New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense
Actors are given a script. They learn their lines and practice the play over and over and over again, under the watchful eyes of the director. The set is constructed; costumes are donned; dress rehearsals begin. And at the appointed hour—ready or not—the curtain rises on opening night.
Life—for many people with disabilities—is not unlike the lives of actors preparing for a play, but with one significant difference. For actors, opening night signals the end of the readiness phase. But for people with disabilities, the dress rehearsals—getting ready for the real thing (LIFE)—continue indefinitely.
Parents and professionals depend on early intervention services (birth to three) to get babies and toddlers “ready” for preschool and/or public school. But by age three, most are not deemed “ready” for typical preschools. They’re said to still need specialized services, and into a special ed preschool they go.
Special ed preschools attempt to get three- to five-year-olds “ready” for regular ed kindergarten. Yet far too many preschoolers with disabilities are never deemed “ready” for a regular ed kindergarten or first grade classroom. Some are even held back in preschool—and how, pray tell, does one fail preschool? Click here to continue.
Barring a stock market crash and a severe economic depression, if the unemployment rate of the general population rose to 70-75 percent, we would probably attribute this to a failure of the educational system and other public services. We most likely would not blame the vast number of unemployed people.
Life is Not a Dress Rehearsal