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Tuesday, December 8, 2009
So many people ask me, why inclusion? Why send Megan into an environment that is set up for her to fail? So many teachers have gotten used to finding the kids with the "disability" and sending them to the appropriate classroom for the right support....you sent Megan into a place that has no idea how to handle her....Well, I say....

I do it because I want what is best for MEGAN. Community and socialism is more important to me than academics. I can help and supplement at home....I cannot supplement the socialism and community she needs to build for herself.

I am going to be brutally honest here. Growing up I was SCARED of the people with special needs, they did not go to school with me and when I saw them out in the neighborhood I STAYED AWAY from them. All the kids in the neighborhood were mean to them. I remember this boy with Down Syndrome vividly, his name was Chris and people nicknamed him Purple Duck (not sure why). Chris liked one of the girls in the neighborhood and wanted to kiss her (I was in 5th or 6th grade and had no idea how old Chris was). Behind his back, this "girl" made fun of him. She told him to eat dog #$%^ and she would kiss him. It was so sad and gross and I just was not a strong enough person to get involved and I am ashamed of who I was, even being present for something like that.

My fear surfaced again when Megan was born. I was scared of her and scared I couldn't love her. Boy was I wrong. I did a lot of soul-searching and recounted my old memories the first couple of weeks after her birth. I realized people were mean to Chris because they did not know him, he was sent to a "special" school and so nobody was used to his speech and behaviors. He was not the norm. It was now my job as a parent to make it the norm. To expose Megan to all the kids who she would grow up around and be expected to work with in the future. So inclusion works for us. Megan is known in the community and treated with respect, she is not feared and she is part of the norm. So when we went to the mall on Friday and we ran in to kids from her school they did not stare and point, they did not gossip about her or make fun of her...they all walked right up to her and gave her a hug and asked her how she was doing....and so, this is why inclusion is important to me. I don't want anyone to fear Megan.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this post. As a mom to a 4 yr old little girl with DS (Molly) - you have just put into words exactly how I feel. Thank you for your blog and your inspiration.

rylie's mom said...

Yes! I agree! Great post, I couldn't have said it any better.

Sharon said...

I love this post too. I also have a 4 year old daughter (Maia). You've said my thoughts exactly. Thank you!

Mary said...

Thank you for your honesty. That post took courage to share. I couldn't agree with you more. I so want Riley to just be part of the crowd and have friends and accepted.

Anonymous said...

Exactly my thoughts. I don't want Raphael to be "the freak." I want him to be part of the community. It will be good for him but, more so, good for the community. Thanks for sharing. Love this post!

From the Philippines
Cheche Chavez

heidi marie said...

couldn't agree more!j