Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Run the Risk

The regular ed teacher who isn't trained in curriculum modifications does not desire to see your child fail.

The special ed teacher who suggests your child be pulled out for math class doesn't do it because he believes your child has no business attempting math.

The speech and language pathologist who resists more sophisticated assistive technology for communication doesn't do so because she thinks your child has nothing to say.

The occupational therapist doesn't make zipping a zipper a greater priority for your child than learning to write her name because he wants to see your child left in the dust.

The physical therapist who advises the IEP team against inclusion in the regular PE class doesn't do so because she bears ill will towards your child.

The administrator who forgets to require that all kids, including those in special ed, attend the anti-bullying assembly doesn't do it because he believes your child should go ahead and accept bullying as a fact of life.

The kids who linger and stare at your child in the hall or on the street do not do so because they are inherently mean children that wish the worst on your sweet child.

The other parents who look away when you and your child roll up to the playground and begin the wheelchair transfer onto the swing don't avert their eyes because they think your child doesn't belong at the park.

All of these are the result pressure, lack of confidence, unanswered questions and private struggles.

These people need your help. Their view is obstructed by red tape, scant resources, confusion and sometimes pain - they cannot see just how limitless your child's potential is, how complex her personality is, how dynamic his sense of humor is, how great her future may be. In gaining that understanding, they take your lead. A great number of them are just waiting for you to guide them around their own blockage so they can see your child clearly.

In accepting this leadership role, you run the risk of knowing what people's true intentions are, of understanding where their confusion and questions lie and having to address them, of acknowledging what pressures they are up against. You run the risk of taking partial accountability for helping them get past some of those things enough to give your kid a fighting chance. And you won't always come out on top.

But run that risk anyway.

Those people are worth it and the future of your child, of my child, of all children, depends upon it.

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