Some of the students at The Schoolhouse for Special Needs enjoying a show.
Barbadians urged to give special needs individuals a chance
Give special needs persons a chance to live and work alongside you in mainstream society.
This is the advice that the Founder and Principal of The Schoolhouse for Special Needs, Yasmin Vlahakis, is sending out to Barbadians.
Speaking with The Barbados Advocate recently, she said that often times some people, including parents of these children, believe that they should sit down in a corner and be quiet, not recognising that these special children do have something special to offer the world.
“I think that when you actually meet them and see them, then you realise that they are special, but there are so many other things about them. People don’t realise that. They just say ‘you know, he or she is special and they need to go over there and sit down until they move onto the next world.’”
She added, “Parents and ultimately society need to recognise that a special needs child eventually becomes a special needs adult, and so you have to teach them for life. I don’t think people realise that. They think, ‘Oh look at little Johnny, he is so cute.’ Well, he is cute when he is three, four, five and not really talking. But then when he is eight and 10 and 16 and 24 and he has still not really done anything, then Johnny’s life has just been there and so people are really doing them an injury.”
However, these persons are capable of thriving in mainstream society once the school; parents/guardians and the country equips them with all of the tools that they would need to do just that.