Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Learning the "Ability Words."

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Learning the "Ability Words."

Article excerpt

Talking to Jason about his disabilities came out of other people talking about Jason. Like in the grocely store, after Jason made a particularly loud remark about whether or not fish pass gas, a woman came up to me and said, "I know just what you're going through. We had one like him in our family too."

Later, Jason asked me, "Does that woman have a little boy like me? What does she mean? Like me, how?"

These situations were only compounded by educational and medical situations in which Jason was referred to as moderately retarded, visually-impaired, hyperactive, dysmorphic, seizure-disordered, multi-handicapped, even "syndromy." I had to ask myself, "What's a fella to think about himself while dodging all these ,diagnoses?",

I didn't feel fully prepared to tackle this ever-increasing army of adjectives aimed at Jason. So, over a period of time, I began asking everyone involved with Jason to tell me how they saw him, with sister Jennifer enjoy themselves at a church with his disabilities party in 1993. I heard things like, "He's a hoot, a very funny kid; he's so observant-notices the smallest things; his sense of smell is uncanny; he has remarkable recall; he has such curiosity; he makes me laugh." To me, these things were so much more Jason, and so much more important for Jason to learn about himself. My plan was taking shape--I wanted to start talking to Jason about his abilities, not just his diagnoses.

We began in the Wal-Mart parking lot, actually. While walking from the car to the store, Jason began his litany of smells nose down, sniff, sniff--"I smell diesel, road tar, oil, gas. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.