May 25, 2010

First Generation of Mainstreamed Special-Needs Students Graduating

Class of 2010: First generation of mainstreamed special-needs students graduating this spring

By Marie Leech -- The Birmingham News

"Don't tell Nick Lanzi what he doesn't know.

Don't tell the new Vestavia Hills High School graduate what he can't know.

Because he knows better.

When doctors diagnosed Lanzi with Down syndrome when he was just a few days old, they told his parents he would never have intelligence surpassing that of a 3-year-old.

But when his 11th-grade American-history teacher passed him a copy of a test made specifically for "special needs" students, he asked for a "real" test instead.

He took it. He made a 96, the highest grade in the class. He made his parents, his teacher and everybody in the class proud.

Lanzi knows he is different. He just knows a different kind of different.

Lanzi, 19, is part of the first generation of special-needs students, including many graduating this spring, who have been taught in regular classrooms their entire time in school. Inclusion is a practice in which mentally or physically disabled students spend most or all of their time learning alongside typical students."

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  1. Thanks for the great article! Inspiring! This is why we all work so hard, so that our kids can follow in the path that Nick has forged!

  2. Thanks for sharing. you made my day. :)