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Gov. Sarah Palin on Disabilities

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No matter which party wins the White House this fall, it'll be making history: the Democrats would be able to claim the first African-American president, and the Republicans could have the first female vice president.

Edweek's Campaign K-12 blog has a entry on Gov. Sarah Palin's education bonafides.

UPDATE: Here's a link to Education Week's web story on the selection, which delves more deeply into her education record.

Most intriguing for my professional interests is that Palin, a 44-year-old self-described "hockey mom," PTA leader-turned-mayor-turned-governor, is also the mother of a 5-month-old with Down syndrome. (She has four other children, ages 18 to 7.)

Down syndrome is one of the most common chromosomal abnormalities; about one in every 733 babies is born with it. The syndrome causes varying degrees of cognitive delays, and also has some physical effects, like low muscle tone and congenital heart defects.

The conservative National Review praises McCain's choice in an online column. One blog issued a challenge to Palin a few months ago, asking her to embrace health and education issues for children with disabilities.

There's the possibility that just the very fact of her selection could provide needed education and sensitivity among the public--although her son would probably get more attention if he were a little bit older. He looked supremely unaware during her mother's introduction to the public in Dayton, Ohio, today, snoozing peacefully in the arms of one of his sisters.

Then again, blogger Patricia Bauer said she already heard little Trig referred to as a "Down syndrome child." Ugh. Sensitivity has a ways to go.

8 Comments

As a sibling/guardian of an individual who has down syndrome (my apologies for sounding so formal),I am very eager to hear your thoughts about educational entitlements as well as long term outcomes for people with developmental disabilities. I look foward to your comment.
Kate Yankitis, MSW

Can you find out anything abut Palin's position on fully funding IDEA? What has she done in Alaska to make up the funding for special education? What is her position on inclusive classrooms?

I wonder if she will now experience the challenges of public education for children with disabilities - or will she opt for private schools.

I understand that Palin cut education for special needs by 62% while governor.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/9/3/163229/8631/847/584963
Maybe her views will change with the birth of Trig?

i am a mom of a down's daughter. she was the best behaved and sweetest of all my kids. adorable, beautiful, gentle, and utterly lovable. she died recently due to neglect in a bad guardianship. this happens too often, due to NO funding for guardianship services for those who cannot afford legal fees.
i think palin's downs child is going to be an education for her, and this is "what she gets" for cutting the ed budget without any heart. but, not that it's any kind of shame or punishment to have a downs child, quite the opposite. i just think she never put herself in the shoes of the needy, like too many republicans. "It can ALL happen to them"--- i mean, anything that they think should be ok to happen to the poor, when they cut our sustaining funding.

downy mom -- please read my latest blog entry. There's no evidence at all that Gov. Palin has cut special education funding; in fact, it's quite the opposite.

hi christina s,
i went to your link right above my first entry, and read all the way down to the bottom of the posts there. finally it comes out that the line item of the Alaska budget was simply moved to another place in the budget, plus there were some other more favorable funding changes as well.

PS, Trig--- her son's name--- i wonder, is that a play on Trisomy ? since down's is sometimes classified as Trisomy 21.

sorry i mean, it was brian's link right above my first post here.

PS, Trig--- her son's name--- i wonder, is that a play on Trisomy ? since down's is sometimes classified as Trisomy 21.

No,I believe Trig is a Norse god or something like that.

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