About Me

11/26/14

Typical is Overrated!
Be exceptional.

I'm what most people call a special needs mother.  All that means is that I have three intense kids to train up.  I also have been a "step" mother and am an adoptive mother.  Family is more than how you were born.  My twins are young adults now; one freshman in college and the other still in high school under IDEA.  My first born just transitioned home from a local intermediate care facility using money follows the person which turned into and ID waiver as soon as he was home.  My second born is learning all she needs to know to leave the nest in a few years.  My youngest son is in the 1st grade and made the transition from 1/2 day kindergarten to full day.  It seems that the theme of the last several years: transitions. 

I have been immersed in disability community for a long time; both my vocation and my home.  When I grew up, my sister had/has some learning disabilities.  I was and still am protective of her but my baby sister doesn't need it anymore.  She is married, and working towards her PhD after she finishes her B.S.  I'm very proud of her.


In 6th grade (which was elementary school then) a class of students that I saw daily in the hall were included in my class for DARE.  I was the kid everyone picked on because they could get me to cry.  I didn't have any friends.  Not even the shy introverted girls would talk to me.  For 16 weeks, I had friends from this class.  I didn't know what inclusion was.  The only noticeable difference with these kids was that their class was smaller and one of them wore a helmet for her seizures.  I didn't even know what a seizure was but I knew what the helmet was for.  I must have asked.  I don't remember.  I looked forward to DARE because my new friends would come and I'd have someone to sit with.



Although it is questionable whether I or anyone else who is regarded as not having disabilities are really without disabilities.  We all have limitations: physical, medical, skills, cognitive, and spiritual.  I am often asked some variation of:  "Did you start working with adults with disabilities because of your oldest son?"  No, but I understand why you'd ask that.  I do what I do because of inclusion.

My very first job was at a local grocery store as a cashier.  After about a year of working there, someone new was hired as a bagger.  She brought a job coach with her to teach her how to bag up groceries, put re-shop away, and bring in carts.  I was one of her natural supports.  When  I moved up to customer service, the manager schedule me the same shift as her.  I made sure that cashier knew what they could do to support her and made it clear to other bagger that they were not to tease her.  I was very protective but left room for her to do her job.  Now I'm the job coach.









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