Thursday, March 1, 2012

Kids and adults with special needs who give you hope

Back after Max was born, I spent a lot of time emailing moms on The Pediatric Stroke Network e-loop. I was especially interested in connecting with ones whose kids were older six and up. Hearing that their children were walking, talking and generally doing OK gave me the hope I was hungry for. The doctors hadn't given us much to go on.

Now when one of you tells me how much Max gives you hope, it thrills me—because I know how you feel, because I am glad Max gives you comfort, and because I am grateful that he is doing as well as he is.

I also look to older kids and adults for hope about Max's future. This week, inspiration struck three times: first with a post by Susan Senator about her son Nat, 22, who has autism and who just moved into a home, with staffers to assist him and his roommates. And then by this video I found about young adults with special needs who live together in a group of apartments in California.

And then, I was wowed by this video clip I found at Shannon's blog about three men with cerebral palsy who are doing great things. They're featured in a documentary-in-progress called The Cohesion Project.

I hope they inspire you, too.


  1. Ellen, I'm just stopping in to say hi. It was so great meeting you at the Special Needs Breakfast at Blissdom. I just loaded you into my reader so that I can glean your wisdom :-)

  2. Wow...that was awesome. I especially loved the Cohesion project video, and can't wait to see the whole film! It is definitely inspiring to see what these men have accomplished, and know that my little guy is following along after some wonderful trailblazers!!

    Thank you!

  3. Ellen, one of my college friends has CP and is about to get a Master's degree with plans for a doctorate. He lives independently and has a very serious boyfriend. He is training to be an Anglican priest and will probably one day be a leader in his community.

    His boyfriend also has CP and can't talk very well but has good mobility, and my friend has very clear speech but not-so-great mobility. The two of them help each other out when the situation calls for it. They are very sweet together.

    I don't know what my friend was like as a child, but he certainly has a bright future.

    My guess is, he would give a lot of people hope :)

  4. OH WOW, this made my day. I am crying just seeing the possibilites. So refresing! Thank you so very much for sharing this.

  5. There is always hope. Children with special needs may develop more slowly but they make progress with nurturing, dedicated parents, therapists & teachers. Sarah and her friends have made good progress (all in twenties): one lives in a group home and works, another one helps her mom clean houses, another one volunteers at her former school, and Sarah raises chickens, sells eggs & chicks, and walks a horse across the road to earn money (and build self-esteem). I appreciate your blog so much. My Dr. Seuss post tells about how children will special needs are helped by raising animals:

  6. Hi Ellen,
    I know I said all this before a long time ago, but Berkeley is chock-full of extremely successful adults with CP. UC Berkeley Professor Devva Kasnitz, Denise Jacobson (author of "The Question of David), Neil Jacobson (former high-level exec at Wells Fargo and since founder and CEO of name a few. The Ed Roberts Campus (where I am psyched to work part time!!) is a fantastic spot in which to connect with lots and lots of peers with disabilities, including CP. You should visit sometime!


Thanks for sharing!

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