When I think of down syndrome, the first thing that comes to my mind is a child with disabilities. A child who is sometimes left out and not able to do the same activities and have the same lifestyle as a normal child. But, as I read Christopher Kliewer’s article about “Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome,” I thought more about when I was in school with special education students.
-His name is David, but he is known as “Chucky.” You will find Chucky roaming the streets of North Providence, especially Mineral Spring Ave, where most of the excitement is. Chucky is a fire fighter! He is part of the North Providence Fire Department. He is probably one of the most loyal fire fighters because he is always ready to help people and is always to the rescue. He rides his bike down Mineral Spring and makes a siren sound while he rushes to the next incident that he hears over the speaker that is connected to the fire department that carries around with him. The point I am trying to get to is Chucky has down syndrome. But, Chucky does that feel left out. and he is! He might not be able to put a fire out like the rest of the squad, but he is apart of the squad and his dream of being a firefighter came true!
Back to the education part, Chucky was able to become a fire fighter just like the rest of the squad. In school it students with down syndrome should never feel left out. Mia Peterson is a student with down syndrome. Kliewer described Mia’s schools experience as an awful nightmare. She went through a hard time because she just wanted to be placed in regular classes. “I wanted to take other classes, that interested me. I had never felt so mad. I wanted to cry.” Why is it that Mia can’t be placed in a regular classroom and learn like everyone else? It’s not fair to her. Students like Mia should be able to experience school just like every other student.
Kliewer mentioned the word “community” a lot in his article. Community requires to see people differently in their minds and body, but not differently in their ability to contribute to society.
I like the way Kliewer wrote this article. I think it was a little long, but it made me realize how students in special education should be able to sit in a regular classroom and not have the feeling of being left out.
-While reading Christopher Kliewer’s article I heard a lot of Johnsons “We must say the words” echoing. Students like Mia should be able to receive respect from her school and they should allow her to be placed in regular classrooms if she thinks she can handle it. The teachers in schools and administration should have more respect for their students and not allow them to feel left out.
Here is an article about students being placed in a regular classroom. Check it out!!