Fostering an inclusive society

Fostering an inclusive society

Fostering an inclusive societyIt’s never too late to focus on fostering an inclusive society. This means accepting one another’s differences – be it race, gender, class, generation, or geography. It also includes those with special needs. Today, our attention is on autism.

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a condition that affects communication, behaviour, and social interaction. An understanding of autism has evolved over the years. So has the importance of promoting awareness and acceptance which are crucial components in building an inclusive society where individuals on the autism spectrum can thrive.

Here are a few ways in which we can help do this:

  • encourage your children to speak to people respectfully,
  • offer help when they see help is needed,
  • create opportunities for children with and without disabilities to interact with one another,
  • respect others’ differences.

Fostering an inclusive societySocial inclusion is important for a person’s dignity, security, and opportunity to lead a better life. It is necessary to help individuals feel connected and valued. And remember it’s okay to ask questions about autism – there’s a difference between ‘snooping’ and really wanting to understand more. Understanding more is how you create awareness. You will find that being a friend to someone with autism, is very rewarding for your children – and for the other person. Knowing someone with autism will expand your children’s understanding of ‘different’, will expose them to the person’s unique qualities, and will enrich your children’s lives with meaningful friendship.

Acceptance is simply to accept people with autism for who they are – the way you want others to accept your children for who they are. This goes for anyone with whom they come into contact, whether they have autism or not. We encourage you to help your children become more inclusive – and kind – to all individuals, especially to those with special needs. Every step you take, can go a long way in changing their experiences and their wellbeing.

Fostering an inclusive societyAwareness and acceptance are deeply interconnected – awareness serving as a foundation for acceptance. When we accept people with special needs, they feel empowered to embrace their identities without fear of judgment or discrimination.

Encourage your children to start today by making classmates with autism feel welcome. To sit with them during break, choose them to be in their team, invite them for playdates, and to be patient because it may take longer for them to respond. Remember, they have their gifts and strengths – and are likely to be better than your children at a whole lot of things. It’s good to notice and appreciate that.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

- Mahatma Gandhi -



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