For his first five years in public education, Simon attended a self-contained classroom in the school across town with other students who were labeled with “intellectual disabilities.” Every school day, a bus designated for Simon and his classmates pulled into Simon’s driveway and delivered him to school, where he was met by his special education assistant and escorted to his self-contained classroom. When he wasn’t working on “life skills” with his class, Simon joined his non-disabled peers for recess on the playground and during music class. At the end of the school day, he returned hom
Taking a step back to watch her from the sidelines, I was reminded that she will waiver, she will fall, and sometimes she may crash and bleed a little, but that’s ok. That’s the story of life—finding a balance between the highs and lows.
Without a doubt, my children’s educational experiences contributed to their positive post-school outcomes. And, I’m certain that the engaged and trusting relationship that our family experienced with our school community helped pave their ways.
We wanted the best school for our child and we found it, because inclusion is much deeper than facilities and programs. Inclusion involves everyone looking beyond what children can’t do based on their circumstances to see instead what they CAN do.
They told me Rachel was crying because a friend who had moved away was at camp and she missed her. All was well. They didn’t need me and didn’t really need the room counselor because guess what? They had it. They took care of it.