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This week, in honor of Inclusive Schools Week, the National Down Syndrome Society is sharing real stories about how inclusive schools have made a difference in the lives of families of a child with Down syndrome.

In elementary school, I had a first grade teacher who helped me become fully included. She likes to take credit for where I am today, and I have to give credit where credit is due. Middle school was tough because I had some teachers who were great and helpful, but I had others who were not helpful. I had one teacher who would even put all our assignments right into the recycle bin. It took me a little while to make friends. It was even more difficult when I felt isolated, but I made amazing friends who helped make me who I am today.

I would encourage all children with Down syndrome to be included in school. Being included means you can get a lot more done and a lot more accomplished. It helps everyone in the long run! It has made me who I am today…the first registered lobbyist who happens to have Down syndrome.

Kayla McKeon, New York
30 years old

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Originally published: December 8, 2017
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