To Be Given The Chance

We unfortunately have had several more discouraging meetings with Chloe’s school. Seems we have quite a difference in philosophy.

The school district has special classes for students with disabilities. “The way they do it” is to send students with disabilities down the hall to special classes. Segregated classes. Restricted classes. Classes that don’t teach the full curriculum. Classes in which the students are not expected to learn much … because they aren’t given the opportunity to learn much. Classes in which the students are taught the same basic skills year after year after year.

The school wants to send Chloe down the hall.

Paul and I have a very different philosophy. We desire a much different education for our daughter. While we recognize and realize and accept and embrace Chloe’s disabilities, we want more for her. While we don’t kid ourselves into thinking that Chloe will demonstrate her understanding and knowledge in the same way that the typical students will show theirs, we feel that it would be terrible not to give her the opportunity to learn it all.

“Special” is cute when you’re two years old or five years old. Special is not so cute when you’re ten or twenty-eight or fifty-six. We don’t want Chloe in a special class.

As a speaker at a conference recently said, “When you show me the special ed gas station or the special ed grocery store, then we’ll talk about special ed. Until then, we don’t want to talk about special ed.” This conveys clearly the fact that the real world isn’t special. Sticking a student down the hall in a special class is not going to prepare her for the real world. And guess what? Chloe’s going to graduate and be expected to live in the real world. And that time will be here before we know it!

We want Chloe to be in class with nondisabled kids. We want Chloe to have the opportunity to learn everything all the other 3rd grade students are learning. We may not have any clue how much she is absorbing — how much she is learning — but we want her to have the opportunity to learn it all. We want her exposed to the whole curriculum.

If the other kids are learning about hurricanes, we don’t want her to be down the hall learning functional life skills. How will Chloe ever learn about hurricanes if she isn’t there to learn about it?

We believe it is wrong to assume that Chloe can’t learn what the other 3rd graders are learning. We believe that the safer assumption is to assume that she is learning it and to continue to teach it all to her.

Starting Tuesday morning, the school district will begin to carry-out their plan for Chloe’s education. It is far from what we believe is right for Chloe.

Our hearts are broken, and we are very discouraged.

But we will continue to advocate for Chloe’s rights to receive the education that she deserves.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. In support for Chloe..

    Reply

  2. 😦 I’m so sorry to hear this. I think the school district is just being lazy. They dont want to put out any extra effort. Its too much effort for them and it is easier to stick her in a ‘special’ class. Just like it would be easier for them if I put Aiden on ADD medications as they kept suggesting. Instead of putting out more effort to make sure he’s understanding what they are explaining, its just easier to drug him, or just move on with the rest of the class and just have him repeat 1st grade. With their method, he’d have to go thru each grade twice. That is a total waste of his time. This is why I chose to pull him out and home school him. He has improved immensely in his reading skills in the 4 weeks I’ve been homeschooling and he loves it. He does not want to go back to regular school. We are in a really great homeschooling group with kids of all ages and abilities and they all play with each other at park day and everyone is nice and accepting of everyone. I really hope you are able to find a solution for her, or a school that will be willing to teach her the same as everyone else. Stay persistant. Hugs to you guys!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Arlettia on February 6, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    I must agree with you on this issue. She, as one of God’s creation, does have the right to receive the same education as other children her age. I also agree that the school districts are lazy. They want to take the easy way out. By putting Chloe in a “Special Ed” class they are most likely making more money from the government than they would if they placed her with the other children her age and gave her a chance to absorb things she would otherwise not even be exposed to. I know God does and will continue to give you wisdom with regard to this issue. Never give up! God is on your side and will fight your battles for you.

    Reply

  4. I’m so sorry…Stick to your guns and don’t let them tell you how it has to be. It makes me so mad when all they want to do is what they have done for years. Good luck and keep us posted please!

    P.S. Chloe’s new bed looks awesome, and the video of her signing thank you and then saying ‘love you’…amazingly sweet!

    Reply

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