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Old 01-05-2014, 02:27 PM   #1
Belle1386
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2 Choices, what would you do?

While answering post on the disAbilities board, I was surprised that my point of view toward those who are mentally or physically challenged was attacked. It made me really sad that we aren't able, or willing to put our needs and wants aside for the benefit of others. Here is a story explaining my point of view, and if we all looked at things the way they did in this story, it would be a much nicer world.


Two Choices

What would you do?....you make the choice. Don't look for a punch line, there isn't one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?



At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its

dedicated staff, he offered a question:

'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.

Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.

Where is the natural order of things in my son?'



The audience was stilled by the query.



The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'

Then he told the following story:



Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.



I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.'



Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.

In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again.

Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.



At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.



However, as Shay stepped up to the
plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.

The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.

As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.



The game would now be over.

The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.

Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.



Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.

Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first!

Run to first!'

Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.

He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.



Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!'

Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.

By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball . the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.

He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.

Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.



All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay'



Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third!

Shay, run to third!'



As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'

Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team



'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.



Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!



AND NOW A LITTLE FOOT NOTE TO THIS STORY:

We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people hesitate.

The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces.



If you're thinking about forwarding this message, chances are that you're probably sorting out the people in your address book who aren't the 'appropriate' ones to receive this type of message Well, the person who sent you this believes that we all can make a difference.

We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the 'natural order of things.'

So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice:

Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?



A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate amongst them.



You now have two choices:

1. Delete

2. Forward


May your day, be a Shay Day.
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:53 PM   #2
peemagg
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While I agree with you about how it would be nice if all could have the way of thinking like the children in the story, but the difference is one child versus the many that are in Disney.

And before you think I am heartless to their needs, I am not. I too am disabled and go to Disney about once a year. I have at times in the past been able to get right on a ride because of my scooter or wheelchair, but not always. I don't mind waiting my turn. As long as I can access the ride, then I will gladly wait. If you were to allow everyone who was disabled to go in front of you, you would be standing in that one line all day and never move anywhere else. Where do you draw the line as to who is allowed and who isn't?

If ticket prices were in a tier system then those who pay the bigger bucks, then they should have front of the line access, but we all pay the same for non-tier tickets, so we should all have the same opportunities according to our abilities.
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:25 PM   #3
Schmeck
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Three things I'd like to point out:

First statement in the 'story' is completely incorrect:

'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.' Um, no, living things in nature undergo mutations, not influenced by anything outside the cell. It's the founding step of evolution, and it does not always have perfection as a result.

Second point: The story of the disabled boy playing a random game of baseball (with team shirts?) has been floating around the internet for a while, and has evolved over time. Snopes has it as undetermined.

http://www.snopes.com/glurge/chush.asp

Third point: While the things you have posted are false, or unproven, they are important. All children should be included when they have the ability to be included. They don't have to be proficient, but they should have the ability to perform safely. I've witnessed situations where a parent wants inclusion in a way that is not safe for the child, or other children involved. We all don't get to do everything. We each have strengths and weaknesses, and as such we are all equal. But we don't get access to everything just because it would be kind to do so. There is a balance which becomes more obvious as children get older and attempt more complicated and advanced activities. Can activities be adjusted? Sometimes. Should they be altered and adjusted all the time? No. This is not "Harrison Bergeron".

Our small city is a special education magnet. We have a very caring, strong special education department. Our student body is very kind and accepting of the special education population. We are big on inclusion, even in our sporting teams. We've been in the news a few times with situations similar to the story above. It can be done. The special ed students might not be named to the varsity team, but senior year they will get to play on the court or field for at least part of a varsity game. Sometimes the opposing team gets involved, sometimes they don't, and both scenarios are fine.

Last year the junior class came up with a "Prom Prince" for one student, and this year at the homecoming rally they adapted the traditional games so that as many special needs students as possible could play. The class makes sure the disabled students get the same school spirit t-shirts as the rest of the class. They are included in class photos, well represented in the yearbook, and so much more.
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:08 AM   #4
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I can say as a disabled person, that I can't stand the "special treatment" stories, such as this one. I know situations like the one in the story do happen and to me they reek of pity. I don't want pity. I don't know a single disabled person who wants pity. It's far better to work with disabled kids to really teach them how to play. Otherwise, what you're really teaching everyone is that it's okay to exclude disabled people except for when it makes non-disabled people feel good about what they've "done" to make the disabled person "feel good". I don't think anyone wants that lesson to be learned.

Plus, I have a friend whose son has a cognitive disability and mental illness, yet is one of the best baseball players on his little league team. You never know what's being missed out by assuming disabled kids can't do things.
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Old 01-17-2014, 05:55 AM   #5
Schmeck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WheeledTraveler View Post
I can say as a disabled person, that I can't stand the "special treatment" stories, such as this one. I know situations like the one in the story do happen and to me they reek of pity. I don't want pity. I don't know a single disabled person who wants pity. It's far better to work with disabled kids to really teach them how to play. Otherwise, what you're really teaching everyone is that it's okay to exclude disabled people except for when it makes non-disabled people feel good about what they've "done" to make the disabled person "feel good". I don't think anyone wants that lesson to be learned.

Plus, I have a friend whose son has a cognitive disability and mental illness, yet is one of the best baseball players on his little league team. You never know what's being missed out by assuming disabled kids can't do things.
I totally agree! When one of our special needs students takes the field, we try not to make comments about how the other kids feel. It really is about that one moment for that one student. We may ask that the newspaper puts a photo of the student in the sports write up, but we've been trying our hardest to avoid the pity party. We did have one article that went a bit over, and it made me mad. Yes, the kid was special needs, yes, the other team let him score a basket, but did they have to state that in the paper? Couldn't it just have been so and so from the team scored at the buzzer?
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