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Jackie and Sami Csaniz chapter 2


Chapter 1: Background
Chapter 2: Sami's Studies in Special Education (you are here)
Chapter 3: Sami's Childhood
Chapter 4: Family Involvement in Disability Organizations, Middle School Experiences
Chapter 5: High School Experience, College
Chapter 6: Ongoing Support for Jackie, Personal Ambitions

transcript - entire interview

Jackie and Sami Csaniz Interview (Word)

transcript - current chapter

Lisa: You're currently a student, where are you studying and what are you studying?

Sami: I'm a student at Temple University and I'm studying recreational therapy.

Lisa: And when you came into Temple was that your intended major?

Sami: No I actually wanted be... I really wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to be a teacher since I could talk probably. Um we always played school when I was little and I'd always be the teacher and teach my sisters.

19:14:03:00 - 19:15:14:15

Lisa: So why aren't you studying education?

Sami: Well when I was in education we had to take, I was education Special-Ed or elementary Ed and Special-Ed and I would just be my Special-Ed classes and they'd always tall about this "normal" and I just never understood what "normal" was because to me no one is normal and uh it just, it just didn't seem like the right fit for me. It just wasn't what I wanted to do. I felt like, they like... not really tried to baby but it was kind of like, oh we have these, you know, Special-Ed kids now so we have to learn this way or that way. It wasn't like trying to teach everyone. It was more of like, I don't know. I just didn't feel like it was the right fit for me. It was more of like, like a pity kind of thing. Like that we have to teach kids with special needs. I don't know. Just didn't fit right.

19:15:15:10 - 19:16:59:10

Lisa: You said you had some issues with this idea of making things normal for kids with disabilities. Can you tell me a little more about that because I know this idea of normalization, was very big in the disability community for a very long time.

Sami: Mm-hmm. Well they would talk about like mainstreaming and like inclusion but they like, kids with special needs weren't included. It was like ok we'll include them in gym and art and lunch but for math, reading, writing, all that other stuff; they'll go down to the west wing where no one goes, kind of thing. That just really irritated me because if you're trying to make tings normal then you would put them in the classroom with everyone else and not in the west wing where no one is and no one sees you, you know. I mean like it was great but they, you know, kids who had special needs and did have lunch with us and with the normal kids and not by themselves in their classrooms but it was also really frustrating because then it's like they're not really like learning how to like to be normal I guess. You know? Because you're keeping them secluded for half the day and only bringing them in for like specials. Whereas, like even for like gym, you know like it was kind of like ok well, just stand off to the side for a little bit and watch. I don't know just irritated me a lot.

19:17:15:20 - 19:18:43:10

Lisa: Did you have any opportunity to visit classrooms and sort of observe kids?

Sami: Oh yeah. I went to my old elementary school and we were in, it was a regular class and they had, it was like a special reader day or something and I remember I think, I mean, I know I'm not one to diagnosis or anything but I think this one young boy had autism and he was kind of like fidgeting around. Now this was like a first grade classroom so he was like fidgeting around, all the kids were, but he had an aide with him who was sitting behind him and you know he was just like looking around like this lady is reading a book. I don't know if he was really interested in it or not but I remember the aide grabbed his head and forced him to look forward. And I was sitting there like, are you kidding me right now? There is like twenty other kids that are playing with their shoelaces or, you know, not paying attention. Why did she have to grab his head and make him look forward? I knew right then and there I didn't want to do it anymore because I didn't want to be involved in that. I just thought that was really wrong of her to do and if his mother was there she probably would have flipped because no aide should do that to any child, disability or not. I mean that was just.... I couldn't believe she did that.

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