We Include helps administrators, teachers, and peers feel educated and comfortable with incorporating inclusion into classrooms and schools.
"When I was a little kid I had a lot of problems with sound sensitivity. Sensory problems are real." -Dr. Temple Grandin
Temple Grandin is the single most influential person with autism in modern times. One look at her life reveals an incredibly gifted mind paired with an unbreakable spirit. With her life’s work, she accomplished the impossible. Temple Grandin changed the world’s perception of what it means to live with autism.
Temple invented an internationally-renowned therapy device; she earned a Ph.D.; she wrote and published papers, articles, and books; she tours the world as a famous animal welfare speaker and autism advocate, and she revolutionized the way animals are handled and treated. She’s amazing. She’s wonderful. She’s inspirational. She works hard and she talks straight.
Dr. Grandin accredits much of her success to the teachers who encouraged and challenged her to keep growing outside her comfort zone. She describes her teachers as “absolutely vital”. Her story is proof that excellent educators can change the course of a student’s life.
of students with autism cover their ears in the classroom
Students cover their ears in response to physical discomfort from sounds. Finding solutions to stop pain in a school environment is crucial.
The Truth About Sensory Sensitivities
You’ve probably seen the headlines: “Student with autism locked in a bathroom,” “Student with special needs dragged down a hallway by his arm,” “Child with disability arrested at school.”
It’s clear that many school districts are missing the mark when it comes to preventing and managing sensory overload. This section includes new research to expose the truth behind sensory sensitivities and change students’ educational experience with disabilities.
Help Us Gather, the nonprofit that inspired We Include, learned firsthand from men and women with sensory sensitivities what the student experience was like for them, and the root cause. Through dozens of firsthand accounts, along with a supporting interview from Dr. Temple Grandin, the truth behind sensory meltdowns became clear.
Adults who experienced sensory overload in the classroom as a child agree that they could not express what was happening to them in their younger years. As adults, they were able to reflect and describe what provoked their response. The answer was the same in every interview: pain.
Sadly, mainstream thinking teaches that sensory overload is a behavioral issue and students can be taught not to display certain behaviors. That’s just simply not true.
Meltdowns are the result of behavioral issues.
Most meltdowns are caused by a reaction to pain from sensory inputs like sound, light, texture, etc.
Hand flapping is disruptive & students should be taught not to do it.
Hand flapping is a common and effective way to regulate senses and prevent sensory overload.
When a student with special needs appears to be ignoring you, they’re doing it on purpose.
Sensory overload can temporarily make someone unable to hear. This happens when the body goes into a “fight-or-flight” mode in response to the pain caused by sensory input.
There is very little a teacher can do to improve the situation for a student with a disability.
Children exhibit signs of a sensory processing disorder
Gym Teachers: This is For You
Gym teachers often struggle to balance physical education and sensory issues in some students. Noises, lights, and crowds can cause physical and mental pain for students with sensory processing disorders (SPD) and other disabilities. So what is the solution?
We give you Mark Fleming. He’s the nation’s leading expert in inclusive exercise. He gained international fame as the first trainer with autism in the U.S. to own and operate his own fitness studio for clients with special needs. His trailblazing techniques have been featured on major outlets like CNN, NowThis, and Yahoo!.
Bullying and Students with Disabilities
Get the Guide
We Include created a guide for students to understand a bully’s mind, how not to be one, and what to do when they see someone at their school, especially a student with disabilities, is being targeted.