Celebration of achievements for all . . .

Posted: May 3, 2011 in Children's Rights, Education, Indulgent Commentary, Learning Disabilties
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I thought it was about time that we honor those children that don’t fall into the typical mainstream of children.  We frequently see stories of children that are heroes, or even children that have a significant athletic accomplishments or have reached the honor roll in school.  How about those children who face health issues every day of their life?  How about those children that learn things in a different way?  Where is the celebration for them?

I have found that these children miss out on the acclamations from our society.  As an example, our school created a bi-monthly newsletter that goes over all of the achievements of each class group and also some achievements of specific students.  Not once have I seen the special education classrooms mentioned nor any of the children that attend special education.  I actually reached out to the school and asked them why.  The response was, “there are some parents that don’t want it stated publicly that their child is in special education or that their 8th grade child is reading at a second grade level.”

I will admit I was a little shocked by this excuse.  There is no reason why they couldn’t write about this group of children and their teachers without mentioning names or their specific “abilities.”  It almost felt like they were ashamed, or that the topic needed to be hidden.  This is the most idiotic situation I have ever heard of.  I now see one of the reasons why our educational system is so broken.  The school personnel, who are supposed to have expertise in education and be intelligent themselves, can’t find a way to celebrate the accomplishments of those children that need extra help in their day-to-day classes.  It’s pitiful, and the shame should be on them.

I take it very seriously that my child has access to the same benefits as any other child in the school.  We have experienced on numerous occasions where my son was excluded from field trips, because they wouldn’t provide an assistant to make it possible for him to go.  Instead, they ask if I would go, which is not always possible.  I suspect this situation is actually against the law.

Though this newsletter topic is minor, the school has chosen to exclude special education children from its contents and the celebration that it represents.  If the school can’t properly publish a newsletter that is treated in an “inclusion” perspective, what makes me think they can handle the basic “inclusion” aspect of day-to-day education?  I suspect they can’t.

Each of us need to take the time to applaud the accomplishments of our children . . . all children, regardless of their disabilities.

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