Schooling Children With Down Syndrome by Chrostopher Kliewer
I feel like the only way I could respond to this article was through reflection. I have always wanted to be a teacher. I don’t know why- jus always have. I knew I wanted to work with little kids because I just absolutely love them-so it was decided elementary or early childhood….later on I decided early childhood because I love working with toddlers. Anyways…it wasn’t until two summers ago (junior to senior year in high school) that I decided I wanted to be involved in special ed. My mom is a special ed assistant so I have some background but its totally different to hear stories and to experience something yourself.
So for senior project we had to work with a mentor and complete 15hrs of fieldwork…kind of like service learning. I did my project on Autism, though not Down Syndrome, another disability. Through going to the school and helping these children I fell in love with the ides of teaching special ed. I felt like I couldn’t just walk away and leave it like that.so here I am.
This article just made me feel even more for kids with disabilities. Its hard enough to be told statistic wise or theoretically what could happen to them in schools but its just heart and gut wrenching to hear personal accounts.
Mia Peterson made the statement: “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.” (Peterson, 1994, p.6) This makes me sad because of how much she missed out on. I guess it kind of relates to the knapsack and white privilege- kids without disabilities have one of the knapsacks and those with the disability unfortunately do not.
The second part that really hit home with me or touched me was when Jason Kingsley asks “How do we erase those negative attitudes…that people without disabilities are judging us” Snow, an advocate in the disability rights movement replies, “How absurd to be judged by others at all, especially by those who have never experienced a disability or who are unwillingly providing us with support or who don’t listen to the voices we have.”
I just really like this small conversation between Kingsley and Snow because I totally agree. I don’t see why people feel the need to talk about them or make joke when really its not funny. We have no idea what it is like unless we are also affected by the disability- in which case there are still various levels.
Id like to discuss in class how we may handle issues of harassment in the schools with the words like retard, sped and idiot. I cringe every time I hear these words come out of children’s mouths so I would like to prepare for the next time I hear it.