Excerpt from The Huffington Post: (click for entire article)
William came home from school a few weeks back and he said, "Mom." He said it as a sentence, the way he does when he has something important to tell me. And then again, "Mom. My friend Ashley is not good at listening. And she screams."
William is three. He attends a local public preschool, and he's in an "integrated" classroom, which is to say, a classroom where typically developing children learn and play alongside children with special needs. Three years ago, William's older sister Penny was in the same classroom, but she entered it with an "I.E.P.," an Individualized Education Plan. Penny has Trisomy 21, also known as Down syndrome, and that third chromosome impacts nearly every aspect of her development. She wears braces to support her flat feet and weak ankles. When she was in preschool, she relied on sign language in addition to spoken words to communicate. She received Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Physical Therapy as a part of her classroom experience.