We sure enjoyed having our friends from Hangzhou come to MN and WI to visit therapy centers. They got to tour Courage Center, Gillette Children's Hospital, U of M Adoption Clinic, The Therapy Place, Point of Stillness, Avanti Center and some wonderful schools. In every facility we toured, two things were always stressed:
* Children learn through play.
* Inclusion and mainstreaming children is best for everyone.
These are concepts that are new to China and by the end of the trip our friends really understood why we in the US incorporate these ideas into our education system.
Question: "Doesn't it make the child with a special need feel bad being included with typical children?" Answer: "I think you're mainstreaming in the orphanage without realizing it. How do the children with no obvious special need, such as a repaired heart react to the child who who has a more visually obvious special need such as a missing limb?"
The staff acknowledged that, "The children accept them very well."
You see we are the same all over the world, and education is the key to helping adults realize what children instinctively know.
Here is a photo of the ladies playing in the lycra climbing gym at Point of Stillness Therapy Center in Hudson WI.