Thursday, August 27, 2015
I am a warrior. But what i fight is not my kids "disabilities" You see I believe that my children, my sweet boys, were made exactly how God wanted them. Even amoungst some family this isn't a popular belief, because hands down, I would not change them if I could. My sons are not a disabilities. They are not defective. They are not off, wrong, or inadequate. They are simply different Their autism isn't ugly. Their autism isn't judgemental. Their autism isn't offensive. And neither are other disabilities. This is not the war I am fighting. I am a warrior. I am a warrior, and I know my ally. My sons, autism and all are my allies. We are in this battle together. What are we fighting? We are fighting for full equality and necessary accommodation in education. We are fighting for education for our law enforcers and social workers. We are fighting for them to maintain the right to stem in public without judgement. We are fighting for ACCEPTANCE. And while most of the above people, professionals especially, will say they agree with these causes and want to see them met, they will also tell you there are always areas for improvement. I am a warrior. I battle for the child who I carried in my womb. The child I birthed, fed, sang to, stayed up days in a row with. The child I coax out of meltdowns, the child I snuggle when scared. I fight for my child. My child who has the same rights as every other child. I am not saying the world if asked "should disabled kids have the right to a equal education with accommodation" would say no. I am saying they don't ask how we can achieve a better system. What i can tell you is if we found and achieved a better system for those with disabilities all our children would be the better for it. We hide away kids with disabilities, not because we are saying they should be hidden, but because we say there is a standard for normal and we need to reach as high as we can to affect it. We don't want the Autistic kids flapping to distract the child to either side of them. But kids adjust. They can and will get used to it. It can and will become second nature to ignore it. When they do something amazing happens. You see they are becoming accepting individuals. Seeing their classmate not for their disability but for their mind and heart. Now I know kids can be shallow and they can be mean. Bullying for any reason cannot be tolerated. All life styles, belief systems, races and mental abilities must be respected. We should do all we can to encourage good character in the classroom. Character traits like: Adaption Flexibility Kindness Goodness Charity Love Acceptance Joy Friendship Openmindedness and so on. That should be the call of educators. All educators. Principles, department heads, teachers, subs, and so on all the way down to the paraprofessionals like me. In accepting and teaching our children of disabilities we are effectively killing two birds with one stone. See our future social workers, police officers, teachers, politicians and other prominent members of the community are in high school right now. If we could teach about others of all type of disabilities, of what they face, if we could encourage empathy and acceptance in our youth for such people, how much more respect would they have for their common man. For those who face big battles. And how much more empathy would there be when the "normal" people in their lives face hardships? There is no negative that cannot be over come by merging our student population with the population of disabled students. And me? This warrior mom? That's the war I am fighting for. The war for a better world for my children. The war for a better world for yours. Teaching character can and will change our world So where do we start? How about a mandatory semester paired with someone facing a disability for one class. For art, pe, or other non core classes you could choose from. Our children could learn from each other. Mine from yours, and yes yours from mine, disability and all. Extra curricular clubs with pairings like this would be amazing too. If a child cannot be put in a mainstreamed classroom we could bring main-stream children to them. Units studying different disabilities in depth and what these kids face, and how their lives still matter and they still make viable friends is another one. Now I am just listing ideas off the top of my head. Our education system has come so far, and I am proud to work for a school that really works at equality. But with how far we have come we still have further we could go. I am a warrior mom, And maybe its time for more of us to fight.