February 10, 2011

Kids are Kids, No Matter What

I loved receiving this letter from a friend of mine who works with kids with special needs through the school system in a neighboring state:

"I wanted to share a story with you that happened this weekend at my school.  I want you to hear it to understand and prepare that kids don't see disability, they see personality and enthusiasm.  

This past Saturday our school held a pageant for the girls in the middle school (remember, middle schoolers are moody and harsh).  One of our students with special needs signed up to participate in the pageant.  Now she does not have Downs, she has a different diagnosis, but she does stand out as different due to her behavior and appearance.  Her adopted parents are lower socioeconomic status and don't provide cleanliness or normal clothing.  Well all week we encouraged her with positive attention, helped her pick out a dress, practiced her walk and did her nails on Friday.  On Saturday she had her makeup and hair done and participated in the pageant.  At the end of the pageant, she won Miss Congeniality.  Now that news floored me enough, a smelly strange behaving child won Miss Congeniality.  The mother stopped our principal afterwards to thank her.  The pricipal responded with "it wasn't me, it was the students."  See, the contestants vote on Miss Congeniality, not the teachers.  After the votes were counted, every single vote but one was for the special needs student.  And that one different vote was hers.  The competitive middle school girls all voted for the one girl who had the best attitude.  

This has made my entire year.  The girl walked around all day with her trophy in a bag to show the teachers and her friends.  But kept it in a bag so she didn't look like she was bragging.  I just wanted to share with you so you will see that kids are kids no matter what." 

1 comment:

  1. Nice story! Thanks for sharing it. Robin