Knowledge is Power

I was explaining recently about my background to someone close to me; where I came from and of course Apraxia. The child with Apraxia in Special Ed and finding their way to success in High School and College. To me, this is just my life, it's nothing notably special and it's just what I had to do.When I tell people that I was in Special Education and had a several, thorough IEPs, you should see their jaws drop. I don't fully comprehend why this is shocking to some, but I guess it is.

Now some say "You didn't belong there [in Special Ed]," to which I disagree. At that given time in history and in my abilities, I would have drowned in a typical classroom. Granted though, as an adult, I know the typical classroom wasn't ready for me. If you can't learn or talk the same way as the 'typical' kids, then you don't belong.

Regardless, in my conversation about this, I was asked a rather intriguing question, "Were you in Special Ed because of intelligence, like thinking or reasoning issues?"

There's no good way to ask that, asking someone were you considered mentally dumb by the school system? I do understand where the question is coming from. Think about it, the second you hear 'special education' or 'IEP' we automatically jump to the idea that the individual is less intelligent. It's sad and unfair, but general people jump to this conclusion.

Anyways, I've never been asked this and it caught me off guard. But somehow the answer, deep down, I knew it and I responded:

"No, it wasn't that I had issues with my intelligence. Just imagine you had that capacity to learn, the same brain as anyone else, but you could not verbally express what you learned and, if you were confused about something, you could not ask any questions about it...It's not that you aren't intelligent, it's just you have no way of expressing it."

I can't believe the words came out of my mouth so accurately. I understand it can be a tough concept for others that don't know Apraxia to grasp, but his answer affirmed what all of us are thinking. 

He responded, "Wow, that sucks!"

For lack of a better word, yes, yes it does. 

But at the end of the day, Apraxia is just a road block in our lives and not a final death sentence. 
That is the one thing I've learned in and out of any classroom.

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