Should we educate special needs kids? YES!

One of my ex-girlfriends posted on Facebook that someone is actually arguing that educating special needs kids takes “time and money” away from their children’s eduction and that they shouldn’t have access to eduction.

I can’t think of anything I have heard in a long time that makes my skin crawl and repulses me so violently.

As a full disclosure, I know of at least 3 of my friends that have children on the autism spectrum and their children are awesome. They have issues but the mothers are dedicated and the children should thrive not be tossed aside. My eldest constantly suffers from a set of auto-immune conditions, two of my children have required speech therapy. I am dyslexic and live on the functional side of the autism spectrum as well has having borderline personality disorder. So I feel that while I am not qualified to talk about the disorders themselves, I think I am qualified to talk about social policy and how it relates to families like mine and my friends.

Education is the equalizer and through education you can enrich your life and the lives of those around you. In my own case I didn’t get my diagnoses until I was in university.  Though my grade school, high school, and junior college I was battling against my own wiring trying to do things the normal way and it went very poorly. If you look at my grades from before my diagnoses you would think that I wasn’t a very good student or not very smart. I had a dismal record.  I kept trying because I love to learn and that I knew that getting an education would get me out of dead-end jobs and make my life better.

I gravitated toward computers which I have since learned affects how you read so I can skate around my dyslexia a bit by reading something on a screen instead of on paper. So I gravitated towards a subject that I was strong at and I could understand.  After I returned to education and got my diagnoses and I could start to compensate for my wiring my grades came up and I graduated with a very strong result for my undergraduate and I was accepted to both PhD programs I applied to.

I wish my wiring had been detected when I was much younger and that I could have learned the coping skills that I need to thrive early. I wish that all children would have their wiring checked and that if the normal system doesn’t work for them then we could give them new tools to thrive. But we need to give them the tools to learn and the education to thrive and we never quite know what contribution a person will make to our society.

I think as a society we need to enable all of our members to thrive. As I mentioned I think education is the key to being able to thrive. It matters less what you know (it still matters what you know 😉 ) and more that you know how to learn and this is what schools should be teaching. The schools should definitely be teaching this to all students so that everyone can climb as high on Maslow’s hierarchy as they can.

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3 Comments

  1. I completely agree with you! I have three children on the Autism Spectrum and education was most defiantly a key to their success. It is hard to believe that someone would actually utter or even type the words “no education for special needs children” – the thought is utterly appalling. Maybe people should finish a thought before putting it out to the general public – you think? I have always told my children to think before they speak – if they are going to say something negative about someone then to think how they would feel if it was about them. Kuddos to you for standing up and saying something! Excellent job as well being accepted into both PHd programs!!

    http://www.autismable.com – my blog dedicated to learning about Autism Spectrum Disorders. It is new but will be filled with information before too long 🙂

    Reply
    • Thank you for your kind words. I personally couldn’t believe that someone would say that. I wish the best of success to your children!

      Reply
    • A friend of mine who is a teacher read this and then told me that all children have special needs and that all children should have those needs met.

      Reply

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