We are a society. We are a part of our society from the moment we are born to the moment we die. This is a fact, thus we should act as a unit and move together as a society. That being stated, there is no reason good enough to exclude special needs’ children simply because they perhaps catch on slower or lack the same physical capabilities as other children. These are children for fuck’s sake; if we exclude them from a classroom and place them separately what does that say to them? You can sugarcoat it however you want, but it says, “You are not on the same level as the rest of the people here. Therefore, we set you aside and chose to ostracize you because we felt that you’d be a disruption or inhibition to your other, much superior peers.”
Let me continue, by saying this Vanessa Romo has flayed me and stolen my heart with this empathizing article that reflects the truths and ways that we should be dealing with this. At some point in time, most of us have wanted to fit in whether it be when were as young as six or as old as thirty. We all just want to blend with the crowd, so much that Echosmith has to remind us about it every 5 minutes. (For those of you living under a boulder, here.)
But besides the MTV music, my point is clear, exclusion just makes everyone and everything perform worse when it’s meant to be done as a unit. Not as a special unit, not as a slower-to-learn unit, I’m talking about the same basic format we use for everyone. If we exclude these children now, how will their peers respond let’s say when they’re adults or even teenagers? They’ll feel different, they won’t feel like the same people that they normally associate or speak to throughout their day. I mean yes, you can tell people right and wrong and say what is politically correct, but that doesn’t definitively state that they won’t be rejectful of them. As stated by many famous people throughout history, ignorance begets fear and fear begets hatred and hatred begets violence. Now, I’m not saying that people are going to take to the streets beating up mentally or physically handicap people. But what I am saying is the more that this exclusion happens the more it will stay embedded in our society, the more damage it does and the more it will take root. We must be the gale that does not allow this to create some falsehood that special needs’ citizens or children should be any less a part of our society than us.
But then you might go, “but oh, flayedman they can’t interact on the same level as the other children, we’d have to deter the general learning of the entire class.” But the truth is, you wouldn’t. People don’t have teaching degrees for no god damn reason, we just need someone experienced and qualified enough who is willing to go the extra mile for these children. Let’s think what could happen to them in the long run if left excluded. Their very confidence, their grasp of being a person could truly be hurt. America would love to classify them as too stupid to understand that they’re being barred from a normal classroom, do you know how low that could make them feel? What confidence does someone have left when in a world they’re declared lower before even being given an actual chance? And in a way, don’t we all have our own flaws? Couldn’t one of us wake up tomorrow and be told, “Oh yeah, you’re actually diagnosed with this social disorder.” Hell, we might already have one and it could just not be classified or examined yet. It isn’t fair, it isn’t just to do so. Isolation literally affects the psyche of people, and we’re placing these perfectly good human beings into the abyss that is loneliness and solitude.
Let’s go even deeper into this, let’s use an example here. We’ve got this boy named John; John has muscular dystrophy and let’s say Asperger syndrome. We isolate him into a group of people whom are defined as “special needs,” but John is smart. John lacks some social prowess of his peers and some physical aptitude, but John has knowledge and the ability to assess things like everyone else. If you were John, wouldn’t you think “Holy shit, there’s something wrong with me. I must be off, I must be different in a bad way. I’m not the majority.” And you take away his chance to really socialize and dismiss these fears. They progress and get worse as time goes on. John is 18 now, he still has muscular dystrophy and Asperger syndrome. But he wants to get a job, he wants to earn cash to pursue whatever his interests are–just like you or I. But when he goes to this interview, he lacks social skills, he lacks confidence, he lacks the complete ability to even speak because he realizes how inept he is at this. He’s never been in a situation like this, he’s not prepared. He’s thinking he must be off all over again. Just like we all would if we were alienated from a society rather than being treated like a real American. He doesn’t need to be thrown bones because of his special needs, what John needs is someone to focus on his real capability and help him expand upon whom he is–just like I’ve needed many teachers to do for me. John doesn’t get the job, not because of his disorder, but because we failed him as a society. We failed treating John like we would Billy, or Robert, or Greg, or me, or you.
Enough of this example, you get my point. You understand what I’m trying to say, you know why this is wrong, you know the reason we don’t do more is societal laziness and selfishness. We should move as a unit. We are unitary people and the only way we’re ever going to succeed in this world, unitary and individually, is if we’re all truly on the same playing field and treated as such. No real even ground exists, thus we make it. Now. I’m going drop the mic with a quote from one of my favorite and not so irrelevant books: “That’s the thing about human life–there is no control group, no way to ever know how any of us would have turned out if any variables had been changed.”
― Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon