Inclusive Education Makes His Future Hopeful
“Kai Kai is 10 years old this year. He is a typical autistic child. He is poor at communicating with people and expressing emotions. He only lives in his own world and responses to nobody.” Kai Kai’s father said, “He will scream or blow up if something discourages him or someone interrupts him when he is in the middle of something.”
When Kai Kai reached school age, no school accepted him, so he had to stay in rehabilitation agency for training. But as he grew up, the rehabilitation agency couldn’t accept him any longer. So he had no choice but to stay at home, which means all his parents’ effort for his rehabilitation may waste.”
In recent years, World Vision and Nanning Aizhizhou Social Service Center jointly launched the inclusive education project. Knowing Kai Kai’s situation, World Vision and other partners made efforts to help him. At last, a school covered by the project, which carried out inclusive education, agreed to accept Kai Kai. But how to adapt the school life is a great difficulty for him.
“Sometimes Kai Kai will scream out at school, which really annoys me. And sometimes I will blame the headmaster for accepting such a student.” Kai Kai’s head teacher said.
Project workers found that Kai Kai has a gift in word art. He can remember well and copy the word that he is interested in. But when he couldn’t exactly copy a word, he will blow up at once. This happened frequently, since he hasn’t received professional training yet.
The school special education team set up an individualized education target and curriculum for Kai Kai. The team arranges a one-to-one interest class for him twice a week, teaching him POP techniques. Kai Kai is practicing POP techniques.
After discussion, project workers and the school special education team set up an individualized education target and curriculum for Kai Kai. He will attend a one-to-one interest class twice a week, learning POP (short for “point of purchase”) techniques. Every day he spends half an hour practicing word art after lunch. The teacher requires Kai Kai to learn how to control his emotion and express his demands in a proper way. The special education team uses the time for practicing art word as a tool to help Kai Kai learn emotion and behavior management. If he expresses his demands by screaming, his time for practicing art word will be cut down. And then he can only look at the art word instead of copying it.
After a semester’s hard work, Kai Kai realized that he shouldn’t express himself by screaming, and he also began to response to others.
“Kai Kai calls me “Mom” one month after attending school. This is the first time I heard him call ‘Mom”. At one time, when I had a quarrel with his father, he held my hand and said “Do not quarrel.” And when he saw me crying, he hug me, pat on my back and comforted me. I can’t image he could do so before.” Kai Kai’s mother said.
The special education team set up an individualized education target - “turn interest into vocational development ability” for Kai Kai. Kai Kai is copying an art word after a social worker taught him how to use computer to search pictures.
In the new semester, project workers and the special education team set up an individualized education plan for Kai Kai, that is, “turn interest into vocational development ability”, enabling Kai Kai to learn art word design by computer.
Another autistic child’s mother said, “I find that Kai Kai could response to others now. He used to neglect me when I spoke to him. But now he will do what you tell him even if he doesn’t answer you.”
“Kai Kai has been accustomed to his school life already, so his father and I can rest assure that we can go to work now.” Kai Kai’s mother is full of confidence for their future.
With the help of the special education team, Kai Kai has mastered POP techniques. These art words are written by Kai Kai.
The community-based inclusion development project for children with disabilities held by World Vision and local NGO aims to support children with disabilities to adapt campus life in ordinary school and integrate in the society by providing interventions of subsidizing special education fees for children with special needs in project sites, carrying out training on disability knowledge and how to correct children’s behavior for teachers in project schools, and sending social workers to help the school special education team to provide individualized education for children with special needs. (Co-writing by Huang Rong from local NGO and Lu Zhenyan from World Vision)