Teacher's post on why her neurotypical classroom looks like a special education one goes viral

When a New York teacher posted a Facebook post about why she designed her neurotypical student classroom to resemble a special education classroom, she was surprised by the response.
"I honestly thought I was saying something that everyone already knew," Karen Blacher told Good Morning America.
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Not like that, she came quickly to find out. Her post was shared nearly 2,000 times, and the comments were largely concordant and appreciated the inclusiveness.
She wrote in part, "All of my students are neurotypical, but my classroom is similar to a special education classroom. I teach mindfulness and emotional literacy. I offer fidgeting and sensory toys. I have a quiet corner and use it to teach myself - Regulation.
"My students are thriving.
"And that made something clear to me.
"When we treat autistic children the way the world tells us to treat neurotypical children, they suffer.
PHOTO: One of the functions in Karen Blacher's classroom. (Karen Blacher)
PHOTO: One of the functions in Karen Blacher's classroom. (Karen Blacher)
"But I've never met a single person of any age or neurotype who doesn't thrive when treated like an autistic person. (I mean, of course, how an autistic person MUST be treated. With open communication.", Adaptive expectations and Respect for self-advocacy and self-regulation).
"And that made me think that maybe [neurodiverse] people aren't the only ones who have been misunderstood and abused all along.
"They are just the ones who feel it the most and the ones who have finally conveyed the message to the rest of humanity that there is a better way."
Blacher said her students continue to thrive because they learn, "Without the fear that traditional systems of behavior like clip charts and token economies [,] create, they won't work well for anyone."
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The teacher has two children of her own who have autism and are familiar with neurodiversity.
"As soon as you have learned to stand up for people with autism, these accommodations are also good for everyone else," she told "GMA". "Some people need something different than others."
The teacher's post on why her neurotypical classroom looks like viral special education originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com

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