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Hannah Jones

Social Imagination

Students with exceptionalities are not that different from other people. They have

thoughts, feelings, and passions. They might think a little bit differently than I do, but

oftentimes that is one of their greatest strengths. These students need love just like

everyone else, but they don’t want sympathy. They simply want teachers and other

people to try to understand them.

Peers, families, and educators have a huge role in the lives of students with

exceptionalities. Their role is to unconditionally love the student. They need to try to

meet the needs of the student to the best of their abilities. They also need to try their

best to understand the student, but not to feel sorry for them. The perspectives of peers,

families, and educators of students with exceptionalities is crucial. These people need

to be supported and loved as well, because their job isn’t easy but it’s so important.

Though their lives appear to revolve around the student with the exceptionalities, they

too, have their own life demands and passions.

The connections I made between the readings is that physicalities mean nothing.

It’s impossible to know a person based on what they look like or what they can or

cannot do. From ​Fully Alive​, I saw that people with disabilities, who may have not gotten

the chance to participate in sports, were able to compete against each other and

themselves in activities like running or moving a bean bag. In ​Wonder​, I learned that

Auggie’s physical deformity had no effect on his thinking or feelings. From Christopher

in ​The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime​, I observed that even though he had
trouble in some social situations, he was an extremely smart boy with an incredible

memory. Finally, ​Rules ​showed me that disabilities aren’t always properly shown in a

physical manner, but all that truly matters is who the person is on the inside. I learned

from all these books that the only way to understand someone with disabilities is to

understand who they are as a person. The lessons of these books align with the

College of Education values because they taught me that assumptions about anyone

are worthless and you can only help a child in any way once you get to know them

personally, as you would get to know a friend. Further, these books helped show me the

perspectives of family members of people with special needs. It is important that we

don’t assume anything about them or their behavior, because we don’t know what they

go through in order to support their family member in need.

My artifact is a vase. On the outside of the vase, I have painted the things that

the characters in my books love. In doing so, you can’t tell which needs each person

has or what their abilities are. Also, I included things that I love and that my mom loves.

I considered her passions just as important because her sister had special needs, and

the perspectives of the siblings are so, so important. I put flowers in the vase, to show

that when all the different types of people come together, beautiful things are made. I

accidently dropped my vase, but I found a way to add it’s cracks and pieces to the

lessons that I learned. We’re all broken in some way, whether we identify as exceptional

learners or not. Though we might be broken in different ways, nevertheless, none of us

are perfectly put together. Despite this, beautiful things can still emerge.