I've talked a lot with my kids of how we behave when our other friends are in the room, what to do when one of them misbehaves (which happens frequently!), etc. It's a fine line between making sure my kids understand the exceptional ed kids are different, but I also want them to see the other kids as equals. Well, today something happened to tell me that they "get it."
Susie* has Down's Syndrome and often has behavioral problems in my classroom. Today she was acting up again, and another child started to laugh. Another student stepped in and said "don't laugh at her, she's still learning."
That's when I was stopped in my tracks speechless. She IS still learning. I was so proud that a) this other little girl stood up for her friend and b) that she understood what I was trying to explain about the differences. It was so touching and just made me love my kids all the more!!