Get over the stereotypes, people!

I’m working on my paper and just ran across a story about a parent who refused to have her child with Tourette Syndrome evaluated for special education services because her child “isn’t like those kids.”

Hmm. Well let me clear something up with those who are unaware of Special Education. It’s not the way it used to be where kids were just shut away in a classroom and never integrated with their same-age peers. Most students who receive special education services remain in the general education classroom and are taken out of class for extra support.

And what exactly does “like those kids” mean? Well, our society chooses to believe in one set of standards, the standards of the “normals.” Just because these children deviate from those standards doesn’t make them any less important.

In fact — well, in my opinion anyway — these kids are better than some of us. They are the faces of triumph and honest progression. Some might say these special education kids can’t be taught, but that’s only because they’re too busy teaching us. We need to listen and we need to learn.

My son Jacob receives special education services, and that doesn’t mean he has less intelligence or is less inclined to succeed. It means he needs a little help. If you deny that child that extra help, it’s not special education that lessens his quality of life, it’s you. Get over the stereotypes, people!

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