New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense

Disability Is Natural Books and Media

This article features the experiences of Amy, a Master's Level PT/OT student, during her time working at a child care center. Following is a brief excerpt:

At least five times during the time we were all outside, TJ was told to sit in time-out for “throwing rocks.” When he wasn’t in time-out, he usually sat underneath the slide, swinging his arms, and spraying small pebbles. When his teacher saw this, she yelled at him, and back he went into time-out (sitting on a ledge by the teachers and myself). When the teacher released him from time-out, he would go back under the slide, and it started all over again. (You get the picture, right?)

For two hours, while all the other children were playing together, TJ interacted with only one child. A little girl (“Tami”) walked up to him while he was shaking the fence, gave him a rock, and tried to hug him. (This seemed an appropriate thing to do from Tami’s perspective: she saw that TJ enjoyed playing with rocks.)  Then TJ covered his ears with his hands and rocked back and forth while Tami stood beside him.  The teacher’s comment was, “Tami has no idea how to interact appropriately with children. I think she’s mentally retarded.” And then the teacher turned back to her coworkers and continued the discussion of her plans for the evening. Click here to continue.

The Evolution of Amy

I’m appalled that this child is being deprived of so much that he needs and deserves—deprived of having a typical life, something that shouldn’t even be questioned. I’m even more appalled that the teachers, and maybe even his parents, don’t "get it."