"Citizenship in School: Re conceptualizing Down Syndrome” by Kliewer talks about how students with disabilities and special needs should be integrated into schools and not separated into separate classes and kept away from the regular students. In my service learning classroom there is a student that the teacher may be on the spectrum but is not sure. He sits at his own table in the classroom, however he does participate in group work.with the class. Other then that I don't see any other students with special needs in my service learning. In my school growing up there were students with special needs and for the most part they were integrated in our classes. I can remember having multiple students with special needs in my classrooms. However when I got to high school they were separated from other students. I rarely saw special needs students after middle school. In my physical Education classes at RIC we are always learning how to adapt activities to accompany students with special needs. I have found a few quotes that stuck out to me during my reading.
If you came into the room and were told there was a retarded child
in the class, a child with special needs, I don't think you would pick
Lee out. The kids really agree that he's as capable as they are Intellectually the same.
this quote was meaningful to me because I had a few students in my class's growing up
that were very hard to tell special needs. the only way you could tell was that they had an aid with them during classes. But they were just as smart as the other students and could participate in all the activities.
Vygotsky found that the culture of segregation surrounding people
with disabilities actually teaches underdevelopment of thinking through
the isolation of children from socially valued opportunities. As described
in more detail below, altering the culture of disability requires that a child
be recognized as an active learner, a thinker, and a problem-solver, but this
cannot occur apart from relationships that allow for such engagement.
I found this quote this quote to be very important to the text. This quote I believe helps sum up what he is talking about in this article. That isolating students with special needs it creates a negative affect on them and restricts them from getting the same socialization as other students. As the quote says this cant occur if students with special needs or disabilities are separated from everybody else.
I don't tend to see Down syndrome as something. If you look at
those three kids running around the room, they're incredibly
different from each other. They're different in terms of what their
bodies are like, how they best communicate, what they're like
socially, their interests. And with those three kids in the room it
would be hard to say, "This is how you should teach kids with
Down syndrome." They are not at all alike.
I like this quote because it shows that there are different levels of disabilities and you cant label them all the same. Each individual person learns in their own way.
My personal connection to this work comes from the neighborhood I grew up in. The family that lived next door to me had twins one was a boy who did not have autism and the other one was a a girl named Marry who had autism. They were both older then me. We had a very close neighborhood growing up and all the kids used to play together. and Mary was no different we included her in all the games and activity we played. Nobody treated her any different and you could see how happy she was when she was allowed to participate in our activities. From a very young age I learned to try to include everyone in the games we played and one of the reasons why I believe I gravitated towards being a Physical Education teacher. Unfortunately she passed away when I was in middle school but her influence has stuck with me till this day. Her family are still strong advocates for inclusion for kids with Autism and organ donor's since Mary Kasprzak saved 5 other lives, But she had touched many many more with her spirit and personality.