Well, for most students the school year has just begun. While this time of new classrooms, new supplies, new clothes, and new teachers is exciting for many kids, it can be petrifying for others. This is often true for students who deal with mental and physical disabilities. And in a culture where a letter grade or a test score carries so much weight, it’s easy for a child’s self-esteem to suffer.
But it’s not just the educational side of school that can be difficult for these kids. They may struggle socially as well. So today I’d like to bring a little awareness to this situation. If you work in a school, please take the time to reach out to these kids. If you have kids in school, talk to them about reaching out to those who have disabilities. And if you are the parent, family member, or friend of a student with a disability, let them know how proud you are of them for the effort they put into school.
I can’t help but be reminded of my cousin Trevor, who was born with Down’s Syndrome. His parents made the decision to mainstream Trevor in school, and while he faced some challenges, Trev’s education played such an important role in him becoming the strong, capable 21-year-old that he is today. I’m so proud of the man he’s become. And I’m proud of all the students who work hard to fulfill their potential no matter what the letters on their report cards are.
If you would like to read a touching article about my cousin Trevor, including how he was voted his high school’s homecoming king, click here.