Tuesday, March 29, 2016

In Which I Explain One of the Reasons I Do What I Do

It starts here:
Here’s Donald Trump, America’s likely Republican presidential nominee, describing his vision of the federal role in public education:
I’m not cutting services, but I’m cutting spending. But I may cut Department of Education. I believe Common Core is a very bad thing. I believe that we should be—you know, educating our children from Iowa, from New Hampshire, from South Carolina, from California, from New York. I think that it should be local education.
 His perspective—shared by, apparently, millions of Americans on both sides of the aisle—is worth unpacking because March is Disability Awareness Month.
First, full disclosure. My husband Dennis and I are the parents of Jonah, a handsome, funny and delightful 20-year-old with multiple disabilities. Jonah has a genetic mutation called Fragile X Syndrome which can cause a constellation of impairments, particularly in males (who, unlike females, don’t have a compensatory backup X chromosome.) Hence, my sweet son is “cognitively impaired” or “developmentally disabled” or whatever politically-correct descriptor you prefer. Nowadays you don’t say “retarded” because someone would call the language police and that word, when not used as a slur, means “slow” and connotes that one day you’ll catch up. Jonah never will catch up with his neuro-typical peers and, barring some miracle, never will live independently. 
As one of our other children says, both wryly and fondly, “Jonah is the gift that keeps on taking.”
Read the rest here.

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