Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Down Syndrome, Christopher Kliewer- Hyperlinks

Christopher Kliewer’s, “Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome” was most definitely my favorite article this semester. Mia Peterson wrote about how poor and segregated her education opportunities were because of having down syndrome. When Mia Peterson shared, “I started to notice that I didn’t like the classes I was taking called special education.I had to go through special ed. almost all my life. I wanted to take other classes that interested me. I had never felt so mad. I wanted to cry,” my heart literally sank. This piece touched me the most because I have been working with special education students, a few with down syndrome since elementary school. As long as I can remember, special education students have always been placed in regular classrooms in the schools I attended. In elementary school, students with disabilities always did the same as the entire class. Their was an aid in the classroom to help their student, but no one was ever left out. In high school, my homeroom teacher was the head of the special ed. department, so I would have conversations with students who had learning disabilities everyday. For anyone who says special ed. students are “retarded” and “dumb” are idiots. They’re extremely bright. My high school had a school store that was open every period, and the life skills (special ed.)  students ran it. In the store they learned daily life skills: handling money, stocking shelves, talking to customers,etc. The life skills students weren’t in any segregated part of the school either. Since they switched every period, and went to normal classes, their was no reason for them to be hiding in some neglected area of the school. I know most schools don’t work with special education students this way, but I am most definitely satisfied with how these students are involved in a normal school day. It is important because just because people are born with disabilities they should not be treated differently. What Mia Peterson went through was completely unfair. A disability should not disable someone from wanting a better, equal education. People with disabilities succeed in life just like everyone else, they just might face different obstacles before they reach their goal. 

* This article also made me think about the video we watched in class. Richard for example, was fully involved in a normal school day, not in a special education class. Which this is how it should be in every school, because not only is the child being engaged in a normal learning atmosphere, but classmates are also most definitely benefiting from having different learners in their class. It allows students to see that everyone in their classroom is the same, even though some learn differently, and look different. 

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