I was really surprised at how high the stats for kids with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are segregated into special education classrooms is. At 56%, it accounts for over half of these students.
I hadn’t really considered how Hollywood casts able minded and bodied actors to portray characters with disabilities. It’s really powerful to consider that instead of casting people who fit the role in real life and deserve the chance to showcase that they are fully capable, directors instead choose people without disabilities to act the part.
I don’t know a whole lot about mental and physical disabilities, but I did assume that they were mostly hereditary traits. So, I was abit surprised to learn that cerebral palsy isn’t related to genetics.
When I was in elementary school, children with disabilities were more often than not in special education classrooms. Because they weren’t typically in class with all the other, non challenged students, they seemed to have few friends and were often subjected to ridiculing at times when teachers were not present. Well I didn’t participate in the ridiculing, I can't say I stepped up to stop it either. While I know I didn't really understand at the time, it still makes me sad that I didn't have the nerve to step up.
CTV has this new shoe called the Good Doctor, which is absolutely phenomenal. The main character is an autistic doctor who is trying to show everyone that despite being autistic, he can perform his role as a doctor just as well as anyone else. The person who plays the doctor though, Freddie Highmore, isn't autistic despite his role as a character suffering from autism. While I like his portrayal and think he is doing a great job, I do wonder why this choice was made.
The biggest issue for children with disabilities is the lack of support. As teachers, who can we offer effective support and make disadvantaged children feel like they are getting all the help and support they need to be successful in not only school, but life as well?