Saturday, November 7, 2009

Blessings in Disguise

There is a marvelous full page ad in the Globe today that I cannot reproduce here. Perhaps you can find it in your local paper.

The ad celebrates National Down Syndrome Awareness Week.

The headline goes like this.

"There is a place for children like's called a public school."

The copy then goes on to explain why inclusiveness is so crucial for all concerned.

I was so glad to see this today because I have been arguing exactly this position for decades.

Having children with disabilities in regular classrooms is not only wonderful for them; it is most important for all the able children.

Steve Largent, the great record-holding wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks said years ago when he was still playing football when asked about his fourth child who had spina bifida, "Our boy is a gift from God, because how would my wife and I and our other children have learned about love without him?"


Jeff Taylor said...

Welcome back David. It's not often that I don't agree with you, however this is one of those rare cases were I don't. Years ago when I was in school, several times there was a student in our class(es) that was special needs. It wasn't that us students didn't like the person (in fact more often than not the person was embraced by most) but more that some students and our teachers were often frustrated by the amount of time and attention required by the special needs student which in turn was a degree of a distraction to the flow of the classroom and the learning in that classroom. I believe that these type of students deserve more than just being dumped into regular classes. I believe that the Gov't and to a lesser degree the parent(s) should be more involvement financially in the education and care of special needs children.
My brother had a major learning disability when he was in his early grades. He wasn't progressing very well in his class so my parents decided to take control and set him up with tutoring outside of his class. He never looked back, although it was tough on my parents at times. Looking back, I think the extra schooling outside his regular class made the difference. And no, we weren't a wealthy family.

David Berner said...

The PERFECT solution, Jeff, and one that will never happen because it is just too sensible, is that childrn with challenges spend a hald day in regular class and a half day in special designated class.

Jeff Taylor said...

yes, in a perfect world I agree that would be the best way to go, BUT we have Olympics to pay for and here in Ontario there's 1 billion on E-Health and counting .... I guess the future of our youth will have to wait a little longer. Sad where the priorities seem to be with our Gov't's these days.

Anonymous said...

Kids of all ability have to be with each other in the classroom or they will not include each other in the boardroom (or wherever) in the future. Period. That's life, baby. The disabled kids at school when I was little had souls and courage beyond their years and served as excellent examples for us too. And if someone who calls him or herself a teacher gets frustrated at the children or the effort it takes, it's time for them to get a real estate license and work just for the money.

Anonymous said...

The reason the public school system has so little money is because the people with 'excess cash' are spending it on private schools.

The rich get lavished upon, the poor get leftovers.