Special Needs and Inclusion:

Seek Multiple Perspectives

Breadcrumb trail:

Uncover and experience the perspectives of children, families, and colleagues.

When your work is informed by multiple perspectives, you have richer experiences, build stronger relationships, and deepen mutual understandings. Listening to others who have different perspectives can nudge you to reconsider your daily practice and worldview, and recognize and challenge your biases. They can also lead to shared inquiry. Finding areas in which you can collaborate with others is a great way to uncover and experience different perspectives. With CompSAT by your side, you may be inspired to seek the perspectives of the children, families, and colleagues in your program and beyond.

Two teachers discussing issues outside.
A young girl with special needs performing sign language.
"About ten years ago a family with a typically developing child considered enrollment in my program. They weren't sure if they wanted to enroll her in our fully inclusive program, where she would interact and share a classroom with children with special needs. They researched the benefits, what their daughter might learn: compassion and tolerance, understanding, and a sense of the richness of life. These parents were concerned that maybe she wouldn't get enough attention. But in the end they decided that the potential benefits were important enough to give it a try. It turned out to be a life-changing decision. At age 12 this little girl joined a community Signing Choir that performs songs in sign language across the nation."

— Director, Patty's story

Emma's Blog

Read the blog post, "The other side" from Emma Fialka-Feldman, Micah's Fialka-Feldman's sister.


Try This!

Locate a fully inclusive ECE program in your community. Make an appointment to visit the program. Talk with members of that community about the benefits of inclusion from their different points of view. Write down what you learned from the various perspectives and your own impressions from the visit. If you need help finding a program, check with your County Office of Education or Child Care Resource and Referral agency.

Remember Micah from the story in the Consider the Child's Point of View Key in this competency? Imagine a young Micah enrolled in the program you visited. Think about Micah's family as a member of this community. Write your impressions. Describe what you think it would have been like for all of them.

Use this template to record your observations, thoughts, and feelings.  Download the Template

Deepen Your Understanding

California Early Childhood Educator Competencies

Deepen your understanding of these Topics: Policies and procedures in Performance Area 1 and Families and Teamwork on inclusion in Performance Area 3 in the CA ECE Competencies. Scroll to pages 61 and 64.

Can you find other places in this competency area that address your interests and needs?

Download the California ECE Competencies

California Early Childhood Educator Competencies

Extend Your Learning

Visit The BroadReach Centre, a website with valuable resources and videos that can help you heighten your awareness.