Special Needs Land Mine: The Fast Food Play Area

September 18, 2014

I can remember it like it was yesterday. Some of the moms of kids in Sarah Kate’s preschool in Decatur, Alabama decided to get together for coffee at the McDonald’s near I-65. We were all navigating the chaos of having preschoolers at home – those years when you do your best to talk to your […]

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Mayberry Is a Little More Inclusive Today

August 19, 2014

Nine years ago (!!!), I was on the steering committee and Sarah Kate was one of a handful of “poster children” for the fundraising campaign for an accessible playground to be built in Decatur, Alabama. I spoke to a number of local groups about the importance of inclusive play, and she was featured in a few […]

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TOTS Soccer: Splendor in the Grass (More Like “Kick in the Grass…”)

April 29, 2014

Yep. I forgot to blog about soccer. I KNOW, RIGHT? How could I possibly forget to post pictures and talk about Nathan’s soccer debut, when I’ve covered Sarah Kate’s swim team and softball exploits ad nauseum? But forget I apparently did, because the only things I can find on the blog about soccer are the photo above […]

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Project SEARCH: A Great Idea Right In My Backyard

February 20, 2014

I’ve been taking Nathan to speech therapy for several months; the therapy office is in the wellness center building of our local hospital, just a mile from the house. It’s convenient and the people there have been wonderful to work with. Several weeks ago, I noticed a young woman with Down syndrome in scrubs with […]

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What Is My Responsibility to the Special Needs Community?

February 18, 2014

When Sarah Kate aged out of early intervention at three years old, she qualified for public (i.e., developmentally delayed) preschool, just as Nathan did seven years later. We opted not to send her, choosing to place her in private preschool instead, because our philosophy was that because she would need to learn how to navigate […]

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What I Want the Future to Look Like

December 5, 2013

At Brigham Young University-Idaho, a student named Cesar Ibanez is working toward a degree in biology with the aim of becoming a biophysicist. Ibanez has a genetic disease, spinal muscular atrophy, that prevents him from having any control of his legs, and limited control of other muscles. He requires assistance with, well, just about everything […]

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Assuming the Scenario That Makes Me Smile

November 12, 2013

I have a confession to make. Some people may have suspected it for awhile, and even though I’d like to deny it, it’s time that I came clean. Maybe if I take the first step, another special needs mother (or two or three or four…) will do the same. Or maybe not … maybe I’m […]

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Equality, Generosity, or Something Else? You Tell Me.

November 5, 2013

At last Monday’s softball game, Sarah Kate got walked. It’s been a recurring theme this season in 10U. It’s the first level at which the girls pitch – fast pitch, no less – and they aren’t that great at it. Only a few girls have gotten a base hit, and even less have done it […]

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Is Special Olympics a Hero or a Villain in the Story of Disability Rights?

August 6, 2013

When Mr. Andi was appointed to the Alabama Council for Developmental Disabilities (ACDD) almost three years ago, he was in for a rude awakening. Less than two weeks after Nathan was born, he had participated in the local Torch Run for Special Olympics in honor of Nathan and was proud to be affiliated with such […]

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Freedom for Sarah Kate…and So Much More

May 21, 2013

Sarah Kate has done an admirable job over the years of integrating herself into Typical Kid Culture. She was the one who requested to join swim team and she was the one who asked to play softball. For all of our declarations that she needs to get used to being part of the typical world, Mr. […]

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