Who’s the Slow Learner? A Chronicle of Inclusion and Exclusion (w/ Inscription)


The first book to chronicle a student with Down syndrome from preschool through high school graduation.

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Sean McElwee was born with Down syndrome, and entered his neighborhood school as a general education kindergarten student with the supports, accommodations and modifications he needed to be successful. He was included in all aspects of his elementary school; learned to read, exceled in math, performed in Talent Shows and most of all made many friends. Elementary school was such a wonderful learning and nurturing experience-then the horrors of Secondary school began-and sadly never ended. Struggling to be included where the students were welcoming but the educational staff was ignorant of Inclusive Best Practices and unwilling to learn, Sean survived. High school educators limited his ability to participate by violating his Civil Rights multiple times; denying access to electives, sports and elections. Sean’s mother learned laws she never thought she needed to know, and tried teamwork, diplomacy, and finally became punitive with Compliance and Civil Rights Complaints. Who’s the Slow Learner includes creative examples of accommodations and modifications. Education Law unfolds in their story revealing the hard lesson that while Inclusive Education is the law, you cannot legislate attitudes. This is the first book that chronicles a student with special educational needs from preschool to high school graduation. It is a story of triumphs and successes; losses and failures. Not a “how to” book but the chronicle of “how they did it” as Inclusion pioneers forging the way. Written in the hopes that parents and educators can learn from the achievements and errors made on both sides.


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