Just Kids: Visiting a Class for Children with Special Needs

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There is a special classroom in many schools for children with disabilities. With intimate photos, Ellen Senisi takes readers inside this fascinating but often overlooked place. The story is based on a true incident. A girl teases a disabled child and is asked to spend time in the special-needs classroom. Through her, readers are introduced to an engaging group of kids and to a wide range of disabling conditionsùepilepsy, Down syndrome, autism, and more. Readers also see students run an obstacle course in ...
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Overview

There is a special classroom in many schools for children with disabilities. With intimate photos, Ellen Senisi takes readers inside this fascinating but often overlooked place. The story is based on a true incident. A girl teases a disabled child and is asked to spend time in the special-needs classroom. Through her, readers are introduced to an engaging group of kids and to a wide range of disabling conditionsùepilepsy, Down syndrome, autism, and more. Readers also see students run an obstacle course in physical therapy, mold clay in art therapy, and learn the sign- language story of the Little Red Hen in speech class. This is a thorough introduction to a special-needs program. It will make children feel familiar with this unique learning environmentùone that isnÆt far from their own classrooms.

Second-grader Cindy is assigned to spend part of each day in the class for students with special needs, where she finds out that even though some kids may learn differently or have different abilities, they are all "just kids."

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
A little girl on the playground responds to a child with a disability in an ugly manner. When the little girl is taken to the principal's office, he suggests that she spend some time each day for the next two weeks in the special needs classroom to gain a greater understanding of children with disabilities. The story describes Cindy's experiences as she learns more about children with disabilities, and how their day is the same and different from Cindy's. While the idea behind the book is admirable, explanations are too detailed, resulting in a lengthy text beyond the abilities of the age group for which it is intended. The photograph of the teacher shaking his finger at Cindy seems punitive rather than empathetic. Perhaps portions of the text could be dealt with at various times with the aid of an adult.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3When a teacher overhears Cindy call a girl in a special education class a "retard," he arranges for the second grader to spend some time in the special-needs classroom. Over the next two weeks, Cindy comes to know Ashley and her classmates and learns a bit about epilepsy, autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, and other disabilities. The full-color, sharply focused pictures are bright, vibrant, and upbeat. They project the powerful message that these children are not to be pitied; rather, readers, like Cindy, are encouraged to get to know them as unique individuals and to see that there are many different ways to learn. There is some oversimplification, primarily because the disabilities are so complex that they cannot be easily explained in brief and still cover the range of problems or issues. The narrative sometimes bogs down under the weight of trying to present all of the necessary information. Although children would be unlikely to pick up this book on their own, classes studying disabilities or schools hoping to increase awareness about the benefits of all types of special education will find this title useful.Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525456469
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/1/1998
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 690L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.48 (h) x 0.47 (d)

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