Monday, November 17, 2008

“I Was Really Surprised”(and so, Unfortunately, was I)

Some special-education-teacher students from our local teacher’s school are studying music therapy. So, I agreed to let Ricki be one of their “trial students” as they learn. Last week was her student teacher’s first session with Ricki. Ricki, as I had warned her, spent most of the time testing the waters, if the “teacher” would set limits or not. I gather that the “teacher” did, as this week she reported that Ricki had been a very active participant in the session. She added: “I was really surprised! She is AMAZING! She correctly identified the violin, piano, trumpet, flute, and drums on the picture I showed her. She knew the instrument names! And when I played a recording of the instruments, she was able to tell me which instrument made the sound!”
Well, I don’t know who was more surprised: her, or me! [I was shocked on realizing that she- - a future special-ed teacher - - didn’t expect a 14-year old teen with Down syndrome to recognize and distinguish between, a flute, trumpet, violin, drums, and piano!]
And PS. The “trumpet” was a saxophone. I labeled it correctly and told Ricki the correct name.

…..And then education authorities wonder why I would be so “stupid” as to choose inclusion over “special ed ……..


Anonymous said...

Don't exactly know the situation in E"Y, but if you have looked at the Orthonomics thread on seminary, and go down a little ways, you can see the discussion about therapists / special ed teachers here in the US whose training may be, let's say, inadequate. We have to be very careful about who is educating our children.

Anonymous said...

That doesn't surprise me either, unfortunately. I have heard many teachers and special ed professionals exclaim, "He's really smart!" or "He can really read!" like they didn't believe me when I told them or when it was in the IEP.

rickismom said...

TRISH, I also SHOULDN'T be surprised---I have seen this type of thing so often! But I keep hoping that the younger will see the changes in our kids, but being taught by the old, they often don't.
But one officail here who used to be TERRIBLE made a real switch and seems to have "got it".
Tesyaa, you are right, but sometimes we don't have too much choice....(For example, we are not allowed to help chose the aid. As a result I have an aid who is OK, but doesn't adapt the material, which means that this job has fallen in MY lap ) (and I am adapting materials NOT in my mother tongue....) and I have already gone through so many trials and threats of lawsuits that I am getting a bit weary.... and for next year I do not see any available solutions that will really work, unless perhaps I go to court again. But I don't want to FORCE a school to take my child.

A Living Nadneyda said...

Unfortunately, Tesya A is right.... special ed training is completely inadequate, especially in Israel (I don't know too much about what goes on in the U.S.). I work with special ed teacher and some are excellent, but I suspect that they gained a lot of their knowledge through later work experience and not from their training. Also, not everyone who chooses special ed as a profession is suitable for the job, but they insist on continuing anyway.