Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Special Needs Story

Last weekend I was judging a sports competition in Canada. A little girl with down syndrome came out and impressed me with her skills. She really was good! I never know how the kids place until the end of the competition, I just judge what I see and give scores based on the moves. The totals are done later. I gave my scores and later, after I had seen her compete, I saw her walking around with a white cane and then noticed her hearing aids as well. Wow! That was impressive! She had vaulted on a live moving horse, doing skilled gymnastics and dance routines on top of the horse and she was hearing and sight impaired, which I couldn't tell from the judge's stand! In Canada, in this sport that I judge, they don't have separate classes or levels for kids with special needs, so they compete against everyone else. I was thrilled to find out, during the awards ceremony, that this sweet girl with significant special needs got 3rd place overall!!!! That is a testament to what special needs means. It doesn't mean that a child is doomed to a certain life forever. These kids can accomplish what they set their mind to do--it may take them longer, or they may have certain strengths in one area, but they can also do things just like everyone else. It sure was thrilling to see this little girl with multiple special needs receive 3rd place in a class with non special needs kids! I wish there was a video to share so you could see it, too.

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