How is it beneficial to neurotypical children to have neurodiverse children in school?

September 25, 2023
Christy Chacko

How is it Beneficial to Neurotypical Children to have Neurodiverse Children in School?

The brain plays a vital role in defining a child as neurotypical and neurodiverse. Someone whose brain works according to the “normal” standards of our society is termed as neurotypical while neurodivergent means having a brain that works differently from the neurotypical person. Being in an inclusive classroom helps children, including students with disabilities, to access equal benefits to academic and social opportunities as full members of school communities. Not only the children with neurodiversity advantages from the inclusive classroom but also the neurotypical children.

The simple act of including children with special needs in regular classes enables their able-bodied peers to create greater empathy and good attitudes toward their culturally diverse classmates. This happens because schools offer a setting for frequent and unplanned interactions between pupils to occur. Children who are usually developing learn to respond to social interactions started by peers with special needs only by practicing perspective-taking, empathy, negotiating to share, and starting new interactions, also neurotypical children are more likely to approach people with special needs with acceptance.

If they are exposed to inclusion from an early age and regularly throughout their lives, they would be more willing to start and maintain friendships with kids who are different, in addition to helping classmates with tasks connected to the school. Building the appropriate attitudes necessary for inclusivity in the community as well as the classroom depends on these experiences. More than that, the children get the chance to practice good behavior while also receiving immediate reinforcement that is desired when they model it for their friends with special needs. They would then be more inclined to exhibit a high degree of aptitude for such pursuits. Neurotypical children would be able to grow in confidence, self-esteem, leadership, and independence in an inclusive classroom with a variety of modeling possibilities, all of which would contribute to a stronger sense of self.

Therefore having a neurodiverse child in school benefits the neurotypical child with better learning opportunities and diverse experiences from a younger age. It also nurtures a sense of respect for the individual with differences to prepare for life in the community as children and better adults.