Saturday, December 1, 2012

Recognizing Special Education Day 12/2/12

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By Diane Forrest

A friend of mine's daughter recently found out she was pregnant.  The whole family was elated, she has two small boys, and is in her twenties.  Everything was wonderful until she received a call from her doctor.  The results showed that she had a 1 in 350 chance of having a child born with down's syndrome.  The family was crushed.  There was no history of Down's syndrome on either side of the families, and the mother was having a difficult time grasping this concept.
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I tried to calm her, explaining that those odds were too high to be concerned about, and the results were inconclusive until an ultrasound confirmed the diagnosis.  It is every parent's desire to have a healthy baby, but sometimes that is not the case, so I began to help her to prepare for the alternative.  As I began thinking about the possibility of a baby born with Down's Syndrome, I thought about all the great changes that have been made in that area.
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Children born with Down's syndrome are now not being separated in schools or activities, but are being included in schools and provided special education training needs. On December 2, 1975, President Gerald Ford signed the Handicap Children's Act that would open doors for all Children to gain access to education.
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Today marks the 8th anniversary of Special Education Day.  We take the day to honor progress and celebrate students with disabilities--and their parents, teachers and schools. And, we dialogue and plan for the future for all students in our schools and for appropriate reforms.  To learn how you can help to celebrate this day, or ways to help children with special education needs in your community, visit this site:  http://www.specialeducationday.com/

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