It’s a hot topic.
Educating your child with Down syndrome. Or any other different for that matter.
I’m hearing more and more being said about it. It’s not usually something I hear discussed openly. It makes it’s rounds via a comment here. A quiet exclamation of disdain there. The sworn to secrecy phone calls of those who can’t understand how another parent has the right to judge their child’s educational placement.
Do you choose total or partial inclusion? How many hours a day in a typical classroom is written into the IEP you signed?
Do you put the larger focus on the intellectual or the social?
And are you a traitor if you choose not to fight the inclusion battle? Does choosing to enroll your child into a small groups/life skills/class make you a ‘bad’ special needs parent? What about those who have a child attending a school who’s entire population are those with special needs?
Or (gasp!) what if you homeschool your kid with an extra chromosome?
The choices are varied and exceptionally personal. There is, in my opinion, no right or wrong here. Just what best meets the needs of YOUR child.
Others would disagree. They would point out the responsibility to blaze the path for those who will come later. They would say that by you choosing to place your child in a small groups setting you are making it harder for their child to be in a regular classroom.
Where does advocacy end and what’s best for YOUR child begin?
Can’t you advocate for those who choose to have their children mainstreamed while feeling absolutely secure in the choice you’ve made to add your child to the population of kids in the special needs class?
Shouldn’t we be fighting for the choice to be able to educate our child in the way think is best, rather than facing accusations regarding our choice?.
Yes, I believe educational experiences that include those with special needs are enriched and the experience is a win-win. I believe that teachers should welcome all children into their classrooms. But ONLY if that placement is what is best for the child. The child comes first. The only parent who has a right in that decision is the parent of that THAT child. I want my child to be educated, not used as a pawn in someone else’s agenda.
Often, we as parents of kids with special needs, wish the world would embrace the differences between their kids and ours…..rather than allowing them to drive wedges and downgrade opinions.
How come we don’t seem to expect the same from each other?