Similarity Awareness: A Bridge to Friendship

This website is a joint project created by an elementary special educator, a physical therapist and a parent of a child who has Down syndrome. The project's goal is to compile literature-based lesson plans and other resources for educators, therapy providers and parents to use in an effort to enhance the inclusion of young children with disabilities in their neighborhood schools and communities through similarities awareness. Our goal is to ensure that classrooms, schools, teachers, communities, parents and children are, indeed, celebrating all of us! 


Children’s Books Embracing Similarities

Books About School and Community Inclusion for Professionals and Parents

Inclusive Play Suggestions

Lesson Plan for Grades Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1 and 2 (includes Materials)

Websites About Inclusion and Disabilities

People First Language  (.pdf format, from

Schneider Family Book Award

Image Gallery

Tell a friend or colleague
(download a flyer, .pdf format)

Mission of project:  Research supports the idea that all children, those who have disabilities and their typical peers, who are socially engaged and share a sense of belonging in their communities and classrooms are more successful at reaching academic goals. And since children's attitudes towards disabilities are formed in the preschool and early elementary years, these early years are an ideal time for children to develop understanding of others and develop positive social behaviors. Using similarities awareness as a bridge to friendship, the lessons and resources described in this website facilitate the development of relationships among pre-kindergarteners through 2nd graders, which is an optimal age range for building positive inclusive behaviors, compassion and understanding.

To learn more about facilitating friendships and inclusion, read our literature review.   

Thank you to Elmwood Elementary School, in Baltimore, Maryland. We especially thank Peggy Deremeik and Nancy Costello, Elmwood's pre-k teachers, and their students, for inviting us into their school to pilot our pre-k/kindergarten lesson in March, 2004. 

Contact us or learn more about the
creators of this website.

Created Spring, 2004.

Last updated: 02/10/2012