Mrs. Shanahan's Notes....
Greetings to one and all!
Families of special needs
students are often are often praised, pitied and spoken about. This is
one mother's story of how she describes her life as the mother of a
child with special needs:
A Trip to Holland
By Emily Perl Kingsley
I am often asked to describe
the experience of raising a child with a disability -- to try to help people who
have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would
feel. It's like this...
When you're going to have a
baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of
guide books and make your wonderful plans... the Coliseum, the Sistine Chapel,
Gondolas. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After several months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives.
You pack your bags and off
you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says,
"Welcome to Holland!" "Holland?" you say. "What do you mean, Holland? I signed
up for Italy. I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to
Italy." But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland
and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a
horrible, disgusting, filthy place full of pestilence, famine, and disease. It's
just a different place.
So, you must go out and buy
new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a
whole new group of people you would never have met. It's just a different place.
It's slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been
there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around. You begin to
notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. And Holland even has
Rembrandts. But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and
they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the
rest of your life you will say, " Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's
what I had planned."
And the pain of that
experience will never, ever, ever, go away. The loss of that dream is a very
significant loss. But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't
get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely
things about Holland.
As a parent of a
child with special needs there is LOTS of help available, both locally
and on the web. Each state and school district have procedures and
policies that are followed to protect the rights of the child. That is
the priority! The focus is always on the child and what will benefit
the child at this point in time. At Harrisville-Wells Memorial School
we are part of SAU 29 and you can find their information at:
parent information, click here: <a "="" id="1BAA7ED7-02D7-49D8-80E8-2AC2E40C94B8" href="http://www.sau29.org/"> http://www.sau29.org/
of particular interest may be:
are websites and resources for specific conditions, disabilities and/or
things that might impact your child's ability to access his/her
if you come across a helpful site or link please feel free to let em know and I will add it to this page.
Thanks for visiting, Cathy Shanahan