A lady was babysitting this young girl when she asked if should could invite her friend over. The sitter said yes, but when the friend showed up she was amazed by what the girl neglected to mention. I was babysitting for this litlle girl (7 year old) for the first time.She asked if she could invite her neighbor Maria over to play.I said sure.While Maria was on the way,i asked her about Maria (age,what she liked to do,etc) to see if there was an activity i could prepare for when Maria got there.She told me that Maria was definitely the nicest girl in her grade,everyone loved to play with Maria at recess,and that Maria loved art.
Maria, it turns out, has Down Syndrome.Never once did the girl i was babysitting mention that Maria was in any way different. Considering that i’m going into Special Education,it warmed my heart to see a child with special needs being so readily included. Anyway,it’s been 3 years and i now work part time as a paraprofessional at the school they go to (i’m still in college getting my degree).A few days ago i was asked to supervise recess and i ran into the girl i babysat,as well as Maria, during 5th grade recess.The school’s inclusion program is fantastic.I can tell you that not only is every student with special needs actively included in every activity (by the student’s choice,might I add)…but Maria is indeed one of the most popular girls in her grade and remains incredibly sweet to everyone.