Reflections From a Different Journey: What Adults with Disabilities Wish All Parents Knew
Most parents of children with disabilities lack personal experience with adults with disabilities. Hearing from people who have lived the disability experience can provide all parents with essential information about the possibilities for all children. The book includes forty inspiring essays written by successful adults role models who share what if is like to grow up with a disability. Each eloquently written essay is an insightful source of wisdom, inspiration, and emotional support as well as a rare glimpse inside the lives and minds of people with many different disabilities - autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, learning disability, deafness, blindness, mental illness, developmental disability, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, congenital amputation, and chronic health conditions. Essay authors were asked to write about something they wish their own parents had read or been told while they were growing up. The essays demonstrate that people with disabilities are human beings with the same needs and desires as all people. The essays are arranged thematically: “Love Me and Accept Me as I Am” essays express appreciation for parents who provided unconditional love and a sense of belonging and accepted their children as whole people - including that part of them considered to be a disability. “Parents Are The Most Important Experts” essays describe how writers’ parents addressed their unique needs and became the most important experts in their lives. “Parental Expectations” essays present different approaches to expectations and encourage every child to have hopes and aspirations. “Sexuality” essays explore how all children need to talk about and learn about intimacy and sexuality. “Education About Disability” essays explain why it is important for parents and children to learn all about a child’s disabilities and how facilitate necessary accommodations so that each child can enjoy a full life.