Inclusion Works 4

I am mostly an even . . . level . . . unexcitable . . . low-key person.  It takes a lot to get me riled.  It takes a lot to stir me or to disrupt my peaceful, constant, calm norm.

So I’ve been surprised at the emotions and the level of emotions that I have experienced in these few days at the Inclusion Works conference in Austin.

I came excited!  I was hopeful and excited about the tools I would pick up while listening to the experts talk about inclusion of students with disabilities — which I would have called special needs two days ago.  😉

I felt overwhelmed and desperate and helpless after the first session I attended.  I was frustrated that Chloe’s teachers aren’t here learning with me.

I was touched and thankful as I talked to a teacher from Ohio that is here at the conference — thankful that a teacher values inclusion and her included students enough to travel across the country to learn more.  (Thank you!)

I was angry as I listened to a teacher badger concerned, fearful, desperate parents as if they were evil people.  It made me long for a relationship where teachers and parents can understand and respect each other.

I was moved to tears as I talked to a young teacher — crying and concerned about one of her middle school students whom she wanted to help.  I was so grateful that there are teachers who have such a deep love and concern for their students.

I was furious and appalled and felt like throwing up my hands as I heard a teacher say that a particular student was in all general ed classes because he was smart, implying that students in special ed are not smart.

I was challenged and emotional as I was forced to think about the language I use to describe my children and their disabilities.  I was convicted and disappointed and then empowered as I learned new ways to talk about my children.

I laughed and nearly cried with a teenager this morning.  He has Asperger’s Syndrome and gave us a speech about his disability.  He and his mom answered questions from the audience.  I was moved at his bravery and blessed by his independence and by his relationship with his mom.

I was excited . . . thrilled . . . as I listened to two moms tell of their journeys and their beliefs in inclusion.  I felt empowered and steadfast as I learned new ways to communicate why it is important to me that my daughter be educated with nondisabled peers.

Yeah.  It’s been emotional.  It’s been powerful.  It’s been motivating and encouraging.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Karyn Killough on February 25, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    My sweet friend,
    With my sister having learning difficulties in HS, and being told she would amount to nothing and never graduate. She did with the help of one very special teacher. A son with a severe anger problem all through school and the difficulties I went through with him for 20 years of school and then finally deciding that home shool was the thing I needed to do, and may I add he learned more from home schooling then he did the 10 years of public school. I know your frustration and also your joy and enthusiasm. It is a roller coaster every time you change teachers or schools
    Some teachers are “”for the kids” others are there for their paycheck and really dont care.
    Hang in there sweet friend, as long as you love andstand up for your babies you are doing the best you can. Pray for understanding from the teachers and praise your babies every time they do anything, even if it isn’t quite what it is supposed to be. There is good in EVERYTHING they do even if it isn’t totally correct.
    Love you sweety!!
    Kathy

    Reply

  2. Posted by Melissa Coco on February 27, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    I need to keep up with your blog more girly! Good stuff. Ok- Just Zippy’s med entry– wow – little stinker is right. So glad you saw it and were able to get back on it. Love you friend

    Reply

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