THE LOSS OF A FRIEND WITH A DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY

A friend recently died, and I’ve been I’ve been thinking a lot about him and the life he led. He was a kind and thoughtful person who loved people. He relished being included in social activities, and he especially loved to dance. This individual had a great sense of humor and was quick to laugh. … More THE LOSS OF A FRIEND WITH A DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY

THE EMPLOYMENT OF PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

You sit in your car in the parking lot and watch as a man collects shopping carts for a large retailer. You guess him to be in his mid-fifties. You quickly judge, based on his appearance and physical movements, that he has some kind of developmental disability. Although he is measured and deliberate as he … More THE EMPLOYMENT OF PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

THE REALITY OF INTELLECTUAL CHALLENGES

Unfortunately, there seems to be a significant amount of confusion surrounding intellectual challenges. That misunderstanding starts with a lack of a clear definition of what constitutes such a disability. The simplest explanation is that an intellectual challenge is characterized by deficits in both thought and behavior. Many people assume the condition is present from birth, … More THE REALITY OF INTELLECTUAL CHALLENGES

FATHERS OF CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

When it comes to raising children with developmental disabilities, mothers receive well-deserved attention for their parenting. They are considered the primary caregivers and nurturers. They interact with health care professionals, teachers, and case managers. They are always on the front lines advocating for their child’s rights, and they are vigilant concerning their health and safety. But although they may … More FATHERS OF CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

THE DIGNITY OF WORK FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

The importance of jobs cannot be overstated because they provide the foundation for our nation’s economic stability. The more people that are working, the better off we are as a society. Employment empowers individuals by giving them the means to support themselves and by providing them with the ability to purchase the goods and services … More THE DIGNITY OF WORK FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL CHALLENGES

Learning is a lifelong process. From the moment we’re born until we draw our final breath, we are constantly discovering new facts and processing useful information. What makes that ongoing adventure possible is the realization that we can learn from anyone – including individuals with intellectual challenges. We only need to keep an open mind. … More WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL CHALLENGES

BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

The family dynamic is one of the most important aspects of our society. Under the best of circumstances it is a delicate balance, however, when one of the members is dealing with an intellectual challenge it can alter the structure significantly. It is firmly established that the parental relationship is crucial in the life of … More BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

WHY DO WE KILL?

Killing comes easily to the human race. In fact, it comes too easy. It has become ingrained in our minds throughout history that killing is not only acceptable but also necessary. Taking life is something we are willing to tolerate if we believe it is beneficial to our own lives. How did we get to … More WHY DO WE KILL?

THE POWER OF LITERACY

As you read this sentence you are doing something that 750 million people in the world can’t do. That is a heartbreaking statistic because being able to read and write is more than just enjoying a book or newspaper. Being literate impacts your chances of having economic freedom and opportunity. Attaining knowledge through print and … More THE POWER OF LITERACY

COLLATERAL DAMAGE

Tragically, collateral damage is considered an acceptable part of the foreign policy of many nations as well as assorted organizations and rogue states. When it is felt that the time is appropriate, bombs and missiles are unleashed with the full knowledge that defenseless women and children are going to be blown to pieces, burned beyond … More COLLATERAL DAMAGE

FRIENDSHIP FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

Friendships are some of the most important relationships we have in life. They add a richness and warmness to our existence. They provide comfort and make us feel connected. They allow us to be understood and accepted for who we are. They provide us with people we can count on during difficult times. And, just … More FRIENDSHIP FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

EVERY PERSON WITH A DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY MATTERS

Each one of us believes that our life is important. But, unfortunately, our fixation with our own significance can sometimes lead us to presume that other lives don’t matter as much as ours. Too often we fall into the trap of believing that we are superior and, therefore, by default, others are inferior. That type … More EVERY PERSON WITH A DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY MATTERS

THE COURAGE OF PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

We all admire courage. Bravery is considered one of the finest qualities an individual can possess. That is why we honor those who demonstrate courage with medals and awards. We put them on a pedestal and look up to them. We emulate them and wonder if we could have the same level of fearlessness that … More THE COURAGE OF PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

