Nine years ago I took my 2 month old baby girl to a pediatric appointment as we were concerned about her left gaze preference. Less than a month later we were told by doctors at Mayo Clinic that she had brain damage, seizures, and cataracts. In some countries, parents do not want their child anymore and place them in orphanages. Many of these children are waiting to be adopted. I encourage you to check into this. Yes, things can get stressful at times and unbearable (as with many things in life), but the love my daughter shares with others is proof God’s Wonder and miracles. I love you, Cece!
As a parent of a child who spends some of her day in a segregated special education room at school I am always thinking about inclusion. At work we listen to Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) and today on their midday show they had a segment called “School improvement ideas from award-winning teachers.” After listening to them talk about education topics for 15 minutes without anything related to special education being discussed I decided to call into the show. I gave them my name and the city I am from and told them I was going to ask the panel their thoughts on inclusion of special education students in the general education classroom. She put me on hold and then came back on and told me I was next in line so I needed to turn down my radio and be ready. After about 15 more minutes I was put on the air and was able to ask my question.
Here is a link to the webpage from the show this morning:
I come on the radio a little after 28 minutes and 30 seconds into the show. Please listen to my question and their responses and let me know what you think.
Originally posted November 14, 2011
Here is my speech for the school board tonight. Let me know what you think:
Superintendent Krenz, Chairperson Keenan, members of the board my name is Aaron DeVries and I am here tonight as a parent and in my role as Chairman of the district’s Special Education Advisory Council or SEAC. I am honored to be discussing inclusion; inclusive schools week and our community showing of the highly acclaimed film Including Samuel with you this evening.
Originally posted August 9, 2011
I am writing this in words I think my 8 year-old daughter would use if she was able to communicate like I can:
I have special needs because that is a label society has placed on me. When people see me on walks in my wheelchair with my mom or dad they think that I have special needs. When I drool all over myself for no particular reason people think I have special needs. When I swing at people to get their attention because they don’t understand what I am saying they say I have behavior issues. Do you ever get frustrated when you are trying to communicate with someone and they don’t understand what you say?
Originally posted July 29, 2011
Last week we took our daughter to the Dr. to get botox injections in her legs to reduce the spasticity caused be her cerebral palsy. In addition to the botox they also give her some medication to take the edge off which makes her tired and she looses muscle tone for awhile. This is something she has done every three months and if she is up for it we try to go to a great buffet to eat lunch. She was up to it this time so we gladly drove there to enjoy eating way to much food. For some reason on this day I was noticing a number of people staring at us while we were eating. I am not sure if I was looking around more than normal or if more people were staring but either way it got me thinking.
Originally posted July 23, 2011
A few weeks ago on Twitter I came across the #specialsaturday hashtag that is being used on Saturdays to “spread awareness of the needs, feelings and accomplishments of children and adults with special needs or autism.” This week everyone was supposed to use the following words to start their Tweets: My special needs child has taught me……… I sent out a few tweets regarding this topic along with many other people on Twitter.