Life Stories Reflection
I really enjoyed reading these stories. From my experience with Special Education both in and out of the classroom, I have gained a very negative view of the system. IEPs are never done correctly; correct services are rarely provided, the kids themselves hate being classified as Special Ed and the parents are less than involved or educated in the process (whether this is by choice or by design). The stories provided a glimmer of hope in an otherwise bleak area of education. In addition to being positive, the stories I read didn’t attempt to sugar coat the realities of having a disability. They acknowledged the difficulties of being diagnosed and living with the SPED classification, living with the thought that you are different from the rest of your peers. But they all focused on how success is not predetermined by your classification in school. Yes it requires hard work and perhaps extra support, but the focus was on the fact that you are capable of passing and excelling in school regardless of what your IEP says. This was genuinely one of the only positive perspectives I have encountered both in my school and through my masters courses.
The one thing that struck me in all the stories I read is how everyone stressed the need for self-advocacy. They acknowledged the hardships and roadblocks in their way, but highlighted the importance of hard work and determination in order to overcome it. I see this in a lot of my students who have IEPs. They tend to use the IEP as an excuse to not to