Special needs or not, let kids learn together: Expert

Dr Ilene Schwartz, director of the Haring Centre for Research and Training in Education in the US, stressed the importance of starting inclusive education early. She said: "We know that children learn the same amount academically and cognitively as t
Dr Ilene Schwartz, director of the Haring Centre for Research and Training in Education in the US, stressed the importance of starting inclusive education early. She said: "We know that children learn the same amount academically and cognitively as they do in classrooms without children with disabilities, but what they learn in addition are a bunch of socio-emotional skills."ST PHOTO: LEE JIA WEN

Research shows this benefits both groups of children: US don

Children with autism are children first, and they must learn, play and grow alongside typically developing peers.

This is a guiding principle of Dr Ilene Schwartz, who oversees Project Data, a school-based early intervention programme for young children with autism in the United States.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 30, 2018, with the headline 'Special needs or not, let kids learn together: Expert'. Print Edition | Subscribe