Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mainstream/Special needs classroom

At the most recent Down syndrome resource group meeting I met a woman my age that has a daughter with DS who will be starting kindergarten this fall. I actually went to school with her but we didn't hang out together (she must ot have been a partier). She was talking to one of the mothers at the table Jayson and I sat at and explained that the school district was trying to put her daughter right into the special needs school. This is something I hear about ALL the time on the DS forum. I have learned that it is so much better for our children to be mainstreamed because frankly, to be in a classroom with all special needs students their little minds aren't being tapped for their full potential. Not all people with DS are severely retarded, most are in the low to mid range and maybe some not at all (according to their IQ's). SO fight, fight, fight once again for our babies to belong.

Fast forward to last week when Jayson and I met up with a couple we know. We talked about Vinnie and Rudy and school. I knew this woman worked in the school district I just spoke of so I went on to tell her about what I heard. She said she heard of this case. She also went on to say "sometimes it's the severity", this is where I get to put in my two cents and advocate for this family. Can you tell I am proud? Anyway, "why not try it, if it doesn't work being mainstreamed it's always easy to change it. It's much harder to go from bottom to top than it is from top to bottom. Why not try it?". I truly think she "got" it, so I am hoping she went to work the next day and told the story of the night before. I might add that this woman has a handicap of her own.

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