Saturday, April 11, 2015

"Citizenship in school; Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome" By Christopher Kliewer


This week’s reading was by far my favorite because it talks about a topic that even though it is very present in our daily life some people tend to ignore. This week’s article was written by Christopher Kluwer. He argues that children with Down syndrome should be allow to participate in the same classroom with children that have no disability. Even though a child with Down syndrome may learn differently than the rest of the children.  I agree with Kliewer, because not only Down syndrome children have different way of learning but every children learn different even though they might not have a learning disability.

 One point that caught my attention from the article is a statement made by Jason Kinsley “now we know that people with disability can learn and have a full, rich life. The challenge is to erase negative attitude about people with developmental disabilities, get rid of the stereotypes and break the barriers for people with disability” I feel that there are several ways we can change the negativism towards children with Down syndrome or towards any other children with disability. First one, is to stop segregating classrooms, I don’t know if any of you remember when we were in high school or even in grammar school, where they had the “regular kids” classes on one side of the school and the classes for children with disabilities at the other side of the building or even in the school basement like they were some contagious creatures. Keeping children with disabilities apart from the rest had created a sense that children with disability are being kept apart because somethings is wrong with them, that the rest of the children should feel afraid if god forbid they come in contact with each other something “bad” is going to happen to them. Society need to remember that precious quote by Nelson Mandela “no one is born hating another person they are taught” if children with disability attend the same classroom as children with no disability we will see a change on society’s negative attitude towards people with developmental disabilities. 

Another way to change the negativism towards children with disability is to stop treating them like they are less human, they can do the same things that other people can for example; I been working as a school bus driver for the past four years, I had driven different type of children; from behavior problems, special needs to children with no disability. I would like to share something that happened to me last year with a Down syndrome child who I would name “Bobby”. Normally children with special needs gets drop off as close as possible of their classroom. Their teacher or the teacher’s aide are always waiting for them at the door. But the rest of the children get drop off at assigned spot next to the cafeteria. One morning “Bobby” who become friends with another child from the bus, wanted to be drop off at the same spot as his friend. Bobby‘s new friend assured that he was going to walk him to his classroom. I didn’t see no problem with that because Bobby was a very smart and capable boy. When I finished my bus run I was called in to the manager’s office and I was suspended for a day because I didn’t drop Bobby off were I was supposed to and that I could have put him in danger. I couldn’t comprehend why this very capable child wasn’t allowed to socialize with the rest of the children? To me he was another pre-teen boy that wanted to hang out with his friends, but the school saw him as a defenseless human being. In this article I saw a lot of the article “safe spaces” by August because schools should be a safe place where children feel that the can be themselves. “Classroom lay the foundations for an inclusive and safe society: a just community where common interest and individual differences coexist.” By August

Point to share; I want to ask my classmates if I did something wrong by letting “Bobby” walk with his friends. Give your opinion on this because that incident still bothers me.


  1. I really liked your blog! I don't think that you did anything wrong by letting "Bobby" walk with his friends. He has the right to get dropped off with all the other students. Thanks for sharing your story!

  2. Ana, you did such a great job! Your points were super powerful and so were your quotes. I love the video! Also, I don't think you did anything wrong with Bobby. I believe that some people take another's disability too far and it becomes their excuse. If anything, I think it made you a better teacher! You did the right thing! Nice job :)
    p.s. thank you for the wonderful comment on my blog. You are just as amazing :)

  3. I LOVED your blog this week Ana! :) You made some amazing points and used an awesome video as well! In my opinion, I think you made a good decision concerning "Bobby"'s incident. In my town's schools, any children with special needs or disabilities were always dropped off along with the other students and allowed to socialize with everyone so they could grow more confident in themselves and be more comfortable around others, so I didn't see that you did anything wrong in your situation. Like Kaileen said, in the long run, this is going to make you a better teacher for being so compassionate and understanding towards all children! :)
    Great job!

  4. I loved the video Ana!! I think that lttle girl has made an impact on others lives because that showed that it doesn't matter if you have a disability or not, you are still capable of doing things other people can do! I don't think that you did anything wrong with letting "Bobby" walk with friends. Would you have been able to drop him off where he usually is susposed to and have had his friend walk with him there?

  5. I really Like the picture you did of I Will Not Keep Calm, I feel like it really helps get the point across. Great job as always :)

  6. Really great job Ana. I agree with everyone above me when i say that the video you posted was amazing and inspirational not only to those who might have a disability but those who don't as well