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This Exit, No Return

A Reader’s Theatre, By Joy Cowdery continued...

Karen: Even professionals don’t know everything. I feel like I am going for an interview every time I go to an appointment. Even with endless list of symptoms and questions, I can end up with no answers. I’ve learned that I will not accept “I don’t know” from a doctor. I will keep getting referrals until I find someone who does. I will also never let a doctor set limitations for my child. Every child is unique in learning and developing and no one can predict the future.

Jim: Sometimes even the people you expect to understand are without a clue. One doctor told us as our son was hospitalized with horrible seizures that basically all children with syndromes are living miscarriages...my son does not have a voice and I am making it my life’s mission to know his syndrome so that I can question, comment, complain, ask, and tell for him to anyone who will listen. If they don’t, I will move on to someone who will. I am proud of my son. He is a bright child without a way to communicate that to people. He is yelling in a soundproof room. I admire his attempts to communicate and reach out to a world that sometimes doesn’t reach back.

Beth Ann: Sometimes you have to fight. School can be a battle zone. Once Craven “aged out” and became the responsibility of the public school system, we had to educate ourselves, and them. Having been involved with special education for so many years, I thought I would know the ins and outs. Well, I’m on the other side now. I’m fighting for my own kid.

Jill: School has always been a challenge. I want Mason’s teachers to know his name, strengths, abilities, hopes and dreams, and not just his diagnosis. I want people to know that their words, attitudes, and actions impact his life more than his disability. He has dreams, too…work at knowing them, knowing him for him, listen to him with your hearts. Don’t pity him; celebrate the truly magnificent child he is.

Karen: Professionals, yeah, well… they only know what books tell them, and my son, at least, didn’t come with an owner’s manual. I find myself observing other children and realizing we all do things in our own unique way. So what if my child learns in a different way. Who is to say what is the right way? Who are we to judge? If my child is happy and healthy, isn’t he successful? How should we measure success except by those criteria?

Susan: All teachers need to know that having a child with a disability is like having a child. The concerns may be directed differently to keep your child from being limited by artificial barriers, but the concerns that all parents have for their children are the same. I want my daughter to be healthy, happy, and successful. Period.

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