What Inclusion Means to Us at PLASP - Blog - PLASP
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What Inclusion Means to Us at PLASP

“Pizza and Sleepover” was the theme of the going away party for ten-year-old twins Robert and Tiffany on their last day prior to moving to a new school. They had been with PLASP for nearly seven years.

Robert and Tiffany both have special needs in that they were both born hearing impaired. To say that the twins have benefited from PLASP’s philosophy on inclusion would be true, however, to say that PLASP as an organization benefits greatly by ensuring that all children are included is really the greater takeaway.

“At PLASP we want to support all children in our programs and inclusion is a big part of our core values. ALL children have something to offer. If a child in our program has diverse needs, we want to work with that child and their family to ensure that they have the opportunity to grow and develop to their maximum potential.” - Erin Goodyear, PLASP Inclusion Manager

Tiffany and Robert with PLASP Inclusion Manager, Erin Goodyear.

Watching Tiffany and Robert interact with their peers is quite heartwarming. It becomes quickly evident that their PLASP friends are not paying any attention to the twins’ hearing aids – all the children are too busy laughing and playing in the makeshift “sleepover tent”, running wind sprints, and performing their own choreographed dance routines.

Tiffany, Robert and their PLASP friends enjoying their “going away” party.

Yet, there is so much being done in the background to ensure that inclusive scenarios such as the above can happen. PLASP employs one-hundred support staff whose primary role is to work with children within the program that may require additional assistance.

From the time Tiffany and Robert began with PLASP at the age of three, support staff worked with them to foster a sense of belonging in program by assisting them in developing their language skills, as well as social interactions. Specifically, staff would speak using visual supports while utilizing eye contact when communicating. Additionally, PLASP staff collaborated with other professionals ensuring that teaching styles were being mirrored by all programs and at home.

It’s because of these dedicated staff members supporting all children that allows them to be included within the program with their peers – something that PLASP believes very strongly in.

“There really are no special needs children, there are just children. All people have different needs as we go through life, it’s just that some need a little bit more of an individualized helping hand.” - Lana Novak, PLASP Special Needs Support Staff

Support Staff, Lana receiving one of many hugs during PLASP program.

Parents of children with special needs also appreciate the inclusive nature of PLASP programs, as well as the support staff that makes it all possible.

"As a mother of twins with hearing loss, PLASP gave me peace of mind. My children were always well taken care of and accommodated based on their needs. My children felt included in every activity which helped them thrive and develop. I'm grateful to all the staff at PLASP for their support and care".

 - Barbara Cobbina, Tiffany and Robert’s Mother

PLASP Child Care Services

Comments (1)

Ms

Tiffany and Robert started with me in the Preschool program at St Kevins and also in the Program for the Deaf . I'm so glad to see how they have grown, was included and treated like all the other children! No better place to be but at PLASP to achieve their foundation of learning @belonging @wellbeing @engagement @expression. Good luck in your new adventures Tiffany and Robert.

Posted by: Vivette Young |
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