Sunday, April 12, 2015

citizenship in school

I want to start off this blog post by saying that I LOVE CHILDREN WHO HAVE DOWN-SYNDROM!!!!(just like Kaileen :) ) They steal my heart the minute I see them.  My goal in life is to make the lives of children who have disabilities the BEST it can be.  ‘” Now we know that people with disabilities can learn and have a full, rich life.  The challenge is to erase negative attitudes about people with developmental disabilities, get rid of the stereotypes and break the barriers for people with disabilities.’” (Kingsley, 1996, p.6)  I want to be that person who can erase those negative attitudes.  Children who were born with down syndrome are just like you and me except they were born with an extra chromosome.  They are fully capable to do the same things as we can except they might just need extra help with it. 

“’ Lee is, in a sense, in a way he’s branded. People see him. They see Down syndrome. They see mental challenge, retardation, whatever you want to call it. That’s what they see, but thy wouldn’t be seeing him.’” (Kliewer 84)
This is awful!  I could never imagine looking at a child and labeling them on how they look.  Lee is capable of doing things just like I am.  But like Shayne said, he does things differently.  When Lee was asked to sort the spoons and blocks.  The psychologist who was watching him do this didn’t give him credit because he “didn’t do it right”.  Like Shayne said, Lee did exactly that what the psychologist said to do except, he did it in a way he understood it.  Lee shouldn’t get labeled just because he thinks in a different way then we do or doing things differently.        
I want to be a special education teacher one day and I am always going to keep in mind about what Shayne did for Isaac.  Isaac is in a classroom with other students who don’t have disabilities.  I like how she made activities to fit the needs of all her students.  Instead of the students doing activities like panoramas and drawings of a book they read, she had them create/preform a play based off the book.  She was able to meet the needs of everyone.  She could have singled out Isaac in a way knowing this was not his strong point, but instead she picked something that she knew that he would love and be able to connect with his classmates.

I personally had a friend in high school named Tim.  Tim was one of the happiest kids I know.  There was never a day where he wasn’t smiling.  But Tim had down syndrome.  Tim had an aid who used to assist him when he needed it.  I never saw Tim as being different than my friends and I.  I saw his as equal.  Tho Tim might of not had all the skills as I had, he was still a very smart kid.  Tim would go around each week doing school store on our free periods.  He was usually in charge of the money and giving back change when needed.  I would assist him if he ever needed help.  Every week, during the school day, Tim would go work in the local Daves market usually in the bakery.  He would come back to school and during lunch, she would have stickers/ labels all over him.  I would always ask him how work was.  Most of the time he would just smile because he wasn’t very verbal, but we found a way to communicate.  He also played unified sports with me for the high school and town teams.  He was an excellent volleyball player.  Most of the times he would only listen to me while on the court when going to serve.  I would always say to him; “Ready Tim…1..2..3...Go!” and he would serve the ball.  He was the best server on the team.  He would laugh if he fell down during a game, because he knew he was soo close to making the play.  He used to all shout out “safe” like umps do in baseball games.  I could never look at Tim and label him nor will I ever do that with anyone ever!

I want to end it by saying that this reading reminds me of "Safe Spaces", and for a child who has disabilities sometimes are already nervous about coming to school, but they shouldn't because schools should be for them a safe place where they know they will be excepted.
sorry this is long but its worth watching!!!

1 comment:

  1. I know first hand all of the work you do with special needs kids and I just want to say that you do an incredible job. Great videos, they help get your points across.