Aliza plays the trombone. Played it all through 5th and 6th grades. She's continuing with band into middle school.
Evidently, toward the end of every school year, the band teacher contacts all the parents of 4th graders, to let them know the time has come for them to consider choosing an instrument and joining the band. An email was sent out along with a phone message blast. I had two 4th graders this past school year, so of course I got that message (although oddly enough, only once. Usually I get hit with those things twice, once for each kid).
So at first I was annoyed - there they go again, assuming all the 4th graders have the same needs, wants, and abilities, and sending this message out to everyone, regardless of the fact that the special needs kids parents will get it, too, completely disregarding the fact that it might be painful for some parents to get this and be reminded of how much their kids are not like the others....
And then I stopped myself from that mental train of thought. What was I doing? That is exactly the kind of thinking I am trying to kibosh on the rest of the world. They certainly BETTER include the kids with special needs in this band invitation email and phone call....Not only that, I had half a mind to call and find out just what supports they have in place for the the kids with autism who want to learn to play an instrument.
I wish I had. This was all a couple of months ago now, and at the time I was busy with my own work, my two classes, and three kids who were wrapping up their school year. I didn't have time to focus on that. It's probably not too late, however. I could still inquire.
I'm worried though, that this will involve a lot of my own time and energy. Most of the extracurricular things my boys do, I have to do, too. I don't have time to go to band practice. I could help them practice at home, but there probably aren't anywhere near enough supports in place, so I'd end up much more involved in elementary school band than I want to be.
But I should call and let them know that yes, I'd like my boys to learn an instrument, and they should start figuring out how they can make this happen. This feels like something someone who wants to promote inclusion should do. I will email the band teacher right now.
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