Thursday, October 02, 2003

Verb -- It's What They Do

It’s a sad fact that many people believe the money spent on special education is wasted. They say that other kids -- “normal” kids -- are more deserving of the funds, for they have the potential to make something of themselves, achieve independence, and contribute to society. They ask why so much money is being spent to educate “tomorrow’s grocery baggers.” I pity those people. They obviously fail to recognize that our children begin contributing to society from the moment they’re born – on so many levels. For example …

They CHALLENGE our medical professionals.

They TEACH our teachers.

They FOCUS our priorities.

They DEVELOP our resourcefulness.

They LIGHTEN our loads.

They ENHANCE our creativity.

They HEIGHTEN our awareness.

They TEST our patience.

They STRENGTHEN our resolve.

They MITIGATE our selfishness.

They LIFT our spirits.

They INSPIRE our loyalty.

They COMPOUND our frustration.

They AMPLIFY our generosity.

They ALLEVIATE our misgivings.

They WIDEN our perspectives.

They ACCEPT our shortcomings.

They BOOST our self-esteem.

They RELIEVE our doubts.

They REINFORCE our beliefs.

They EVOKE our compassion.

They EXPAND our social consciousness.

They ACCELERATE our growth.

They REVEAL our motives.

They ACCOMMODATE our limitations.

They BROADEN our horizons.

They MAGNIFY our resolve.

They SHARPEN our wits.

They REFINE our sensibilities.

They SHAPE our character.

They DEFINE our future.

The list could go on and on and on. Whereas all children do these things at some point and to some degree, children with disabilities constantly and consistently push the envelope. It’s what they DO – naturally. It’s what they GIVE – freely.

Those who view our children as burdens to society are asleep at the wheel. WAKE UP! Our children are incredible assets, both on a personal and on a national level. They contribute continually in countless, often immeasurable, ways.

Please tell Congress not to DISMISS, DISENFRANCHISE, and DISREGARD our children by gutting the IDEA. We, as a nation, simply cannot afford the repercussions. Our country is in dire need of their priceless contributions. To weaken the IDEA by lessening accountability, eliminating short-term objectives, discontinuing manifestation determinations, and imposing attorney fee caps is a grave injustice to all children.

We are the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends of 6.5 million kids. We need every voice to tell Congress our verbs: We REMEMBER, and we VOTE.

Debi Lewis, today’s

Our Children Left Behind [OCLB] was created and is owned/operated by parent volunteers (Sandy Alperstein, Tricia & Calvin Luker, Shari Krishnan, and Debi Lewis). Permission to forward, copy, and/or post this article is granted provided that it is attributed to the author(s) and For more about OCLB or to share information, please contact

No comments: