I believe education is one of the most important tools a person can have in life. Every child deserves to receive the best education possible, regardless of special needs. Being placed in the least restrictive environment, gaining necessary life skills and learning how to relate and communicate with people from different walks of life is imperative to the academic growth and success of any student. I have taught children with special needs in several school districts for over ten years. It has always been my passion to help each child discover their individual gifts and talents and to reach their full potential.
All children carry special gifts inside of them. I believe that anyone working with a special needs child has the responsibility to identify those gifts since they often go unnoticed. People often focus on the deficiencies of special needs children, but I feel more attention should be focused on their gifts. As a special education teacher and advocate, I encourage all students to understand and celebrate the differences that make each individual special. I believe that understanding diversity is an important skill not only as part of a classroom, but as part of a community and a citizen of the world. There are many different types of people in the world, and people should learn from one another instead of judging others who are different.
A free and appropriate public education that meets the needs of every individual is a right that each child should be guaranteed. The laws regarding special education at both the State and Federal levels can be confusing and difficult to navigate. It’s important for families of children with special needs to stay well-informed and have the necessary tools to make educated decisions about getting the appropriate services for their children.
Whether I am a teacher or an advocator, I strive to stay current on new legislation regarding children’s educational rights. I am conscious of students’ academic abilities and/or disabilities and will strive to provide them with the tools and services they need as individuals to succeed academically and in society. Every child is part of a community and should be given the opportunity to participate in the same projects and events as every other community member, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they may have.