Five Things I Wish I Had Known About Special Ed From the Start

Five Things I Wish I Had Known About Special Ed From the Start

This post echoes words I have seen in many autism parent blogs, comments, etc.  Until our children can advocate for themselves (an important goal for a parent to shoot for) we need to advocate for them. To do that, we have to “separate the difference from the disability”, and make sure others do the same.

To Raise Up An Advocate

Every person needs to be a self advocate. Every single one of us. As parents, we need to do our best to make sure our kids eventually don’t need us. Even our special needs kids need us to support them and teach them to learn the skills to need us as little as possible.

Cracked Mirror in Shalott

In the fall, I attended an all-grantees meeting in Harrisburg, PA. I was there as a board member of Self Advocates United as 1, a disability self advocacy group which centers people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Every one of our board members has a developmental and/or intellectual disability. I do other work with the group, but my purpose that weekend was in my role as a board member. I wasn’t well for about half the meeting, but towards the end I was approached by the woman who administers our grant. She asked me a question that I’m finally well enough to answer: how do we keep bringing in new youth? Did I have any unique ideas?

I told her I didn’t know if I had any unique ideas about bringing in youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities right now. There is a lot of organizing out there around…

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I have a dream…

(Trigger warning-violence against disabled/links)

Last night I reminded my almost 7 year old that he didn’t have school today. When he asked why, I told him it was Martin Luther King’s birthday, and he had the day off to recognize Dr. King. To the next “why” I replied, because he was someone who fought for equal rights. “Why did someone shoot him?” he asked Continue reading

Autism Speaks Sounds the Fear

Autism Speaks Sounds the Fear

We need knowledge. We need support. We need awareness, acceptance, and RESPECT. These things don’t come from fear. They come from knowledge and respect, and from listening to the experiences of AUTISTIC individuals. It’s not all about the parents. Until Autism Speaks stops using fear to motivate, and starts respecting autistic voices, they will end up doing more harm than good.

(This does not refer to those who volunteer or work locally for AS, who love and respect autistic individuals and have nothing to do with the message of fear, but rather the top-down messaging and behavior.)

Prejudice & Autism

“Prejudice makes us blind, it twists our minds into thinking we understand or know, even when we do not. It can make us deny facts, or decide that what is true, is not real.” Ariane Zurcher

Emma's Hope Book

Emma and I have been discussing the civil rights movement and the events throughout American history that led up to it.  We’ve discussed the word segregation and what it means to a society when we isolate a group of people and how people come to form opinions about other people they’ve never met.

We have discussed the word prejudice  and how it is preconceived opinions based on an idea rather than factual.  We’ve talked about how those preconceived ideas almost always do harm.  We’ve discussed oppression and how many who’ve been oppressed internalize that message and how it changes how they then view themselves.

Emma has asked to read a biography of Harriet Tubman and we have been discussing the importance of Rosa Parks and her decision to not give up her seat on a crowded bus in Montgomery, Alabama.  We have not yet talked about Martin Luther King, Malcolm…

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