A collaborative effort of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired And Texas Commission for the Blind Winter 2003 volume 8, No, 1




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Finally, if you have further questions about SibKids, SibNet, and our Sibshops or the work of the Sibling Support Project, please contact:


Don Meyer, Director

Sibling Support Project of the Arc of the US

6512 23rd Ave. NW, #213

Seattle, WA 98117

206-297-6368


Providing Hope and Encouragement for Parents of

Child with Disability Goal of New Book

Press Release reprinted with permission by Kensington Publishing Corp. and Dr. Klein


From the time a pregnancy is identified, most parents begin building hopes, dreams, and expectations for their new baby. These dreams can be suddenly shattered when a child is diagnosed with a disability or special health care need, noted Stanley D. Klein, Ph.D., co-editor with Kim Schive, of You Will Dream New Dreams: Inspiring personal stories by parents of children with disabilities (Kensington, $13.00).


“Although compassionate physicians, nurses, social workers, and other health care professionals may try to provide emotional support and useful information,” Klein said, “most parents describe feeling terribly alone with feelings they can find hard to put into words. Many parents and professionals have suggested that the diagnosis of a child’s disability initiates a mourning process in parents, much like the grief felt when a child dies. Yet the child is alive and parenting must proceed.”


“Our book,” stated Klein, “is all about human connections - ‘veteran’ parents reaching out to parents who have recently learned that their child has a disability or a special health care need. The compassion and caring of these very special connections can be healing at a critical time in the life of a family.”


“To create this book, we asked ‘veteran’ parents of children with disabilities to tell the stories they wish they could have heard at that emotionally difficult time, to share words of validation, affirmation, support, and encouragement. Although the authors of these essays have had very different experiences—differences that are reflected in the stories they tell — similar messages of hope and encouragement come through in each essay,” Klein stated. The basic messages of the essays include:

• You are not alone.

• The wide range of difficult feelings you are experiencing are a normal part of the human experience. We, too, have been there when everything seemed hopeless; yet we have survived, and our lives have continued. You can go on and grow.

• Although there are no easy answers, you will find ways to cope. You are likely to discover inner resources you did not know existed.

• There is sadness; some dreams are lost. You will mourn, but you can heal. You will be happy again; you will dream new dreams.


From the Foreword of You Will Dream New Dreams

You are not alone. My wife and I have been there and we have learned to dream new dreams. On July 1, 1960, our son, Peter, then an infant only four months old, was involved in a terrible automobile accident which took the life of his mother, my first wife. For a considerable period of time, his very survival was in doubt. He had multiple skull fractures and serious brain injuries which resulted in his having mental retardation.


While in the hospital with tubes running in and out of his tiny body, he was baptized. He returned home just before Christmas and our family life began anew...After spending three years as a single parent to Peter and his two older brothers, God sent me Ginny Judson, a schoolteacher who I met and married in 1963. In 1966, Ginny and I added a fourth son to our family.


it has always been very special for us to meet and talk with other parents who have shared similar experiences. We have been comforted and nourished by other parents; we have wept together and we have laughed together. We never perceived one another as superstars or martyrs; we were mothers and


fathers discovering our gifts while trying to be the best parents we could be.


I have also been uniquely blessed with opportunities to apply the lessons I have learned as a parent in public life. In 1978, I ran successfully for governor of Pennsylvania and served two four-year terms. Peter was a fine campaigner, a popular subject for campaign photos and a frequent participant in official activities after I was elected. Our feeling was one of pride in Peter’s accomplishments, not reluctance to share his shortcomings. Everyone in Pennsylvania knew that the governor had a son with a serious disability…


Later when I served in Washington, D.C., as Attorney General of the United States, one of my principal tasks for President Bush was to spearhead the effort to obtain congressional passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the civil rights law designed to end discrimination against persons with disabilities and remove barriers to their participation in all aspects of community life. Once again, it was parents, parent organizations and organizations of people with disabilities who helped develop bipartisan support for this legislation.


