Special Needs and Inclusion:

Know Yourself

Breadcrumb trail:

Becoming more self-aware begins with examining yourself.

We each bring our experiences, perspectives, and worldview to our work – the good, the bad, and all of the in-between. These are what make us who we are and influence our practice with children, families, and colleagues. We also hold in our minds a picture of our ideal selves. Knowing more about yourself can pave the way to becoming the person and the early educator that more closely matches your ideal self. This first Key to Reflection and Inquiry can help you become more self-aware and intentional in examining who you are now and who you want to become.

A woman pausing for reflection.

Photos of Micah Fialka-Feldman and family.

Advice to Professionals Who Must "Conference Cases"

Read the poem Advice to Professionals Who Must "Conference Cases" by Janice Fialka, Micah's Mom. You can also listen to Janice read the poem accompanied by original piano music and stunning photos at http://www.broadreachtraining.com/videos/advice.htm.

  • Reflect on the lines of this poem that stand out for you.
  • Try to explain why they touch you.
  • Express the feelings as they come to the surface.
  • Connect this experience with your own experience in some meaningful way.

Try This!

Janice Fialka invites you to read "Rethinking Denial", Young Exceptional Children: Vol. 5, Number 2.

Write your reflections on the ways you view families as they come to terms with unexpected news about their child’s development. Janice reminds us that "…parents are on their own journey of rebuilding their dreams for their child." Keep this in mind to help you bring compassion and understanding to your work in this arena.

Review the "suggestions for professionals" in the article. The article is a good accompaniment to the CompSAT video, "Preserving Hope, Honoring Dreams."

Use this template to record your observations, thoughts, and feelings.  Download the Template

Deepen Your Understanding

California Early Childhood Educator Competencies

Deepen your understanding of the Special Needs and Inclusion competency by reviewing the dispositions listed in the CA ECE Competencies. Scroll to page 59.

Can you find other places in this competency area that address dispositions and understandings you want to deepen your compassion on behalf of families and children?

Download the California ECE Competencies

California Early Childhood Educator Competencies

Extend Your Learning

Visit Janice Fialka's inspiring website, http://www.danceofpartnership.com.