Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I am not sorry because I am not broken

           Hay  guys   sorry its  been a while things  are  good  here just been  busy  with summer school  at my   old  jc.   I am  breaking the silence  because     something has been on my mind  that I want to  talk about.

            Back when  I started   my  jc  one of  my first college  professors   apologized  when I  told her that I  had Cerebral  Palsy.

               When  I  introduced  myslef   to  my  Psychology   teacher this  summer and told him  I have  CP,  He did  the same thing

            Now  before  I  move on  I want to say that  both
of these  people were  well intentioned. The first professor and I are now  friends   on  fb and she  has helped me out a lot     this  past year.     I  also  am  enjoying my    summer  class and the professor  is  very nice and understanding of my  recent  history.

        But to get back to    my topic.  When  people   apologize  for   my disability  it  does not  feel good.   Imagine    if   someone  said  sorry    for   a characteristic  about  you.    Having Cerebral Palsy  is a part of me.  Its  been around  for    long as I can  remember.  It  has been  with me  and has  given  me  more  reasons  to  celebrate.    Because  some things  come harder then the average person,   I  get   to have more celebration  when  I achieve  them.     I  do not  mourn  CP  because  its a part of  me.   Does  CP   make  my life hard at times  yeah.  Are there  times  I  desire  normalcy?   Yeah  but  happly   the feeling  does not   last  long .   I am  not  broken.  I  do not think  that we  need to invest money  in trying to  prevent  others  like  me.  I  am  amazing.   I  bring   joy   and laughter   to   those  around  me.   I have a  unique  perspective  of the world because  of  my disabilities  and  experiences. note the  quote  below  is   my own  about disabilities particulary    CP and  NVLD.   *****OCD  is    different   as the  condition  itself  causes   me  unwanted  stress.  *****
I have  hope   but am  not  mourning   CP.
   The   hardest part about being disabled  is not the disability itself.   It   is much  harder  to live in a world  that   does not see  your life as  having  value.  It is much harder to deal with ableism   and  discrimination that  comes  with  disabilities.    AZ 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Gap in my knowledge

      There is a show on  Fox and  National  Geographic   called  Cosmos.  I really  love this show.   The show   talks about    science.

       Ever since  I  have been watching this show, I  can not help  but  moran  for    a chance to be in middle school again.  In   middle  school  kids in  resource  only  took three core classes.   Everyone was  required  to  take   English,   then referred  to as Language  Arts, and  Mathematics. In terms of history and scince   at my middle school  you  were supposed  to  chose  between  the two.  All three  years of  middle school  the school and my parents  chose  history.  This  really  paid  off because  now I am  a  self  proclaimed history buff  and   passed  my  AP  test my junior year of high school in  American  History.   But   all three  years I
missed out  on  science.

  In high school   when  I  finally took  science ,  I struggled  in science  a lot.  In  biology  I was able to  work with the teacher who  was able  to help me  on test.   In   Chemistry  it was   really  hard  because I was  lazy  probably  in part  because I  had never  had  science  in  middle school.  In  college   I did well in Biology , but when  it came time to  take   the Solar System,  I was   lost  because  I   did not  know the order of the planets . I had  to work really  hard and  I  passed.

    Instead  of   learning science  in  middle school I  had   resource  room  where  I was bullied a lot   from other students  while the teachers did not  do anything.

 Lets think about what  my day would have looked like  if  my school   practiced  best practices  My   teachers  would have  came into the class  and   help me  inside   my  general education  classes.    Maybe  I would get pulled out   in a small group  once a week  for  pre-teaching  and  study  skills  development  in  areas  that I   needed help  with.      Since it was  a small  group   and  it was   with a purpose   perhaps   the other students would have been busy and  not   teased  me.    I  would  have  taken  Science and   History .      I wouldn't  have gaps  in my knowledge    Perhaps in  high school  I would  have   had an  easier  time  in  my science  classes.     I  might  have had the   foundation  I needed  to  take  an  AP  science course.  In  short   I  might have  had  a  educational career  similar to   my  peers  who did  not have a disability.

