Thoughts from Andrew

Transcendence

Living with challenges or differences can lead to revelations. Some overcome external prejudice; others transcend their own apparent limitations.

Parents may outgrow the bias they once had toward unfamiliar conditions; their children may transcend the idea that they are wholly defined by their singularities.

Difference unites us. While each of these experiences can isolate those who are affected, together they compose an aggregate of millions whose struggles…

Social progress is making disabling conditions easier to live with just as medical progress is eliminating them. There is something tragic about this…

If you banish the dragons, you banish the heroes—and we become attached to the heroic strain in our lives. We choose our own lives.  It is not simply…

Rumi said that the light enters you at the bandaged place. Most of the families I met ended up grateful for experiences they would have done anything…

"I didn't know that there were other people like me," one deaf girl said to me. "I thought everyone in the world would rather talk to someone…

One cannot imagine thought without language any more than one can imagine language without thought.

"It was almost like I had lived in two very separate worlds all my life, Deaf and hearing. A lot of my hearing friends have seen the Deaf side. The…

"The grandparents could see adult dwarfs and realize, okay, this is what Sam's going to look like. We went for Sam, but also so we could be comfortable…

"I went past a bar and I saw his car parked there. I didn’t think I could march in there like I wanted, but I left him three messages. So I thought,…

"They all said that you don’t take on problems or issues or differences you can avoid. They all thought that we should abort." The genetic…

When they were finished, Kiki announced that she would shave her own head, too. Her mother Crissy tried to stop her, but she was absolutely adamant. "Since…

Jason lives in a lonely demographic. He is too bright for most others with Down Syndrome; they can’t keep up with his verbal abilities, his puns, his…

"If you gather a whole group of six-year-olds together, they'll have a much wider range of ability than any single six-year-old. So one might have…

"If I could cure David, I would, for David. But I think that we've grown so much as a result of having to deal with this. We’ve had so much purpose.…

"I work on this school my son doesn’t go to, and I sponsor research that probably won’t help him, and I have a think tank to design institutions…

"I’m a fiction writer, and he is also a fiction writer, in his way. He creates other worlds; at times he’s lived in other worlds. There are characters;…

"I remember the first time I felt love, after all that. I don't even remember who it was—probably Sam. I just started feeling what it felt like…

"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…

"I understand why my parents turned against me. We all hate what we don’t understand." –Jonathan Floril

"If my father had pressured me like this and I had not done well, it would have been child abuse, and I would be traumatized, maybe destroyed. He…

"My grandchildren are my heartbeat. I didn't think that I could love like that, and I didn’t love like that with my own children—maybe I was…

"Thank you so much for being open and honest with us. Nothing has changed as a result of you telling us that you are gay and have a partner. You…

"When it first happened, I used to wish that I had never had children, that I had never married. If Tom and I hadn’t crossed paths at Ohio State,…

The first phone call the Pearsons had came from one of the people in their community from whom Kim had expected condemnation. "He said, 'Shawn is…

With access to reproductive technologies, we are conjecturing what kind of children will make us happy, and what kind we will make happy. It may be irresponsible…

Most of the parents I interviewed for this book said they would never want other children than the ones they had, which at first seemed surprising given…

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