Inclusion Plans Not Working? Don’t Give Up! Problem Solve
October 31, 2019
This is the time of year when even the best plans for successful inclusion of students with disabilities may not be working as well as you had hoped. If so, don’t give up! But do get proactive and problem solve. Sometimes, teachers work so hard on developing and implementing plans to include students with disabilities into general education settings and programs that when things don’t go perfectly, they get discouraged and lose enthusiasm or confidence. Our message to you about bumps in the road to successful inclusion is this: They happen. And usually you can fix them.
Here some practical steps that educators can take when tweaking, revising, or re-writing inclusion plans for students with disabilities.
First, work as a team.
No teacher should be implementing inclusive practices alone. When students have comprehensive needs, their success will require a comprehensive approach. This is especially true when students interact with many educators and many students throughout the school day. If one person on the team has found a great strategy that works, it should be shared with the whole team. Practical interventions like schedule changes, adjustments to communication style, use of forms and visuals, changing the room arrangement, and other preventative approaches can make a big difference in students who are struggling academically or behaviorally.
Second, use a step by step problem solving process that is thoughtful and comprehensive.
We have a FREE planning tool for download that should help. We developed this tool a few years ago for students with autism, but it still works! Use it to help guide your team as you consider all aspects of supports needed in a well-designed inclusion plan.
While this form was designed for use with students on the autism spectrum, you can easily modify it and make it work for other students with other disabilities. If you look at this post (https://pdanywhere.com/blog/what-do-we-need-for-inclusion-of-students-with-autism-to-succeed-planning-and-collaboration/) and the link at the bottom of the page, you will find the What Do We Need? form. Use it as guide as your team talks through what supports the student needs. “What Do We Need? (.pdf)
Third, stay positive.
It can be difficult not to give up, especially if you are a new teacher or new to teaching students with disabilities. Each student is a unique individual and will have unique strengths and needs. Keep your focus on what is working well and keep doing it, while also recognizing that a student may have more serious academic or behavioral issues than were anticipated. Things change. Owning up to that possibility is difficult, but it is sometimes part of the process: Acknowledge the problem but focus on positive solutions.
Here are PD Anywhere, we focus on practical, positive solutions. Our first set of Inclusion Guides for Busy Teachers has strategies to help teachers as they include students with Autism, ADHD, and Behavioral Challenges. The guides are user-friendly and contain not only ideas for interventions, but links for resources and other information. They are perfect for new teachers, inclusion support personnel, and any other educators who are committed to success for students with disabilities. Click here to see the guides, which can be obtained at Amazon.com: