People need to understand that children with special needs are not sick. They are not searching for a cure, just acceptance. Ninety three percent of people will not copy and paste this. Will you be part of the seven percent that will and leave it on your wall for at least an hour?
Kids with special needs only want what everyone wants- to be accepted. Can I make a request? Is anyone willing to post this and leave it on your status for at least 1 hour? It is Special Education week, and this is in honor of all children made in a unique way. You never understand a situation until you are faced with it!
Did any of you see a variation of this status update on your friend’s Facebook wall? Or maybe you posted it yourself. It started circulating harmlessly enough last April during “National Special Education Week”. Then during special education week in July. And again in October. And now apparently in January.
If you’re wondering how special education week could occur every other month, well, it doesn’t. This is yet another Facebook hoax and Special Education Week doesn’t exist at all. It turns out to be a case of good intentions, poor critical thinking.
This status update bothers me beyond the mindless posting and re-posting on social network sites. I think it’s completely untrue. Many kids with special needs would like far more than acceptance: they’d like the academic support they need to be successful. And some of them would, in fact, like a cure to be found for their disorders. This is especially true for people with mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and so on.
Acceptance is the starting place for kids with special needs, it’s not ‘all they want’. We do children a disservice by pretending otherwise. Instead of oversimplifying their challenges in honor of a fake national cause week, I think we could do more good by spreading awareness of foundations that work to help children with special needs. Isn’t allowing these organizations to share their message preferable to presuming what kids with special needs really want?
I know this is a bit of a hot-button topic. But I think it’s important to open it up for discussion and challenge people to really examine what those with special needs want from us and how we can best serve them. These are my thoughts as both a veteran teacher and someone who has experienced learning disabilities and mental illness within my family. What are your thoughts? Do you think special needs kids ‘only want acceptance’?
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