anniversary

More or less it’s the anniversary of my podcast wisdom shared and I am thinking hard about what to say. I want to devote 5 minutes to reflection on what my podcast has meant to me, what was my purpose , how it’s felt and what am I thinking about the future of the podcast.

 

I’d like to say thank you to the 14 guests I have interviewed, though not all have been published yet

I set out to interveiw parents of children with unique and special needs as wa way to get the real life stories, and listen to each parent with fresh ears. I know that the stories can bring people together, and create a sense of community which is much needed for all of us.

 

Ironically, many parents have commented that the COVID pandemic, while making life even more difficult and stressful for many reasons, has also given the world a perspective that parents of children with special needs deal with on a daily basis- feeling isolated, having to take extra precautions so that germs don’t get spread, taking life from a different clock than what the rest of neighbors are used to…similar fears, barriers, and attitudes that may not be helpful.

But the parents of disabled children have lives that are rich, joyful and hopeful. Andrew Soloman, the author of Far from the tree, wrote in a NY Times piece in 2019:The sociologist Ashton Applewhite quoted a matador who said, “The bull looks different when you’re inside the ring.” Disability is very different for disabled people than it looks to nondisabled people. He goes on to say many interesting things in his article The Dignity of Disabled Lives” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/02/opinion/disabled-human-rights.html , many ideas that came up for me making my podcast.

 

how I began: my idea to go through the list from my abm training

explain how I have no ulterior motive to interview parents who attended anat’s training, and yet it turns out that ABM is playing a large part in many of these parents lives, and therefore is talked about a lot. what I didn’t expect were the interviews with non abm or feldenkrais parents. There are many of these and what I see happening is that I am building a community of all kinds of parents with all backgrounds and experiences, that have faced challenges with their children.

a child struggling with anorexia, an adult short person who reflects on her challenges and whose mother I interview as well, a mother of a blind son who is now an adult and so much more to come. I hope to be a provider of perspective to others out there, primarily other parents, health care workers and teachers. But my dream would be that policy makers who have the power to make changes, can listen tool and hear what needs are not being met.

in the news, we learn about marginalized populations. But the disabled community is not usually taken as seriously as other minorities. The irony lies in the fact that the disabled community is one of the highest

 

Ableism is the discrimination or prejudice against people who have disabilities. Ableism can take the form of ideas and assumptions, stereotypes, attitudes and practices, physical barriers in the environment, or larger scale oppression. It is oftentimes unintentional and most people are completely unaware of the impact of their words or actions.
The thought that people with disabilities are dependent and require the care and support of someone else is an example of ableism. Sometimes this comes out in the form of people helping people with disabilities without asking them if they need assistance (and of course waiting the affirmative response).

Another example would be in designing spaces, places, events, information, communication, and technology without considering the variety of needs of people with disabilities. For example, a building that is built to code can still be technically inaccessible if the ramp is around the back of the building or if there is no automatic door opener installed.

 

my goal going forward is to create even more empathy for parents and for people who have been labeled special needs. to invite access to the realities, and to the idea that though our prejudice as non disabled listeners may be un intentional , that there is a lot of assumptions we may be making that help to continue stereotypes that are harmful and oppressive. One example someone brought up is the idea of asking if someone needs help before going to help them…the ideas of the importance of neurodiversity and being aware that environments are usually made for average heights, and non average people are left to have limited accessibility as a result.

 

but the interviews are more personal not political…I just bring this up because it’s opened up a new perspective and one that is not taught in school

 

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