Friday, October 7, 2011

Celebrate the little things, because they matter!!

We work all our lives for the big accomplishments.  Promotions, degrees, money, lots of things.  For my son, today it was to learn how to do a button.

Caleb has always done things according to his time frame.  Which means, he didn't do things when he was 'supposed' too.  He didn't talk til he was 4.  He didn't walk correctly until he was 3.  So?  Yeah that made our lives harder, but it also made me appreciate the things he did more.  When Caleb does the little things like say a complete sentence, or learn how to do addition, I celebrate.

Today Caleb buttoned his pants for the first time.  It wasn't easy.  And it probably took him a good 10-15 minutes to get it.  He stuck his tongue out, got frustrated, and asked for help a few times.  I showed him again and again that he could do it.  And he did it.  This is what a look of pure joy looks like after accomplishment.

 This is how happy a kid looks after learning how to do something!  Sure, it may seem small to you and me, but hey the kid can button his own pants!  It's fantastic! 

Celebrate the little things in life.  Now if only I could unteach my toddler how to open doors... :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Importance of Inclusion: Why I am so obsessed and will fight to the death for it.

Inclusion.  The hip word of the 90's.  It was a joyous discovery by educators on how we can include our children in the educational realm, including the ones who are 'different.' 

Where are we now?  Inclusion is a slippery battleground that educators that are in a constant fight for.  You are either for inclusion or you are not.  Inclusion is not easy at times and sometimes it is.

So, what is inclusion?  

Inclusive education, according to its most basic definition, means that
students with disabilities are supported in chronologically age-appropriate
general education classes in their home schools and receive the specialized
instruction delineated by their individualized education programs (IEP's)
within the context of the core curriculum and general class activities.

Inclusion is an effort to make sure students with disabilities go to school
along with their friends and neighbors while also receiving whatever,
“specially designed instruction and support” they need to achieve high
standards and succeed as learners.

Inclusion is very important for social skills.  It helps students with special needs learn how to interact with students who are typically developing.  But stop and consider this.  Did you ever thing that inclusion is important for you typically developing child?  It is SO important for your sons and daughters to be around students with different abilities.  The real world is full of people who are full of different qualities, ones that aren't the same as others, and they are not 'segregated.'  They have different jobs and do different things, but they are all in this world together. 

All I ask of you is to think of this: We are all different.  We all have 'off ' days.  We all have days were we want to scream at people and some of us actually do that.  We're not all that different from the 'different' kids.  All those kids want is to have the same things we have.  They want friends, they want to go to the same classes, they want to grow up and get a job.  Just because they have a special need doesn't mean they deserve anything less.  They deserve an equal education, just like the rest of us.