The IDEAL School and Academy Of Manhattan, an inclusive academy for children with and without special needs, aims to change the way people think about educational settings for children with special needs.
Head Of School Angela Bergeson explained to HuffPost Live's Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani how in 2005, she and two other mothers of children with Down syndrome were dissatisfied with the education options available to their children. They found schools that specialize in special education and schools that accept all types of students, but segregate special needs students.
Bergeson, who has been working in the education field for 25 years, said "children with Down syndrome learn best from the models of their peers," so Bergeson and the two other mothers created the IDEAL School and Academy to bring all children and their different learning needs together.
"As an educator, I’m a believer in inclusive education. I think we all gain so much from each other," Bergeson said.
Bergeson explained that it's important for inclusive schools and educators to emphasize, "professional development, behavior management plans, how they run their classroom, how they speak [and] how they use tone to make sure the education is not disrupted."
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