To counter the pity and fear, and the isolation that families raising kids with disabilities so often feel, I got together with some friends and started Extreme Kids & Crew, which is a non profit arts and movement and play program for kids with disabilities, their siblings and their parents in Brooklyn. The fees are sliding scale, so any family may take part. And all disabilities are welcome, no matter how mild or major. Our idea was to create a place where the weird was the norm, and see what that felt like. So far it feels great. Felix has made friends. My daughters, whose bodies and minds work in a beautifully typical fashion, have also made friends. I have made so many friends I’m having to do brain exercises in order to remember all their names. I’ve also been contacted by parents around the country who want to start similar programs. There is a huge need for creative, affordable, non-bureaucratic community centers for families who do not fit in with the mainstream, and I believe that Andrew Solomon’s book does a terrific job documenting why this is so. So thank you, Andrew Solomon!
If any of you who live in the NYC vicinity want to become involved in our project, please check out our site--www.extremekidsandcrew.org. Bring your kids to play or come for a concert or Cocktails & Bureaucracy parent evening. We would love to meet you!