Full inclusion and students with autism
- Cite this article as:
- Mesibov, G.B. & Shea, V. J Autism Dev Disord (1996) 26: 337. doi:10.1007/BF02172478
The concept of “full inclusion” is that students with special needs can and should be educated in the same settings as their normally developing peers with appropriate support services, rather than being placed in special education classrooms or schools. According to advocates the benefits of full inclusion are increased expectations by teachers, behavioral modeling of normally developing peers, more learning, and greater selfesteem. Although the notion of full inclusion has appeal, especially for parents concerned about their children's rights, there is very little empirical evidence for this approach, especially as it relates to children with autism. This manuscript addresses the literature on full inclusion and its applicability for students with autism. Although the goals and values underlying full inclusion are laudable, neither the research literature nor thoughtful analysis of the nature of autism supports elimination of smaller, highly structured learning environments for some students with autism.