Love this photo of my buddy Blair Williamson with Kym Johnson of 'Dancing with the Stars' at the DSALA 2009 SunDown Film Festival & Awards. Kym received the 2009 Vision Award for her efforts supporting those with Down syndrome, including the dance classes she leads for those with special needs.
Thanks to my good friend Gail Williamson for sharing this photo and news, and huge thanks to Kym Johnson for her terrific work with individuals with DS in Los Angeles and in her native Australia. She's one terrific dancer and a class act.
Just finished listening to the NPR' piece 'A Brother Recalls Life In the Shadow of Autism,' about a sibling who grew up in family with a brother with autism.
Kari Taro Greenfield's book "A Boy Alone: A Brother's Memoir' about his childhood experience was just released. His is a bleak tale, and a harsh reminder of how tough and lasting the challenges of special needs can be on sibs- and how important it is that parents work hard to meet their needs, too. Even then, there are no guarantees.
I found Greenfield's story incredibly sad.
The direct link to the piece is not working right now. Perhaps it's overwhelmed with hits, so here is the link to NPR.org where you can find the story link once the glitch is fixed.
The recently released video of the fights at the State School for the Mentally Disabled in Corpus Christi, Texas is sickening and deeply disturbing. We have far to go to ensure that all individuals with special needs are treated with the dignity, respect and human decency they deserve. Some justice was finally served last week when six employees of the home were finally indicted by a Grand Jury.
But how did so many people remain silent and unchecked for so long as these sick games continued?
The economy has been tough on animals, too. Many have lost their homes or been abused. Please consider giving a shelter animal like Jack a home. Many are waiting, and they make great, loyal companions!
As an author, consultant, speaker, and award-winning journalist on special needs, I have the honor of creating greater awareness of the value and potential of millions of children and young adults with special needs worldwide. It’s work about which I am passionate. My book, 'Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations' (Jossey-Bass/Wiley, March 2006), is dedicated to my terrific son, Eric Richard Winter, who had cerebral palsy and passed away in 2003 at age 12. Eric was much more than just a disabled child, and now I'm sharing his lessons about ability with the world. I help adults see children with special needs through new eyes and challenge them to work harder to help this population reach their full potential. You can find out more about 'Breakthrough Parenting,' and my amazing son, by visiting my website: www.JudyWinter.com. There, you will learn how you can help me raise the bar of expectations for millions of children with special needs— one child at a time. It’s one deserving— and very cool cause!