We Redefine Inclusion
By Transforming the Extracurricular Culture
We Educate Extracurricular Programs About Inclusion
We support extracurricular programs through training, education, and feedback to the staff and coaches so that they are able to become inclusive. Becoming inclusive involves shifting the stereotypes and predisposed ideas you, your staff, your coaches, current participants, and parents have about what children with special needs can and cannot do. It involves creating a sensory-friendly environment, answering questions and modeling how to ask questions about special needs and specific presentations or behaviors associated with a child with special needs, and taking an inclusive attitude out into the community.
This Education has a Trickle-Down Effect
By educating extracurricular programs on how to seamlessly include children with developmental differences into their classes, both neurodiverse and neurotypical children benefit.
Neurodiverse children are able to participate in a class without adapting the expectations, signing up for a younger-aged class, or feeling excluded from their peers. Most importantly, they experiences the many benefits of movement.
Neurotypical children are exposed to children with developmental differences in a positive way, in which they are encouraged to interact with, talk to, and assist or coach children who struggle with different aspects of each class. Through this exposure, neurotypical children feel comfortable enough to open up about their struggles to ask questions about the terms disabilities and special needs. These children become more accepting of others, more empathetic, and more empowered to advocate for themselves and for others. They share their feelings and show their change of character to their peers at school, their parents at home, and their siblings. In essence, they are educating others and thus, are creating a more accepting, understanding, and empathetic community.
Extracurricular Programs Start by Offering Inclusive Class(es) to Children with Developmental Differences
Not every child is ready to enter into an inclusive class right away. Children with developmental differences are the perfect candidates to enter into an inclusive class, but children with moderate or severe needs often require additional one-on-one attention, which the program or facility may or may not be able to provide. Thus, we teach programs how to screen interested participants effectively to ensure that every child who wants to engage in the specific activity is successful. This way, the programs can recommend that a child starts either in the inclusive class or with private lessons until that child is ready to enter into an inclusive class.
This process of introducing extracurricular programs to becoming inclusive is ourLevel 1 Certification. After these programs are comfortable with opening their doors and classes to children with different needs, we are here to provide more support to help them establish specific classes and a program that allows for children of all abilities to progress in their classes at their own pace.