March 9, 2014 § 2 Comments
The title sounds like something out of a CSI television show! But what it is really about are the group of educators who work with our kids each week. The gym teacher, the art teacher, the music teacher and so on. They are often some of the most influential people in a student with needs life. They are underutilized and unconsidered in the realm of special education. Their classes can be great equalizers for our kids. It’s a place for kids with needs to shine and learn skills that can’t be taught in the regular classroom. They are a constant and our children have these same teachers for years at a time.
That being said their classes can also be a place where our children fall apart if their needs are ignored. Gym and music class can be hell for a child who is sound sensitive or can’t meet the social demands.
My daughter quickly bonded with two specialist when she entered the 3-year old pre-school program at her school. Unfortunately, both teachers have left the school, but, she still frequently talks about them to this day. They became a big part of her life. Their classes were a place to shine, a place without paper and pencil and these teacher KNEW her because they had the chance to watch her grow over several years.
The other reason she was successful with these two teachers was because they gave her what she needed. They saw her beauty, they saw beyond her disabilities and they enjoyed what she brought to their class even on the days where she couldn’t do what everyone else was doing. They created an environment where her strengths were utilized and she could be herself.
Specialists – you have a chance to make a huge difference in the life of a child with needs. Please take the extra time to bond with these children. Please understand you are a constant in their life across the years in one school. How can you help these children shine? How can you help others to see what amazing talents our kids with needs may have that other standard educators may not see? How can you help develop that part of the child so that the school community sees their strength and beauty in a new light?
These teachers truly can redefine the word “specialist” if they choose to.
To that one specialist (should you ever read this) I hope my daughter gets to work with you again! You are a huge influence and we have alway been grateful for your presence in her life. Thank you for always seeing her beauty.