The main March topic on the parents' forums is RECRUITMENT. We search websites, groups and forums for current opinions on the kindergarten, school to which we will send our child. We check rankings, the offer of additional activities, we look for friends who have children in institutions that interest us. I won't call myself a recruitment veteran, because I have recruited only two of my children, but every year I listen with curiosity to parents at consultations, friends and acquaintances who are troubled by the choice.
And what comes up very often is the fear of the word 'integration' in the name of the school or kindergarten. Sometimes parents fear that their child, who is developing normally, will "lose out" by being in an integrated school or class. They are afraid that children with developmental difficulties will lower the standard of the class, disorganise the teacher's work or even make it impossible. Parents of shy, quiet children fear for the physical and emotional safety of their sensitive children. They are afraid of children with echolalia, motor stereotypes, children who, due to an excess of stimuli, may be aggressive or self-aggressive. They are also afraid of their child being stigmatised as a result of being a pupil in an integrated class or school. And unfortunately it cannot be said that they are wrong, because integration is not easy. Integration requires parents to provide enormous empathic support to their child, who will be spending every day with peers experiencing various difficulties.
As parents, we explain the world and relationships to our children every day, and we often run out of words for the intricacies and complexities of life. But how can we explain to a child the developmental difficulties of a peer without stigmatising him or her? Without labelling them as "special", "hyperactive" or "autistic". These are difficult conversations, requiring the parent to reflect on their beliefs, fears and needs. It is also a lesson in empathy for the parent: am I able to support my child, is my attitude accepting and authentic. It is also worth asking ourselves whether I, the parent, am ready for my child to be in an integrated class? Our readiness, our acceptance will be one of the key elements of the attitude that our child will have.
psychologist and special educator