My interest in special education started with a Chinese movie I watched years ago. The movie, Ocean Heaven is based on social realities in China and talks about a desperate single father who does whatever he can to train his autistic son to be self-sufficient. The movie made me think about the struggles and stigmas people with autism and their families have to negotiate on a daily basis in China where the word autism is rarely part of the vocabulary of Chinese families.
While fictional, the movie’s tragic tale reflects a social reality in China that I hope will one day be a thing of the past. Labeled as “abnormal” or “mentally retarded，” people with autism inevitably live with social attitudes of segregation and confinement. They are deprived of the educational opportunities that able-bodied students enjoy in K-12 classrooms and beyond. Even if they are admitted to schools; rather than being an integral part of the regular classes, they tend to be grouped together as “trouble-makers” or “problematic”. Aside from issues of accessibility, the entire responsibility of taking care of autistic children is on the parents, who may or may not have the knowledge and resources to look after their children. Tragedy occurs when parents lose their capacity to take care of their children, or the current educational system no longer supports adults with autism.
Despite being moved to tears in the theater, I was not sure how I felt at that time. But I know for sure that the sense of moral responsibility has planted its seeds inside me to work with people with disabilities and to make a difference.
More than two years of graduate study and field experience of special education in the United States have confirmed my passio...
... middle of paper ...
...d in the special education field. I really believe your program in special education will better prepare me to become a leading scholar and thus have a more powerful impact in the field in the future. Your admirable faculty’s focuses and immense resources will not only offer me an opportunity to become a better researcher, but also enhance my ability to make a difference both in the U.S. and in China. Equipped with the most up-to-date research studies, professional knowledge, and best practices, I hope that I can be an influential college professor to make a difference in the special education field in the future. I believe that I will be a contributing member to your intellectual community with my sense of innovation, persistence, determination, personal experience, and bilingual-cultural background.
Thank you for your consideration. I hope to hear from you soon.
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