Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
The girls love visiting their cousins' house. There are always a lot of kids around, plenty of toys to play with, unsupervised walks around the block....you get the idea. It's the kind of environment in which children thrive.
Monday, July 26, 2010
It was 20 years ago today that President George Bush Sr. signed the ADA into law. This groundbreaking legislation gave people with disabilities full legal equality with their non-disabled countrymen.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
We are a very active family and are on the go a lot. I take pride in the fact that I've heard more than a couple of times from one of Emma's therapists that I bring her in too tired because we were out late the night before or up having a dance party and the like. We like to participate in our community and enjoy life. What can I say? I'm not about to compromise a childhood for a well-rested therapy session the next day!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
- Do you want to keep playing with the X,Y, Z toy - Yes and No were both answered depending on the toy and what she wanted at that time
- Someone asked Emma Do you have a brother - Emma said No
- Do you want to go home when at the playground - No
- When a therapy session was over - Do you want to continue playing with Therapist's Name Here - No. Do you want to go home - Yes.
- While at the Children's Museum I asked Emma if she was having fun - Yes. And, if she wanted to go home - No. For this one, I asked her this in the bathroom after I changed her diaper. She would not attend to the iPad when we were in the exhibits because there were loads of children running around. I don't blame her one bit for that!
- Showed her a cow and asked her if it was a sheep - No. Asked her if it was a cow - Yes. Her auditory verbal therapist did this for several items and Emma QUICKLY lost interest in that game - there was no What's in it for me for Emma so she moved on to a game. She just wanted to see how Emma would respond and she was 100% accurate in her responses. I don't think we'll be re-visiting this "game." :-)
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I mentioned before about the Partners in Policymaking program that Chris and I are participating in this year. It is eye-opening to us and really grounding us in what we want for our family and how to make it happen. I encourage everyone who has a disability or a child with a disability to find out if your state sponsors this program and enroll. It will change your life!
- Disabled people have been dehumanized, devalued and neglected for most of history. Typical life experiences of people with disabilities is - devalued by society, put into negative social roles, rejected....segregated....and congregated, marked and labeled in negative ways and oppressed....punished.....even physically hurt.
- As far back as in ancient Greece, infants with some imperfection were left outside to die
- In the 1800s in America there was a rise in the use of "asylums", which were institutions where people with disabilities were kept in cages, closets, cellars, stalls, pens! Chained, naked, beaten with rods and lashed into obedience. There was a photo essay on the deplorable conditions the children and adults lived in titled Christmas in Purgatory. The images and descriptions of the living conditions would make you sick. I can't even imagine how those parents felt when the learned what was happening to their children.
- Late 1880s to early 1900s there was a movement to prevent the birth of those with disablities and we saw forced sterilization and the rise of the Eugenics Movement (Breeding for improving genetics). By 1933, 26 states had sterilization laws inspired by eugenics. This movement fell out of favor after Nazi Germany
- 1950s saw the rise of the parents movement. Parents started to question the "experts" when they said nothing could be done for your child and they should be put away. The parents banded together and started to advocate for laws that improve education, rehabilitation and civil rights for their children with disabilities. By 1950 there were 88 local groups in 19 different states and they went by the name National Association of Parents and Friends of Mentally Retarded Children and are presently known as The ARC.
- In the 1960s some money was designated for services for the disabled when JFK acknowledged his sister Rosemary.
- In the 1970s deinstitutionalization began and the focus was put on the creation of community services. This was done largely in part from the influence of Wolf Wolfensberger who was an incredible advocate for the disabled. He was influenced by the inclusive society in Scandinavia and wondered why we couldn't be more inclusive in the USA and set out to change our policy.
- In 1975 the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was passed. This is the first major legislation to require all school districts to develop and provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) for all children and youth with disabilities. Prior to this act, children with an IQ lower than 55 were not allowed to attend public schools.
- People with disabilities started to move into group homes and attend special education classes (more on each of these topics later in the series)
- Ed Roberts founded the Independent Living Movement
- 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed which prohibits disability discrimination by public entities. This is one of the most significant civil rights documents of the 20th Century!
- 1998 Assistive Technology Act passed.
Labels: partners in policymaking
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Emma had an apt. with the Augmentative Communication (AC) group at the hospital in April (Good Friday, to be exact!) and I've followed through with a few of the suggestions. One main suggestion that I've sort of been on again, off again focusing on is giving Emma a way to express Yes and No. The reason I'm so wishy washy on this is that it's HARD. Emma isn't all that interested in learning Yes and No and the way we were teaching it to her - eyes up to say yes, shake head for no - didn't seem to capture her interest at all and so I wound up exhausted by a lot of the Yes No teaching efforts and pretty much gave it a rest for a while.
- YES she was happy to see Courtney, the babysitter, this morning
- No she did not enjoy her PT session at the hospital
- Yes she wanted to go home and play with Julia