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Inclusion Works When it's Done Right!
Inclusion Works When it's Done Right!

Our daughter, Jordan, who is now 14 and happens to have Down syndrome is the first child in our district with Down syndrome to be fully included in grades K -8. Now, as much as this is very exciting for us and a tremendous accomplishment on Jordan's part, it is also very scary the older she gets, and the academic gap widens between her and her friends. We were tremendously anxious when Jordan was to begin Middle school. I mean, really, you hear all these horror stories about things that happen to children in middle school and then you add a disability to this mix and the fear factor is off the charts. This was especially concerning to us as Jordan was quite familiar to her elementary school peers, yet was entering a school of nearly 800 children, with about 500 new children that she did not know. Well she plowed through her first year of middle school like she owned the place. She met new kids, was fortunate enough to keep her friends that she has known since kindergarten and loves school. One particular event makes it worth sharing. Jordan was in PE class. The classes are fairly large (approx. 25). Well, they were running around the outdoor track and the rules were to go around two times. Jordan made it around once and started her second lap when she got about a quarter of the way around and just stopped. She was done and was clearly confused as to what she should do being already a quarter way around. Now there were kids that already completed this activity and were waiting for everyone to finish. The teacher suggested that they give Jordan some encouragement, so a few of the children started chanting her name. Well, the "go, Jordan, go" seemed to be working and she started to run again. She this time got much further but only made it about 3/4 around the track leaving the homestretch still to go. Now the teachers were a little confused and the coaxing of the other children did not seem to work any more. Finally the teacher quietly asked if some of the girls would go meet her to help her back. To his surprise, the entire class ran back to meet Jordan and convinced her to finish with pats on the back, hi-fives, and "you can do it". Jordan finished and when they all got to where they were supposed to be, she smiled, looked at all her fellow classmates and said "thanks for helping." This is inclusion at its best!

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Mary Costello, United States, NE
9/16/2011 10:14:19 AM
Great Story. My son is one of just a few fully included children with DS in our District too. He's in 2nd grade, and even now the academic gaps are obvious, but the relationships that are building are priceless.

Donna Lewis-dunlevy, United States, MA
2/28/2011 8:43:44 AM
I have had the pleasure of knowing Jordan for the three years at Walsh. She is truly a "trooper" and will try hard at everything. She has added so much joy to the Walsh school and we will miss her when she moves on to high school!! Mrs. "Delovely"

george & helen prive, United States, MA
2/24/2011 7:18:15 AM

Suzee Della Donna, United States, CA
2/24/2011 2:48:40 AM
So heartwarming!

gerri partello, United States, MA
2/23/2011 7:21:57 PM
What a great story. Great job Jordan!!!

Jennifer A Sharpe, United States, MA
2/22/2011 3:11:27 PM
What an A-W-E-S-O-M-E story. Both for Jordan and her accomplishments. And for her parents who have obviously, worked so hard for their daughters education,Joy and acceptance. Good for ALL!!! Thank You for encouraging my heart with this story.

Kate Jashari, United States, MA
2/22/2011 3:07:29 PM
Way to go Jordan!

Dianna MacGlashing, United States, MA
2/23/2011 6:23:48 AM
Jordan is such an awesome kid. She has so much heart and determination that she is an inspiration to so many. We should all follow in her footsteps more often. I remember hearing this story after it happened. It brought tears to my eyes then and now

Karyn Huntsman, United States, MA
2/22/2011 5:25:02 PM
What a beautiful ending to your story!

Traci, United States, VT
2/22/2011 5:22:21 PM
Jordan was my very first client as a Special Needs Advocate . . .her and her family ROCK!!!!!

Carla Richman, United States, MA
2/23/2011 6:35:47 AM
I do not know Jordan, personally, but I do know her aunt, Dianna. I remember when Jordan was a baby and Dianna would tell me how wonderful of a child she was. Reading this story really hit my heart. I find it very inspirational. She earns my vote!!

andrea rubin, United States, MA
2/22/2011 3:12:07 PM
jordan is a very special girl, with very special parents and brother. she is an inspiration to everyone around her...

Lisa Alintuck, United States, MA
2/22/2011 5:13:13 PM
Jordan is one of the most resilient teens I have ever met! Beyond her HUGE heart of gold, she is funny, talented and a joy to be around. She is a true model for all children who should be afforded inclusion. We are all the same and all different

Elaine DiMarzio, United States, MA
2/22/2011 7:47:06 PM
This girl should be picked for the favorite story.

Janet Gallagher, United States, MA
2/22/2011 9:26:24 PM
It was a wonderful story and Jordan pulled through. Sounds like she is well liked in her school system and I am quite sure it will continue through her life, I like Jordan too, met her at my cousins cookout very nice cute girl.

Donna DeFrancisco, United States, NY
2/23/2011 6:16:43 AM
Knowing Jordan, this is just one of many amazing stories!

2/22/2011 3:18:59 PM
i HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE OF KNOWING JORDAN CAIRA SINCE OUR CHILDREN WERE IN KINDERGARDEN.She is a truly wonderful and inspirational young lady.I have seen many children that have been affected in such positive ways including my own

Andrea Fantasia, United States, MA
2/22/2011 5:03:20 PM
wonderful girl...wonderful family

Sarah Rosenthal, United States, MA
2/22/2011 7:43:49 PM
Hello, I have been friends with Jordan since kindergarten. I love watching her learn, grow and make new friends. It was an honor and a privilege to have Jordan at my Bat Mitzvah. Jordan is an amazing girl and one of my very close friends

Sarah DiConza, United States, MA
2/22/2011 6:15:56 PM
Jordan is such geat kid. It is our pleasre to know her. Our girls too have ben friends since elementary school. Christina thinks the world of Jordan.

Evelyn LeBlanc, United States, FL
2/24/2011 8:12:40 AM
I wish all our middle school students were like this. That would be wonderful

Cheryl Woods, United States, MA
2/24/2011 9:35:57 PM
How inspiring! It is comforting to know there are still "good" kids in middle school who are assertive enough to do the right thing! It gives all other parents comfort and hope. Thank you for raising Jordan the way you did - she is a true blessing!

Jean Russo, United States, NY
2/24/2011 7:18:57 PM
What a great story for such a wonderful,loving & very special girl!!

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