Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Kliewer_ Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome
Children with developmental disabilities have been cheated out of their education and their rights for as long as we can remember. They are thought to not be able or even deserving to attend class with "typical" students because they are not able to keep up with the schooling. Often times we see in schools that classrooms for children with developmental or even something as common as physical disabilities have been segregated into a part of the school that has little to no interaction with other students and teachers outside of those teachers that are teaching them. Just because a child has a developmental or even physical disability does not mean that they are not able to capable or even worthy of teaching, we would be surprised with the intelligence that lies within the minds of these children, but they need a chance and that is what Kliewer is telling us. In class we watched a film on about three children who have developmental disabilities and how their education and families were affected by it because of the school system. One girl in particular had started off school a little disruptive and did not know the RULES AND CODES of the classroom, but as the year went on and she entered into her next grade she had learned that she needed to raise her hands and when she asked a question it was no longer off topic but in sync with what the other students were learning. Also, there was another student named Richard who was added into a "typical" classroom due to his mother petitioning that her child receives the same education as everyone else. Not only had be become more productive in the class and was pushed to academic levels that his mother worried that he would not achieve, he reached and surpassed many of them. Not only was being in a "typical classroom" helpful for him, but it gave the other students a chance to help and pass on their knowledge. I have learned in my other classrooms, if you are able to teach something that you learned to someone it shows that not only did you understand what was being taught to you, incorporated it into your long-term memory and it is something that you have become an expert on. As students and teachers along with parents we are accountable for ensuring that these "not so normal" children receive their given and due education.