I am working on a post for Monday’s Amazon Blog on acceptance being a process. I don’t want to give away the post but I can’t resist sharing part of my mind’s ramblings with you today.
Billy Ray tends to have one movie at a time that he will watch over and over so I memorize them too (because I am in his bedroom while he watches as he goes to sleep). The one he is watching most right now is my old copy of Mr. Holland’s Opus with Richard Dreyfus. I loved that movie partly because it was filmed in Portland, Oregon, my hometown. Billy Ray loves it because of all the “oldies” songs and because he directs the orchestra with Richard Dreyfus (Mr. Holland).
In the movie Mr. Holland is singing the John Lennon song “Beautiful Boy” to his son. There is a line in the song that says “life is what happens to you, when you are busy making other plans.” I think that is true of most of parents of children with special needs.
Raymond and I did ask for a child with Down Syndrome when we adopted Billy Ray. Thus, I can’t say that his special needs were not a part of my “other plans.” However, I wasn’t prepared for him to experience ADHD, Bipolar and Autism. His experience of that has definitely changed our life. Had his experience been different I wouldn’t have had anything to share with you here or in my book.
I recently had some contact with Marty Omoto who shared how he went with his older sister as classroom assistant in her special education classes during junior and high school. Marty is now Director of California Disabilities Community Action Network. His sister’s experience surely had an impact on his career.
In her endorsement to my book Ruth Crist Sullivan, Ph.D. refers to her self as “parent-cum-professional”. Dr. Bernard Rimland, founder of the Autism Association of America and Director, Autism Research Institute is the father of Mark who experiences Autism. Charlie Fox, Special Ed Law Blogs, is the father of child with special needs and specializes his law practice on special education law.
I could give many more examples of people whose lives have been changed because of their relationship with someone who experiences special needs. Plans are changed and life takes on different meaning.
I can’t speak for anyone but myself. For me, being Billy Ray’s Mom has changed me to a profound degree.
Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan