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THIS YOUNG WOMAN HAS BECOME THE FIRST TEACHER IN LATIN AMERICA WITH DOWN SYNDROME

It’s perhaps the most unfair characterization that anyone with special needs can suffer, an indignity that has nothing to do with reality and more to do with the preconceived ideas in the head of the attacker. People with handicaps and other specialized physical and mental challenges are not dumb. They don’t require institutionalization because their brains aren’t working.

People With Special Needs Can Do Anything

They Can And Do Live Long, Productive Lives

 

Now, that doesn’t mean that some possess significant cognitive delays, but for the most part, individuals with something like Down syndrome have successfully integrated into society and have managed to make huge strides both on their own and in groups. We see it all the time – a boy succeeding at sports, a girl who cheers like the “normal” kids, an artist expressing themselves. Down is not a limit, just a hurdle to overcome.

Since She Was A Little Girl, Noelia Wanted To Be A Teacher

 

Still, when 31-year-old Noelia Garella initially expressed a desire to become a teacher, many – including those whose children she might possibly interact with – felt she was unqualified. No, she had all the proper schooling and certifications. Instead, they saw her condition (she has Down syndrome) and reacted just like the administrators did back when her parents wanted to put her in daycare. The less than flattering decision? No, because she looked like a – get this – monster. BOO!

She’s Had Lots Of Support

 

And There’s Been A Lot Of Skeptics

 

But by breaking with convention and overcoming prejudices, Noelia got her wish. Today, she is among the first individuals with Down’s Syndrome in Latin America to be given the job label “teacher.” She works with nursery school age children as a reading instructor and has proven proficient in other areas as well. How does she manage this? One wise administrator discovered the key to Noelia’s success. He told local reporters:

‘We very quickly realised that she had a strong vocation. She gave what the children in the nursery classes most appreciate, which is love.’

Too bad more people can’t see this distinction in those who are different.

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