Inclusive classrooms that use disability awareness curricula do not necessarily help children with disabilities make new friendships, according to a new study published in the journal Topics in Early Childhood Special Education. The findings also showed that having at least one best friend helps children with numerous problem behaviors and low social skills gain peer acceptance. Inclusive classrooms are defined as those that integrate children with special needs into a mainstream classroom. “We found that inclusion in and of itself does not equate to increased acceptance, classroom membership, or peer relationships. This research emphasizes the importance of individualizing class-wide programs based on children’s support needs.”
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