The lives of many individuals with disabilities are unnatural. But having a condition that is considered a disability is not the basis of an unnatural life. No, the real basis can be found in the unnatural environments and experiences imposed on people with disabilities and their families.
When my son began receiving early intervention services (EI) and physical and occupational therapy at the tender age of four months, his life became unnatural. For the next six years, he spent more time as a client, with therapists and other professionals, than he did as a child.
When Benjamin first started therapy, I reluctantly enrolled his two-year-old sister in a Mom’s Day Out program during the hours Benj was in therapy each week. Later, I found myself missing some of my daughter’s activities because of my son’s therapy sessions. Our family’s schedule revolved around therapy and home visits by the EI service coordinator. Our lives were not our own anymore . . .
For adults, a similar atmosphere of clienthood creates unnatural lives. Instead of working, they wait patiently at home (existing below the poverty level) for a voc-rehab counselor to find them a job. Many wake up every morning in a bedroom that’s not their own, shackled to a group home and its rules . . .
It won’t take an Act of Congress (more services, more programs, or more money) to right this wrong. Click here to continue.
Living Natural Lives:
Natural Supports + Generic Services = Community
The joy in discovering more natural solutions to meet people’s needs is that there is no right or wrong way to do it! Within the system, we’re forced to do things "by the book." But in our communities, we can do things any way we want!
New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense