To get some pandemic perspective from our younger crowd, we spoke with siblings Sara (10) and Ruben (13) Smith about how and what they are doing during the stay-at-home order. Here’s their take on staying home (instead of spring break in Puerto Vallarta, they settled for Puerta Backyarda!) and what they miss about school (miss school??).
How are you spending your time at home during this pandemic?
Ruben- I’ve enjoyed playing music (bass guitar) and watching movies as a family.
Sara- I get iPad time for FaceTime with friends, doing arts & crafts, playing music, dancing, playing dress up, make up, fun hair-do’s. My brother Ruben does my hair and make-up often.
How has social distancing been challenging for each of you?
R- It’s been hard not seeing friends every day.
S- I miss my friends.
Are there any benefits to being out of school and spending lots of time with your family?
R- I get to hang out with my sister more, and I’ve gotten to know my parents better.
S- I like being home with my parents and brother.
What do you miss about school?
R- Nothing other than my friends!
S- I miss my friends from school, Katie & Cailin. I also miss my teacher, Ms. Sedivy, and my aide, Miss Heather.
What schools did you attend before we all had to stay home and how did you choose your school?
R- Holy Rosary School in West Seattle. My parents chose this school because it is a block away from our house. I have been at this school since preschool. I walk there every day.
S- Our Lady of Guadalupe in West Seattle. My parents chose this school because I can go there all day and be taught in the same classroom with my classmates.
What does inclusion mean and why is it important?
R-It means that everybody is together doing the same things. If you don’t include everybody, they will feel left out and feel sad.
How have you fought for inclusion?
S-My parents have struggled to find a public school in which I could be taught alongside my classmates. Every school that has been chosen for me by the school district puts me in a separate room from my classmates. In the past, I wasn’t even allowed to go to lunch with my classmates. Now I am in a school that costs a lot of money but supports me the way I need.
What have you done to help others understand the importance of inclusion?
R-Every year I do a speech to some of our neighborhood schools and talk about Down syndrome and Inclusion. I encourage students to ask questions and learn more about Down syndrome. I want them to know how awesome my sister and her friends are. I would like to go to more schools and do my speech. I really enjoy speaking to a crowd. Another thing I practice at school is that I look for kids that aren’t being included, I become their friend, help them make more friends and then I move on to find other kids.