Monday, November 18, 2013

Citizenship in School
Cheistopher Kliewer

The word "sped" stands for Special Education, however the acronym can be used negatively as well as positively. I admit that i have not been diagnosed with Down Syndrome but i have been called a "sped kid" before, It tugged at my heart strings. This questions the morals being a good citizen in life especially at school, schools are supposed to have a comfortable atmosphere.

Shayne Robinson, a teacher at Shoshone School where they accept children with disabilities and without  disabilities. Robinson said, "Its not like they come here to be labeled, or to believe the label. We're all here- kids, teachers, parents, whoever- its about all of us working together, playing together, being together, and that's what learning is. I agree with Robinson because  my experience as a special education student shed a vast amount of light on the treatment of students with disabilities. There was a boy a grade below who went to school with me was paralyzed from the waist down. He was made fun of constantly in elementary and middle school as he would wheel down the hallway, I always felt awkward because these people did not think of the effect it had on him. I did not say anything to them however i wish i had. At one point I realized how alike this person and i were even though he had a physical disability while i had a learning disability. It did not always work but i felt better because i knew to look beneath the surface of my past peer. I feel that Nelsy's comment, "we tend to focus more on their apparent differences instead of their similarities to us which then leads to the creation of these dominant barries which disables us to see that we are all humans" connects because there is a wall between students with and without disabilities because the simple fact that only some suffer from it. That wall is thickened as students who find humor in someone else's pain because they could not pronouce a word or play basketball on two feet.

Within the special education students, none of them were diagnosed with down syndrome. I never felt I understood fully of what it was until I attend Youth Leadership Forum. YLF is a forum that is comprised of students who excel in school that deal with a learning or physical. These students are brought together so they can feel accepted in a judgement free zone. We work on volunteer work to help an organization in need. I met this guy named Joey. I slowly figured out he had been diagnosed with down syndrome. He does have to deal with outer disadvantages such as physical features with a flat face, small ears, and slanted eyes. Despite that it did not seem to bother him as he happily greeted me on the first day. I noticed he was a social butterfly as he talked to almost everyone every chance he was handed. During my encounters with him he was always kind and caring, he would ask how i was doing and if i was having fun. Joey meant no harm at all, he was simply being himself living life. By the end of the week I was able to better pick away all of the exteriors of people because i knew there is something valuable underneath.

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