  All  schools  should   practice  best   practices   All  students  need to  learn   in  inclusive classes just like  they  would have  if  they did not have a disability.  We  are  Worthy!

Monday, May 19, 2014

60 years later

 Over the weekend,   Brown  v  Board of  ed turned 60 years  old. This court  case  turned  over Plessy  vs Feguson  which said  Seprate but equal  was not acceptable.

  All the news stories     that I have heard   only talk about race.     Race is  important  I  totally  agree.   It is still an  important problem  that    society  has not worked out.

   But  there is another  issue   in the fight  for  equality in the schools

           Disabled  students

   Disabled students everywhere  are  learning in segregated classrooms.  Segregated  classrooms.  Children are missing out  on the opportunity  to learn  grade level class work  and   meet the kids  in their neighborhood   All studies have   shown that   special education  classes produce   bad outcomes for kids.   The  unemployment  level  for people with  disabilities is high.

  The  next  time you talk about diversity  remember that there  are students  who  look, move,  roll different  too.    In a  country as rich  as ours  we should  find the  resources to   allow all  students  to  learn  together.  There are  no excuses.

60 years later.
 We have a lot of  work to do.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Blogging against disability day 2014: Don't put words in my mouth

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2014

 Too many orginzations that serve  people with disabilites,   the most famous one being Autism Speaks Do not  listen  to people with  developmental disabiltes

      Why is this  a problem you  might ask?

 Let  me take you  back to   history  class more specifically  American  History class.

   Your in fifth grade and   its  time to learn about colonazation.  In it you  learn about the British forced the  colonist to pay taxes.  The  colonist pay  taxes  on  things in which they have no say over  stamps   papper  goods .  Then they  foce  you to only drink  tea from the East India tea company.     People  do not like  it and a little thing    oh what is the word for  it  o h  yeah the American Revoultion happends.   Americans are taught that   British  were the bad  guys  because they forced  there agenda on   the colonost, later  the Americans.

  Now  can you igmane what would happend if instead of  money  people  told you that you are an epidemic. That  medince  needs  to heal  you. That you  have to wear smelly uniforms.    The last straw for American people  was when  activist  had to house soliders,   You know  what   those all called to us  Yanks   the intolerable  acts.

   Then  fast forward to the mid  20th centruy.    We learn that seprate is not equal and  everyone deserve a  vote.   So many  fellow  men and women of color  gave there lives  for  freedom. People  were  hosed  and  had dog attacking.  

Why  isn't   the  same liberaty offered  to those with disabilities.    Why is it that people  time and time again  disregard  us in making descins. Why do you  refuse to ignore  our wants and desires.  Give us  a vote. Bring us to the table  and  show us where the money is going.   Ask us what we hope for.  Ask us if  we want to be in the world or a community.  Asks  us if  we want jobs.  Asks us what our dream job is.   Then  listen  to what we have  to say.   Listen  like you would to our able bodied counterpart.   Listen to us.   We know best.    We  know   what it feels like to be isolated. We know how it feels  to  be talked down too.  WE  know   whats it like  to  work hard in theaphy. WE have experinced  frustration.  WE experinced the laughter and  taunts  go unoticed .  We know  the  pain of  people   dreading   a birth of  someone like us.    We know how it feels  when  people tell us our  experinced isn't valid because we are not  normal.

 Nothing about us without us.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Dear People sitting across the table

  Dear  People  sitting across the  table,

             You  guys are   gathered around a table for  a  school meeting of a student that  struggles.    Maybe  they   have  a intellectual  disability or a  behavior issue but  you are about to meet with that student and  their families to  talk about   the upcoming school  year.  I am that bad  student.   I  was the one  no one  wanted  to teach.  I was "the hardest student  I had ever had to  teach".    I  am now that adult  who  is  hardest   to teach.   I have  been those meetings and boy they are not  fun.

