Should autistic children be sent to normal schools or special schools?
In the light of recent events where more than a few debates have flared up in different parts of the world for similar reasons, schools are left wondering if they need to frame special guidelines in regards to autistic children. Autistic children attending regular schools are being excluded from being a part of special activities and fun trips.
Autistic children are supposed to be treated as normal kids so that they don’t feel any less competent or humiliated in front of people. Treating them as abnormal children would only hamper their confidence and they would withdraw from people, try to keep distance from others and become reluctant to socialize. However, other children and mostly their parents fear that being with an autistic child will have adverse effects on them.
Many schools do not take in autistic children and make excuses like special children require especially skilled teachers to handle them. There seems to be a stigma attached to autism that people need to be made aware of in order to remove it from the lives of autistic children.Normal school:1. Violating human rights:
When regular schools do not accept autistic children on excuses of various grounds, it is still a violation of human rights. It is important to understand that these children are also a part of our lives and we need to do what we could in order to make lives easier and better for them. Normal human treatment including education alongside regular kids could help autistic children realize their special potential and socialize better.2. Getting rid of myths:
While some autistic children develop multiple syndromes which require special treatment and education, it is a myth that every autistic child will have the same condition. An autistic child who doesn’t have syndromes like schizophrenia are completely apt for attending regular schools and other children need not worry about their reactions in any way. It is a big myth that autistic children could cause harm to other children.3. Care and help:
Studies have found that when autistic children attended school with regular children who were made aware of the syndrome, they actually took to caring and helping their autistic classmate. Not only did the child become more socially interactive but also contributed to awareness and removing the stigma surrounding autism from other children. There are so many autistic children in every country including ours that it is becoming very crucial to make them adapt to normal living.4. Spreading awareness:
Autistic children are bullied and teased because there is a social stigma about them being mentally retarded. This is untrue and spreading awareness is very important. Mostly, it had been found that these autistic children are especially talented or gifted in a particular field. Some are exceptional artists; others have implausible talent in music, etc. It is only when these children are made to feel like normal in normal schools, that they develop the confidence to pursue their skills. It is like talent lost and wasted when autistic children are kept aloof.5. It is not a disease, yet is on a rise:
It is important to understand that autism is not a disease that can be caught or spread, it is a syndrome caused by a difference of anatomic structure of the brain. It should also be noted that this syndrome is on a rise. Every year the number of children born with autism rises. The next autistic child could be born in your family and you will want to give him/her a normal life. It is time we become aware and appreciative of these children and give them the right to normal education and living.Special school:1. Special attention:
Special children need more attention and in normal classrooms it becomes difficult, for the autistic child as well as for other children to learn properly. The teacher needs to give more attention to the special child and make him understand in the way he/she prefers. In this case the other children usually feel left out and are not able to concentrate well. In other situations it is seen that the teacher pays normal attention to all children in which case the special child is left clueless about the subject.2. Disturbance:
Most autistic children are known to need special attention and when they don’t get that they are known to scream and disturb others. Some are known to not be trained about their human needs at an age when other children of the class are well trained. They become the topic of humiliation and other children refrain from socializing with them. Why deny normal educational environment to an entire class for one special child?3. They achieve better under special supervision:
Special care and attention, special techniques of making them learn what is rather difficult for them can only be achieved in a special school. Autistic children are known to have special abilities in a specific field which must be made their special subject, to learn, grow and accomplish in that field. Moreover, they also need to feel comfortable in the beginning which is only possible in special schools where there are children who don’t judge them otherwise and teachers who are trained well.4. It should all come down to what is good for the child:
Society and media simply it as exclusion of an autistic child from the normal group of students. What they fail to see is that the exclusion in the beginning is actually good for the child. Instead of labeling issues we should be concerned about what the child actually needs – a normal environment or a special environment. If the child is more comfortable in a place where his needs are well understood, then so be it.Autistic children are special -
they need special care and attention to realize their talent and live a normal life. In a normal school where the other children treat them differently and bully one child, it could lead to serious damage in the minds of these special children. It should be better for the governments to make special provisions to have schools for these children in every state.
That being said, some children can go to normal school, a school where children and teachers are aware of the needs of the child. They can learn social skills and do well in life with the guidance and support of teachers and students. Only a school where awareness is possible, these children can be a part of the normal group.