WHY Why why why…..?

Excerpted From NPR site a year ago

I have a son with Downs Syndrome. I know a lot of people with intellectual disabilities. Without exception, they love to work. Probably more so than the average person, because work can give them a sense of competence they can’t get elsewhere.

They all work in sheltered workshop settings. What I don’t understand is the dogma that this kind of work is unacceptable. This flies into the face of what I see nearly everyday. People who are very happy to work and proud of what they do.

I have seen the alternative, where the sheltered work programs are shut down. And people like my son are warehoused in programs that “include” people with intellectual disabilities by making them sit most of the day in a stuffy building playing with scraps pf paper and puzzles, and getting “included in the community” by a field trip to the Mall.

I wonder if the zealots who want to close down these kind of programs really work with the more disabled of the population ?

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About Nan Mykel

I used to think I would be a child prodigy, but then I got old. Formerly I had fantasies of rubbing elbows with cultural and academic leaders but that did not come to pass because I did not become a cultural or academic leader or any other kind of leader, for that matter. I am not even an "Alpha Dog," a term learned from a friend who had to become "Alpha Dog" in order to influence her own pet. (When gazes lock, she never looks away.) For years I expected to become a published author, but in passing I could not avoid the fact that I had little to contribute to the world's bulging dumpsters. I'm embarrassed to report that I also considered my primary process artistic productions powerful, rather than mildly neurotic. Which is not to say that I disrespect myself, only that I am beginning to doubt my potential for making a mark on the world. If I focus on strict self discipline I may be able to keep my garbage removed on a weekly basis, to keep the kitty box changed, the clothes cleaned, the dog watered, fed and walked, but that just catches me up to the starting mark again. When writing I physically grapple with words, wrestling them from their indifference into attempted chunks of awareness. I sit heavily on my chair; I breathe in artificially cooled air; my ear drums note the tap tap of the keyboard and the steady uninterrupted sound of the air conditioner, What is that sound? The roar of the ocean from 30 yards away...Inside, my thoughts are are balls in an electronic game machine, bouncing hither and yon from lever to lever. I am a little grim and intent until I recall a dream related by a black man in the prison where I once worked. He said that when he was a small boy, back home, he dreamed he was standing on his front porch pissing, and that he suddenly found himself pissing stars...
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