THE PRESIDENCY

The Presidency of the United States is in a state of disgrace. During our nation’s two hundred forty-two year history, forty-five men have served in this office. They have guided the nation through wars, difficult economic times, and social upheaval. For the most part, they attempted to lead by example. They offered compassion to those … More THE PRESIDENCY

BULLYING A PERSON WITH A DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY

Bullying is something that no one ever wants to be faced with, but the reality is that people with developmental disabilities are at far greater risk of being bullied than other individuals. Their perceived vulnerability makes them tempting targets for those who prey on people who have done nothing to deserve such treatment. And, unfortunately, … More BULLYING A PERSON WITH A DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY

THE WAY PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES ARE JUDGED

It is a sad fact that we do not hesitate to judge each other. This usually happens quickly and with little or no evidence to support our conclusions. We form unfounded opinions based on nothing more than how someone looks, the way they move or the way they talk. None of those things actually tell … More THE WAY PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES ARE JUDGED

MASS SHOOTINGS

Is there anything more chilling in modern life than the sound of rapid gunfire in a crowded public area? We’ve all see the heartbreaking images on TV of innocent men, women and, children running for their lives or trying to find cover. The scenes resemble the horror of a battlefield, but it is not a … More MASS SHOOTINGS

A FALLEN SOLDIER

I never met the soldier I’ll refer to as Daniel, but I feel like I know him. Tragically, his story is true. Daniel, was only twenty years old when he was killed in Vietnam. It can be persuasively argued that he died an unnecessary death. Today he is just another heartbreaking statistic like the tens … More A FALLEN SOLDIER

THE GREATEST LOSS

This post contains a powerful example of how every life – without exception – has an impact on the world. Whether we realize it or not, simply by being born we change the course of history. No matter how long or short our time is on earth we have a profound effect from the moment … More THE GREATEST LOSS

THE NATIONAL ANTHEM

The raging debate regarding the protests that are occurring during the performance of our national anthem is now monopolizing the news as a fresh sense of patriotism grips the country. Both sides of the controversy feel confident in their respective positions. They each believe that drawing attention to their point of view is crucial to … More THE NATIONAL ANTHEM

FAMILIES OF PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

For most people, there is nothing more important in life than family. The benefits of the parent-child relationship and the interactions with siblings cannot be stressed enough. Family provides the nurturing support that every person needs, but it is particularly crucial for children with developmental disabilities. The love they receive from their family gives them permission … More FAMILIES OF PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

HOPE

It is a fact that all human beings must have hope. Being hopeful promotes good health. It benefits us physically, psychologically and emotionally. It is intellectually stimulating to have positive expectations for your life. It is important to be able to face the future without fear. Having hope gives us a sense of well-being about … More HOPE

EMPATHY FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

  Empathy is the ability to sense, understand and appreciate the feelings and experiences of others. It requires taking the time and making the effort to focus on someone else without judging them and without giving in to the temptation to deny the validity of their perspective. Unfortunately, it is sometimes the case in the … More EMPATHY FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

IQ BIAS AGAINST PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

Do you know what your IQ is? Do you feel it is the most important thing about you? Would you want your entire life to be judged by that one single number? Does it accurately describe your personality or temperament? Should your opportunities or choices be limited by your test results? Would you want others … More IQ BIAS AGAINST PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

BEING THE PARENT OF A CHILD WITH A DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY

They are not saints, they are not superhuman and they are not perfect. The parents of children and adults with developmental disabilities are just ordinary people. They come from all walks of life. They can be wealthy, economically deprived or part of the middle class. They can belong to any religious faith or have no … More BEING THE PARENT OF A CHILD WITH A DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY

PERCEPTIONS OF PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

You are an important person, the result of a complex mixture of characteristics that combine to form your personality. You have both positive and negative qualities, strengths and weaknesses and personal likes and dislikes. This makes you totally unique and completely different from everyone else. You belong to the human family and yet you are … More PERCEPTIONS OF PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

THE DIVERSITY OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

The world is now comprised of 7 billion human beings, each completely different with distinctive characteristics and personalities. This complex diversity of humanity is astonishingly beautiful. Every person contributes to life in his or her own way which allows individuals to work together to create a better society for all of us. Although the subject … More THE DIVERSITY OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES DESERVE DIGNITY AND RESPECT

The life of a person with a developmental disability is filled with challenges that most members of society will never be forced to deal with. Things we take for granted such as inclusion and acceptance are rights that they are often forced to struggle for. While most of us have the automatic expectation that we … More PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES DESERVE DIGNITY AND RESPECT

ADVOCATING FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

Advocacy has the power to change lives. It uses the beauty of compassion to create a positive effect on behalf of individuals who might otherwise lack representation for their needs and interests. In the case of those with developmental disabilities, it is the relentless effort to ensure that their rights as equal members of society … More ADVOCATING FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES AND COMMUNICATION CHALLENGES

Imagine not being able to say a single word. Or consider that your speech is labored and difficult for others to understand, therefore conversations move too quickly for you to participate. This is the reality for many people with developmental disabilities. The fact that they are nonverbal or that their speech is not understandable adds … More DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES AND COMMUNICATION CHALLENGES

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF SUCCESS FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES?

How do you measure success? Is it the ability to amass large sums of money? Is it the accumulation of possessions? Is it the acquisition of power? Is it being able to get what you want, when you want it? By society’s standards, the outward trappings of success are what count. Your home, your car, … More WHAT IS THE MEANING OF SUCCESS FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES?

PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES ARE NOT REQUIRED TO BE INSPIRING

Individuals with disabilities have intellectual and physical issues that can make their daily lives quite challenging in a number of significant ways. However, no matter what type of conditions they are required to deal with, they are just human beings who are doing the best they can to live in a way that has meaning … More PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES ARE NOT REQUIRED TO BE INSPIRING

KINDNESS

Kindness is one of the most important attributes that humanity possesses. It embodies empathy, concern and most importantly goodness. It is freely given and yet it is invaluable. However, it is something we rarely consider. We each rush through our day without recognizing the many opportunities we have to be kind to others. How different … More KINDNESS

MEMORIES

Memories are our most prized possessions. They comprise our personal history because they are an accounting of the milestones that have shaped our lives. Each memory is an important part of the collective evidence of the life we’ve led, and we can freely choose to share them with others or guard them closely so that … More MEMORIES

AMERICA

America is at a crossroads. Recent events in our nation have left us both alarmed and heartbroken. And while our immediate response may be to condemn one group or another, in reality, we are all to blame. This country belongs to all of us. Therefore we all share the same responsibility to see that every … More AMERICA

FORGIVENESS

Forgiveness is one of the most compassionate acts that can occur between human beings. That Is why having the willingness and ability to forgive others is one of the most meaningful traits we can possess. True forgiveness is cleansing. By creating a fresh start it allows us to stop wasting time dwelling on the past … More FORGIVENESS

THE WORDS WE CHOOSE TO USE ABOUT DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY

Words are the products of our thoughts, attitudes, opinions, beliefs, and convictions. That is why the language we use has great power. Fortunately, we always have the choice to speak in either a positive or negative manner. We can be outspoken or cautious. We can be abrasive or comforting. We can be accepting or judgmental, … More THE WORDS WE CHOOSE TO USE ABOUT DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY

I AM A HUMAN BEING

It is too often the case that individuals with developmental disabilities are either not given the opportunity to express themselves or people do not show respect by paying attention to what they have to say. What follows is an example of what we might hear if we made the effort to listen attentively to their … More I AM A HUMAN BEING

MOTHERHOOD

Among the bravest human beings on earth are the women who are willing to risk their own lives to bring a child into the world. It is the greatest sacrifice one person can make for another. It is the deepest form of love there is. A woman knows the dangers of delivery, as well as … More MOTHERHOOD

THE INNOCENT

As he wakes up from a short nap in his bassinet, a tiny infant blinks his eyes several times and then gazes at the apparatus hanging above his head. It is a mysterious object that is designed to capture his attention. Someday the baby will understand that it is a collection of brightly colored butterflies … More THE INNOCENT

WHEN YOU MEET A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY WHAT DO YOU SEE?

What do you see when you encounter someone you believe is different than you? Do you see someone who makes you feel uncomfortable? Do you see only the characteristics that you don’t understand? Do you see someone who leads you to make unfair comparisons or form instant opinions based only on appearances without any facts? … More WHEN YOU MEET A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY WHAT DO YOU SEE?