When/where are the support meetings?
The Macomb/St Clair Autism Society meetings are usually held at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month from September through June at St. Ephrem Church, located on the southeast corner of 17 Mile and Dodge Park Roads in Sterling Heights, Michigan. There are no meetings in December or February.
How do I join?
Please print and fill out the membership form and mail to:
Macomb/St. Clair Autism Society
P.O. Box 182186
Shelby Township, MI 48318-2186
Do I have to be a member to come to a meeting?
You do not have to be a member to attend a meeting. All are welcome.
Is there a charge for the meetings?
There is no charge for support or informational meetings. We do, however, occasionally charge a nominal fee for other events such as holiday parties and private movie showings.
How can I volunteer/help the chapter?
There are many volunteer opportunities including helping at our annual holiday parties, helping with mailings and phone calls, distributing information to community organizations, and soliciting donations for our annual fundraiser, The Sweetheart Ball. If you would like to help out, please leave a message on the chapter voicemail and a board member will return your call.
Does the chapter offer direct services?
The chapter is not allowed to provide direct services to members. We are primarily a resource and information center for those with autism and their parents. We do however provide social events for families with a member affected by autism. These include holiday parties, private movie screenings, a Family Enrichment Camp, bowling outings, skating outings, picnics and other events.
In contrast, those who support inclusion believe that the child always should begin in the regular environment and be removed only when appropriate services cannot be provided in the regular classroom.
Inclusion vs. Mainstreaming
Any discussion about inclusion should address several important questions:
Do we value all children equally?
Is anyone more or less valuable?
What do we mean by "inclusion?"
Are there some children for whom "inclusion" is inappropriate?
In order to discuss the concept of inclusion, it is first necessary to have a common vocabulary. Research Bulletin Number 11, 1993, from Phi Delta Kappa's Center for Evaluation, Development, and Research provides a useful set of definitions. The following have been edited for clarity.
Generally, mainstreaming has been used to refer to the selective placement of special education students in one or more "regular" education classes. Proponents of mainstreaming generally assume that a student must "earn" his or her opportunity to be placed in regular classes by demonstrating an ability to "keep up" with the work assigned by the regular classroom teacher. This concept is closely linked to traditional forms of special education service delivery.
Inclusion is a term which expresses commitment to educate each child, to the maximum extent appropriate, in the school and classroom he or she would otherwise attend. It involves bringing the support services to the child (rather than moving the child to the services) and requires only that the child will benefit from being in the class (rather than having to keep up with the other students). Proponents of inclusion generally favor newer forms of education service delivery.
Full inclusion means that all students, regardless of handicapping condition or severity, will be in a regular classroom/program full time. All services must be taken to the child in that setting.
In addition to problems related to definition, it also should be understood that there often is a philosophical or conceptual distinction made between mainstreaming and inclusion. Those who support the idea of mainstreaming believe that a child with disabilities first belongs in the special education environment and that the child must earn his/her way into the regular education environment.
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