Rebecca Murphy faced many hurdles trying to gain a mainstream education for her son, Rohan. Because of her clarity about the benefits of inclusion, she did not give up the dream.
Rebecca Murphy has two beautiful children. Through her work, she has skills in advocacy and social role valorisation. These fostered her belief in an inclusive and fulfilling life for her son Rohan, who has 18Q deletion syndrome.
Rohan is a grade five student whose education has run the full gamut of
- early intervention
- special education school
- extreme segregation within a mainstream school
- and an inclusive classroom.
Rohan was once deemed not eligible even for a Special school because of his “high support needs”. He now flourishes in an inclusive mainstream environment. He has challenged critics by achieving high academic results and making strong enduring friendships. He loves going to school and excels at spelling, writing and maths. He is an accomplished writer and a capable student who challenges low expectations. He does not communicate verbally.
Rohan has contributed his words, prose and insights to the presentation. His words cut through the injustice and myths, and explain why inclusion is important for everyone.
Rohan has achieved well academically and socially with the support of his school community. This shows the power of authentic inclusive education. Rohan, like his peers, has hopes of one day being a lawyer and owning a red Ferrari.
Rebecca shares insights into breaking down the barriers to inclusive education. She believes that parents need strong leadership and advocacy skills. Otherwise, it’s easy to accept “inclusive” school that fall short of genuine inclusion.