Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Power in Numbers: Not Only Are We More Powerful in Numbers, We Are More Powerful When We Use Our Voices

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Power in Numbers: Not Only Are We More Powerful in Numbers, We Are More Powerful When We Use Our Voices

Article excerpt

Regardless of one's political views, no one can deny the concept of power in numbers. While some of us feel that our nation is falling apart or that we are in distress, a fellow advocate of mine could not disagree more and couldn't put it more eloquently, "Our nation is not under distress. I couldn't be more proud to be an American as I am right now because I see democracy at work. If you don't like what you see, then show your voice. Thank goodness I live in a nation where I can do that." After hearing her opinion, she forced me to really think about where we are as a nation and why it's so important to talk about issues that are passionate to us.

Not only are we more powerful in numbers, we are more powerful when we use our voices. If we are consistently discussing issues that are important to us and they stay in the forefront of our minds, then there is still hope for change. Passion for people with disabilities should be a gift and be shown in every possible encounter in order to change the way society sees them and us, as the caregiver.

Sharing my experiences raising our son with autism has not only altered perspectives in our neighborhood or schools, but also close to home. Broden has changed my father's perspective on how he sees children with different abilities. One morning, he told me he saw a girl in a wheelchair that appeared to have a form of cerebral palsy. She could not move her legs or arms, but she could smile. Before Broden's diagnosis, my father said he probably would not have felt a connection with this little girl and might have continued to read his magazine of choice in the hospital waiting room, but this time it was different. He spent the entire time she was waiting on her mother trying to make her smile and giggle. He had her complete attention and he found himself more drawn to making her happy. When the little girl left, her mother came over to my father and thanked him. Not only did he make that little girl smile, but he made her mother's day too. There is power in numbers. Broden touched my father's life and in turn, he touched two more.

This weekend Mark, my husband, and I spent the afternoon in the ER because our son decided to dismantle Mark's hearing aides. …

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