Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Some Simple Reasons for Inclusion: Down Syndrome Awareness Month (18)

For several years now, I have spent a LOT of time talking about the reasons why we have pushed so hard for inclusion. Most of the posts on this topic have mainly included the academic and social reasons behind this but there are a lot of simple reasons as well. These are simple things he has "picked up" just by being around other "typical" 2nd graders (or whatever grade he's been in at the time).

Example #1: This morning while I was helping Colin get dressed for school, he started doing the motion of sticking his hand in his armpit and flapping his arm (like a chicken wing) up and down. He told me his friend "L" did it at school. This was the first time I ever saw Colin do this so I asked him if "L" made a noise while doing that. He said yes and that his teacher told him not to do that anymore. I told Colin it's not something we do at school (but inside I was totally laughing).

Example #2: There have been a few words that Colin has "thrown around" that aren't words we use at home and aren't exactly appropriate (loser, stupid, etc.). We obviously don't approve of him using these words and have addressed them immediately. Colin definitely understands which words he should and shouldn't use and so occasionally  when he's not thrilled about something, he will actually mutter a somewhat inappropriate word under his breath to "try it out". I know he knows it's not appropriate because he completely understands saying this word quietly (almost as a whisper). I will then say to him "excuse me?" and he always answers by putting his hands up and saying "never mind, never mind!".

After laughing about these two examples tonight while writing this post, we tried to come up with some other examples but there have been so many that are so simple that we were drawing a blank. Every time something like this happens with Colin we can't help but (sometimes discreetly) laugh about it because we know they are things he's picked up just by being exposed to all of the "typical" things kids do. One of my favorite things his teacher said to us at a meeting we had a few weeks back was "we don't feel the need to tell you every little thing that happens at school because sometimes it's just Colin being a typical 8 year old boy!".

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