Sunday, December 5, 2010

Kliewer- Schooling Children with Down Syndrome (Reflection)

Although this is going up rather late I still feel as though I needed to write something. In this article Kliewer talks about inclusion classrooms. I never really though of the idea of inclusion. Inclusion as Kliewer describes it is the integration of special needs children into a regular classroom setting. As I read the article I was brought back to my elementary school years. My fifth grade classroom was an inclusion classroom. We had two teachers; one for the regular kids and the other for the students with special needs. The classroom ran rather smoothly.  We got to understand why the kids were the way they were. We got to interact with them and really get to know them. Unfortunately when we got to middle school and high school that slowly deteriorated. In high school we had separate classrooms on everyone’s learning ability. I've seen it first hand. Inclusion classes work. Those children participated just like any normal kid would and they probably felt so much better being in an inclusion class.

In the movie we had watched, some of the kids in the movie who were in special education classes were separated not just by a classroom but by a whole building. In my high school it was the same way. We had one hallway that was part special education. Like in the movie no one really went down that way, although it was a fine way to get to the front of the school. It is like we are afraid of the unknown. Since we don't know the person, it scares us. I know I was like that. My best friend has a brother who I used to not really talk to that much when I went over, if I ever did. Once I got to know him though he was so cool and funny and he can do all the same things anyone else can, but he is still placed in a special education classroom.

Of course FNED follows you everywhere you go. I was in Oasis and I was talking to one of the grad students who had grown-up in Finland. She said that she had never heard of separating children like that. In her country all the kids were treated the same in schools even if they had a learning disability. Some parents use this as a crutch and demand that there child be treated differently. I have a mom at church and her daughter has special needs. Her daughter is so much fun to talk to and can do so many things but she always has to remind us that she has a learning disability. Although she wants her daughter integrated in society if she keeps bringing her down she will never be able to reach her full potential.

To bring it back to what the article is about here is a video about a child who has down syndrome but is being successful in an inclusion classroom.

Although this article is late, I do not feel I could have written more truly. Having a chance to reflect on the reading and the movie and on these events I see in my everyday life really helped me to succeed on writing this blog post. Even as I am writing this I see on my Facebook this status:

Kids with special needs aren't sick or gross or stupid, and their handicap is not contagious. They only want what we all want: to be accepted and loved. Can I make a request: is anyone willing to post this and leave it as their status for at least an hour? It is Special Education Week, and this is in honor of ALL children were born in a unique and loving way.”
This shows that change is upon us and we are doing it one person at a time. I feel that’s what this whole course is about changing the world of education one person at a time.

1 comment:

  1. I agree! I have been reading on quotes and statistics on my Facebook all wkend about abused children and children with disabilities and it's sad how some people take advantage or treat them differently.