When I served at the United Nations, I had an opportunity to observe how the needs of some 500 million persons with disabilities around the world are beginning to be met — through the UN’s own program of action and in many nations that are using our ADA as a model. Today determined advocates throughout the world, including many parents, are stimulating new thinking about how persons with disabilities can best serve and be served in their societies…


In this book, more than 60 parents who have “been there” reach out to new parents by sharing their stories and their wisdom. They describe their deepest emotions and reflect on how they have become seasoned, veteran parents. Because of their sons and daughters, their lives and their values changed. They have become informed experts about their children and have found new ways to grow and serve. As veteran parents ourselves, Ginny and I know firsthand that parents’ strongest allies will always be other parents and we count ourselves fortunate to have been able to share our experiences with others.


To new parents, grandparents and other family members reading these fine essays, we say with special feelings of respect: “Welcome to a wonderful worldwide community! Keep this book nearby and share it with your family and friends. You are not alone.”


DickThornburgh

Washington, DC


Applicants Wanted for Weeklong

Youth Leadership Program Next Summer

Press Release from Children’s Association for Maximum Potential (C.A.M.P.)


The Children’s Association for Maximum Potential (C.A.M.P.) is looking for future community leaders to participate in an exciting leadership training program – the 2003 C.A.M.P. Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) for students with disabilities. The YLF, which will be held at a Hill Country Conference Center in Center Point, Texas, is a fun, educational, vocational awareness program that enables young people to learn from each other and from successful adults with disabilities who are recognized leaders and role models. The leadership forum, which is being developed under a Council grant, is free for individuals who are selected to participate. Applications for the YLF are due April 1, 2003.


Modeled after a national youth leadership program that originated in California 12 years ago, the YLF will target 30 young people with disabilities from across Texas. Forum participants are selected by C.A.M.P. through an application and interview process and include applicants that want to be leaders in the community who have demonstrated academic success, community involvement, leadership potential, and an ability to interact effectively with other students.


The weeklong summer program for youth from across the state will be held Sunday - Friday, July 27 to August 1, 2003. During this forum, participants will develop a “personal leadership plan.” This plan will help them identify and deal with barriers to personal and professional success. Participants will also collaborate with other young people who have leadership qualities, learn more about assistive technology, work on building self-esteem, and learn about the history of disability as a culture.


What will Happen at the Forum?

The forum will:

• Bring together young people with disabilities (ages 16 to 22) who demonstrate potential leadership qualities and provide an opportunity for them to share information with each other.

• Offer educational programs including the history of disability as a culture, assistive technology, developing leadership/self-esteem and other areas. Presenters will include leaders with disabilities.

• Identify existing barriers to personal and professional success, and develop plans to deal with those barriers.

• Assist each participant in developing a “Personal Leadership Plan,” which will include specific actions plans to implement in their communities.

• Include a day at the Texas State Capitol and an opportunity to get to know some of our state lawmakers.


If you know a young person with disabilities who would benefit from this program, please encourage him/her to call for an application. For more information or to request an application, call Jennifer Murphy or Sandie Gonzalez at (210) 292-3566 or (210) 292-3574, or email at: .


Financial Support for CAMP Youth Leadership is provided by the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities, with Federal funds made available by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities.


classified

Mail or e-mail your new classifieds to Jim Durkel at:

TSBVI Outreach, 1100 West 45th St., Austin, TX 78756, or JimDurkel@tsbvi.edu.

An up-to-date Statewide Staff Development Calendar is posted on TSBVI’s website at .


March 5, 2003

Literacy for the Student Who Is Deafblind

Location: Region VIII ESC, Mount Pleasant , Texas

Presenter: Barbara Miles

Contact: Donna Clopton at (903) 572-8551 or

Note: This workshop is from 9:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.


March 7, 2003

Auditory Learning Series:

Hand-On Strategies to Encourage Listening Development

Across the Curriculum for Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Location: TETN network broadcast available at all ESCs

Contact: John Bond at (210) 370-5418


March 7-9 2003

California Transcribers and Educators

of the Visually Handicapped’s (CTEVH) Annual Conference

Location: San Francisco Marriott Hotel in Burlingame, CA.

Contact for packet and information: Christy Cutting 206-417-4945 or

March 17-22, 2003

CSUN’s 18th Annual International Conference:

Technology and Persons with Disablities

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Contact: Center on Disabilities at (818) 677-2578 or <www.csun.edu/cod/>


April 3-5, 2003

Texas Speech and Hearing Association (TSHA) Conference

Location: Adams Mark Hotel, Dallas, TX

Contact:
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