Twenty-two years ago when inclusion of children with special needs was new and controversial, third-graders Libby and Noelle had become fast friends. My daughter Noelle was the first and only child with intellectual disabilities in her elementary school of more than 800 students when Libby wrote this Letter to God (imperfect spelling included):...more
In a few weeks we will be leaving for our trip to London. One of the items on our agenda, other than Cardiff and the Dr. Who Experience……..Let’s just pause for a moment……..YEEE HAAA!Okay, I’m back.One of the items on our agenda is going to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. DC is so very excited. Willy Wonka has been a favorite of DC’s since I can remember....more
I never, for an instant, thought of terminating the pregnancy, even when I found problems in the pregnancy indicated a chance of Down syndrome. I never had prenatal testing. But, what would I tell another mother to do if she found out her child had Down syndrome in prenatal testing? The answer is as loaded as the question, and it comes in two parts.
There is this social phenomenon that I have been reading a lot about lately, it’s called inspiration porn. It basically consists of this idea that people with disabilities are truly inspiring to everyone without disabilities because they get up in the morning and go about their day as if they weren’t cursed with such misfortunes....more
That’s what I say, every time someone suggests something can’t be done. It happens a lot when you have a child with special needs. Our daughter is 31, and I was sick of hearing the word “can’t” by the time she was a kindergartener.At first I tried to be nice. I listened politely, for example, to our parish priest explain to me why Noni could not go to an hour of weekly public school religion class:...more
I was talking to a friend of mine the other night at a Winter Guard event. She was relating a story about how she had written a note to her daughter’s staff listing the items – the only items, her daughter was allowed to purchase that day. Her daughter added an item to that note and handed it in hoping no one would notice the addition....more
Dear Typical Parent,
Hi there! I saw you this morning at the bus stop, taking pictures of your kids in their new clothes with shiny backpacks and haircuts. My son was the little guy with a hole in the back of his shirt where he ripped out the label because he couldn't stand the feel of it against his skin. He had last year's backpack even though the zipper is broken, because it's familiar to him and he was also wearing last year's shoes because he doesn't grow much and they feel just right. Kids with autism like things that are broken in.
One day in a college class, the professor asked us who watched television. A woman a few rows over from me talked with big hand gestures and voiced disdain for the lowly and terrible television. She only watched PBS and inferred those that watched anything else were stupid and beneath gutter scum. I tried to listen but couldn't get my mind off of the fact it was Thursday and Cheers was on that night. I'm a television child. We didn't have Internet then, just NBC, CBS and some independent station that showed a lot of reruns. My son watches television.