Hi there guys! How are you? I'm really sorry I've been missing for a while! I was on a Summer Camp working with kids and of course, I couldn't write a post or comment on your blogs. I will start catching up on what you've done these days soon, but there's a big festivity coming in my village and there's just a lot of stuff! My apologies if I can't be as active as I'd want to.
Before starting to talk about the topic I have for this post, I want to share a shocking experience I've had today. I started giving lessons during the Summer when I was 15, and two of the first English students I ever had were two sisters, aged 10 and 7. I taught them English and occasionally French for three Summers, and then the lessons stopped. I haven't seen them since.
Today, I found out the oldest one died from cancer less than a year ago. It has been one of the biggest shocks I've had in my life. She was a year older than my sister. I can remember them playing while I gave lessons to the younger one. I remember she hated English. I remember she asked to do French instead because she liked it better. I remember she was a little spoiled, a little mean. And I remember how she wrote me a letter for Christmas to wish me happy holidays and thank me for my lessons.
I have a heaviness over me I can't let go of. I hadn't seen her for a couple of years, but still... I know this happens every day and people lose people who are closer to them than she was to me, but it's all so unfair. I remember how cheerful the younger sister was. I wonder if she'll ever be that cheerful again.
I just needed to let it off of my chest. Sorry if I'm rambling, but I don't even know how I feel.
Anyhow, let's move to the topic! I've been working with kids for the whole July and the first week of August and there has been something that has bothered me more than anything else (and believe me, lots of unheard things have happened.) In one of my jobs I worked with a kid who had Asperger Syndrome. So far, so good. He is a lovely kid and is a sweetie to work with even if he has his moments.
What bothered me is that I heard more than one of my coworkers call him "special" more than once. Seriously... what the hell???? What he has has a name, it's called Asperger Syndrome. And it's just a problem he deals with every day. But in the end, he's just a kid who wants to have fun and play like all the others. "Oh, he is special" (or talking about his brother) "This kid has a brother who is special."
I MEAN. I think we should be grown enough and call things by their name. To me, every single kid has things that make them special. That's something that I use as a ground to build my work on. And saying that kid is "special" only stigmatises the problem even more. We're adults and we have a job to do, so let's start calling things by their name and then do something to make the situation better. Calling that kid "special" only worsens the situation.
Our society needs to evolve and take the blindfold off. Every kid has different needs, and putting kids with Down Syndrome or Asperger Syndrome or Autism on the "special" box doesn't help anybody. We need to know what we're dealing with to act on it. And we need to be able to talk about it like grown-ups instead of disguising it.
At least, that's how I see it. Let me know what you think!
Also, did you watch any of the youtubers I recommended? Did you enjoy them?
A big big hug,