Reformed Curriculum

May 14, 2017
By , Kenner, LA

As an older sister to a special needs child, I see the struggle that comes with an altered curriculum. I also see how it crosses with practicing Catholicism. Because there are certain alterations that need to be made for a special needs child to get an education, Catholic schools do not meet the requirements for a special needs child to receive education. Due to this, no matter what religion the child practices, they are forced to go to a public school. This is a growing problem that needs to be resolved. Even with St. Michael’s school in New Orleans, there is usually no other option for special needs kids to receive a Catholic education because of the exceedingly long waiting list. From personal experience, I am aware of how much harder it is for my autistic sister to receive Catholic education. Every Tuesday, my sister attends a religion class at our church, and this was how she was able to receive the sacraments. Even though she is lucky enough to be able to learn religion, not all special needs kids have the opportunity to do this. This makes it even harder for them to grasp the concept of religion. If Catholic schools altered their curriculum for special needs kids, they could easily receive the Catholic education that they want and need.

A solution to special needs kids not receiving Catholic education is the curriculum being altered. The curriculum would be able to fit their needs and help them understand the basics of education. With this altered curriculum, the special needs child would attend one school and receive attend all of their classes in one place, versus going to a public school to receive their core curriculum, and then switch to another school for religion class. With this solution, special needs kids would be able to receive a Catholic education without their parents or the child having to take extraordinary measures.

If special needs kids were able to attend a Catholic school, they would be more comfortable with receiving all of their education in one place. Statistics and first hand experiences have shown me that special needs kids formulate routines for their everyday life. Whenever they experience things more than once, they automatically think that it is normal for them to do those things. As seen through my sister, it was extremely difficult to bring her from one school to another and learn different things at both places. If Catholic schools altered their curriculum, it would shed some light and help the child go about their day-to-day lives. They would be less confused over when they go to religion class, if they attend one, and they would be more comfortable with the kids they go to school with and the teachers they are surrounded by. This solution would also help parents with bringing their child to one place, instead of going to two different places. It can easily be seen why Catholic schools should alter their curriculum for special needs kids. Special needs kids who practice Catholicism are often found in the predicament of not being able to learn about their religion. They are forced to go to a public school in order to receive a curriculum that meets their needs. If Catholic schools made this change, the child would feel more comfortable with the environment, be able to easily adapt to their routine, and parents would be under less stress. All in all, many could benefit from a change in Catholic school curriculum.

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