Today was a great day! It was actually a great week. ALthough I am still taking classes to finish up my degree, I have the opportunity to work as a substitute Educational assistance in Regina Public Schools two days a week. This week I got to go Grant Road and work in the Development Centre. It was wonderful. First I love Grant Road School. I did my internship in grade 5 there last fall so it will always hold a special place in my heart. The staff and students are amazing, but more importantly is the relationships that are formed.
The children in the DC (Development Centre) all have a form of disability. Some having multiple disabilities. They range from Autism to Visual Impairment to Physical disabilities. I want to share with you a story that one of the EA’s in the DC at Grant Road shared with me. She explained that one afternoon the DC students and staff were swimming as part of their weekly programming. She said that as they were leaving there was a young girl and her mom in the lobby. As all the kids from the DC were waiting to load the bus this little girl was starring and looked scared and uncomfortable. When her mother saw this reaction she put her arm around her daughter and simply stated ” You know what sweetie, some people just need more help than others.” As soon as her mom said that, the little girl relaxed. She didn’t need a big explanation. That was all she needed to hear. She was scared because she had never been around a group of kids with disabilities before, but all she needed to hear was that they needed a little extra help. They are still kids with personalities just like her, but they just need a little extra help.
I think this is a common reaction for children, and sometimes adults, but why do we just state it simply like the mother did the day at the swimming pool. It is ok to feel uncomfortable and it is ok not to know how to react, but remember they are kids and the more you work with students with disabilities the more you will realize it.
I thought I would share a video with everyone. I hope it makes you think about how you view disability and how you can help others to understand children with disabilities. Enjoy. Feel free to leave a comment or two as well about your thoughts.