Dr. Wedemeyer, The Author

I didn’t just write this new book, I lived it.

An excerpt that tells a piece of my story…

I applaud anyone who strives to learn more about the everyday reality of a child with a special need in a Catholic school. Administrators choose to attend professional development opportunities and read books (like this one), to increase their knowledge of Catholic students with special needs. Teachers turn to administrators and to each other to learn strategies to teach children with special needs and parents work with teachers and administrators to advocate for their child with a special need. When I speak with administrators and teachers and parents and students, they assume that I have gained knowledge and insight throughout my career in special education and although this is true, it is only a part of a much larger story. To be completely honest, would be to tell you that I do not identify most with the administrators, nor the teachers, nor the parents. I most identify with the students with special needs who attend a Catholic school because I was one of them, back when no one knew what special education was and almost no one knew what to do about it.

Someone once told me that to write well, you need to write what you know, and this is what I know. To understand special students in Catholic schools, it helps to begin at the beginning. We look to the past to see how far we have come. The vignettes in this book are true. They tell the story of two children with special needs in a Catholic school, decades before we knew what we now know about children with special needs in Catholic schools. There are questions of reflection for each vignette designed to open minds and hearts and to shine the light on how far we have progressed in how we educate “special” children in Catholic schools. The little boy in the vignettes is my friend, Christian, and the little girl is me.


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