Am I delusional? I sort of just had an out of body experience during a threaded discussion in my online class.
See, I KNOW...trust me, I KNOW Kendall has issues. She faces a lot of challenges. There are movement issues, speech issues, health issues. But the thing is, she's there. SO totally there cognitively.
We definitely have our work cut out for us with her and her future. I get that. But today, technology is so advanced that she can read, write, speak, and move with the help of assitive devices. So there is absolutely no reason she won't be able to have full inclusion in not just elementary school, but also junior high, high school, and college.
Some teachers see "severely disabled" children as an automatic ticket to a life skills class. I see my sweet Kendall as just the opposite. Yes, she will probably always need help with some things. But there is no reason she won't be able to graduate from college and contribute to society. When I say contribute, I mean more than just helping "normal" students gain tolerance or acceptance to kids with disabilities. Kendall could be a writer, motivational speaker, teacher, or artist. The sky's the limit for her really.
She has more spunk and personality that a lot of other almost three year olds. Her receptive language skills are amazing. Her determination surpasses most of the people I know. She has a sense of humor, curiosity, and imagination.
Breaking down the walls of stereotypes from educators, other adults, and peers is beginning to seem like it will be the largest obstacle for Kendall. Not Kendall's disabilities.
If we give her the tools she needs to succeed, if we give her the extra attention and support, if we give her encouragement along the way...she will do great things. Which, in the end, makes Kendall absolutely no different from any other child. And makes my optimism no different than any other parent :)
SO THERE...crazy, old, high school math teacher from po-dunk, Texas. Times...they are a changin'.