I was out walking at lunch.  A squirrel and I locked eyes and I smiled and waved.  That got me to thinking about a story I heard while I was working at a high school from one of the students.  He came across a squirrel that had a leg injury.  They took the squirrel in and let it mend.  They had a set up in the family room a cute maze like area and the squirrel ran free.  When the squirrel got better they tried to let it go, but it would not leave.  So it became the family pet.  I was sitting in Art class while the student was telling the class the story.  The student I was with started yelling that the squirrel storyteller was a lair and continued to do so for weeks after that.  That was why the boy brought in photos of the squirrel in his family room, but that did not stop my student.  Those were days when I was a working in a special ed. program.  The program was set up to intergrade severely mentally challenged students with the average students in a regular high school. The students that were in the program were Down�s syndrome, autistic and cerebral palsy kids.  I was assigned to a young Down�s syndrome student, with multiple medical problems.  They needed a nurse close by when he was in school.  He spent most of his time at home or in a hospital.  This little tike was so obnoxious, demanding and mean.  I think his mom brought him to school cause she was tired of dealing with him. I would cringe on the days when he came to school.  We would start off ok, but then he would get up in the middle of the class and wonder around then out the door.  I would follow him trying to talk him into coming back to class.  He would speak of dying and watching his mother being abused and other weird out there stuff.  The first couple of times I was very sympathetic and kind, listening to every word with concern.  But, it got old really fast and I soon realized it was one of his many games.  He never quiet made it through a whole day of school (10am-1: 30 pm). I would always end up calling his mom because he stated he was so sick and would probably die.  The problem with that was that he was ill, but you could never tell just how ill.  He had crone�s disease, took some heavy-duty pain meds and wore a poop bag, (colostomy bag) He had problems voiding (peeing) and would sometimes straight cath himself. But his mom said that he had set times to do that and it did not include school times. Yeah sure!  I cannot tell you how many times he would have these lengthy spells in the bathroom and I would have to go in to find him completed naked just standing there. Ugh!

When he was not at school everyone just sighed with relief. The other students were really a kick, and fun.  They were the happiest kids out.  Sometimes you would have occasional tantrums, but only when they didn�t like their aide.

On a whole I really did not agree with the program.  It was really hard for these students to sit through sociology, biology, foreign languages and all these upper core classes.  There is no way that they could understand or retained any of that material.  They had fun in PE, art and cooking.  The whole programs purpose was to have all the students mesh together, like a melting pot.  What happened is a small amount of students accepted the special ed. students, the rest of the students pretended they were not there.  I think the program is great in elementary school.  Little children are alittle more accepting of differences.

So what does this have to do with saying Hi to a squirrel at lunch? That is me, I always get off on these different tangents.

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