Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hand in hand

I teach kids with special needs.

I have been told by countless of people that teaching is more than just a profession - it is a vocation; a calling. After more than a year of putting myself in the shoes of a teacher, indeed, I cannot argue with the fact that it is a laying down of one's life for the gaining of it by another. Now, I personally define teaching as a mission, a sacred one.

I'm writing this entry to support People First: Empowering People with Disabilities in Bloggers Unite to let the world know about children with special needs.

There have been many successful programs to provide better services for people with disabilities, particularly those with special needs. I am happy to say that being a therapist in an early intervention setting has truly made me appreciate the positive life-altering changes that 'tried-and-tested' programs have brought about to the children under our care.

However, the downside is that not all countries have those programs available to their people. More specifically, there isn't much government support being given for people with disabilities. There aren't very many laws or acts that truly empower them and their families. For example, here in the Philippines, it is quite expensive to enroll for high quality intervention programs. Although families can be really creative and resourceful, accessibility is still a major issue. The general public isn't made aware of the appropriate ways and means of [or trustworthy people and institutions to consult for] diagnosing, assessing, and helping their relatives or friends with special needs. Moreover, placement of these children in schools is also one of the concerns among many, many others.

Nevertheless, I do not like dwelling on what's negative unless I use it as a stepping stone for bringing about something positive [such as increasing awareness as to the reality of the situation]. To give credit where it is due, I applaud the efforts of countless of groups and organizations who have fought the battle of giving quality to life that children with special needs are living. There is always some sort of heroism each and every day, which should not be forgotten although there is so much more to be done...

On a different note, to tell you the truth, I have learned enormously from these kids - probably more than they could have ever learned from me. Their simplicity and quiet spirits are exemplary. Their total dependence at an early age emphasizes the way we must be in relationship with our Heavenly Father. In as much as I, a teacher, am trying to save them from this world - it is they who are saving me from the pitfalls of too much worrying and too much trying to take things into my own hands.

Lord, I lift up to you all these amazing children with special needs and people with disabilities. Through them, who are considered weak, You have shown us what it truly takes to be strong... strongly dependent on You alone.

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