“Inclusion” versus “Successful Inclusion”

For years I have been trying to figure out “successful inclusion” for children with special needs. Inclusion

is when a child is included into the same activities as other children despite their challenges.  This

does not necessarily equal successful inclusion. Successful inclusion varies depending on the child’s

needs. In my eyes, successful inclusion is when a student is learning to their God-Given potential;

thriving socially, emotionally, spiritually, and academically in a setting with “neuro-typical” peers.

Oftentimes, it is the typically-developing peers who can “make or break” successful integration.


Christ- Centered character development is the key to our success at Marian Hope Academy. At the

beginning of last year (our first year), many students separated themselves from fellow students who

seemed quite “different” from them. This year, these same students no longer see the “differences” with

fear but rather embrace the “differences” with love. Through focused prayer and helping students realize

that God created each person for a special purpose, we have seen transformation in the character of

many of our students.  It is priceless! Thought provoking questions such as, “How would God view

him/her?” has really helped shape the character of our students. For the first time in my life, I finally get

to experience the daily blessing of “true & successful integration” and it is beautiful.


– Angie Knight
Founder of Marian Hope

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