Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 14, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 17, diagnosed with Autism/Asperger's/ADHD. It's the ups, the downs, the joys, the sorrows and most importantly, the beauty of living a life less perfect, a life more meaningful.




Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Right to be in the World

Pretty powerful words, huh?

They are not mine.
They belong to Rosemarie Garland Thomson.
They are just a sample of her words from an article entitled; "Becoming Disabled"

This is a link that will take you to the OP Ed piece that appeared in the New York Times on Sunday Aug 21, 2016

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/08/21/opinion/sunday/becoming-disabled.html

As a writer, I believe that words are powerful things. I believe that used wisely they have the ability to dispel ignorance and move the world forward, toward enlightenment and acceptance.

This type of writing however, is difficult to find.
But when you do stumble upon it, you know it.
There is a strong desire to share it with others.
It is, in a way, almost magical in its power to transform...

Below is an excerpt of exactly what I mean....

The article:
Becoming Disabled
By Rosemarie Garland Thomson
New York Times Op Ed Sunday 8/21/2016

Excerpt:

".......A person without a disability may recognize someone using a wheelchair, a guide dog or a prosthetic limb, or someone with Down syndrome, but most don’t conceptualize these people as having a shared social identity and a political status. “They” merely seem to be people to whom something unfortunate has happened, for whom something has gone terribly wrong. The one thing most people do know about being disabled is that they don’t want to be that."

"Yet disability is everywhere once you start noticing it. A simple awareness of who we are sharing our public spaces with can be revelatory. Wheelchair users or people with walkers, hearing aids, canes, service animals, prosthetic limbs or breathing devices may seem to appear out of nowhere, when they were in fact there all the time......."
.............

"As we manage our bodies in environments not built for them, the social barriers can sometimes be more awkward than the physical ones. Confused responses to racial or gender categories can provoke the question “What are you?” Whereas disability interrogations are “What’s wrong with you?” Before I learned about disability rights and disability pride, which I came to by way of the women’s movement, I always squirmed out a shame-filled, “I was born this way.” Now I’m likely to begin one of these uncomfortable encounters with, “I have a disability,” and to complete it with, “And these are the accommodations I need.” This is a claim to inclusion and right to access resources.

This coming out has made possible what a young graduate student with a disability said to me after I gave a lecture at her university. She said that she understood now that she had a right to be in the world."