June 17, 2014 § 1 Comment

Main Entry: in·clu·sion
Pronunciation: \in-ˈklü-zhən\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin inclusion-, inclusio, from includere
Date: 1600
1 : the act of including : the state of being included 2 : something that is included: as a : a gaseous, liquid, or solid foreign body enclosed in a mass (as of a mineral) b : a passive usually temporary product of cell activity (as a starch grain) within the cytoplasm or nucleus 3 : a relation between two classes that exists when all members of the first are also members of the second — compare membership 3 4 : the act or practice of including students with disabilities in regular school classes
— in·clu·sion·ary \in-ˈklü-zhə-ner-ē\ adjective

Inclusion is maybe just not a big enough word anymore. Definition #4 is how many schools actually practice – prevailing attitude – “if the student goes to lunch, art and gym then we are practicing inclusion.”

It makes me want to whack my head off a wall!

I honestly don’t even think IEPs are helpful anymore – I don’t – it feels like a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo that can sometimes actually restrict kids more than help them grow! I don’t think they should be called IEPs but rather IAPs – Individualized Accessibility Plan. The pressure should NOT be on the child to conform and become more like everyone else! The pressure SHOULD in fact be on the adults/educators to find a way to embrace that child’s differences and help them shine. When did the word “special” become synonymous with the word bad in the special ed world? Special to me is different, beautiful and extraordinary – but NOT bad. Why do the schools push down that beauty?

If you haven’t noticed this is a bit of a rant tonight. There is so much behind it that I can’t publicly disclose but I wish I could and my heart races when I consider doing it. (I will say it’s in relation to my daughters education.)

I believe that if students are properly accommodated they can access the general curriculum in a way that is appropriate for them.

Teachers, Administrators, Therapist – stop focusing on what the kids can’t do and help them start building on what they can do in a way that elevates the good of everyone, including the general education students who are “included” in the lives of our special education students.

My soul relaxed

June 16, 2014 § 1 Comment

Today was the day I have been waiting for. It was the day my brain triggered into realizing summer has arrived. I went on a field trip at work to the beach with 50 beautiful kindergarten children. It was a picture perfect day – a beach day people dream about. My soul relaxed.

The ride home on the bus was loud but sweet, full of laughing kids and the smell of the lilacs blowing into the windows of the school bus confirmed my knowing that summer has truly arrived.

Getting through the last few weeks has been a challenge on many levels. Personally, professionally and emotionally I have been stretched, but today those lilacs, the warm sun and the sand between my toes grounded me and allowed me to come up for air.

I talked yesterday with my awesome cousin about why I haven’t blogged much lately and basically I said “I just don’t have anything left to say.” Today I realized that it’s actually the opposite of that, there has been too much, so much that I couldn’t process it all.

Tonight is the first night I’ve had the mental energy to even think about writing and I hope the summer will bring many inspired thoughts that make for good blog posts. For today I’m just grateful for the sunshine.

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