Tuesday, March 31, 2009

An Email Says it all

Mr. L---,
Our son, Casey Davis, is in your fifth grade vocal class. You may recall meeting me (Bonnie) prior to the Spring Fling last Friday.

Today, I attended the daytime performance of the Lewis and Clark presentation. After watching the performance, I have to ask why Ms. M.'s and Mrs. S’s students with ASD were not included in the onstage performances along with all the other fifth graders from general education and cross categorical classes.

With my video camera at the ready, I waited for the students with ASD (including my son) to have their chance to shine on stage with the other kids, but it never happened. I did however, film them sitting in their places next to the other kids, standing when they were supposed to, holding their song sheets appropriately and following along, singing their hearts out. Even one of the more severe students in the group was standing and singing, thoroughly enjoying herself.

This really angered and saddened me at the same time. As I watched the students on stage, I noted a lot of different kind of kids. Some did the choreography great, some stumbled a little, some sang with expression and some hardly opened their mouths. None of them seemed like they were on the road to stardom, but you could tell that all of them were having a great time, and probably experienced pride in the fact that they were on stage for their parents and friends to see. I just wish my son and his classmates had had this opportunity as well.

I tell you this in the hope that this scenario will not happen again and that Casey and his classmates will be included in any and all performances the school puts on. Personally speaking, Casey had the lines memorized from the CD that was provided and he had been doing some of the moves that were in the show for the last month. We just hadn’t realized where the moves had originated from until I witnessed other students performing the same moves on stage. Again, I just have to wonder why he didn't have the same chance to perform on stage as his fellow students.

Music is one of the greatest forms of self expression and shouldn't be limited by one’s disabilities.

Thank you,
Bonnie and Bill D.

We didn't got to the second performance this evening. We went swimming....