         Can I ask  you  guys around the  table  for a favor.  Can you  please   remember that every  person has  both a good and bad side to them.  Can  you  please   remember that    students like  me are not future  inmates  or  horrible   people  headed  nowhere.     We are more then  IQ scores or  how inteligble   our speech  is.

   Can  I  remind you that their  is no  alternative   to inclusive  education.     It is the  law  for a reason      No  research  has found that segregation  what  you  guys   call " a program" or " special  day  class"  is a better option  even  for  those with serve  disabilities.   LRE  says  that  students like me  should be  educated  for the most amount of time  among  peers  who do not have disabilities  using the rights supports and services and  if  all the supports  fail  first then is it ok  to   remove to a  more restrictive environment    That is the law.  No one should have to prove that they are worthy  of an education and everyone  learns at a different  pace.

    Dear  people  at the other  end at a  table  in an  IEP  meeting.   Before you  start ,  please  look into the  parents and  child  eyes.   Everyone has a story.   The parents   probably  have experienced  a lot of heartache  over  their  disabled child.     Most people  do not  want a  disabled family  member and   it is quite  possible  that  there was a  time when the child was  small  that they cried  for their  child's future.   You  may  be able  to go  home  and  back  to your  lives , but  the child's  parents  have to   see the child that  night.   Please make it easy for them to  see their child  that night.  If all you do  is   remind  said  parents that there  child is  rude and disruptive.  They  will have to go home and become  the cop to the child.  This  will  undoubtly   make the  student self esteem  suffer immensely which  will  lead to  more  bad behavior and  their  believing that  they are  bad people.  

Instead  of  calling it bad behavior  why  not  say"  Jimmy  is  confused  by the social  new-ounces  of  classroom  life.   Can  we  all  work together to  try to  teach  him  social  skills  so  he  can    get along in life."    It is a lack of  skill  not bad behavior.    Students are not bad if they  do not  understand  an Algebra  concept, nor  should  they  be  called  bad if they  do not understand   how  to  behave in class.        

   One last thing.   No  one has a crystal  ball so  try  not to  predict the  future  thanks.


  A  young person that  lacks  social  skills, and
  has  a  strong love of  learning.

   image  url

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How I celebrated CP day

  Hay  guys  so sorry  long time  no  blog.  I have  been discouraged about the lack of comments  but now  i am  back.  I wanted to share with you what I did  for national CP  day.

  My sister  made cookies that I  took to my program.  ( I am not in school  this semester but I may be in school in the Fall  we  have to see).   The  program
am  was tempory and  now  i am  done  with the program.

  I  went to  program in my  green  clothes and hat.  It was   cold that day  so  I  wore a  long white t shirt   under  my  HOPE  t shirt.  After  program  I  went to  pizza  and then  took the bus home.  I had a fun day.

    A fellow   Ceep,  person  with CP made this  video.  It was so nice to see many people  wearing green to support us.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Solution is Inculsion

                One of my earliest memories come from when I was in  preschool.   I have a few memories, but the one that stands out  is  when on a playground on a  elementary school  campus. The  teacher yelled , " The  big kids are coming."  Now  she could have yelled  that the big kids are coming for two reasons  One  that   we were preschoolers and  when you are that little a  seven  year old is a "big kid" compared to you.   Or   it could have  been that  all the kids  on the playground, including myself,  were disabled.    I  attend a county  preschool  special needs class.  That ment that most days I rode a small  yellow bus to and from school  I  was met by others that had special needs.  Some  were hearing impaired  others were in wheelchairs, I was in a speech impaired class as talking was, and continues to be,  a huge moments  task for me.If I spoke clearly, I would try to do a Ted talk on inclusion. Since I don't talk clearly, a blog post I will write. I am able to write it because I was included and learned how to write essays.

