Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Built on a Rock near the Sea

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Built on a Rock near the Sea

Article excerpt


In his 87th year, the artist Michelangelo (1475 -1564) is believed to have said, "Ancora imparo"--"I am still learning." Hence, the name for my monthly observations and comments.

The lookout on a battleship spies a light ahead, off the starboard bow. The captain tells him to signal the other vessel.

"Advise you change course 20 degrees immediately!"

The answer comes back, "Advise you change course 20 degrees immediately!"

The captain is furious. He signals, "I am a captain. We are on a collision course. Alter your course 20 degrees, now!"

The answer comes back, "I am a seaman second class, and I strongly urge you to alter your course 20 degrees."

Now the captain is beside himself with rage. He signals, "I am a battleship!"

The answer comes back, "I am a lighthouse."

Lighthouses have a fairly simple mission statement; they warn sailors to straighten their position so they don't hit land. In many ways Exceptional Parent magazine and its Annual Resource Guide have served as a lighthouse since its earliest days as a publication. The parallels are noteworthy.

Lighthouses are not as solid as rocks; instead they're usually built on them. It's their solid foundation that fortifies them and provides their legacy. The same can be said about the exceptional parent movement and their time-honored magazine, Exceptional Parent.

In early times, people set fires at the edge of the water to warn boats of dangerous rocks and shores. In early times, parents of children with special needs tried to set fires to the prevailing beliefs that prevented access to needed services. It wasn't always enough to prevent other parents from running aground and sinking their ships. The parents needed more than random fires. The fog of indifference was often denser then the illumination from the fires. The fires and wick lamps could only travel a few miles. The perils of the mythology of disabilities traveled beyond.

The English novelist Charles Dickens remarked about a lighthouse keeper, "Anythin' for a quiet life, as the man said when he took the situation at the lighthouse." But life at Exceptional Parent magazine and the responsibility to compile this Annual Resource Guide is anything but "quiet." And it's been "unquiet" since the first staples were recruited to create the life-changing publication that EP has turned out to be.

The reason that life at EP has not been "quiet" is because we're more than staples, paper, and ink. We're "resolve," "commitment," and "fight," and there's never been anything "quiet" about those attitudes. …

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