When working in an inclusive classroom, it can really help to use a variety of instructional formats. Not all students learn the same way, and that is especially true when including students who may have learning impairments. Some students learn better by hearing or seeing the information, and others learn more by trial and error or experience.
One thing that can help is to try not to assume the student’s level of ability (or disability). It can be easy to assume that students with IEPs are going to have difficulty with academic tasks, but some students can really surprise you with what they can accomplish if given the chance!
I think it is useful to include “peer helpers” in inclusion. Sometimes the teacher can identify a few general ed students that work especially well with others. Those “peer helpers” can often be coached in how to help prompt or include students in the room who have disabilities or learning differences.
I always try to remember that working in an inclusive classroom is a chance for the team to work together and address all aspects of the IEP as a team, instead of just individually. It can be a chance to collaborate with OT/PT, the teachers and any other professionals in the class. And it helps you see how it all overlaps and comes together to help the students!
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