6.02.2008

Your Take on Today's Can I Sit With You? Story

Today's Can I Sit With You? story, Dan Moreau's French Lessons, is about being the new kid at a French school in Bangkok, Thailand. It is a good tale, of course, with plenty of what have apparently become characteristic CISWY cringe-worthy moments.

It also contains a section in which the author chooses not to befriend a child even more outcast than himself, a child who may very well have needed an IEP in a different time and place. Am I reading too much into it? You tell me. But as Can I Sit With You? is in part dedicated to improving social attitudes towards special needs kids, I have to wonder if that carefully avoided boy was more than just bigger than his peers.

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2 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:29 AM

    "It also contains a section in which the author chooses not to befriend a child even more outcast than himself, a child who may very well have needed an IEP in a different time and place"

    I think this is common, and understandable -- the outcast is the worst positioned student to befriend the even more outcast (especially one who might need an IEP). We really can't expect kids to take on this responsibility. We can try to teach empathy and compassion, but we also have to create social reward structures that reward empathy and compassion. That's the mercenary part (i.e. change the rewards), but added to that there should be motivation, an explanation of how being compassionate will be good for you, too.

    Otherwise, we'll just see more and more segmentation.

    bj

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  2. Ah, it's so hard to fit in with a new group of kids. I moved around a lot and it's not easy, took a while each time.

    my take on the kid the author decided not to be friends with? even though i am more predisposed to look for special needs issues these days, i actually saw no indication myself of a disability. there's plenty of kids who just aren't good socially, or for non-disability-related conditions are a pariah in their group - from economics, from their family's reputation, because of bad hygiene, because they were caught picking their nose, because they dress differently, whatever. i'd need more info, his social skills seemed ok - he talked, and talked warmly.

    as to deciding not to accept that first offer of friendship? it may seem cruel to us as (hopefully) more assured adults... but social survival, particularly as a child, can be cruel. i think the people in a better position to exercise empathy and/or compassion are those that already have some security in their group, not the latest scared newbie.

    my two cents.

    mb

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Respectful disagreement encouraged.

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