Moving is a big change and we know that people with Down syndrome thrive in routine and sameness.
Has your family moved around? How did your loved one react?
What the Wyllies found when looking for a suitable school environment for Andy, was typical for the time. Her frustration with the psychological testing process and being told that the programs that existed wouldn’t accommodate their child, was par for the course in 1966.
Did you have similar experiences? How do you feel about “IQ testing?”
More often than not, success in schooling depends on the teacher more than the child. Wyllie praises the director of Andy’s school for her support.
Did you have a particularly helpful teacher? (or the opposite?)
A large portion of this chapter is dedicated to a report from Andy’s school that is reminiscent of an IEP. This one is glowing and positive.
Do you have fond memories of similar reports? (Or the opposite?)
“Disappointment was too mild a word to describe our reaction; we were angry.” P. 124
Does this sentence resonate with you?
“Was the psychologist prejudiced because Andy was Down syndrome and she believed he was probably not educable? Would Andy regress or vegetate in a trainable class, and would he even get into one?” p. 124
Did you ever have similar thoughts or worries?
“He was probably annoyed because the test took place during his lunchtime, disrupting his accustomed routine.” P. 125
Routine is so important for our loved ones with Down syndrome. There are plenty of other reasons why general education tests, administered by general education professionals may not reveal the true potential of children with intellectual disabilities.
What are some of the other reasons these tests may not produce accurate results? Do you have an experience like the one re-told in this chapter?
“We had lost our battle and had to accept the TMH designation.” P.127
Many families end up feeling like they are in an actual battle with schools; from Andy’s pre-school days to today.
Have you ever had to battle with school personnel?