Yesterday in this space, I discussed three surefire ways to shut down a conversation with the parent of a child who has a disability. Of course, talking about disability can be one of the trickiest, most awkward-moment-producing topics around. Differences raise fear and anxiety for all of us and that limits the chances for meaningful dialogue. But I hope that with increased disability awareness education, like my post of yesterday and this one, we can create more productive conversations. Try any one or all of these three topics!
Forget religion and politics, sex and money: talking about disability can be one of the trickiest, most awkward-moment-producing topics around. As a parent of a child with a disability, I’ve participated in more than my share of unproductive conversations based in other people’s projections of my experience.
My recent piece discussing what we could learn from Kellie Stapleton, a mother accused of trying to kill her daughter with autism and herself, inspired me to research other similar cases.
Here is what I found after a brief online search. This list is not comprehensive, and certainly can't begin to quantify the much larger number of caregivers who think about ending either their lives, or the lives of their children, or both.
I don’t really drink beer. Occasionally, on a hot day, with friends, I’ll slowly nurse one drink all day long. I don’t really watch commercials, either. Occasionally, when flipping channels, I stop if something catches my eye. And yesterday something did.
This Guinness commercial made me want to drink more beer and watch more commercials.
Raising a child with a disability is overwhelming. My daughter was three and a half when I finally received her Autism diagnosis, but she’d been in early intervention therapies since she was 8 months old. PT, OT, ST, ABA, AVB, etc.; we worked our way through the therapy alphabet.
Research has shown that mothers of children with autism have the highest rate of stress compared to parents of children with any other special needs. Recently, Kelli Stapleton, a mother of a 14-year-old daughter with autism, allegedly tried to kill herself and her child by using carbon monoxide poisoning. The police rescued them and Mrs. Stapleton is expected to be charged with attempted murder. The first question that comes to mind is: What exactly drove this woman to try and kill herself and her child?
“Tell me again,” Nadav says. My six-year-old lays curled into my side as I rest my back in bed. Well, I explain. Ima's back was broken, and the doctors said I couldn't carry you in my tummy for such a long time because you would be too heavy. So we took a little bit of Ima, a little bit of Abba, a little bit from Hashem and put it all in to Jenn.
By this point, there's been quite a bit of buzz in the Jewish community about the fact that Vice-President Joe Biden not only celebrated Sukkot, but did so in a sukkah built on the grounds of his residence at Number One Observatory Circle.
And while this is amazing, there is more to the story, as there is more to a sukkah than its walls and roof. Hint: It's all about the decorations.