Someone who is trying to work and change things in the educational system here mentioned to a friend of mine the following, which my friend passed on to me. What is the tidbit? That in the corridors of our city’s educational branch, Rickismom is known to be “crazy”. They probably mean “fanatical” and “extremist”(about inclusion).
I am very passionate about inclusion, because I believe that for many children with Down syndrome, especially the high-functioning ones, it is the best choice. This is especially true due to the low expectations which our special ed schools have, and because of the tendency for kids with Down syndrome to be refused admission to classes for learning disabilities (even when these classes are the best “special ed” class for this child). Yet, in reality, I have often agreed with parents who are too poor and too overworked, that inclusion is not for them. (Since here in Israel there is NOT yet full governmental support for inclusion.)
So why am I “crazy”?
-I believe that my daughter can study and learn.
-I believe that she can learn reading, writing, and arithmetic.
-I believe that she can be taught to believe in her own self worth, even if sometimes people will stare at her.
-I believe that talking “down” to her is contrary to good education.
- I believe that conquering a challenge, on occasion, will make Ricki more happy in the long run than treating her like a child.
-I believe that her behavior, which has improved, can improve more.
In actuality, there is only one reason, in my mind, why I should be considered “crazy”: That I still believe that some of the officials in city hall are not there only for the money. That I believe that some of them will stop one day and listen. That I believe that change is possible.