Monday, October 29, 2012

The one that finally got me.

When I tell people that I am getting my Master's in Early Childhood Special Education, I usually get one of two questions:

"What is that?" (answer -- early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and delays & special education pre-school)


"Isn't that so hard? Doesn't it make you so sad?"

Yes, at times it's hard. It's hard to learn about infants with short life spans. It's sometimes difficult when I realize many of these children have been through more in less than 5 years than I have in 26.

But, it's not as hard as I expected it to be. To be successful in this field, you cannot "feel bad" for the children and families. I cannot and do not pity them. I cannot and do not get stuck in a "what if..." mentality. This is their lives. My job is to improve, support, enrich their lives. To help families meet their own needs and function in their day-to-day life.

This week -- it got to me. This week in one of my classes -- for the first time, I cried. I was watching a documentary simply stunned by how selfish and unappreciative "we" are for the lives we have.

Deaf-blindness. It's "the one that finally got me."

Until now, no disability, no delay, no abnormality, no health issue has hit me like this. To the point that I was simply devastated. 

Children with vision loss rely heavily on their hearing to receive information, to experience the world, and to communicate. Children with hearing loss rely heavily on their vision. They help to compensate for one another. 

But, to never see the world -- to never hear the world. To lack the motivation to move and interact with others because the world is just too scary and confusing. 

We take it all for granted. This was the one that finally got me -- and I want to be better because of it. 

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