On the school playground, Cindy snaps at Ashley: ""Don't touch me! You've got bugs--you're in the retard class.""...

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JUST KIDS: Visiting a Class for Children with Special Needs

On the school playground, Cindy snaps at Ashley: ""Don't touch me! You've got bugs--you're in the retard class."" Thankfully, things look up after this harsh beginning, for Cindy is required to spend some time each day in the special-needs class. This photo-essay is warm but unsparing--the world of children with Down syndrome, epilepsy, attention disorders, and autism isn't softened up--and mostly free of jargon. The full-color photographs are of ordinary classroom scenes, as well as speech, physical, and occupational-therapy routines, and by putting a child's face to information about his or her difficulties, Senisi provides readers with the familiarization they need to accept special-needs children and break their isolation. As the teacher explains, ""Labels belong on boxes of raisin bran. Sticking labels on real people with real feelings is a silly thing to do."" Despite an out-dated, text-heavy design and long paragraphs of explanation, Senisi's book makes the special-needs children real, not worthy of pity, but just their measure of respect.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1998

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1997

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