Sunday, April 14, 2013

"Citizenship in Schools: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome." -Quotes-

I found the text: "Citizenship in Schools: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome" to be a rather interesting read.  There were a few quotes in the text that really stood out to me.

"Now we know that people with disabilities can learn and have a full, rich life. The challenge is to erase negative attitudes about people with develop­mental disabilities, get rid of the stereotypes and break the barriers for people with disabilities. (Kingsley, 1996, p. 6)." (Page 72)

Upon reading this quote I recalled an article I read in the Providence Journal a few years back.  The article was about a young woman who had Down Syndrome (sadly I couldn't find the article online).  She lived in her own apartment in Providence with the help of several aides four of whom were local college students.  The article really hit me because the young woman the article was about had been in my Girl Scout Troop back in 2000.  She earned all the same badges and patches the rest of the troop.  She wasn't given watered-down, easier activities than the rest of the troop.  She was even able to give a presentation on Down Syndrome to a younger troop.  

Then a few weeks ago I came across this video about a young man with Down Syndrome who owns his restaurant.
 These two examples go to show that just because a person was born with Down Syndrome, it doesn't mean that they can't live fulfilling lives.

"How absurd to be judged by others at all,especially by those who have never experienced a disability or who are unwillingly providing us with support or who don't listen to the voices we have. (p. 12)" (Page 73)

Both of the quote I have put so far talk about how people with Down Syndrome should be treated like people who do not have it.  Just because someone was born with Down Syndrome doesn't make them any less a person.  Later on in the article Kliewer talked about a high school freshman with Down Syndrome who went from a segregated school to a public school.   He mentioned that before the student entered public school she had poor motor skills, low self-esteem and would often "act-out" in class.  Then after she entered the public school all of that changed.  Her motor skills improved, her communication skills improved and her behavior improved.  I particularly enjoyed reading the little excerpt of one of the student's newspaper articles:

"Knock it off! Knock it off! Becky is a girl who has cerebral palsy....She's not allowed in school because of her handicaps. I think her school should just knock it off and let her in. She needs an education. Just because she is handicapped doesn't mean she can't learn. She's just got to do what she can do, which can be just about anything. Becky is smart enough to fight back, just like I would if I wasn't allowed in school. I have Down Syndrome and I can still do anything I want to do. If I wasn't allowed in school. I wouldn't have learned to do all the things I do now. I have Down syndrome, but I am not handicapped. (Durovich, 1990, 
quoted in Harris, 1994, p. 296)" (Page 93)

-Things to consider:-
I honestly think that the quote above can easily sum up the entire article quite nicely.  Just because a person was born with Downs Syndrome it doesn't necessarily mean that they are handicapped. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mikaela! When I was looking for videos I found the one you have on you blog and I thought it was so cute! Also the picture that you have up about the boy is awesome! I also really love your second quote you posted! That quote really stood out to me while I was reading the text. Great blog!