New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense
When our family recently moved from our Colorado home (for more than 20 years) back to our native Texas, we—like most home buyers—wanted to find the home that was “just right” for us. We didn’t expect perfection; we’re big do-it-yourselfers, so we were prepared to paint, add this, remove that, and so on . . . We looked at three different homes, all of which seemed just right, but they really weren't when we looked more closely . . .
What does this have to do with disability issues? It seems that this is what often happens in the lives of children and adults with disabilities: others look primarily at one characteristic—the disability/diagnosis—and do not see the person as a whole. They don’t see positive characteristics, strengths, or abilities.
Do we see Johnny’s desire to “run” (or “elope”—where do people come up with these ideas on how to label people???) as a “problem behavior” and then expend enormous efforts to “fix” this “problem” and also keep Johnny safe, by having a one-to-one aide hold firmly to Johnny’s arm? A recent national news story detailed a different perspective. When this little Johnny was young, and his parents realized he needed lots of movement in his life, they channeled what others saw as a negative into a positive. They helped him learn to run when and where it was safe in organized sports and other activities. Today, as a high school senior who happens to have autism, he recently ran close to a 4-minute mile, has been offered track scholarships to numerous universities, and he wants to run in the Olympics. Click here to continue.
Discovery consists of seeing what everyone has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
Eyes Wide Open or Shut?