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If you are reading this you likely have a child with a disability.  I don't know how many times that I have been told by a teacher that "I haven't taught a child with Down syndrome before", "I haven'…

If you are reading this you likely have a child with a disability.  I don't know how many times that I have been told by a teacher that "I haven't taught a child with Down syndrome before", "I haven't had one in my class before", or "I don't know anything about Down syndrome".  I love how Megan addresses this in her you tube video below, her message is loud and clear, "Don't limit me!"  I well remember a friend of my daughter's who was also in special education.  She advocated for herself, and said that she wanted to take "real" classes and that she wanted to learn.  After this, she began taking general education classes with the supports that she needed, and less special education.  What sort of message is that communicating about special education? All too often our kids with disabilities are limited.  By everyone around them, often educators, and sadly, even us as parents. Maybe we need to listen to the young adults that also have Down syndrome in the video that tell us about their lives; a recent engagement, hobbies, their jobs and pets.  The message they are expressing is that they are more like their non-disabled peers than they are different.  How can we as parents help our children to over come these preconceived ideas about who they are?  How can we push through these cultural barriers that try to limit our children?  I love the statements of conviction on the home page of ASK Resource's website: 

                                                                 ASK’s Vision:

Access, Empowerment and Acceptance for All

 ASK’s Mission:

Empowering individuals with disabilities and their family members by providing innovative and collaborative advocacy, training, resources and supports

                                                                 ASK’s Values: 

                                                     Passion and Fearlessness

     We are not afraid.  We embrace our values and convictions, and we live them with grace.  We see          challenges as opportunities and approach them positively with creativity and solution-mindedness.          We seek answers to the unknown and are willing and eager to try new approaches.

Wow, that is compelling.  Passion and fearlessness.  Acceptance for all.   If we each do our part that we are called to do: bit by bit, lifting each other up along the way, speaking up when we have an opportunity, challenging beliefs, encouraging and advocating in our circle of influence, the world for our kids with AND without disabilities WILL be a better place.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOwDfnoek6E

more alike than different site:youtube.com

http://www.askresource.org

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Comment by Matt Bockert on June 30, 2014 at 10:45pm
It's certainly true that sometimes kids know when they're ready for "regular" classes like you said. It was always a balancing act for my parents because my brother, who has cerebral palsy, didn't have any mental or learning disabilities that required him to be in special education classes. But his fine motor skills required special attention. By the time he reached high school, they found solutions that allowed him to attend the general education classes, such as the teacher and other students sharing notes since he wasn't able to write them fast enough himself.

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