Picture a high school cafeteria.
Why is it that a table of football players is just that! A table of guys who play football together, they share a hobby which makes them spend time together so at lunch they sit together.
Same goes for the cheerleaders.
And so on.
In this jungle there is a table of kids with various abilities. The special needs table.
Some people look at it as the place they (the special need kids) have to eat. You know because they don’t belong in the other groups…
I disagree. They don’t sit together because they don’t belong… They sit together because like the football players and the cheerleaders, they have something in common.
It’s a new year, they are three weeks in and getting to know each other.
For the first time ever, Emily feels comfortable at lunch. She sits at her table. With kids kinda like her in some ways. One of the similitude being their challenge to connect and communicate with other kids their age. They need responsible adults with them for their safety as well as for extra help here and there.
It bothers me when I am told that my child should be included in whichever group she picks.
Life doesn’t work like that. If you are the uncoordinated nerd, you don’t make it to the cheerleader table or squad. It you are the guy in the school band, your chances are slim that you will be sitting with the football players.
I know, High School Musical and Glee told us its feasible. If you believe in yourself enough you can make it happen.
Blah blah blah
Do you ask your kid that feels comfortable being in the AV club to go get included somewhere else?
Do you tell your kid that being with like minded people is not ok, that it is a form of segregation?
Why should I tell my daughter that her table is a form of segregation?
Why do we, as a society, look at it as if our kids with special need are being excluded when in reality they are finally included?
Why can’t them having a table means that they have found like minded people?
They have, in my opinion, the best table.
No judging each other regardless of what is going on. Smiling, sometimes probably laughing. Over the years, they will get to know each other better… Emily might get invited to a birthday party or a BBQ. She might find a love interest and will most likely make life long friendships.
Not like yours or my friendships but still… Who’s to say her friendships won’t be awesome?
Being different is difficult. It’s difficult on Emily and it’s difficult for us to see her struggle.
She’s found a lunch table that accepts her for her! It’s not segregation, its a meeting of amazing like minded individuals.
Trust me when I say that they are having fun and connecting in ways that most of us will never understand…
And that my friends is why not everybody can sit at their table!