lifeskills is a class that kids with disabilities and special needs start out in. the disabilities range from very, very mild to very, very severe. i think that all the kids in there needed life skills the first yr and maybe even the second yr of school. others will never come out of lifeskills, sad but true, their disabilities are so severe they would never be able to tolerate a general ed classroom. one of the little girls is so bad, i understand her parents want her to live as normal a life as possible, it is heartbreaking to see her. she cant talk, she cant move a single muscle in her body, she has a feeding tube, she doesnt respond to anything, but is including in everything, which is good, but it is very sad to see her like that. I think that all the kids should be exposed to different disabilities, it is a good thing for them to see that although they are different, they can do anything other kids can do. here is where the problem is, how can the school expect a child with a mild disability to never leave lifeskills because they require special education services. special education is a SERVICE not a location or place, it follows the child, it does not place a child in one location for the entire education. how will kids with mild disabilities ever learn and be exposed and accepted by their peers if they are hidden from them most of the time? the one and only reason adam is not at his grade level acedemically is because in life skills its much slower paced, he probably needed that, the focus is not on learning, its usually spent on keeping each child from various outbursts. oh, and because his biological parents never took the time to help him when it was so crucial for him to get it early on and now i am here trying to help him play catch up, which he is doing very well considering he is treated as if he has a severe disability and will never improve, although he has proven himself to everyone that HE CAN LEARN, HE WILL BE A PRODUCTIVE MEMBER OF SOCIETY, if they do for him what the law requires. as long as he is always surrounded by lower functioning kids he will never learn what high functioning is. he is capable of most anything, but as we all know, our kids must have something to go by, visual, peer models! in his mind it is normal to cry and whine if he doesnt want to do his school work, in his mind it is normal to lay around on the floor and seem helpless, in his mind it is normal to use free time for stim time, he doesnt know that his peers use free time for social and play time because he has never been exposed to it in the school setting. i know for a fact that if adam was in general education and the teacher told the kids it was time to practice writing and they all got to it without having fits and meltdowns, a lightbulb would go off in his head...hey, i am suppose to do this task without whinning, none of the other kids are doing it, so i shouldnt do it. i am positive of it! they have even told us he doesnt stim at recess with all the other kids on the playgroud, because thats not what he sees, he sees kids swinging and playing and socializing and that is what he does too. so what part of that do they not understand? why must it be such a fricken fight? you know, if we were talking about the little girl i described above, i would ALMOST understand the schools stand on this, not completely though because even she has a right to be among her peers! it infuriates me to know that kids are discriminated against based on their special needs. what infuriates me the most, is in adams case, he is HFA, and they know it, so what he is behind, the IEP goals are suppose to follow him to general ed, so what if they have to hire and aid, so what if the fricken teacher has to do extra work, exactly what part of that college course did she not understand????? i am sorry i am just venting, i love all the kids in adams class and wish they would get rid of lifeskills and put them all in genreal ed and let them feel like they belong, it is a tragedy that our country treats our kids like this, i am so ashamed of the people that call themselves citizens of the USA that stay hellbent on keeping our kids hidden from other kids. if they did it right, it would work, some kids would only be able to tolerate small amounts of time in gen ed, but so what, why does anyone other then the parent get to make that decision??? sorry, ppl i am just venting, but it does make me mad!
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