Thank you for the deeply insightful and wonderful observation of your classmate who’s neuro-different. There shows incredible depth, compassion, and insight into the human condition for such a young age. Your parents are blessed. I am a father of three, two with autism, one who’s 11 years old and very much like Eleanor. Everything you are saying is so truthful, few adults just don’t get. Families of kids with developmental disabilities slowly and painfully learn that most teachers and administrators who work in education don’t value people with developmental disabilities. Since my daughter’s preschool, it has been a monumental fight and tremendous strain on our family to have her included in the general education classroom with the appropriate supports, church, and community, and impossible to get them to treat her as equal with her peers. The thing is, my daughter’s not disabled on the inside. She’s actually intelligent, funny, kind, loves people, insightful, and very talented with her own thoughts and ideas. I bet Harriet is very much the same. It’s the lack of respect and the conditions others place on our kids that are so soul crushing to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Because my daughter has autism, anxiety and a language disorder, most people write her off as incapable of learning, making friends or holding a job, etc. Harriet, I think it’s wonderful your already thinking a career a legal career in disability advocate and human rights’ law. It has long been my opinion, the next human rights movement well be for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities will be only a decade or two away, We will need you then. Your quite an impressive young lady!
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