I am still attending the Angelman Syndrome Conference here in Orlando. Today I saw 3 sessions. One was on advocacy with Jackie Golden, the resource person for the ASF. Her son Joshua lives in his own house and a microboard has been formed to help him create a full and meaningful life. The second was on creating friendships for people with special needs and the third was on Andreas Yuan a 35 year old man and how he exists socially in this world, done by his Mother, Susan Yuan. The answer to how he does socially in this world is "beautifully". I will have to admit to a few tears during his Mother's presentation, tears of joy.
All 3 of these presentations made me rethink about my role as a teacher. I think I am probably not doing enough for my students and I need to get out of my comfortable rut and push myself to do some more work on myself as a teacher. I need to think more about using literacy in my classroom, using peers with my students and pushing for more inclusion. I do advocate for my students, but not loudly enough.
That's what I love about these conferences. They keep me from getting complacent. And as Susan Yuan reminded us, always "make the least dangerous assumption". I needed to be reminded of that.