The Autistic Child – inclusion or exclusion?

I am firmly of the view that the current policy of ‘inclusion’ by the Department of Education has no educational, even altruistic, basis whatsoever. It is purely a cost-cutting exercise designed to crowd as many children as possible into one room with one over-extended teacher, whilst making redundant the special needs teacher, the remedial teacher and a host of SNAs. Why should inclusion be based on the arbitrary concept of chronological age?

Well done Fiona, another beautifully written and thought-provoking piece.

From the Inside

for blog - inclusion or exclusion

This is possibly my most favourite photograph of Ian, ever. It shows him interacting with two children who were two years younger than he was. Ian was 6, and they were both 4. At that time, and in that place, inclusion was perfect. Ian had undergone three years of intensive one-to-one therapy; now he was just a child, in a sea of children. A small sea, admittedly. Well, as there were only about eight of them, perhaps more of a jolly, chuckling puddle. But Ian slid in without a ripple, and they all got on very well. As I wrote in my book “The other, smaller, children accepted Ian with love and generosity. He was a gentle giant among them, towering over even the tallest child in the class, and when he took their toys from them, they took them right back with frowns and complaints. Ian learned the…

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About Neil van Dokkum

Neil van Dokkum (B. SocSc; LLB; LLM; PGC Con.Lit) Neil is a law lecturer and has been so since arriving in Ireland from South Africa in 2002. Prior to that Neil worked in a leading firm of solicitors from 1987-1992, before being admitted as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa (a barrister) in 1992. He published three books in South Africa on employment law and unfair dismissal, as well as being published in numerous national and international peer-reviewed journals. Neil currently specialises in employment law, medical negligence law, family law and child protection law. He dabbles in EU law (procurement and energy). Neil retired from practice in 2002 to take up a full-time lecturing post. He has published three books since then, “Nursing Law for Irish Students (2005); “Evidence” (2007); and “Nursing Law for Students in Ireland” (2011). He is an accredited and practising mediator and is busy writing a book, with Dr Sinead Conneely, on Mediation in Ireland. His current interest is Ireland’s energy policy and its impact on the people and the environment. He is also researching the area of disability as a politico-economic construct. Neil is very happily married to Fiona, and they have two sons, Rory and Ian.
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