What is it about?

The rollercoaster adventures of parenting three kids, dealing with disability and mental health - and discussing disability discrimination and how to tackle it.

Friday, 16 November 2007

And this is why I love Mister D.'s school

Here is a letter Mister Determined’s school sent to the local Council.
Have a read, and see if you’re as impressed with them as I am.

“We currently have a student in Kindergarten (…) who suffers (sic - OK, I don't' like that term, but read the rest of the letter) from Cerebral Palsy. Mister D. is an amazing and determined young man. Although his disability makes walking difficult and very tiring for him (his parents were originally told he would never be able to walk) he insists on participating fully in all the activities of his class and refuses to be treated differently or to use a wheelchair.

This determination to be treated like the other children encompasses all areas of the school day, including drop-off and pick up. Mister Determined insists that his mother parks outside the school with the other parents and walks him in and out of school through the pedestrian gate. This usually means walking several hundred meters along (…) Avenue as the parking spots are often full of cars. This can be severely fatiguing for Mister D., particularly at the end of the day.

We would like to ask the Traffic Committee to designate the spot closest to our school’s crossing as a disabled parking spot. This would allow MD’s mother to respect his desire to be treated like his peers while ensuring he is capable of reaching the car without undue distress.

Mister D.’s parents and the school are committed to supporting this determined young man and consider emotional support to be of equal importance to physical support. I hope the Traffic Committee will also support him by making this simple change to an existing parking spot. While we appreciate that there is no guarantee that spot will always be free, its availability on a majority of occasions will help us to support his resolve to fit in.”


Gotta love them!
And yes, the Council approved. Should be in place for next year.

4 comments:

manfred.fabig said...

Ja, dat is wel echt fantastisch van de school. Maar de brief zelf is ook heel aardig geschreven;
Helma

Anonymous said...

Great that you got the parking spot but don't you think that the way this letter is put - it's as if those lazy kids in their wheelchairs just aren't trying enough.

Heike said...

Hmm, no, that thought hadn't occurred to me at all. To me, the letter was all about how the school tries to accomodate Mister D.'s particular wish to be one of the kids, and how they feel they need to support him in that - it's more an emotional support thing rather than physical. The school has had a kid in a wheelchair with severe CP, and his folks just dropped him off inside the school grounds - which we are allowed to do with MD, but he simply doesn't want to. With this spot, kids who use wheelies can now be dropped off outside the school like all the others, and drive up the pedestrian path and ramp into the school. The determination referred to in the letter is about being treated like the others, not about the physical way of how you get to the classroom. I don't think the school would ever think any less of their old student with wheels - in fact, he's one of the pupils the school is most proud off (he got a scholarship to a very prestigeous private high school. You would not believe the support that boy got from the school - when we heard about him (and a kid with Down Syndrome) and how the school had supported them is when we investigated the school and decided it was the one for MD. They have put in ramps for the other kid, and new safe stais and railings for Mister D. from their own budget - and I didn't even have to ask for it, they just did that.
But maybe I'm wrong. I will read the letter again from your point of view...

Heike said...

Helma - de brief is door de school geschreven, niet door mij. Dat vind ik nu juist zo tof, dat ze dat zelf doen, en dat ze zo positief over Mister D. denken.