I got the most beautiful email from Courtney’s teacher. Instead of paraphrasing it, I’m sharing it. It read…
Hi Mrs. Cranston,
I just have to tell you about this fabulous experience that I had today with your sweet girl! She makes me so very proud! I hope I can explain it all.
I was able to go to her general education art class today! She was a bit cranky…bc it turned out she went number 2. But we didn’t realize until we were there. She came in for her 25 minutes of art. She immediately sat down and asked for play doh…she knows that is Mr. Arndts routine. Project than play doh. She was using her talker. Which of course got the interest of all of her peers! They started asking Mr. Arndts questions about it. Then I invited them over to look at her device. They started asking Courtney questions! I prompted and modeled ‘hello’ on the device. And then the questions kept coming. What’s your favorite pet, favorite color, favorite food…in which Courtney navigated her device to answer some of those questions. Because she was a bit crabby, I was close by, but she was able to keep herself pretty level as far as meltdowns go when there were so many questions and people around! Safely though!
I was so very excited to navigate and teach these students how Courtney communicates and to help foster friendships outside of my classroom. (End of email)
I cried as I read it. Cried so many happy tears. I’ve struggled some with the idea of her going in a regular classroom. I question how much she actually gets out of it. But here’s the thing. Inclusion is not just for the students with special needs. This is a beautiful example of how inclusion is for everyone involved.
To the students in that general education classroom…thank you for wanting to learn how truly awesome Courtney is.