Monday, November 25, 2013

A Reflection on People with Disability

Ludwig van Beethoven, deaf but renowned pianist

One of the last subjects we have for Licensure Education for Teachers is Special Education. And, as a requirement, we needed to attend a seminary by Professor Rosario Villasor for a half - day of inputs.

We were asked to write a reaction paper about it but I made a reflection instead as the inputs are overwhelming. 

".. I always admire  teachers and experts including families who are able to raise and teach kids with special needs. If given a chance, I would want to be a SPED teacher.While we would not want to raise a family member who has disability since we know we don’t have the resources or the skills to help the special kid.  However, having heard from the resource speaker, it made me realized that the government and other agencies / schools / individuals can actually help families with special kids.
When I was pregnant with my son, I had all the usual anxiety as I feared that he would have physical or mental disability. And, so, I constantly prayed that he would just grow up in my womb in perfect condition. However, I was operated when I was 4 – months pregnant and went through a major marital problem that my pregnancy was constantly threatened. My surgery and emotional pressures led me to worry more of my baby. 
My kid grew up well except that he was quite behind with his learning skills compared to his cousins of same age. He didn’t show the usual developmental milestones, and, so, I asked his  pediatrician if he was manifesting ADHD or autism.  Too glad though, that he was just a late bloomer and glad that he’s performing better.
The seminar may be short but it made me understand more the challenge of special kids, they conditions they are in, and how that challenge the family and the community.  It was an eye – opener although a confirmation too, that special kids still do have abilities to show.If only kids with special needs are given early interventions,  they can grow as independent and self – sufficient or self – reliant like ordinary people. And, while the challenge is upon the family and the ones who provide the necessary care, I believe that more can be done if given at earliest stage of intervention.
Showing sympathy is not helping but showing respect and encouragement is.  While I may not still know how to handle kids with disability should they shall be in my class, I guess with the inputs of the resource speaker earlier and formal training in special education, I can be progressively become a good SPED teacher some day.
Having known the probable causes of disability and the different disabilities, I can educate and influence my students and the people around me that disability can be prevented as the case of pre – natal – linked conditions  or it can be helped if the disability is brought by an accident.
If everyone is educated about kids with special needs, perhaps, there will be less emotionally – disturbed people, or people who died in suicide, or kids abused by parents who were abused themselves.
If everyone is educated, then perhaps, the community  shall be less hostile about kids with disability, and more facilities and support could be given to them especially to rural areas.  Unfortunately, only the well – off can help the kids with special needs and the ones who belong
to low / middle class families, they would rather keep the kids from the society.
With the constitutional provisions like FAPE and IDEA made for kids with special needs, families and the kid with disability can assert their rights and perform their duties and enjoy the interventions that are given or provided for.
Special education is a tough job but it can be  quite rewarding too if  teachers, professionals, parents, and the community can make a difference to the lives of the special kids. And, it can be more rewarding if  we can help the special kids lead an equally normal life and be as productive citizen of the community.
And, I would like to highlight what the Professor mentioned that the community must look up to  the abilities of the  special individuals rather than focus on what they can’t do.  And, with that, as a  teacher I can make a difference to touching the special kids and their family one step at a time.



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