Recent irate response from actual teacher!! What's your opnion?

Just a recap of the previous conversation. I wrote this on my blog: Accommodating our expectations of students with mental challenges. (You may scroll down my blog page to r...more

Included

I was talking to a friend of mine this morning who is a teacher, and the conversation turned to the topic of "inclusion."Now, for those of you who have not been baptized into the world of special education, allow me to submerge you.  Inclusion is when you take special education children and put them in regular education classrooms.  That, of course, is a an extreme oversimplification, but hopefully you get the idea....more

Top 10 Ways to Include a Special Needs Child - Inclusive Play

 A few years ago, I witnessed two children learning to play with each other without language.  One had limited mobility and normally communicated through sign-language, while the other was Haitian and didn’t understand English.  Yet despite the challenge this could present, these two children didn’t seem to care.  They played like they had known each other their entire lives.  They found away to communicate and play without support from anyone else.  Moral of the story:  If we get rid of our barriers, our children won’t have them either.   1. Communicate. Often children with special needs can still indicate their interests and make choices.  Ask the child or their parent what things they like to do and discuss any accessibility concerns. This will make your life much easier instead of focusing on the barriers of what they can’t do together. For example: if the child is non-verbal or has limited communication, ask the parent if there are ways to communicate and what types of things their child enjoys. Chances are that parent is going to love helping the children play and will not mind the questions. Beware of getting too personal though. That child’s health history, etc., is none of your business.   2. Ask your child. “Have you seen things Jimmy likes to do?” This is probably better than asking “what do you think Jimmy would like to do” since a child is often going to respond by providing his or her favourite things instead of Jimmy’s. Many children already recognize what another child’s interests are just by watching, at school or other places. Still a word of caution, some children come up with their own conclusions on things a child can’t do when in fact they probably can.     ...more

When Your Child is Invisible

It was the group with the older girls that caught my interest. I watched for a long time and couldn’t help but think that my child was deemed invisible out there. I watched a half dozen high school cheerleaders being playful and friendly with the adorable little girls and not even one interacted with my daughter. ...more
Whenever I witnessed these kinds of things as my children were growing up, it took all of my ...more

Red Rover, Red Rover You Cannot Come Over

The school year has begun, the car pool is upon us, the kids are fighting on the playground and the golden rules are in place. The onslaught of school birthday parties, otherwise known as the great weekend time killer, has arrived with much fanfare and political correctness....more

Lawn Signs of The Times

There I was, making a positive faith statement, and I had an uneasy sensation in the pit of my stomach. What is up with that? This kind of spiritually-inclusive proclamation had me worried a bit. Now that has at least as much to say about the times we live in as it does my anxiety level. I told an ordained UCC minister friend in Wisconsin about my feelings. She reminded me that I live in "liberal Massachusetts." I reminded her that my home is about 20 minutes from the African-American church that was burned down the day after Obama was elected ... yep, right here in liberal Massachusetts. ...more

Summer Thinking

As summer winds down I am thinking about school.  Not Dylan beginning kindergarten or Liam starting a new preschool or Tristan and his transition back to school.  These days I am sitting by the pool watching my three children dive under water  and spending some brain energy on a spring meeting I attended on inclusion and how-to create a more inclusive community for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)....more

20 Years and Counting: The Americans with Disabilities Act

The history of mankind is a review of how humanity has managed to develop and create a method of interactive association. In other words, how working together benefits us all. We actually joined together in order to survive in the cruel and dangerous world of pre-history man. We needed support to protect ourselves from predators-mostly other humans. In coming together we found that doing things in concert created a better way of life for all. We as hunter-gatherers delineated chores in a way that benefited everyone....more

What a wonderful moment you shared with that grandmother... more

Sometimes Its Not About Autism, Sometimes People Are Just Asshats

The question becomes how do our children truly fit into the picture of American society and what does the future hold for them? We can look objectively at the way society on an individual basis interacts with our children. We can pinpoint at anytime the odd, asshat who is mean and cruel to our children. But do we allow it to overshadow the mostly good that we encounter in our world?...more