Have you had experiences with children with disabilities?

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Have you had experiences with children with disabilities?--Al

-- Al Schroeder (al.schroeder@nashville.com), July 29, 2000


My youngest daughter's husband's family adopted an autistic child. He has been a part of our family circle now for approximately ten years. He has never been able to communicate. We use sign language when we talk together, just in case. Just in case.

My oldest daughter is mentally retarded.

The people with disabilities are the ones that feel hate towards others, are unjust and unkind, and only consider themselves in their decision-making.

-- Planet Earth (imagine@industrial-ideas.com), July 30, 2000.

A friend has a son with Downs syndrome who has been a good friend of our kids for a long time; I grew up with a boy who had Downs syndrome, the son of a friend of ours.

My experience with autism is a very negative one. A new woman in our babysitting co-op made arrangements for me to watch her two sons for an hour. She showed up at the door with the two boys, put them in the house and, as she was turning away, she pointed to one and said "Oh--he's autistic. He won't be any problem." She then disappeared for eight hours. It was a nightmare. I had no preparation, no hints on how best to deal with him, and the woman was gone 7 hours longer than I expected. I thought she had been killed or had abandoned her children. The autistic son was a uncontrolable all afternoon. I was exhausted by the time she showed up and when I expressed (loudly) my displeasure at what she'd done, she screamed I was trying to prevent her from reuniting with her husband.

In retrospect, I know the poor thing was just desperate, but I have to admit that my view of autistic children has been colored by those terrible 8 hours.

-- Bev Sykes (basykes@dcn.davis.ca.us), July 30, 2000.

Years ago our youngest daughter began to complain of pain in her hip. Seeking help we went to the Shriner's who were in town then. They made a diagnosis and X-rays proved them right. She had Perthe's disease which necessitated her to use crutches and have her ankle on that side held by a sling to prevent any pressure on the ball joint of her hip. Luckily we were steered to a public school who took all children with disabilities. She was in school with kids with all kinds of disabilities, Muscular dystrophy on up and on down. Each child did for other children what they couldn't do for themselves. It was remarkable how the children did not point fingers at each other, each one was coping with their own problem and being helped by some one as bad off in some other way. My son's ex wife had a brother who was born with Down's Syndrome and was raised right in with the family. He was and is a very loving person who reasons to the best of his ability and is a likeable person. Autism is something that I have read much about and would demand training before I would try to take care of an autistic child. I was dismayed to hear about Bev's problem with an autistic child. The mother could at least stopped long enough to clue Bev in on what worked at home. Sounds like she was a pretty selfish and inconsiderate person.

-- Denver doug (ionoi@webtv.net), July 30, 2000.

I work with disabled preschoolers now, most of them autistic. I actually have a bachlors degree in mental retardation, and in college I did student teaching/observations with kids who had learning disabilities, mental retardation, autism, fragile X syndrome, cerebral palsy, pervasive developmental delay (PDD), emotional impairments and everything else you can think of. I've decided not to get my masters in autism like I originally planned because I'm suffering from burnout. (Forgive me Al, But I'm sure you understand!) It isn't fair to the kids to keep working with them when your suffering from burnout and not giving them your best anymore. I'll probobly get my masters in reading, and teach the kids with the more mild impairments for a while. Always guard your sanity in your job, I say. I also plan to work with at risk kids after my masters so sanity is a relative term....:)

-- AJ (joijoijoi@hotmail.com), July 31, 2000.

Yes. It disturbs me and I have great respect for those how can help them lead the best life possible.

-- Chris Hawkins (peace@clover.net), August 11, 2000.

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