The Atlantic

The Gap Between My Daughter and Her Peers Is Growing

Test scores and other routine measures of success matter much less to me than the lost experiences of learning together.
Source: Shutterstock / The Atlantic

My daughter’s life, like many children’s, was full in early March, before everything was put on hold. She was invited to a birthday party at the local gymnastics center. She was preparing for her upcoming dance recital. At school, she loved her teacher and her classmates, and at recess, she was learning how to cross the monkey bars, with her best friend’s help.

All families experienced the cancellation of regular childhood events in the spring, yet for my daughter, this retraction of social life seemed particularly threatening. My 8-year-old has Down syndrome, and as part of an inclusive education plan, she has been in a regular classroom setting since kindergarten. The rewards of her inclusion have been extraordinary,

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