Labeling children can cause an abundant amount of stress. As a child, I had dyslexia and was a slow learner. Back in those days which was over 40 years ago the schools didn’t really know what to do with children like me so they put me in a special needs classroom. The other children in my grade made fun of me and told me I was stupid. However, I continued to push myself and the special education teacher I had said that I didn’t belong in his class and that it would be better to let me get lower grades in the normal classroom then to have me fall through the cracks in the special needs classroom. I am very appreciative to this day of this teacher and how he stood up for me.
Another example of labeling children was my daughter Rebecca who was labeled with ADD when she was 5 years old. The teacher wanted her on medication as soon as possible. However, my husband and I saw no reason to medicate her and I did some research and talked to my son’s allergist. She suggested I change her diet and stressed the importance of taking her off all foods with red dye in them. I did this at once. She also reminded me of the importance of staying away from foods with preservatives and instant foods. I was already cooking from scratch for my family because of my oldest son David who had severe Asthma and Allergies so I didn’t need to change that part of her diet. We saw a difference almost immediately and the teacher even started that Rebecca was doing remarkably better in school.
I appreciated Kathie Snow’s article on Redefining Disability. (Snow, 2003). She brought up the importance of a disability being a natural part of life. She used the quote:
“Disability is a natural part of the human experience that does not diminish the right of individuals with developmental disabilities to enjoy the opportunity to live independently, enjoy self-determination, make choices, contribute to society, and experience full integration and inclusion in the economic, political, social, cultural, and educational mainstream of American society.” The U.S. Developmental Disabilities and Bill of Rights Act
There have been and always will be people with disabilities. The older I get the more disabilities I have. When I was 28 I was in a car accident that affected my C5 to C6 disc in my neck. The neurosurgeon said that if I didn’t have surgery I would become paralyzed. I didn’t want the surgery and prolonged it until I had no choice. I was out working almost a year later going door to door selling life insurance when my body quit moving and I fell to the ground. One of the people on my route saw me and carried me in to their couch and called my husband. I had spinal surgery the next month and I can walk today. I continue to have issues due to my spine however, each day I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father that I can walk.
Light for World works with persons with disabilities around the world. They have worked together with the Dutch organization Enablement, Light for the World to bring about the Roads to Inclusion program. This tool was made as a self-assessment tool to assist community organizations in other countries to recognize advancement toward inclusion in the communities they work in. Its goal is to provide reflection and propose additional ways regarding inclusion for people with disabilities. This tool is user friendly and looks at a broad range of the variety and complexity of inclusion. It helps the community rehabilitation teams can discuss the disability with the family. There are inclusion cards that guide the discussion into different topics and the people in the group can assess the program. They also are asked to reflect on the people with disabilities. Through these discussions, the team can decide what activities will help inclusion and help the community grow in their understanding of inclusion. This program was created on research developed from 6 communities in 3 countries. They were Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and India. (Light of the World, 2014). The communities were thrilled and reported it to be flexible and inspirational as they were taught a new understanding concerning inclusion. (Light of the World, 2014).
I chose this article because I loved hearing about these countries that Light of the World chose to help teach about what inclusion was. Then when I read how these communities accepted this program and how the people were excited to have it brought into their communities. Then lastly, the communities gladly participated in the program so they could learn to understand what inclusion was and how their own people with disabilities could be supported through this program.
What a great example of how having a disability doesn’t mean you need to be singled out and separated with a label. Instead we can research and learn about the different types disabilities and how we can support one another with these disabilities. I believe that we are all unique and bring different abilities to the world. Shouldn’t we accept one another and work at helping each other to be able to succeed? Have a marvelous week!
Snow, K. (2003). Redefining disability. Retrieved From,
Light for the World, (2014). Roads to Inclusion. This tool makes identifying progress in
community based rehabilitation projects possible, Retrieved From,