More than just inclusive classrooms, a societal attitude of respect and appreciation of diversity is extremely important for inclusion to be a reality. We do want children with Down syndrome included in regular classrooms, that is absolutely necessary. But it is also necessary to give them the skills to be successful in an inclusive setting. Developing social relationships and deep connections with peers require mutual communication, so it is imperative that children with Down syndrome are given the best opportunity to develop their communication skills and confidence. The AIM Program offers an approach that nurtures independence and interdependence by providing opportunities that promote the development of personal empowerment and self-determination, essential for successful inclusion. The AIM Program is an inclusive program. It provides the resources, adaptive tools and opportunities for learners to work on their abilities to be successful in their class, community and at home.
Fill the Gap
This community-based program is an essential part of the needs-based service delivery model described in the document “Actualizing a Needs-Based Model to Support Student Achievement” put out by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education. This document indicates the desire of the Saskatchewan government to have the Ministry of Education working in collaborative partnership with stakeholders, including school divisions, students, human service agencies, and community organizations. The gap that currently exists is within “Intensive Individual Interventions”. While children with Down syndrome in most cases do have the support of an educational assistant, they do not have access to the trained specialists required.