May 1st was Blogging against Disablism Day and I posted this . Well, I guess I'm not done with the subject. It got me thinking about a day a few years back when I happened to drive Kellen to school and walked him into his busy general ed classroom. His regular paraeducator was sick and so there was a substitute. Here is how the exchange went:
Me: I'm glad I dropped him off today, I can take a few minutes to tell you about Kellen.
Perfect Para: Oh that's okay, I've worked with them before.
Me: Oh...you've worked with Kellen before?
P.P.: No, I've worked with Down syndromes.
My mouth dropped open and I think I gave her a little, tiny, piece of my mind. Not a large piece...afterall...she was going to be working closely with my son all day.
I tried to give her some helpful hints to make her (and Kellen's) day go smoother, but she felt that he would be like all kids with Down syndrome and therefore she didn't need to know what made him unique. I find it frustrating when our kids aren't allowed to have unique personalities. They aren't expected to have their own, individual gifts and talents, preferences, and things that motivate them. I kind of hope Kellen gave her a run for her money that day..my bad.