Showing posts with label the 504. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the 504. Show all posts

April 29, 2013

Schuyler's New Tool

This afternoon, over at the 504:
Most of all, accommodating the social integration challenges of assistive technology gives Schuyler and kids like her the possibility of a measure of independence and self-determination. Those are goals that are both persistent and tenuous. For Schuyler and her friends, self-advocacy is vital, but it flutters through their lives on gossamer wings. It's delicate, and it falls apart so easily.

April 22, 2013

The Negotiating Season

Today at the 504:
Parents need to understand that their intimate relationship with their kid empowers them with a level of investment that can't be ignored and shouldn't be minimized. It's imperative that parents go in knowing what they need to know, and with a clear and sober understanding of their child's disability and what that might mean realistically. But in my opinion, parents also need to temper that with a philosophical open door. They need to overbelieve. They need to hold onto possibilities, because those possibilities have a funny way of turning into realities.

April 11, 2013

On Inspiration

My latest post at the 504:
I think that any growth on my part must be because of Schuyler, because of her own giant trusting heart and her fierce, unconditional love for me, a love that I am desperate not to win, because I have it already and always have, but rather to deserve. Schuyler gets up every day and she moves into the universe like a storm front, and her success or her failure on any given day is almost beside the point. She perseveres because it's what she has to do to be in the world. And so I try to put myself together as a kinder and more humane person. A better person. The father she deserves.
Schuyler and me, at the time of her diagnosis

March 28, 2013

Three Cheers for Inclusiveness

Today, over at the 504:
It's easy to make fun of the A for effort, the trophy for participation, but the fact is, for Schuyler and countless kids just like her, those trophies are the ones that sit on their shelves. And they're not cheap tokens of faint praise, either. It's impossible to overestimate the hard work and perseverance those trophies represent to kids for whom participation alone is a triumph. That very real accomplishment is made possible by programs like the Special Olympics, or the Miracle League in which Schuyler plays soccer and baseball with other disabled kids, or the inclusive cheerleading squad at her middle school. Schuyler and her friends try so hard to fit into the world. In programs like these, they succeed.

March 19, 2013

Finding Her Own Voice

Today at the 504:
It's one of the dirty secrets of assistive voice technology. There are a million good reasons to use it, and the innovations advance remarkably every day. But as one noted assistive tech innovator pointed out to me as we sat in an exhibition hall full of the latest technology, "Every piece of assistive tech equipment in this room says the same thing to the casual observer. It says 'I have a disability.'"

March 6, 2013

On the Word

As a part of today's observation of "Spread the Word to End the Word", sponsored by the Special Olympics and Best Buddies, I've written a new post over at the 504. Just revisiting some thoughts on "The R Word", from a recent speech:
In recent years, I've found myself getting caught up in exactly how unprepared the world really is for our kids, and how ugly the result can be. It's easy to forget. It's easy to become so insulated in our everyday lives as parents and so infatuated with our own beautiful children that we forget that to much of the outside world, these kids are simply perceived as being... less.

February 26, 2013

The Invisibility of Exceptional Children

Today, at the 504:
"Then there's the real kind of invisibility, the kind familiar to the poor or the disadvantaged. And most of all, the invisibility of disability, which manifests itself in a million different ways: the school board meeting where money is allocated to high profile programs like athletics while special education fights for inadequate resources; public discourse on special needs issues in which persons with disabilities are excluded from the discussion; conversations about persons with disabilities, in which they are spoken about as if they're an abstraction, there but somehow not there."

February 2, 2013

The Difference

Over at The 504:
"Like most special needs parents, when I spend time with the parents of neurotypical children, I become hyperaware of the differences."

January 24, 2013

Two things. Three, if you count the chinchilla.

Two quick orders of business today.

First of all, I want to very publicly thank Dr. Janice Light from Penn State's Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. I had the opportunity to speak to her class this morning about Schuyler and AAC and the experience of being a parent wielding a rubber sword. One of the very best things to come out of writing my book has been the opportunity to meet and speak with the young people who are heading out into the world to make a difference, to make THE difference, in the lives of people like Schuyler. They are my heroes, and it really is an honor and a privilege to share my own small insights with them.

Secondly, I'm happy to announce that I will be contributing to the new special needs blog, The 504, over at You can read my introductory post, Meet Schuyler, Monster-Slayer. (It's sort of a "Hi, this is what I'm all about" post, so it's not exactly going to be new stuff for regular readers.) I'm happy that they've started this new project, and even happier that they've invited me to be a part of it.

Okay, that's it. Oh, and here's our new chinchilla, because as you may or may not know, chinchillas are exceptionally cool. (My Instagram and Facebook feeds are mostly about chinchillas these days, in no small part because it makes me happy, imagining everyone saying "What's with all the goddamn chinchilla stuff?" I gotta be me.)

Hello, Frida.