Separate – Better Than Equal?

Even with an aide accompanying him on the playground, recess was still a difficult time for G.  He continued to be overwhelmed and lashed out physically at kids on the playground.  So the decision was made to pull him from the general population during recess and instead have him on the other side of the school for an alternative recess.  I was sick about this.  But my general attitude is to always give things a try before making a final decision, and I firmly believe the school is doing their best for G, so I decided to let them try it.

And it is working out beyond my expectations.  G gets to choose two kids from class to attend his recess with him.  The kids are super excited to be chosen because they get to do all kinds of activities that aren’t allowed during the general recess because there are too many kids to manage them.  For example, it’s snowing here and they’ve set up a sledding run down the hill on G’s recess spot.  They don’t get to sled on the other side of the building because it would be too chaotic.  They build snowmen, draw with sidewalk chalk on nice days, and play 4 square without having to wait in line for their turn like they do on the other side.  G is easily able to handle the social requirements of 2 kids in a quiet spot and the aide is much better able to facilitate when needed because she’s able to focus.  Without prompting, G chooses two different kids each day which means he’s getting to know all his classmates.  And his teacher reports that the chosen classmates usually choose to sit with G during lunch.  Before this, G tended to sit by himself.

Despite all my reservations, this is working out well.  Because he is making friends and feeling more comfortable with his classmates, his anxiety is decreasing .  Which means his behavior has vastly improved.  Sometimes I get so focused on the goal of inclusion and acceptance by other people that I forget to take a hard look at what is best for G.  I have a tendency to want to force him into a situation that he may not be ready for.  I have to remind myself that right now, keeping his desk separate from the other kids in the class is best.  And right now, a separate recess appears to be the key to peer acceptance.

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Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 1:16 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. This is awesome. And such a good reminder to all of us that sometimes inclusion isn’t the end all/be all.


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