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If you've got a story about a RettChick at school, please e-mail me.

He aha te mea nui i tenei ao
maku e ki atu
He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!

(Maori Proverb)

Ask me what is most important in the world
Let me tell you
It is people! It is people! It is people!

Lots of the RettChick's are at school and loving it! Here is a selection of stories.

Stephanie Gray

Stephanie & Patty

I drop in to visit now and then and always come away feeling really good. One time they were singing Frosty the Snowman in the regular classroom taking turns to dress up as Frosty. Stephanie got picked to be the one to get dressed up and 3 other kids were selected to put on her magic hat, hold her corn cob pipe, and help her dance. She was beaming! She always comes home with "refrigerator" art which I thought would never happen. It's been great.
Amanda Dickens

Amanda & Barb

Amanda (9 nearly 10 years) has been on homebound services for the last two years. She just started back to school 2 mornings a week for a couple of hours each day. The school was begging her to come back.

Amanda is on oxygen 24 hours a day and has a trach to help her breath. She is a little bit of a different situation. BUT - she is back in school, has PT, OT, Speech and Music therapy at home in the afternoons instead of pulling her out of class to do them. Staying in class she is getting more peer interaction.

She is in a special ed class at one of the schools, but they have the typical kids interact with her all the time.

If it was not for the oxygen, the trach and the nurse she would be in a regular classroom.

Amanda can now pick out all the letters of her name, about 7 colors and different pictures. I think we are really moving along with her.

She picks colors and letters as follows -

Her para holds up two colors or letters and tells her what each one is.

Like this is an "A" is the first letter of your name Amanda and this is an "M" the first letter for Mommy. Then the para tells Amanda to pick the letter "A" which is the first letter of her name and then look at her when she is done. Amanda looks from one to the other, then she stares at the letter "A" for a little bit and then looks at her para.

Colors are done the same way. They are also working on numbers but I do not know how they are doing this. Amanda also works on the computer.

Crystal Holbrook

Crystal Holbrook

Crystal & Eve

Our daughter Crystal, aged 11 years, has been in a special ed classroom in a public elementary school for the past 4 years.

Previously she was in a special ed school. I have to say I would never put her back into that situation.

Now we have the best of both worlds! She has an excellent teacher that always goes beyond the call of duty in and out of the classroom, which is definitely the key to having others being accepting, an appropriate curriculum, and inclusion for art, music, recess, etc.

Crystal's classroom is a place where she can have down time when she needs it and privacy for her special needs but also has a life outside of those four walls.

We have always been very protective of Crystal and at first didn't know if public school was really a "safe" place for her with other children whispering, making fun and all of those mean things that some kids do to those less fortunate.

What really helped us to feel comfortable about it was the Lincoln Intermediate Unit and her teacher have done sensitivity training with some of the grades that would be integrated with our kids. (I'd like to see it in all classrooms).

The results were wonderful!! It gave the kids a chance to meet our kids, ask questions and to understand a little about everyone having some type of "special needs" and that they have alot of the same likes and dislikes that they do.

No longer are they afraid of our kids and they know now that it's okay to say hi or to play at recess with them. Crystal even has girlfriends now.

We all want our children to have friends and to be accepted.

The other children and the staff are constantly acknowledging our kids when they see them. It does my heart good!

I think we do need to teach children and adults alike that we all have feelings and although we are all very different - we are all very much the same.

I would like to emphasise what makes the difference in any situation in the way in which our children are accepted by others, is the way in which the teacher truly cares about the welfare of your child's feelings enough to take the time to take advantage of the situation - i.e. introduce the children to each other. The teacher must have great public relations skills! If the teacher does not take the time to interact when one is staring or making fun of, then the cycle of ignorance is not being broken.

Educating others is the key.