Alberta father hopes son’s story highlights the importance of inclusive education

For Herrington and his wife, they never imagined school would be an option for their son.

Just recently, the grade 1 student received a Cool Kid award during an assembly, but perhaps his greatest feat yet is walking for the first time only a couple of weeks ago. Global News Calgary

By Katelyn Wilson, Global News Calgary November 6, 2017

Shawn Herrington’s son Avery was born prematurely at 28-weeks’ gestation. Two weeks later, doctors diagnosed him with cerebral palsy.

For Herrington and his wife, they never imagined school would be an option for their son.

“He is not able to verbally communicate,” Herrington said. “He is blind, he has critical vision loss and he’s quadriplegic, so in our minds, he was not a school-bound child.”

After moving to Taber three years ago, all that changed when Herrington met Daryl Moser, the principal at Central Public School.

“It is the greatest memory I have of somebody with compassion for their job and he explained very diligently that every child has the right to an education,” Herrington said.

In less than two weeks, Avery was in school joining his brother.

“We believe that inclusion is not only to the benefit of the student that has the special need, we believe it benefits everybody in the school,” Moser said. “When I go out every day to get Avery off the bus, there’s a lineup of kids that come with me all wanting to say hi to Avery first thing in the morning and everyone wants to get him in and take a turn bringing him in.”

Just recently, the grade 1 student received a Cool Kid award during an assembly, but perhaps his greatest feat yet is walking for the first time only a couple of weeks ago.

“Even though they said he can’t, he spends his days in a wheelchair, we believe he can do anything he wants to,” Herrington said.

Herrington says Avery is an inspiration to others, teaching them about diversity and acceptance. He’s hoping his son’s story raises awareness about the importance of inclusive education.

“I want people to understand that children with special needs still offer great value to our society and if we embrace them and what they have to offer, there’s a great humbling experience that comes with that.”

A father in southern Alberta is hoping his son’s story will highlight the importance of inclusive education in schools. Katelyn Wilson has the story. Global News Nov 6, 2017

Source Global News

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