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.

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Monday, August 22, 2016


Yesterday, I met a  delightful young man with special needs.    His grandma, whom I met later, is raising him. I believe she told me he is 12 but about 3  years behind his age group because of  autism.  He first spoke when he was 6 years old.  

He came out, alone,  to greet me when I came to his yard sale.  He said he was the "sales man".  Almost professionally, he walked around with me as though we were in a store and he was giving me service.  When I found a jar I was interested in, but it had some dry residue left from it's previous contents, he rushed it into the house to wash it up.   A little later, he took my money  for the jar and a few other things;  with a little help,   he did the math to make change.  I didn't know, yet, that he had autism. His personality was so upbeat and winning,  I hardly registered that he had stumbled on a word or two and made 2 attempts at the math.

One of the items I bought was a wheat grass juicer.  When I tested it at  home I ran into a problem; so I went back, hoping his grandma, who had stayed inside while I'd been there before, could help me learn to work it.  That's when I met her.     She's raising him by herself, has been since he was a toddler.  We hit it off and had a wonderful conversation that ranged far beyond  juicer lessons.   It was in this conversation that she told me about her grandson.

It came out that she's used up her retirement savings parenting him and his brother, who has another set of problems.  Why am I telling you this?  It's because she told me he's crazy about basketball,  and wants to be able to play it with the other kids, but because of his learning difficulties, he needs special instruction to learn how to play the game.  I'm hoping we can network to find him a volunteer basketball tutor/coach.  Whoever says "yes" will be in for a real treat!     Please comment below or message me on Facebook if you can do it  or know someone who can.  I'll gladly provide contact info privately.

They live a few blocks north of the Fircrest campus in Shoreline.

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