By Dr. Miriam Grossbaum,
As I was sitting here waiting for inspiration to write a blog post for this newsletter, I asked my nine-year-old what she thought adults should know about nine-year-olds. She thought for a moment, shrugged her shoulders and then said questioningly ‘That they are awesome?’.
I couldn’t help but smile and agree with her. I thought her comment was particularly poignant given the recent comments by a politician opposing the inclusion in mainstream schools of young people who have diagnoses of autism.
I had intended to address this topic and also to make the point that schools generally should be positive places where kids can feel included, safe and secure as well as learning things like perseverance and coping with disappointment etc., in order to become resilient beings.
I suspect that these views are supported by the majority of the community, yet perhaps some people may feel uncomfortable about people who are perceived as in some way different.
I wonder why we can’t just remember that although there may be issues to think about (such as what support is needed in education etc.), all young people have the right to feel awesome and to have this feeling of awesomeness recognised and nurtured by others. My nine-year-old might have some advice for some of those elected to make good decisions for our young people.