Re the quote below. Utter nonsense. No one before they parent has
any idea what strength they have, what sort of issues relating to
their children's pain and suffering they can handle and cannot.
I was asked before adopting my son to fill out a form and asked what
kinds of disability and other difference would I accept in my child.
I remember quite well that I said I would not accept a child who was
blind, deaf, or used a wheel chair, but would welcome a child with
such things as missing limbs, cleft palates, cognitive disability,
AIDS, hemophilia, prenatal drug/alcohol exposure, heart conditions,
Now as an adult I am acquiring my families genetic deafness - and it
has not been the impossible task I imagined it to be given the
tremendous change in hearing aid equipment, general amplification
available etc. that was not available to my mother and grandfather. I
have not stopped appreciating music as they did - I just listen to it
louder and with hearing assistance.
I use a scooter and no longer walk further than across a room. It can
be a pain when things are not accessible - but I do not miss walking.
I can roll where I need to go. I didn't know kids growing up with
fancy colored wheelchair that could keep up with their peers when
things were accessible- I only knew kids who watched us play from the
sideline in big clunky chairs.
The worst memory I have of my son's life - who has a Down syndrome -
was the day he got bit by a dog. Nothing compares to the pain you
feel when you see your child helplessly bleeding. Nothing can
prepare you for that fear that your child will die from blood loss in
your arms on the street. And the aspect of his disability I find most
difficult to accept are those that come from the fact he was exposed
prenatally to cocaine. The anger I feel is not at his disability,
but at the act that is was deliberately created out of complete
disregard for his future and the horrific stigma there is to being a
If I could take away his Down syndrome, his or my sleep apnea, my
growing deafness or inability to walk - I'd pass, but if I could
take away that day he was bit by a dog ( I still relive those moments
16 years later), or what cocaine did to his brain - I would in a
heart beat. You cannot possibly imagine what your strengths are as a
parent, or understand why you think you cannot handle what you can
until you experience it.
<<<Given this idea, prenatal diagnosis followed by selective
abortion, or preimplantation genetic diagnosis, perpetuates the idea
that only certain kinds of children will work within families, will
work for parents; although parents should be able to make decisions
about which children they will parent, what they feel their desires
are, the society,>>>
Susan Fitzmaurice, M.S., C.R.C.
ADA Coordinator Sexuality & Disability
City of Dearborn Education, Advocacy & Support
2951 Greenfield http://www.sexsupport.org
Dearborn, Michigan 48120
[log in to unmask]
[log in to unmask] Oakland Macomb Center
for Independent Living
(313) 943-2789 Board Member
Blue Water Center for Independent Living -Wayne
5425 Gullen Mall #355
Detroit, Michigan 4820
FAX (313) 577-2601
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