Variety is the Spice of Life!

Throughout history we have had the struggle of one or more groups of people that have felt they were superior because of different traits like gender, race, or religion.  We have come far fighting discrimination but the disability community has always been under represented in the battle for equality and acceptance.  We have IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) to give individuals access to education and public spaces without discrimination. One thing that always bothers me, however, is that there is some unwritten code that anyone is superior because he or she has abilities that are within societal norms.  So, who has the job to decide that someone is better because they think, move, hear, or speak differently?  No one should.

Living with a disability can be a very lonely life.  Many people with disabilities closest relationships are with their caretakers. They do not have regular friendships with their peers.  Friendship with our peers is a way of fulfilling a basic human need. Let us look through the eyes of other people and try to see that our way is not the only way.  If we give others a chance we may just learn something and enrich our lives along the way.  I say often that I love working in special education because it is never boring.  I mean this in a good way.  It has helped stretch who I am because I am forced to look at life through a different perspective.  I am a better person because of it.  Let’s be real.  Life would be really boring without variety!  Let’s move away from forming “pity friendships”.  In our differences we can and will find that we are more similar then we realize.

Special Ed Speaks Introduction

Hello Everyone!  Thanks for visiting my blog, Special Education Speaks!  This blog is for teachers, parents, and anyone that has an interest in the special needs community.  My name is Amber Robertson and I decided to start this blog because I love the field of special education.  I am a teacher for students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.  I love the students I work with and am constantly learning from them.  The field of special education is ever changing. While there are innovative and great things happening in this field, I feel there are also many areas that have not changed for years and need to be improved.  There have been great shifts in becoming more inclusive in the classroom and society but we are far from close to embracing everyone no matter what their ability or disability.  I think this is a topic that needs to be explored more thoroughly.  I would also like to use this blog to share experiences with each other that may help in the special needs community.  I am always looking for ways I can improve as a teacher and so I will be sharing things that I am doing in the classroom in hopes it may help spark some ideas for other teachers and parents.  I would love to hear your ideas too!  Finally, I hope that we can share resources with each other that may enrich the lives of people living with disabilities and their loved ones.  Far too often I hear from my students’ parents, friends, and family that it is very hard to find the resources that they vitally need.  

Please have a look and don’t be shy.  Leave me a comment!

As a side note:  I do not endorse any particular group or site and the things I post are from my own personal experiences and opinions.

Thanks!  Amber Robertson