Sunday, November 15, 2015

Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome Quotes

1. "He (Isaac Johnson) tells the most amazing stories. I know you've heard him. But he'll just (she made a series of babbling sounds)- like that. And he'll be acting it out, incredibly dramatic, and you'll have absolutely no idea what he's saying. Nothing. Zero. Nothing. There's not one intelligible word in there. But I know him. And I'd say, from knowing him, watching him there, at home, thats its all story-related. The first time I tried reading Where The Wild Things Are, which is his favorite book, he couldn't sit. He had to be up, dancing in the middle of the circle, acting out. He couldn't resist. He could not help himself. It got all the kids going. We were all Wild Things and it just came alive!"(76).

   Reading this, I honestly got a huge smile on my face and goose-bumps. This makes me so happy! I want to be a Special Education teacher and it was actually a down syndrome child that helped me know that this is what I wanted to do. They are the brightest, happiest, sweetest children- and teenagers/adults- ever! They are constantly smiling. What makes me get goose-bumps is this teacher. She allows this to happen. Even when Isaac started getting the other students riled up, she didn't tell him to stop. This is how Isaac interacts with the story. This is his way of showing how he feels. It made me happy to read how she is doing something to change the way that students with disabilities are taught and treated. The article was all about finding ways to incorporate students with disabilities into the classroom with students with non disabilities to help them become better citizens. This school, Shoshone Elementary School, is amazing with what it does. Their students with disabilities are not separated from their students without. They have lesson plans that are geared towards each child's skills and their specific needs while keeping them at the same level as those students without. 

2. "Recognized a child's nonconformity as a natural human diversity; a source of strength that could be supported by the school community in order that it add a unique and valuable dimension to that community" (78). 

   I think this is huge! The fact that students who are normally seen as nonconforming students are usually labeled as problem students. To change how they are seen will create a unique society. This will help install a sense of individuality as part of the community. Sometimes people see individuality as being an "outcast" of society. But in this article, they talk about individuality and nonconformity as being a dimension of community. 

3. "Beginning with the simple act of listening. Shayne created not only a valued community role for Anne but one that the young woman relsihed"(78).

   First off, Anne is a young women with down syndrome who, was absent from her high school transition planing conference where the decided that she will be a preschool aide. Shayne knew that Anne did not particularly care for young children and was unhappy with the prospect. Anne wanted to be a Hollywood director, so Shayne took it upon herself to find Anne a job in a local video store. It was not Hollywood but it was a move in the right direction. Anne excelled and really connected with the customers. She loves it at the video store. And all because Shayne actually listened and payed attention to Anne interests. Shayne not only helped Anne get a job that she likes, but she helped Anne become a unique part of the community. 

Shayne Robbins is helping these students to learn the rules and codes of power in a way that is not only accessible to them, but will help them to become a valued aspect of their communities. They are able to succeed in their communities because they are given the same opportunities and are able to take the same classes as those students who are not disabled. This article helps to not only show some success stories of people with down syndrome becoming valued parts of their communities but also ways that schools can help their disabled students get the same education and experiences that the students without disabilities have.
-Tim's Place; the first restaurant owned by a young man with Down Syndrome. 



  1. I loved you blog post. I felt the same way when I read about Isaac. It was nice that some of these students got the opportunity to be themselves and be taken into the community.

  2. Great look at the article. All students should have a chance to do something.