In our special education advocacy department, we receive inspiration from each of our students. Many indeed use their unique learning and emotional characteristics to reach unexpected heights. Each day, we work with parents with goal of helping students to know their strengths and weaknesses so they can flourish and learn to use their any perceived deficits as strengths. Individuals do not “overcome disabilities” but learn to focus on strengths and use their unique perspective to achieve goals. Some work to change the status quo or to report on it in a way not heard before. We see this every day in so many of our students and hold on to these moments. As school districts do not have a legal obligation to “maximize a child’s potential” but to only offer an appropriate program and services to meet needs and weaknesses, finding and fostering these unique strengths can be an uphill battle. We are proud to assist parents and students in this struggle.
The example of the laureate poet Amanda Gorman showed the world what is possible when an individual can capture a moment. Ms. Gorman lit up the inauguration, with her poem and her words, together with her presence, her careful articulation, and her beauty and rhythm. She will perform at the Super Bowl in February. Amanda and her mother have explained that Amanda had speech and auditory processing issues as a child. Amanda showed the world how, with appropriate advocacy and an education that focuses on gifts and strengths, one can reach unimaginable goals.
As Amanda’s mother stated, in a recent interview: “Every child has a gift, it just has to be discovered.”