Friday, 5 June 2015

Weekend reading and viewing: 6th - 7th June 2015

Sipping Lemonade, 4th June 2015
... And that feeling, specifically, was what I wanted most four years ago — the feeling of normalcy that fits as comfy as house shoes. I wanted to move on from the all-encompassing-seemingly-huge-deal of having a child with Down syndrome that hit me like a wave in those first days. But how quickly the wave washed over and passed on to still waters — newer waters — clearer waters ...

The Unplanned Pregnancy That Brought Me A Daughter With Down Syndrome -- And Everything I Didn't Know I Wanted
Cristina Nehring, Huffington Post, 28th May 2015
"Anything can happen in life, especially nothing." These words hung above my desk for years. A quote from French writer Michel Houellebecq, they chilled me with their threat of the eventless existence that lay ahead were I not driven, smart and daring enough to make things happen. By "things" I meant legendary love affairs. Travel. A soaring literary career. Not for me the noisy nursery -- my children would be books ...

The Best Day Ever Was the Day We Met Our Son, Who Has Down Syndrome
Kari Wagner Peck, Huffington Post Parents,  28th May 2015
... What do you say the first time you meet your 2-year-old boy? You want to say, "I love you! I can't believe this is happening!"

But that, without a doubt, is going to freak out a child who doesn't have a clear idea of who you are. How do you explain to any child what a parent is? How do you explain to a child that has already had two sets? ...

Our Megan
Dual Diagnosis ASC / DS, 4th June 2015
When I look at our Megan these days most of the time I see a happy, smiley fifteen year old girl content in herself ... Megan no longer lives with us. Her home is now in a residential community and she constantly has two staff with her all day long. Letting go of Megan was one of the hardest things we had to do. It was with heavy hearts we had to consider a residential setting, yet two years down the line the benefits to her (and us) are so clear ...

Much loved and respected Canadian disability advocate Judith Snow died this week. Many of those whose lives she touched have written moving tributes. This quite long essay by Judith Snow tells a story of an inclusive life that illustrates her lived beliefs about community.  Thanks to Samantha Connor for the link:
Creating what I know about communityJudith A. Snow, Inclusion Network
For many years I have known and learned from a young man named Peter. He is now in his early twenties and when I first met him he was 12 or 13 years old. I like to tell people about Peter because in reflecting on the events of his life I have been introduced to many realities about how people can achieve positive community together...

When a community is destroyed
Open Drum (ABC), 22nd May 2015
In February, we lost another family from our community in Millers Point.

There was 'May’ (not her real name), who has Down’s Syndrome, her parents who were refugees and her siblings who went to school and lived for over two decades in the area.

Those who care about people with significant disability know how hard it can be to achieve inclusion, to have real friends and relationships with those without impairments and to be allowed and encouraged to contribute to others ...

Five minutes to change perceptions of Down’s syndrome
Beatrice Credi, West, 7th May 2015 
... the perception of people who are considered to be different can really change very quickly. You just need to give others a chance to express and be themselves.

Dave Hingsburger, Rolling Around in My Head, 4th June 2015
... I was having a conversation with Ruti Regan, a Rabbinical student with a developmental disability, and she said something that just jumped out at me, "treating someone as a human being, in itself, gives us way more power than we should ever have." ...

Strength in Diversity: Positive Impacts of Children with Disabilities
Michelle R. Lodewyks, Vanier Institute of the Family
... Parents in the study reported an ability to more readily recognize and appreciate the value, potential and strengths of a person with a disability as a result of their parenting experiences. Many described how their experiences left them with a greater acceptance of diversity, a stronger belief that there is an inherent and intrinsic value in people and a “more balanced appreciation for what people are about.” ...

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