inclusion and special needs

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Somewhere in Between

I started something I hope will grow into amazing. Visit!!! This is a project I am passionate about and I want to grow into something wonderful!!! Parents of special needs and medically complex kids are stuck. They're stuck between lawmakers and insurance companies and medical providers;they're stuck between work/life balance. Somewhere In Between is my blog where I share my journey with these in between spaces and I hope to grow a community that is empowered to make change in the world, even if it's small #MedicallyComplexChild #ChildrenWithSpecialNeeds #InclusionAndSpecialNeeds


McDonalds Was Mean to my Special Needs Students

I teach special education in a self contained setting. My job is truly my passion. I not only love what I do, but I LOVE my students. I spend 9-3:30 with them Monday through Friday and there are very few things I won’t do for them. Advocating and being their voice is one of those things I do for them.

My school is in a suburb of Chicago. We had planned a community trip to the pumpkin patch on Halloween, but the weather did not allow for that. My heart broke thinking about how sad my students would be. I decided to switch some things around and go to McDonalds instead. At McDonald’s the students work on skills we teach in the classroom. Some examples would be ordering food, waiting in line, and parking lot safety.

When we got to McDonalds the manager was so rude and told us that if we wanted to come eat there we should have called and asked them. Side note- there was one other person in the restaurant. He then rudely told us that if they wanted kids meals it would take them at least 45 minutes. Again side note- I had ten kids. It’s McDonalds- shouldn’t they be able to accommodate 10 kids meals without making children feel bad for showing up?

The man continued to be rude not only to us, by also to the other employees. I was in shock.

If you have a child with autism or work with children with autism you know that letting them play in the play land and then trying to explain that they have to come sit and eat after would be near impossible. We spent our entire time waiting for them to make kids meals. I felt awful and the kids trip was ruined. Not to mention they over charged most of the children for extra drinks.

I contacted McDonalds many times. I kept being told someone would call me back. The only person to call me back told me she was sorry for my ‘perception’ of what happened. I am sick to my stomach that a company so large and well known is okay with this treatment. I still have yet to hear from McDonalds or at least anyone that actually feels that this behavior isn’t okay. Please share in hopes that someone from McDonalds cares and helps raise awareness.

#McDonalds #Autism #Autism #AutismAdvocacy #SpecialEducators #SpecialEducation #SpecialNeedsFamilies #SpecialNeedsParent #SpecialNeedsPrograms #SpecialNeedsCommunity #Disability #RespectAbility #HunterSyndrome #GeneticDisorder #InclusionAndSpecialNeeds #BeKind21 #ParentsOfChildrenWithSpecialNeeds #DisabilityAdvocacy #IntellectualDisability #Teachers


A Letter From a Parent whose Child Has a Disability

This has been mulling on my heart for awhile, so I thought I would pose this to all the parents out there.

Imagine you are taking your child to the park or movie theater or someplace special. Your child is so excited to go and has been anticipating this for awhile, but when you get there there is no safe space for your car to park so you can get your child out safely. Most people in the parking spaces are not even getting out of their cars, they are just sitting on their phone. You ask if they can move so you can take your child in but you are sneered at, insulted, and even told “I’m not parking.” Some even make snide remarks towards your child. You leave to go home and your child cries.

Imagine this scenario happening everywhere you go, even at your child’s school which is supposed to be a safe place for your child. Either without a tag, with an expired tag, or using someone else’s tag. Handicapped spaces being used “just for a minute” or used just because they think they have a right means that people who need those spaces don’t have a safe place to get their child out of the car. I’ve honestly been shocked and appalled by some of the attitudes I’ve encountered. When you say something parents are saying “I’m not parking” or getting nasty or acting like you have the right to be there unless the cop is there monitoring those spaces. Imagine the example you are setting for your child in how they may treat their peers with disabilities. Especially when your child has a disability that hinders their ability to walk or like my child who uses a wheelchair the only safe place is a handicapped space and we are often cut off by those who are not using those spaces appropriately. I’ve noticed that no one takes the “reserved for ____ family spaces” at schools but the handicapped spaces are used all the time for parking, drop off, running your child’s lunch in, etc and then we are stuck waiting for the space to open up and then end up being late to school or blocked from attending somewhere. 

When you have a child with a disability or you are an adult with a disability, often your only options for accessing places are the 1-3 handicapped spaces available. Those with wheelchair vans often have only one choice and that is the “wheelchair van accessible” spaces and sometimes there is only one of those. Often times those spaces are blocked by regular cars or by people sitting on their phones. At school regular parents have multiple options for getting their kids to school they can use the kiss and go line, they can park and walk in. Other places there are multiple parking options for those without disabilities. We have one option. You shouldn't need police there monitoring handicapped spaces or cones blocking them from being used during school pickup. You should be able to just do the right thing and leave those spaces for those who need them. 

  #Mamabear   #HandicappedParking  #InclusionAndSpecialNeeds

1 comment

Does anyone have any recommendations on things a fraternity can do/events they can hold that would be accessible for everyone with disabilities.

I had a fraternity at my college ask me how they could be more inclusive with people with disabilities including those with invisible illnesses. I was only able to give them a handful of ideas and would like to be able to provide them with more information/ help #InclusionAndSpecialNeeds #Inclusivity #Disability