An Inclusive Approach to Early Education
1 Non-disabled children who grow up with opportunities to interact with children with disabili- ties are likely to be more tolerant in later years.
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with disabilities express more accepting attitudes towards those with disabili- ties. In addition, girls express more accepting attitudes towards children with disabilities.
Benets for Families
In general, parents’ attitudes about inclusion were inuenced by their experi- ences with inclusion (Lamorey & Bricker, 1992; Palmer, Fuller, Arora, & Nelson, 2001). Parents of children with disabilities were most often positive in their responses, although they did identify some concerns (see below). Attitudes of parents of children who are typically developing improved as experience with inclusion increased. In a study involving 125 parents of non-disabled children who attended inclusive preschool programs, Peck, Carlson, and Helmstetter (1992) found that parents perceived their children’s experience as generally positive and were supporters of inclusive education. In addition, Peck and his colleagues found that parents reported that their children were more accepting of human differences and had less discomfort with people with disabilities and people who looked or behaved differently than they did.
Benets for Society
Not only does inclusion have positive effects on all children; it appears to be of long-term benet to society. Non-disabled children who grow up with oppor- tunities to interact with children with disabilities are likely to be more tolerant in later years. They tend to mature into adults with greater understanding and respect for those less able in our society (Kishi & Meyer, 1994). Many teach- ers report that most young children, unless inuenced by inappropriate adult