Ok so DD1 likes having play dates and I thought it would be nice for her to play with someone different so I suggested maybe I could organise a playdate with her close friend and a special needs girl (who has downs) at the local park, DD1 and her friends like playing with her so I thought why not, you know.
Well DD1 thought it was the best idea and hassled me for ages to organise it. It was a bit hit and miss trying to catch the mum of girl X cos she often goes home 5 minutes earlier and dd1 catches the bus so it took about a week or 2 to catch her at school. The school teaches compassion and understanding and all these things as do I so I was so proud of dd1 to want to have a playdate with X because in her words "X is just a bit different, and needs a bit of extra help sometimes but that doesnt matter we all take turns making sure she has someone to play with and that she doesnt do the wrong thing". Seriously,what more could I have asked for? She can see passed someones differences and accept them for who they are. She didnt even notice the skin colour of some kids till her first NAIDOC week at school.
Anyway I had someone with me who will remain unidentified but will call them Y (as in why would you think like that in this day of age, ps its not DP, no way) while I dropped dd1 at school. I asked Y to hold on a minute while I catch up with X's mum.
After I had a quick catch up to organise a rough time for a play date with X, I headed of to the car with Y. I explained DD1 wanted a play date with X etc.. Anyway I got given a look of disgust and told Y doesnt agree with downs and special needs kids in mainstream schools, its wrong, shouldnt be allowed to happen blah blah blah, they should have there own institution, its for their own good, just takes teachers attention away from the rest of the class and drags everyone else down etc etc etc. Oh and once they have finished primary school there is no place in the world for them. OMG WTF?
DD1 has had special needs kids in her class since kindy. There is only one per class and they have their own aide who takes care of them and helps them and IMO they do not impact negatively on the class. Sure occasionally they may disrupt the class but so do other kids. In fact having the special needs kids, again IMO, has done nothing but encourage compassion, understanding and acceptance at her school.
I tried explaining this to Y and also that X being in mainstream is beneficial to X's long term socialisation and she will actually functin in society better for it because mainstream schooling helps them strive socially and intellectallywhile bein institutionalised just brings them down and actually makes things worse in some cases.
If special needs kids are high functioning enough and can handle mainstream schooling, why not!
I dont mean to offend anyone or upset anyone, I am just so shocked that someone who should know better doesnt. So not the reaction I was expecting from Y. Sorry about the long vent but I am seriously shocked and offended at what should have been a proud moment.