June 24, 2015

Being Ok with Being Yourself

In our neighborhood growing up there was a family that had two sons that both had significant intellectual disabilities.  They were often made fun of by others and generally not treated well, unfortunately at times by even their own family members.  I can remember my parents always being very kind to them, however, and expressing sincere compassion and concern for their well-being.  One of sons would often come by our house to visit and talk, and I wondered how many opportunities he had to do this.  Seeing how he would light up and seem so excited made me believe they were few and far between.  This made quite an impression on me, and was one of the earliest memories I have of learning about people with disabilities and how they should be treated.   Once I entered school, I was picked on quite a bit for being a pretty awkward […]
June 11, 2015

Redefining “disability”

“Part of the problem with the word ‘disabilities’ is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can’t feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren’t able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities.” ― Fred Rogers I have always admired the people with disabilities with whom I work because of their amazing ability to live in the moment and find joy in simple pleasures that I often take for granted.  When I was a live-in staff at a group home a few […]