         Special  education classes  are  the biggest diservice to students with disabilities  today. That is a pretty  bold statement .   But  so  all these.

  34%  of  people with  intellectual disabilities are employed 
  In 2012,   12% of   people with any disability  had a  BA or higher. 

 How  are thses   outcomes  OK  for students. How  can  we commit one  more youngster to  these  same "programs" that  produce these result.      Obviously we have  failed  people with disabilities but  is inclusion  the   answer.   I   argue that it is because I was included  in school.

    I was included  right from  birth.  My parents  did  not  spend an hour a day with me then  leave to  take care of my seven year old brother.  Could you  imagine if a parent did that.  That would be  child abuse.   If that is  child abuse,  Why  is it OK  for  elementary school kids to only be include for  specials( art music   PE  science and history) ?  The science and history  disappears  as an option  once students enter  middle school.  This  is not okey.  This is  denying  children access  to stories and math  games and other  things that kids are  doing.  I was in  general  education classes  and  we spent most of the day   doing reading and  math.   If  I were only  mainstreamed for science and social  studies, I would not   have had  writers workshop  or  reading Charlotte's Web, and  tile math.

   Speaking about other  kids,  Why  is ok to deny children with  disabilities access to neighborhood schools?     For  kids, schools are there first community outside their family, so  when we  bus kids to other places they do not get  to meet the  neighborhood kids. They do not  get to walk to school.    They  do not  see other kids  that they know in there local  supermarkets  or  REC Centers.   Isolation is  common amongst kids with disabilities.   So knowing this , why do school people routinely bus kids to other schools in there district    All  kids  that use public schools  should  go to the school in there neighborhood.

How  do we  teach kids  how   to be in  the community  when all they  know is isolation.  The answer  is not  to  take   secondary students  out in the community  during the school day.  The kids need to be in there local high school classes learning about the world around them.  Just like they would if they did not have a disabilities.  If they  need  work experience why not  try  to find it  within the high school community so they can feel connected to the school.  Could they work in the cafeteria once a week?  Could they mange the sports equipment physical education department?   Could  they be  messengers that work in the front office? Could they be teacher assistants?  Could they  be on student council ?    They can do all of these activities and more  to get job skills within their high school experience with help. Without ever  stepping off the campus  they can  work in there community.  When you are 16  your community is the high school.   I remember  being afraid when  I  started pre -k in a inclusive setting. There were more kids and different expectations.   I can not imagine  if I had spent my entire school carrer in a  special day  program then  transition into the community.  I  would have  been  lost.    My   transition into the community was made easier  by me  being in  inclusive education because   I   grew up  in  my community.   I learned about being in a community  by being part of  my school community.

          Parents  might tell me that there kid loves  being in the special day classes.   You know  what  ask any kid if they wanted to  go to all day dance and  most would like it. Ask  any kid  if they  want to go  ice skateing  for the day and  most  would  like it.  How  bout to see the latest    film.?    If that was there school  day then of course then most kids would love school, but they  are not  ready for  life.  This  is not education.    Education is all about learning.

  All the special needs classes that  I was in  did not have structure   The teachers  and students disrespected me.     Most  students with intellecual disabilities were segered,  so  when I showed up last year at university,  people  taught  that I was not intelligent    People   were surprised when I did well on tests.   I   really  do not  blame these stereotypes    I  am  willing  to bet  big bucks that  these  professors never  had a chancee to know   what disabilities  were.   Professors   never knew that  the disabled were capable of  greatness.   The  sad   part is a whole  generation of kids in america  are not  having the opportunity to  know different because of the system.    The system  needs to change.     Kids need to be  on the same  level to begin to falsify  these stereotypes    They can not do if they are helpers. They can not do it if   disabled kids are segregated.  They can only do  it when   the disabled student  is   just another kid in their classes  for the whole  day.    

  For those of  you that haven't  heard my story watch this

 What do you think?  I  want  to  hear from  you.   Please commet  before you leave/