Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome
April 10, 2016
"[Community} requires a willingness to see people as they are - different perhaps in their minds and in their bodies, but not different in their spirits or in their willingness and ability to contribute to the mosaic of society. It requires the 'helper' to have the humility to listen for what the person says he or she needs (pg.12)." (Judith Snow pg. 73)
I feel as if this quote almost says it all, explains that it's okay to be different and notice that yes, people with learning disability (Like Down Syndrome) as well as physical or any other type of disability are different and act different in all situations but they are still people. They are people with hearts, feelings, emotions and knowledge. Of course of all this things are shown in different ways, if shown at all but it's their. But no one looks at it that way, they look at them and say "oh she has down syndrome", "yeah, he has autism, he won't understand" and stuff like that. Some people out there (like children) won't understand any of that unless they learn or experience it in something like best buddies or any other one-one organizations where children with both disabilities and non-disabilities can interact.
"Though many of us have a certain level of control over who we meet and interact with, none of us can come close to claiming complete control. So we must learn to work with others, and this hold true whether we ultimately are destined to lead a multinational computer software film, inspire a civil rights movement...We have to learn to get along as individuals and as citizens." (pg. 74)
This second quotes discusses again that we as people need to accept the differences and kind of move on, or not focus on rather. But focus on how we as people, students, citizens act together, interact with each other, and learn from each other. Its important for us as students who want to go into that field and be able to teach them to know that even though they are different they don't alway need to be treated, they need to be treated equal and shown respect. Also, its important that if students with disabilities and those without are in one class, that the lessons taught need to be understand by everyone, not just easy for those without IEP's or without teacher aids and extra help, but for everyone.
"In establishing a representation of citizenship for all, Shayne recognized the transactional relationship of human reciprocity: Community acceptance requires opportunity for individual participation in the group, but opportunity cannot exist outside of community acceptance. As such, Shayne had to foster a sense of the collective that took seriously the value and idiosyncrasies of her individual students. In doing so, Shayne felt that she broadened and strengthened the learning opportunities opened to all her children." (pg. 75)
Lastly, this quote spoken about how Shayne took the initiative to change the opportunities and expand the horizon for both those with and without disabilities. She decided to focus on the community skills and acceptance of those in her classroom and out of it. She explains how community acceptance is what is really important and can lead to the best changes, good changes. It all starts with teaching those to accept everyone as they are, who they are and what the bring to the table (bring to school, like an attitude and initiative to learn). This quote can relate to August because in that article the LGBTQ groups are mentioned that accept everyone and teach everyone to learn that being different is okay, the world is changing and adapting to all the differences in the world. That is how it is supposed to be but unfortunately people cannot accept that 100% yet and hopefully it will change.
Questions/Comments/Points to Share:
I really enjoyed this blog because it focused on those with Down syndrome but in a good and positive way. To accept the differences and embrace them, to help those who need it without any fuss. I am hoping to go into this as a teacher and this article really made me want to even more and got me excited to be able to work with many different children and different disabilities to learn about all of them and make them feel welcomes and comfortable at school.