H has a mentally challenged child in his class, A. H often talks about him and enjoys being with him because, "A is most fun to be with. His brain works differently ma," he explained to me (No doubt as explained to him by his teacher).
A few days back he said it was A's birthday and asked for a gift for him. I'm not big on gifts, (I prefer cards), but when H insisted I wrapped a small one for him.
I forgot about it till this Saturday when I went for the Parent-Teacher meet. During the conversation his teacher said, "A's mum has asked specially to convey her regards to you. She had tears in her eyes, so touched was she with H's gift for A.....:,". I was beginning to puzzle over, what I thought was, a bit of an overreaction, for a small gift. Then, continued H's teacher, "...specially after A had attacked him a day earlier".
That made me sit up. How come H didn't mentioned this? H, who shows me every tiny hurt.
I took it up with him. "Did A hurt you?" I asked.
"Yes mama. He didn't want me to sit at his desk but teacher had asked me to, so when I went and sat he got angry. But then teacher came and helped me."
"Why didn't you tell me?" I asked.
"Because it was only A. He doesn't mean to be bad. He gets angry sometimes. I've told you na, his brain works differently," was his reply.
This was H
- who remembers every single real or perceived injury and insult for ages.
- who doesn't pause to think before landing a punch at his sister.
- for whom I went to a counsellor when he was 3, because he couldn't control his anger.
Oh he's come a long long way. I was so proud....
...of H for not holding a grudge, for being so mature.
.. and of their school for practising 'inclusive education' in its true sense.
It cannot be easy. I've heard other parents complaining and do perhaps understand their concerns for their children. However, now I see how positive it can be to have A in the same class, not just for him but for the other children as well. (What is required, is perhaps a little more help and vigilance from caretakers).
Isn't this what differently abled children need? Not pity, not special schools, not special treatment.. Just a matter of fact understanding that they do things differently, react differently, that they are 'different', not less not more, than the other kids.
And a HUGE HUGE thank you to A for bringing out the best in my son and for introducing me to a whole new side of him.
There really is "Something Good in everything".
Linking to ABC Wednesday . Do click on the link for more great entries.
Labels: ABC Wednesday, H, school