The presence in the classroom of students or students with disabilities and encourages a more positive attitude on the part of their companions, with respect to the classes of the school in which those students or students there are also shown the results of the “Bridge Project”, an initiative promoted by the Rehabilitation Centers of the Association Our Family with a series of middle schools in Como and Lecco, who has followed until today 95 boys and girls with a picture of the neuropsychiatric complex, integrating their educational path with rehabilitation interventions, the task of health professionals in the rehabilitation field is to allow the individual to participate in social life according to his age and his culture. For boys aged 11 to 14, regardless of their health condition, this means participating in the school experience. But how to promote the inclusion and well-being of children with and without disabilities? How to improve their educational and care paths?
It is from these questions that, in 2006, started the Bridge Project, a model of inclusive education was born from the collaboration between Rehabilitation Centers, Our Family of Ponte Lambro (Como) and later, Bosisio Parini (Lecco), with some schools of Erbese (Ponte Lambro, Erba, Lurago d’erba, Ace-Canzo, Merone, Alba and Tavernerio) and Lecco (Cassago Brianza, Molteno, Bosisio Parini, Costa Masnaga, Missaglia, and Monticello, Yorkshire).
It is a project aimed at boys and girls of lower secondary school (middle school), with a picture of the neuropsychiatric complex: provides the frequency of a few hours per week at the school of the region and an intense educational work at the Rehabilitation Centre. The rehabilitation activities and the class hours alternate throughout the day, in order to promote and allow a good keeping of the attention and tolerance to fatigue on the part of the boy.
“This project – explains Elena Mauri, psychologist of our family-is based on a holistic vision of the person, which embraces and understands it in its entirety and complexity. Our goal is to help the boy or girl to discover his talents and to accompany him/her to put them on the field for his / her full participation in the different contexts of life”.
This is, in substance, the same principles invoked by the Ministry of Education, which recently issued the new IEP (Individual Educational programme), which emphasizes precisely as participation, in this case, the school environment, is a key element for the development and well-being of the person.
Thanks to the bridge project, therefore, the interdisciplinary working groups have followed up to date 95 boys and girls, integrating their educational path with rehabilitation interventions. Rehabilitation and school workers, families and territorial services worked together to enhance their autonomy and school skills, with results also on the “class group”.
“We have carried out a research continues, Elena Mauri – to understand if the presence of students with disabilities within the school had a positive impact on the attitudes of the closeness of their companions, and in this regard, in addition to the schools that were already participating in the Bridge Project, we contacted other of the Erbese, to get a sample larger”.
The sample consisted of 613 preteens aged between 10 and 15 years, 79% of them with at least one peer with cognitive or physical disability within the class group.
“Well-emphasizes Mauri-the results seem to indicate that our socio-cultural policies for integration and didactics for inclusion have a positive effect on the attitudes of closeness of pre-adolescent boys towards peers with disabilities. In fact, boys and girls who do not have a partner with a disability in their class show on average greater concern and discomfort at the idea of possible interactions with a Boy/a with a disability, while boys who have at least one partner with a disability in the class have a more adequate and realistic perception of the resources and level of autonomy of