Reflective Essay on Students with Disabilities

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In a presentation about parents and families of students with disabilities, the Riley family came up and shared their experiences about living with Catherine, a woman who has Down syndrome. The three presenters who shared were Molly, Nola, and Catherine. Molly, who is Catherine’s older sister, talked about what it was like growing up together with Catherine and how it affected her life. Nola, Catherine’s mother, told what it was like bringing and raising a child with Down syndrome in this world. Catherine also shared a bit about her life and how she has been successful despite having a disability.

Molly and Catherine are sisters who spent their childhood growing up together. With Molly being only sixteen months older than Catherine, they were very close. They even shared a room together for eighteen years of their life. Molly always made sure that her and Catherine had the typical sister relationship growing up. They did everything together and had the same friends. Catherine was expected to fit in with everyone, and not be given excuses. Molly was always a competitive sister which had Catherine constantly working to get an edge. This relationship between Molly and Catherine not only strengthened the bond, but also helped the family. With Molly helping Catherine achieve a normal life, this helped Nola out as a mother.

Nola a mother of three children, who worked as a teacher for thirty-five years, always had her hands full. She was never too shy to ask people for help, with regard to Catherine, that provided help, guidance, and support. With physical therapy Catherine was able to learn the things that her sister Molly and brother John were able to do. Besides that, Nola said that the three kids lived a normal life and all grew up just fine. Nola learned and taught her family to be patient, help each other, to take pleasure in their 3

accomplishments, to encourage each other, to have fun, and to truly be a family. Being a teacher gave Nola an advantage as she...
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