Posted on: July 21, 2011

Everyone… I think we all deserve a “pat-on-the-back” – Each of you who’ve told someone about this blog, talking to your friends and family about Speducation (short for Special Education) , commenting here and emailing etc.

Were you listening to the Voice of the People talk show today on Observer Radio? I would say a significant amount of time was spent discussing Special Needs Education. I know… “Talk is cheap” – And the person who came up with that quote was probably on to something – BUT – I think this time around the “talk” was more than “fluff”.

My definition of “fluff” in this instance: You know when someone is saying something and it doesn’t make any sense and you hear them and think to yourself… “This don’t make any sense” – But then they continue anyway because they believe (and sometimes I think (sadly) they truly believe this) that you can be fooled by the allure of “big-words” or supposedly “big ideas”. THAT IS FLUFF, which can also be used interchangeably with nonsense.

The discussion today was good! I didn’t agree with everything that was said, and I’m sure we’ll all discuss it amongst ourselves but that’s all a part of the process; right?

I think the grassroots work  done so far with getting the word out, whether via email discussions, BBM ABILITY group or just talking to someone about Special Needs Education, has gone a long way. Again, I have to say that we’re by no means where we want to be but with our continued efforts and our “wearenotgonnagiveupness” attitude then we can help to advance this cause. We need to keep the momentum going! This will not happen overnight! And it almost appears as if the current system is designed to frustrate these types of efforts. So we all need to stick together as a team on this one and continue to lobby our decision-makers. However, I think it’s also vital that we make this matter of Special Needs Education important to the “average Joe”. We have to create widespread understanding and awareness among the public. As much as we may want it to be so, simply explaining the issue and why it is important for kids/nation is not enough. We cannot expect (although we wish it were different) others to simply take our point and agree that the issue is worth more attention especially when it doesn’t directly affect them.

As was said in our initial email telling you about the group ABILITY and our purpose… “We have to make it (Special Needs Education) topical. Discuss it on Facebook, Twitter, radio; bring it up in everyday conversations… Talk to whomever, whenever about whatever aspect of it you wish.”

We’re in the midst of our carnival celebrations and the discussion today was passionate and no calypsonian sung a song about it – Although I would but only dogs get my singing ability :).

Seriously though… Good job so far everyone!

What I’m thinking of now coming out of that talk show is…

We’re looking at 2013 for more trained Speducation teachers to be coming into the system. What happens between now and then? Yes, someone will be heading up that new department and more scholarships will be offered (which is GREAT!) but what happens to the kids and families who need the help now? It’s like having a trust-fund and your family is starving but you can’t touch it for a few years. A new school year is set to begin in about a month. What can we expect? It cannot be the status-quo? Can it? I refuse to accept that.

I know there are Speducation (short for Special Education) teachers in the system now. Does any know how many and where they are and what was the reasoning behind their current placement? Are they acting as special needs teachers or are they being used as general teachers? Is there any team-teaching/co-teaching being done in the school where they’re placed? Assuming there are special needs students in that school. These teachers that we’re talking about are they in the private or public system?

Found this great site that speaks about co-teaching in more detail: It’s the best site I’ve found so far which offers (in my opinion) a good explanation of what co-teaching is. Especially take a look at what it is not which is what a lot of people try to pass it off as.

What I’ve found with working with my son is that some of the techniques that you use can work for any student not just the special needs child. So this only makes for better teachers.

I look forward to getting your feedback.


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