My kids want to excel too! Schools shouldn't deny admissions to children with disabilities
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I am a mother to two beautiful twins Irene and Jordan. Both of them were diagnosed with autism when they were two years old.
My children are adorable and I just cannot imagine my life without them. I promised myself that I will not let autism get in the way of my children having a happy childhood.
When it was time for them to go to school, like any other parent, I approached the best schools in my city. But I was in for a huge disappointment. School after school rejected my kids simply because they are autistic.
I felt like I could no longer keep my promise to them. I was angry and frustrated and there were many nights when I cried myself to sleep.
But I did not give up. I finally got them admitted to a small neighbourhood school after much persuasion. I have also been training the teachers there for the past 5 years and have managed to get 3 more children with disabilities admitted in that school.
But not many mothers are as lucky as me. Children with autism are usually left out and ignored by society.
Even though there is reservation in all education institutions for children with disabilities in Karnataka, most schools refuse to admit them. I want these schools to open their doors to our children.
I am asking the Karnataka Education Ministry to
1. Send a circular to all government and private schools stating that they cannot deny admission to children with disabilities. Schools should be penalised in case they violate these rules.
2. Finalise and implement the draft policy on education for Children with disabilities
Regular schools don’t give them admissions because they feel that there are special schools for such children.But I saw a huge difference in my children’s social and learning skills since the time they started going to a regular school. My son Jordan who did not speak till he was 7-year-old, surprised us by performing extremely well in written exams, specially in maths.
This has been possible only because they are growing up in a normal set up surrounded by wonderful students and teachers. And his classmates have benefitted from having him around as well. They have learnt a good deal about tolerance, individual difference and compassion by interacting with my children.
For children with disabilities, getting mainstream education is not just a need, it is their right. Both the RTE Act and the Rights of Persons with disabilities Act, 2016, underlines the need to promote inclusive education.
Even the Karnataka government in 2001 had passed an order mandating 3% reservation of seats in all educational institutions for persons with disability.
The state has also developed a draft policy for the education of children with special needs but it has still not seen the light of the day.
I am asking you as a mother to support my petition. Many mothers like me who have kids with special need constantly feel excluded. Join us in our fight to get our children the education they deserve!
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