Years ago when I taught more students with Down Syndrome I was moved by the essay, "If People with Down Syndrome Ruled the World." I was moved not only because it was so true, but also because it was so funny. If you have ever loved an individual who has Down Syndrome you will see them in that essay. (Heck even if you have just seen, "The Ringer" you will know some of what that essay is talking about.)
But what about of all the other syndromes and conditions that make up our classrooms? What would the world be like if they ruled it? If people with CP ruled the world their would be a warning before every loud noise, but enough time after to let the fun of a startle work for you if you want. If people with CVI ruled the world everything would be in yellow, red, black and white with excellent lighting. If girls and women with Rett Syndrome ruled the world eye pointing was be an assumed and preferred form of communication. If people with Cockayne Syndrome ruled the world their would way more affection and laughter. If people with autism ruled the world intense hobbies and interests would be the norm and everyone would keep track of the kind of car everyone else drives. If people with Leigh's Disease and other Mitochondrial Diseases ruled the world energy conservation wouldn't mean turning off the lights when you left the room it would mean napping when you need to.
In a discussion with a friend today we joked that one syndrome was the syndrome to be, but aren't they all? Isn't it great to think of all the positive things about our students and the ways we can re-frame the not-always-positive?