Ruth Schekter and Bill Zirinsky's Story
Thoughts from Andrew

Disability Chapter VII

Multiple severe disabilities may render people unable to walk or talk, unable to express their humanity the way most of us do—and yet they remain ineffably human and are often profoundly loved. Indeed, some parents exalt the purity of loving children who are incapable of manipulation, exploitation, or cruelty.

The question of how much someone with such radical limitations can progress is mysterious; some brains have proven surprisingly plastic, and some people have emerged from limitations that seemed intractable. How do we treat acutely disabled people humanely even as we acknowledge the ways that they are profoundly different from other people?

For every dollar spent on vocational rehabilitation for people with disabilities, the Social Security Administration saves seven dollars.

When they finally interred her son Sam's ashes, Sara Hadden said, "Let me bury here the rage I feel to have been twice robbed: once of the child…

"I resolved to do things that I'm afraid of. Doing this—talking all about myself and the hardest parts of our life with you—is something…

A friend said that when she found out her husband couldn't fill her needs, she changed her needs; they've had a long, good life together.

"I don't believe that we'll have an empty-nest problem. I think that would have been very different with a normal child, so I get sad about not being…

"I think most people I know, if a child had been given to them who was profoundly disabled, would have risen to the occasion. I need to believe that.…

"I actually think it's not believing in God that has given us that perspective. People always regale us with these little sayings, like, 'God doesn't…

"No one understands what it's like; even I know what it's like right now, and that's all. I'm very happy to talk to you so long as you promise not…

"Newtonian physics works well in most cases, but not in extreme cases. As Einstein pointed out, it fails at high speeds. Relativity explains that…

"From the age of three until the age of twelve, three times a week, women who were older than I was, who were more powerful than I was, who had more…

Parents are broken, and full of error. Intention does not obliterate that error, but I think, that it does at least mitigate it. Being hurt by those you…

"Severe epileptic fits should have been killing her. That was nature's way of destroying person. But, no. There was a drug that could stop the spasms.…

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