The leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Society
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New York New York 10017
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Truly Grateful
Truly Grateful

I have had the pleasure in working with Vanessa in two different classroom settings, an early intervention classroom and then the inclusive classroom that I currently assist in teaching now. My experience in working with her has been the most rewarding for me because I have had the chance to witness such tremendous progress that she has made from one spectrum to the next. I had the opportunity to team up with some amazing teachers, therapist, and her mother, and the efforts that we all put into providing the solid support needed for Vanessa to develop has made me feel like nothing is impossible. At the time when I first started working at Ken-Crest I was new and just an aide and had never worked in a classroom environment with children with special needs. So I didn't have the experience or full understanding of how children with special needs developed. Honestly I hadn't the slightest clue as to how my ideas and strategies that I brought to the table would assist in the process. All I knew is that I wanted to help make a difference in this child whether it was something as simple as potty training or getting her to be more social with her peers and the adults in her life. At times it would feel a little discouraging, for example typically most three year olds have learned how to eat with a fork but are still more comfortable eating with their hands. As to be expected we needed to give Vanessa a little bit more time and a little extra support in that area and when she got it, it was like who could ever give up on her when she didn't give up on us. Vanessa and I grew together, she helped me be a better well rounded teacher. She helped me understand the phrase the sky is the limit. Vanessa is a beautiful, fun loving child with lots of friends and she has Down syndrome, just for that she should never be excluded from anything. I watch her play and she can do just about all that her peers can do. She is talking with volume, playing amongst her peers that are typical and fitting right in. She is thinking of ways to add her own ideas. I wasn't sure how things would look for her in the end but I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with children with special needs to begin with. Especially Vanessa, she's one I bonded with and after working with her for almost three years one could understand how rewarding it may feel knowing that the time and patience it takes to put towards such a wonderful outcome was very necessary, and to know that I was someone out of many to play a huge and prominent role in the development of Vanessa is truly a blessing to me.

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