Friday, August 8, 2008

Teaching Compassion

One of the reasons I have Ricki participate in a special-needs gym club each week, is so that when she will eventually go to a “special” classroom (at a yet-undetermined time, but probably in high school), she shouldn’t say “Hey, I’m ‘normal’ and this is not for me!”. The other reason is so that she should have contact with others with Down syndrome, and see them as PEOPLE. I think that one of the saddest things is an adult with Down syndrome who is prejudiced against others with disabilities.
So now that it is summer vacation, the club has a month’s break and Ricki nearly every evening tries to call at least a few on the teens from the club. Yesterday she called her best friend from the club. This girl has had excellent teachers all her life, and is very adept. But when she spoke to Riki last night, she started stuttering.
Ricki didn’t realize what was going on, and was getting a bit angry. “’What what what’ won’t help me!’ she complained to her friend. So after she got off the phone, I had to explain to her what stuttering is, and that she needs to accept other’s limitation. Will this be a one-time lesson? NO. But- she has to learn it, just as everybody does.


Trish said...

I have been thinking about this lately as well - that my son needs just as much education on how to treat others with special needs or differences of any kind as other kids do. It's an interesting dilemma!

Anonymous said...

I'll be thinking more on this, too, as the idea seems unfamiliar to me, and I've been in a lot of special education classrooms. I cannot remember ever seeing behavior of rejection between students.

I haven't been here for a while, just read the last 4 posts. You sure are good at telling Ricki's story.

rickismom said...

Thanks for the compliment, Barbara