Monday, May 4, 2009

Hail To The King

At a school meeting held several weeks ago to discuss Ashley’s need for communication support, consultants and school staff alike scoffed at me when I replied to a very important question. Their question was “What did I believe the future held for Ashley?”

Before I could even begin to speak, one person said, “Well, you don’t ever see her living on her own, do you?” Another said, “We need to work on her vocational skills, don’t we?” When I finally could speak, I said, “I see her living as independently as she chooses. I see her having a job she enjoys and wants to go to each day. I hope she meets a man she loves and wants to spend her life with, and I hope she enjoys motherhood.”

Their jaws dropped, and then the subject changed. I wonder if Dan Keplinger’s mother experienced something similar.

I met Dan about 5 years ago when he came to speak at an inclusion conference in my city, and he then very graciously agreed to spend the evening at our Dreamcatcher’s support group meeting. To say that meeting Dan changed my life is an understatement, and I believe if you will take a few minutes to get to know him, your life will be changed also.

Dan is an artist as well as a motivational speaker. Stop by his website, and check out his art. And, if you live in the Baltimore area, he has several shows scheduled in the next few months. If after visiting his website, and viewing the movie of his life, as aired on HBO, you need further convincing that no one should ever put limits on our children with special needs, then view this video of his recent wedding.

And just for the record, school staff, I dare you to ever, ever put limits on my child again.


Casdok said...

Thanks for the great links.

Putting limits on C is exactly why he is leaving his current home.

Times have changed. Schools and homes need to keep up with this.

Charisse said...

Man, weddings always make me cry and this one was no different! I still have pics of him and the kids at the retreat...Thanks for sharing! The question is will you an Amy be able to let go when the time comes like his mom did...Can you imagine the room at that time???

Heather L said...

GREAT job mom!! A dear friend of mine was thought to be lucky if he could live on his own. He now has two bio children and 2 step children. God has blessed his hard work and I love the whole family quirks and all!

God bless
Heather L

Sumithra said...

Funny people. With their limited knowledge, they try to see the boundless capacity of children. I guess such people exist everywhere. My son has down syndrome. He is just 9 months old and people around me have already started suggesting special schools for him. Its funny that these advice comes from people who hardly know anything about my son except that he has down syndrome. And, they are surprised when I say that I'm planning to send my son to a normal school.

I guess these people with such narrow perspective should take a break from giving unwanted advice/suggestions and work to improve themselves.