From SLP Elizabeth Vosseller of Growing Kids Therapy Center:
Liam from Portland has an important announcement to make! Liam, Niko Boskovic, Ben, Emma, and Huan and I will be presenting at the TASH Conference in Portland in December! TASH is dedicated to the inclusion of all people with disabilities in education, work and community. The 6 of us will be presenting a panel breakout session entitled: Voices of Exclusion: Nonspeaking Youth Advocate for Inclusive Education. In addition, we submitted 4 other proposals to present and ALL were accepted! Ben, Emma and Huan will be giving a TASH Talk (think TED talk) and we also have a poster session on our short film, The Power of Words! I am SO PROUD of my kids – I can’t even stand it!#NonSpeakingDoesNotMeanNonThinking #InclusiveEducation #RPM
Recent email: “I am the Mom of two guys who experience autism. …I saw that you had written, “Stop listening to people who tell you that autistics are stupid. I am here to tell you otherwise.” I just wanted to write you this: Good job with that statement you wrote! Both of our sons are VERY smart, too, as well as kind and well-informed. We do not call our sons, “autistics,” though: they are MORE than the condition they have (the autism). That is, they are PEOPLE who have a CONDITION, just as people who cannot see are not simply, “the Blind,” but instead are people whose eyes do not see (they are “sight-challenged,” etc.). Anyway, I am glad you want to go into high school, and I hope someday you will be able to go to college to study science, as you also wrote. You keep strong and positive, okay?:)”
THE WORDS I CHOOSE TO USE TO REFERENCE MYSELF HAVE SIGNIFICANCE. THAT MEANS THEY ARE ONLY IMPORTANT TO ME. YOU CHOOSE TO DIMINISH THAT YOUR SONS HAVE AUTISM. THAT IS YOUR CHOICE. BUT I WONDER HOW THEY WOULD REFER TO THEMSELVES? WHAT YOU CALL THEM IS ONLY IMPORTANT IF THEY DO NOT AGREE.
THE WAY PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES GET TREATED HAS TO GET BETTER. I THINK LONGTIME ACTIVISTS MUST BE VERY HAPPY WITH THE ADA. HOWEVER I HAVE HARD FEELINGS TOWARDS THE LACK OF PROGRESS WE HAVE MADE. THERE IS NOW A GIANT FAILURE IN WHAT WE REGARD AS STUDENT PARITY. THAT MEANS SOME STUDENTS RECEIVE QUALITY EDUCATIONS WHILE OTHERS DO NOT.
THE INTERESTING THING IS THAT STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES SHOULD HAVE THE SAME OPPORTUNITIES. SOME DAY I HOPE TO HAVE THE SAME NOTEWORTHY ACCOLADES AS THE PERSON WHO READS THIS. THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME.