Saturday, September 04, 2010

What Lies Within

 "Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you'll be able to see further." Thomas Carlyle

"What lies behind us & what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nic is making great strides these days. With the help of adaptive pedals, he can ride a trike. Soon, he’ll be getting his own wheelchair. However, unless you or someone you know has a child with the sort of special needs that require wheelchairs, adaptive toys like a trike or bike, walkers, special bath equipment, braces, immobilizers, and a lot of other products, I don’t suppose you can possibly imagine how this complicates child rearing.

Not that they have time to read this, but I just want to acknowledge Nic’s parents who coordinate weekly sessions with physical therapists, meet with social workers, visit specialists, drive to aqua-therapy, travel to doctors at the Mayo Clinic for botox injections, arrange occupational and speech therapy, and call about insurance coverage, all while just trying to be a mom and dad who provide for their family.

On top of all of the above, throw in learning about Nic’s rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). As he approaches his third birthday, the Individualized Education Program, commonly referred to as an IEP, will become important as the blueprint for crafting educational experiences for him. And Nic’s parents will now really hone their advocacy skills.

I wish Nic’s parents and all of those other parents who perform heroically on a daily basis didn’t have to fight so hard for their children. I wish America would move closer to the spirit of these laws. But most of all I wish for Nic a life without limits.

Links I like:

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

United Cerebral Palsy: Life without limits for people with disabilities 
where there is located a link to: The State of Disability in America: An Evaluation of the Disability Experience

Lekotek: The country's central source on toys and play for children with special needs.
Toys R Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids

Publish Post


nhnoblitt said...

Thanks for the great post. Nic does a lot of work too. He's the hardest working two year old I know!

Sheila said...

Natalie, Nic's determination is an inspiration. I expect great things from him.

Marion said...

Look at that wonderful, happy and intelligent little face...that smile looks like it would light up a room! Thank you so much for writing about Nic...he sounds like someone I would greatly love to meet.

I look forward to more about Nic, Sheila...he's an inspiration to all of us.

Palm Springs Savant said...

Sheila, this is very informative and interesting. Thanks for sharing this with us.