ALC Kicks Off the Season of Giving Being Thankful
Monday, November 25, 2019
When my son, Charlie, was born, we had the same hopes and dreams for him as any other young parents. Within 3 months of his birth, we learned that he had a birth defect that would affect his overall development. Today, Charlie is an adult. He is non-verbal, uses a wheelchair and communicates only by using signs and gestures. He has never met a stranger and is extremely friendly and loving.
Charlie’s two younger siblings had always been very giving and caring towards Charlie. However, things changed for them in elementary school and they began to pull away from Charlie and did not want to be out in public with him. We soon learned that their classmates were teasing them and making fun of them because of their disabled brother.
In 1998, The Adaptive Learning Center introduced their first inclusive preschool classroom. Charlie was three years old at the time and he was accepted and loved by the children and teachers in his class. At that time, it never dawned on me that this was a groundbreaking experience, for both typical children and children with disabilities.
The Adaptive Learning Center (ALC) enables children with learning differences to fully participate in quality early childhood education alongside their typical peers with the support of an inclusion specialist. For the first time in their lives, children who have been excluded because of their differences are enjoying a typical childhood of school play dates and birthday parties. They are gaining valuable skills to become contributing, independent members of their communities. Their typically developing peers learn respect and empathy for differences. They are forming the attitudes and values that form the foundation for our future.
ALC envisions a world that includes people of all abilities. As we enter the holiday season, let’s remember this is the Season of Giving. ALC needs your help to raise $50,000 by the end of 2019. With your support, ALC will continue inclusive programming in partnering preschools, expand enrollment to new preschools and empower Atlanta area teachers through training and education. Please join us as we write the next chapter in ALC’s long history of helping children with learning challenges to achieve their dreams and to promote inclusion and diversity within our communities.
Executive Director, The Adaptive Learning Center