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Young Children 

Early Learning and Inclusion
Inclusion is the right of all individuals to participate actively in all aspects of community life (i.e. school, child care, recreational activities, et cetera). According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Division for Early Childhood (DEC), "The desired results of inclusive experiences for children with disabilities and their families include a sense of belonging and membership, positive social relationships and friendships, and development and learning to reach their full potential," (DEC & NAEYC 2009).

"Inclusion is NOT about placing a child with a disability in a classroom or a school. That is only a tiny piece of the puzzle. Rather, inclusion is about how we deal with diversity, how we deal with difference...How else can we explain the emotions unleashed by the presence of a tiny child in a wheelchair or the presence of a teenager with down syndrome in a local school...Inclusion does not mean we are all the same. Inclusion does not mean we all agree. Rather, inclusion celebrates our diversity and differences with respect and gratitude. The greater our diversity, the richer our capacity to create new visions....If we exclude people, we are programming them for the fight of their lives - to get in and to belong." (Forest & Pearpoint, n.d.).

For references or to read the entire document please click here.

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