. In an inclusive classroom, teachers with specialized training, like reading specialists or speech therapists, are present with all students. Specialized teachers come in and out of the classroom and sometimes stay throughout the entire day of class, depending on the method of instruction. 

2. Benefits All Learners

All children are diverse learners who learn at their own pace. Inclusivity can lend acceptance and understanding of learning differences, enhancing how children learn and grow. Differences can provide unique perspectives that offer critical thinking skills to students. In inclusive settings, teachers integrate special instruction that can benefit all learners. 

The Universal Design for Learning framework uses scientific insights into how people typically learn and helps teachers present lessons in ways that help all students progress. Students benefit from inclusive classrooms in myriad ways, from increasing their self-esteem to becoming more tolerant and comfortable with differences. 

Developing children benefit from inclusivity in schools in many ways that help them become more well-rounded. Understanding and respecting diversity and disability will mold students into empathetic and accepting adults. Students in inclusive classrooms experience various learning styles that can help them identify and apply their own. 

3. Improves Prosocial Behaviors 

Inclusivity allows all students to understand better and accept each other regardless of their differences. Neurotypical children can have difficulty understanding social behaviors. Excluding them from groups or classrooms can hinder their growth and development. 

Traditional special needs classrooms were designed to assist children with special needs better, but they often excluded children from their peers, which can harm their progression. Integrating neurotypical and special needs students into classrooms with their peers provides exposure for them to learn and understand socially acceptable behaviors. 

Separating children with special needs from their peers often leads to social isolation, harming their self-esteem. Generalized education and special needs education can meet in the middle and benefit every child no matter what their learning disability or growth rate is. 

General education students can learn immensely from differing perspectives about respect, negotiation, and empathy, all crucial skills they will need throughout their lives. By providing a natural environment for children to learn about socially accepted behaviors, they can generalize social skills and apply them to other aspects of their lives. 

4. Improves Independent Outcomes 

Inclusive education allows children to be integrated into social situations they will likely encounter. Inclusivity is essential in school because it gives children from every learning perspective a chance to develop at their own pace in a natural environment. With adequate support, neurotypical children can thrive in social environments. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the Rehabilitation Act align with the equality of opportunity for students and the requisite to provide the least restrictive environments for children with disabilities. Students with disabilities should have equal learning opportunities and access to the school’s standard curriculum. 

Technology solutions and assistant teachers can help with inclusion in schools and other supplemental services. The only time it’s acceptable to reduce inclusion in academic settings is when a child with disabilities benefits–some students thrive with partial inclusion. Children with disabilities excel later in life from interactions with peers that help reduce social isolation from special needs classrooms without inclusivity. 

Why Teach Inclusivity to Neurotypical Children

There are many benefits to having an inclusive classroom and teaching inclusivity at home. Inclusive education allows children to feel a sense of belonging, understanding, and respect for differences in their peers that can set them up for success. Inclusion provides a helpful and more effective learning environment for all students. 

You may also like...

1 Comment

  1. Our standard educators could/should be properly educated on Autism Spectrum Disorder, especially when it comes to preventing the abuse of autistic students by their neurotypical peers and teachers alike. There could also be an inclusion in standard high school curriculum of child-development science that would also teach students (without being overly complicated) about the often-debilitating condition.

    If nothing else, the curriculum would offer students an idea/clue as to whether they themselves are emotionally/mentally compatible with the immense responsibility and strains of regular, non-ASD-child parenthood.

    It would explain to students how, among other aspects of the condition, people with ASD (including those with higher functioning autism) are often deemed willfully ‘difficult’ and socially incongruent, when in fact such behavior is really not a choice. And how “camouflaging” or “masking,” terms used to describe ASD people pretending to naturally fit into a socially ‘normal’ environment, causes their already high anxiety and depression levels to further increase. Of course, this exacerbation is reflected in the disproportionately high rate of suicide among ASD people.

    [As for my own autism-spectrum-disordered brain, I’m sometimes told, “But you’re so smart!” To this I somewhat agitatedly reply: “But for every ‘gift’ I have, there are a corresponding three or four deficits.” It’s crippling, and on multiple levels!]

    There could also be childrearing/parenting instruction in regards to children born with ASD, with the rate of such births increasing. Low-functioning autism is already readily recognized and treated, but higher-functioning ASD cases are basically left to fend for themselves.

    … As a moral rule, a healthy and safe future should be EVERY child’s fundamental right, especially considering the very troubled world into which they never asked to enter.


    P.S. As a boy with an autism spectrum disorder [not to mention high sensitivity and resultant also-high ACE score], my Grade 2 teacher was the first and most formidably abusive authority figure with whom I was terrifyingly trapped.

    I cannot recall her abuse in its entirety, but I’ll nevertheless always remember how she had the immoral audacity — and especially the unethical confidence in avoiding any professional repercussions — to blatantly readily aim and fire her knee towards my groin, as I was backed up against the school hall wall.

    Luckily, she missed her mark, instead hitting the top of my left leg. Though there were other terrible teachers, for me she was uniquely traumatizing, especially when she wore her dark sunglasses when dealing with me. But rather than tell anyone about my ordeal with her and consciously feel victimized, I instead felt some misplaced shame: I was a ‘difficult’ boy, therefore she likely perceived me as somehow ‘deserving it’.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.