Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Citizenship In School

As many of you know, I'm majoring in Special Education (sorry I say it a lot!) and this story was perfect and easy for me to read. Not only am I adamant about equal opportunities for children and students with special needs, Down Syndrome children and adults are my favorite. I'm Down Syndrome obsessed :) I love everyone, no matter what, though! But for this reading, I was able to connect to so much about my personal life that for this week I'm going to do a reflection.
Down Syndrome occurs when there is an extra copy (3 copies) of the gene, on the 21st chromosome, which is called Trisomy 21. However, there are other kinds of Down Syndrome as well, such as Mosaic and Translocation. If you want to learn more about the genetics and components, the National Down Syndrome website will teach you more. Children with down syndrome will have a hard time learning socially, developmentally, and intellectually. Much like any other disability, there are ways to properly teach these students in order to become successful too.

Haley Howard is my absolute best friend in the entire world. Not just because she is shorter than me so I'm happy I'm taller than someone, but because she makes me laugh and smile more than anyone else. She is there for me when I need a shoulder to cry on and she's the best person to just go on a long drive with listening to music. She is the definition of a best friend. When I was in elementary school I had a hard time with school, learning wise. My parents thought something was wrong with me and had me tested for special ed. It was probably one of the worst experiences of my life because I felt so different from everyone else and everyone made fun of me. When I got to middle school, I barely had any friends, so every Wednesday I would have lunch in the school therapist's office. Haley would join me and it was at that moment that I knew it didn't matter what was wrong with me, because Haley couldn't see a difference so there was none. But Haley and I went our separate ways, and I wasn't considered "typical", until we connected again in High School when she joined the varsity swim team. She was an amazing swimmer and defied the odds by being on a competitive high school sport with a disability. She was a really great swimmer too! But at first she wasn't allowed to join because she was "special",but she proved everyone else wrong. I then joined a class called, Partners, where I was a regular ed. student in the severe and profound classroom working with those students and Haley was one of them. I got to see how these students learned. First of all, there classroom was in the basement, away from every other classroom. There art and music classes where not with regular education students, which bothered me to no end. Finally, Haley's mother pushed for her to be in an acting class, where she was the only one with a disability, just like Mia in the story. Being in Partners, I also learned a lot of different ways to teach students with other disabilities not just down syndrome, whether it be through pictures or through sign language. But I did whatever it took so that I could get through to the students. Haley taught me everything there is about being a best friend and a better person and she doesn't even realize she did it. She influenced me to go into Special Education because she broke down the barrier for kids with disabilities and amounted to being SOMEONE, not just something.

 With being a p pass worker I also work with a child who has Down Syndrome who is very low functioning, but it is such a great reward working with him. Through reading this text, I learned a lot about how others see children with Down Syndrome.

I also saw some of this in my Service learning project. In my high school, there were three students with Down Syndrome. In DelSisto, there's over 10 students with Down Syndrome! I am able to learn from the teachers how they connect with the students and I am allowed to work with them. It is interesting to see how all the students with disabilities learn because some can be very low-functioning or some can be very high functioning. It is cool to see how all the students with special needs are learning an I'm glad I get to experience it first hand!

I connected this article to Johnson's Power P Privilege and Difference. Johnson talks about how there are differences between people, as in race, gender, ethnicity, etc., but there are also differences in children and people with disabilities. He says that we need to accept those differences so there won't be any problems anymore and I completely agree with that. Kl obsessed ells stories about kids with special needs who are only recognized as someone with special needs, but that is not who they are. Like Colleen said "Lee is Lee" and that not all kids with disabilities are alike. Schooling children with disabilities in the correct and equal way is what will help kids become successful and noticed as individuals, not just there disability.

Watch this :) One of my favorite videos! 

Talking Point: I could go on forever and ever about this topic because it is so special and important too me, so sorry! And sorry I was kind of all over the place. But in high school, were any of you guys involved with kids who had disabilities? When I work with someone who has special needs and they finally understand something, it is the best feeling in the world for me and I always want to have that feeling. I've really only worked with special education, but do guys get the same feeling when you're teaching your students? I know it's a basic question, but I wonder if I'm not the only one!


  1. Kaileen, you have an enormous heart and you are one of a kind! :D Don't ever apologize about your blogs because they are amazing. The video was truly inspiring to those who have disabilities. I can't wait to talk about this in class!

  2. Kaileen You are awesome, it takes a very sweet and strong person to work with special needs children, I know in my heart that you are going to be an excellent teacher, like every week I truly enjoy reading your blog because I feel that you give a lil bit of you in every post, don’t ever change, it is extremely rare to find people like you and I am glad that I got a chance to meet you, keep up the good work because classroom sure need more teachers like you.

  3. I love how you as so passionate and you will definitely be a great teacher! Your story was so inspiring and I really enjoyed reading your blog!

  4. I love this!!! I can connect with you on how it feels working with children who have disabilities.

  5. This was a great post! Btw, i did an extended comment based off of your post!

  6. It is amazing how you are a pass worker and do such amazing things with these kids. You will be a fantastic special education teacher!

  7. I really loved your blog and how you made so many personal connections. You're stories were very interesting to read because you are so passionate about the topic. Great job