Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Am I delusional? I sort of just had an out of body experience during a threaded discussion in my online class.

See, I 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'.


Jennifer said...

Nope. Not delusional at all. You're setting high standards, and as a parent, that's what you're supposed to do.

"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."--BEST line! You're absolutely right on. Wish you were here in Austin to hear some of the stories at the Inclusion Conference. What some kids have accomplished, despite what teachers thought they could never do, is amazing.

And you know what? It doesn't matter what someone's cognition level is anyway. Just because someone doesn't have a high IQ doesn't mean that they can't be a functioning member of society. Inclusion is about basic human rights. Stay strong! It's an uphill battle.

Gilda said...

Well said, Love the way you look at Kendall's future. With a mom like you Kendall is very blessed. As you are also to have such a wonderful baby girl.

A Journey for Joshua said...

"It is for us to pray not for tasks equal to our powers, but for powers equal to our tasks, to go forward with a great desire forever beating at the door of our hearts as we travel toward our distant goal."
~Helen Keller

Keep your steadfast optimism, the sky's the limit!

Terri said...

Yet again, I am inspired by your honesty and ability to write from you heart. Everything you said is so true. I have spent 18 years as a special education teacher...fighting for students to be "included" and all the while wondering why certain people get to decide WHO is "included" and who is not. It has never made sense to me. I have had many parents stand up and fight with me and others that think their voice, and that of thier child's, is somehow not as important as school officials, teachers or others who have prejudiced thier child on the basis of a medical report. It is shocking what some parents will accept. I am so very thankful that you see in Kendall all the endless possibilites her life has to offer. Of course she will have limitations... WE ALL DO!!!!
I pray that Kendall is always surrounded by people who love her, respect her and challenger her.

"You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."
— Max Ehrmann (Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life)

Ian & Ruby said...

I love that our special children also have special parents - who see past the disabilties and see the extraordinary abilities with which they have been gifted. God bless.

Anonymous said...

I am delusional too then! I totally believe that our little one is intact in her body that is so limited. I used to be a teacher too, so how ironic! Anyways, our sweetie is a bit older as in almost five, so we have hit the major decision time on how to fight for what is best for her versus what the district has done in the past. Should be interesting and our first meeting is in two weeks - egads!!!


Cjengo said...

Wonderful! Well I am not sure if Jude will graduate from college but he did use his crawler to make it all the way to his door last night, and I was pretty darn happy! I think Kendall does have spunk and she will go far!