Among those of us who care deeply for and about people with developmental disabilities, I hope to hear emerge a new voice, ours, rising together for the benefit of all, harmonizing with reason, respect and hope, and transcending divisions, giving birth to a new era of creative cooperation.

Toward this potential, DD EXCHANGE is for conversation, civil sounding off, sharing of stories, experience, information, resources, and inspiration, giving and receiving support, and creative problem solving.

Finding Your Way Around

TO SEE OTHER'S INPUT: below each post on the right, click "links to this post;" or in the left side column, under "Labels," click the discussion link that interests you.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

***********A REGULAR GUY***********

Excepts From a Funny & Moving Book

Here are excerpts from an enjoyable, and eye-opening story by Barbara Shumaker. I recommend a visit to the website cited below for the entire piece.

'"we got a letter from an attorney asking us to contact him about the bicycle accident involving Matthew. It turned out that while riding his bike, Matthew had apparently collided with a young boy on his bike the month before.

"Matthew? What's this about a bike accident?"

"Who told you?"

"Someone sent me a letter. Was the boy you bumped into hurt?"

"Pretty much."

"Dear God.
Was he bleeding?"

"Probably. Am I in trouble?"

My husband and I came to the heartbreaking conclusion that Matthew was no longer safe in the community where he had grown up, and his impulsive actions were putting others in peril. He needed more supervision, more than we or the local school could provide."

"The good news now is that Matthew is thriving at Camphill, and is an important part of its community of disabled people. He goes to class, cooks and does his own laundry. He prunes trees, tends an organic garden and takes care of the grass. During the winter he shovels snow gleefully, and has become fascinated with weather patterns in the Northeast. He brags about his new found responsibilities, and tells us he is good at hard things."'

The entire story appeared in the on-line newspaper, SF GATE, March 15, and in the SF Chronicle. Read it at : http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/01/15/CMGQIF603V1.DTL#ixzz0jFDn9asl

Barbara Shumaker has written a book about her son, Mathew: It is available on her very resource-rich website: http://www.laurashumaker.com/?p=120

Camphill Special School is a private, non-profit residential and day school in rural Pennsylvania. A "Waldorf" school, it was founded and is operated according to the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner. I found my visit to their website an inspiring experience that expanded my sense of the possibilities.