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Fully inclusive!

Research suggests that children with Down syndrome do better, across a range of academic and other measures, in inclusive mainstream settings rather than segregated settings, irrespective of their level of learning ability. The findings show that children with Down syndrome develop better spoken language and make better academic progress, particularly with reading, when taught in fully inclusive classrooms with typically developing peers of the same age.

A couple of other parents in the district questioned Cruz's IEP team's and us, regarding our choice to place him in a general education kindergarten class. Not that I should have to justify anything to anyone but yes he will have a dedicated 1on1 aide and other appropriate accommodations/modifications.

I had mentioned to them that we had hesitated about kindergarten initially because he is small, not potty trained (but we are trying), has a feeding plan which simply outlines that he needs safe seating and has some food restrictions, and that his communication isn't super clear. Apparently those factors made these two believe we should be considering a fully self contained life skills classroom in a completely different building.  I'm honestly appalled that another parent would weigh in on my child's placement with such limited information.

We are going the route of least restrictive environment for Cruz. Kindergarten is the easiest place for inclusion. We have high expectations for Cruz's future and he shouldn't be placed in a self contained life skills classroom as a 5 year old because he has Down syndrome. Is it going to be perfect and rainbows and sunshine? No - there will be lots of trial and error of course but isn't that what life is anyway 🤷‍♀️. We will take it one month at a time to see how it goes! 

I do also want to say that I'm not judging or shaming others that have chosen life skills programming for their child...we all know our own kids best and it is probably great for some kids.

Please presume competence in people with Down syndrome! We are excited to support Cruz through this huge milestone of entering kindergarten 💪🏽