Goodbye Thomas…Goodbye Albert…Sorry We Have Stopped Looking for You…

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Today we have a guest blogger, Layne Pethick.

As I sit and ponder, I am continually haunted by just one question. It is a question for the ages, one that many a child has asked and many an adult has dismissed. It is a simple question that carries the power to bring a person to their knees, to change the world, to progress humanity to greater levels of understanding…that question is simply “Why?”

My “why” moment at this particular time revolves around the issue of people with special needs and “why” their gifts and talents are being overlooked (ignored, dismissed, neglected, disregarded, unconsidered, undiscovered, unrecognized…I probably just took more time finding these synonyms for overlooked than most people give to the consideration of a person with special needs also being gifted and talented).

So there it is, my true “why” moment that has been haunting me for the past 22 years of my educational career. Why are we not giving more consideration to the reality that some of our student with special needs are also gifted and talented and deserve the right to be identified and participate in our G/T programs in our schools.

Until we truly understand what it means to be gifted and talented (not just the “A” student who is academically strong), I must submit the following letter on my behalf to all those students with special needs who are waiting for their true gifts to be noticed:

Dear Future History Maker,

 It is with a sad heart that I offer this apology letter to you. I am sorry that so many others have stopped looking for you and the gifts you bring to this world. I am not sure why so many have stopped looking, I can only hope that one day the search will continue and you will be found.

Until then, it is with a heavy heart I say “goodbye”. Goodbye to all our future Albert’s and Thomas’(that would be reference to Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and so many more who have made the most dramatic and important contributions to this world…all of whom had both a disability and an amazing gift or talent).

It is my hope that we can find an answer to the question “why are we not recognizing your gifts and talents rather than hyper-focusing on your disability”, so that we can begin to look for you again. I hope you can accept my apology and I hope to see you soon!

 Regards,

Layne

 If you have taken the time to read this blog, I ask that you take the time to find the gift or talent our students with special needs bring to this world. Let’s start looking again!!

 

 

Thanks, Layne, for this contribution.  Let’s all look for the “gifts” and “talents” that every child has.  It will make a difference to them and to our future!

Rosemary Manges

Rosemary Manges, Program Coordinator for Inclusive Services, has over 39 years of educational experience ranging from the public school classroom, administration, preparing pre-service teachers at the college level to development of policy at TEA. She is in her 10th year at Region 10.

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