This I Believe

Rebecca - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on October 24, 2007

I believe in the importance of special education in our school systems.

I’ve grown up with kids and young adults with disabilities around my house and in my everyday life, literally. My older brother has Down Syndrome, which has taught me how to open my eyes to people who are considered different from the rest of us. These kids are labeled as “mentally-retarded.” Some people even consider them to be stupid, but the truth is these kids happen to be some of the brightest young people you will ever meet. With programs in school to help them, all the difference can be made in one kid’s world.

With each day, we learn something new to use in our lives. For those with disabilities, it can take weeks, even months to learn just one simple thing. However, small thing that we take for granted, such as saying the word “cat”, or even feeding ourselves, can sometimes be one of the greatest accomplishments these people make. Special education courses are directed to allow these kids to learn at their own pace instead of being thrusted into the academic environment that we endure each and every day.

Some people say that we are spending too much money on people who will never truly benefit our society in the long run. What do I think about this? I feel that these kids and young adults are the people who instill a passion for those of us who care to keep going. To keep working on ways to improve their chances at what some would call a “normal life,” is in itself a worthy reward for efforts made by teachers and students a like. The more chances they get to succeed at life, the more joy they will get the opportunity to spread.

Behind each child’s face is an inquiring mind that is yearning to be heard and to be fed with knowledge that we posses. Behind each smile is a beating heart that just wants to be loved and understood. It just takes one teacher to help a child learn something that can benefit them for the rest of their life. Special education is just like its name, it is a way for children who are special and unique to be educated in a way that is better for them than “normal” classes would. I believe in the importance of special education in our school systems, not only for the kids who would be enrolled in these classes, but for the rest of us to learn a little bit about compassion.