I purposefully avoided posting this past week. My meeting with the new administrator of the former school was disappointing although I was proud of how I handled myself. I wonder if he can say the same.
I lost hope in ever getting through to anyone at the school because this man is known for implementing an empathy program at his former school yet, I did not feel any compassion from him. Aloha was certainly missing from this meeting.
Still, I know there are good people in this world and my children are safe. They are both amazing and kind despite the world and despite the former school’s attitude about doing the right thing. I am not going to pursue trying to talk sense into the senseless anymore. I have more important things to do with my time than waste it on those who seem unable to be compassionate. My family needs me to drop it, so this is my last post about my daughter’s school experience. She is happy again and is working towards her goals and that is all that really matters to me. I am grateful that we have supportive people in our lives and both of my children have good friends.
The news out of Connecticut last Friday shocked my very core and deeply saddened me. The news media continues to promote stigma instead of the need for more support and understanding, and the list goes on and on.
I pray for a kinder world for all children. I send prayers to the families in Newtown. I send out prayers that someday the rest of the world will understand that supporting children and their families should be the norm regardless of whether the child has a physical illness, a developmental delay, a neurological difference, a mental diagnosis, a physical difference, or any other difference. We support victims of senseless violence and of disease and we should, but we should also support everyone else.
I wonder what if:
- What if Adam and his mother had support when he was younger?
- What if assault weapons were illegal?
- What if children saw beyond the packaging and they saw his heart when he was younger?
Would things have turned out differently last Friday? We have no way of knowing for sure. Yet, I can imagine a different outcome. I can imagine a kinder, more understanding world where everyone really is safe.
I hope I am not alone. I hope you can imagine it too. Help to change your corner of the world to a more supportive place for all. Help the Adams of the world before it is too late. Everyone deserves more kindness in this world.
Yesterday at 12:01 HST, 5:01 EST the world lost a man of honor and integrity. Senator Daniel Inouye was more than just a senator from Hawaii. He was third in line to the United States presidency. He was a true national hero not just because he lost his arm fighting for our country after Pearl Harbor, during a time when America did not trust anyone of Japanese ancestry. He lived aloha and he taught the world the meaning of the term. He was my hero because he championed civil rights for all.
He recently cosponsored the Student Non-Discrimination Act, S. 555. He sent me a letter when I wrote to him through an on-line petition about the bill back in May noting, “our nation’s diversity is one of its greatest strengths and requires protection from the law.”
He understood the need for disability rights too although I doubt that he ever saw himself as disabled.
Mahalo Senator for all you did to help make the world a better place.
What is Inspiration? The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines inspiration as “the act or power of moving the intellect or emotions.” People who work to change the world to a place where we appreciate differences inspire others. They accept the challenge to heal society of its wrongs. They raise their voices to educate others as they work to forgive them for their lack of understanding.
I am among the privileged that heard voices of inspiration recently at the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities & Diversity. Their voices made me realize that they are not the ones disabled; society’s treatment of them gives this illusion. The truth is anyone who fails to see others soul to soul is far more disabled than anyone we call “disabled.” Society is wasting brilliant minds by failing to see this.
There was so much inspiration in one place! Three of the voices that inspired me the most were Keith P. Jones of Soul Touchin, Drew Goldsmith of IamNorm.org, a site that no longer exists, and Laura Nagle of the documentary, Vectors of Autism.
Keith P. Jones has cerebral palsy, but please do not feel sorry for him. He is one of the best voices for advocacy I have ever had the privilege to hear. He gave his presentation to a standing room only crowd while he cracked jokes and told how he handles those who inappropriately invade his personal space. Hint: Never ever ask to pray for him and then pray for the “sins of his mother.” His mother did not cause his cerebral palsy and she is no sinner!
Drew Goldsmith turns sixteen this month, but he has already accomplished much in his young life, so please No Pity when you learn that he is autistic. Not only is he a film creator, he also started a website, “I am Norm” to educate others and change the perception of others about being “normal.” I love this young man and wish him all the best in the future. I know he can go far if society allows him to do so.
Laura Nagle is an Aspie woman who prefers being called an Aspie instead of Autistic because, “That man (Hans Asperger) got us.” I am proud to call her my friend. She found me on Twitter months ago and identified me as a “half-Aspie”, a term I have come to love. The movie Vectors of Autism premiers April 13th in Flagstaff, AZ on the NAU campus. She talks about how society holds people back much more than anything else does. She wants to heal society as do I. She does not like using the word disability and I understand completely. She and other adults give parents a better understanding of Aspie and autistic children in a way that no one else can.
I’ll be there as an exhibitor and author and I’ll be giving away ten autographed copies of Delightfully Different. The keynotes and noted speakers looks impressive, and I know there are over 200 speakers total.
Let me know if you are coming! I would love to meet you face to face, and I might even tell you where to find the best beaches and the best shave ice.