Friday, April 08, 2005

Idiots with access to the internet

A few days ago, someone on the Trisomy21online website posted a link to this guy Bob Lonsberry's site. He had written an article defaming the special education system in public schools, basically saying it was detrimental to the "regular" students, taking away teacher's time, and that these students could be disruptive, causing the regular students harm. People about hit the roof. I know that the special ed. programs run the gambit from mild dyslexia to autism and beyond, but PLEASE! Revert back to the days of old when kids who were "mildly different" were sent to "special schools" (AKA institutions) because they would receive a better education. it was all nice & tidy. The regular kids didn't even know about the special needs kids, because they never saw them. He even brought up the term "separate but equal". Are we in the 1950's???? Was he actually comparing special needs kids to how African-Americans were treated? I could NOT believe the gall of this guy. Why don't we just terminate all the special needs kids when they're born and save the system tons of money?? Or better yet, pump ALL the money into prenatal testing so we can eradicate those "retarded" kids before they're even born? Because, heaven forbid they be in the same class as your "perfect" child. While I know that inclusion is not for every child, and some children will learn better in a separate setting, the idea of lumping all special needs kids together in one group is ridiculous. And he has a LINK to the Mormon Church website on his site. He used to be Mormon, but was excommunicated. So, it's ok for him to tell others what is right, but not do it himself.
I'm all for the First Amendment, but it doesn't seem right that this guy gets paid to write imflamatory articles about things he has no knowledge of. It's not like he has a child in the special education program. I read all these posts from moms on the T21 site about how they are struggling with getting a fair & decent education for their child with DS. One in particular stands out. Tori, whose mother has been fighting with her school all year to get her involved with the mainstream class more often, finally got through to the school. Tori has been thriving ever since. It just seemed the school didn't believe in Tori's abilities. People have this mental image of a special needs child, that they can only learn so much. They don't want to give them the benefit of the doubt. A child with DS's capability to learn doesn't end, just like a regular person. It only ends when someone gives up on them.
I'm at a loss, because I feel the need to argue for Sarah's right to a fair & equal education before she's even going to school. This is not something I should have to be worrying about when my child is only a year old. Right now all I should be concerned with is helping her learn how to crawl, then cruise, then walk. I don't want to throw myself a pity party, as it's not about me. it's about Sarah. But, sometimes I get in the rut of comparing her to other typical babies and I get so upset. I keep thinking, these people have no idea how lucky they are. They don't have to worry about the same things I do.

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