Disability

Stories, theology, and cultural commentary related to disability.

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Stopping to Notice a Day of GraceI have plenty of grumpy and just fine days. But every once in a while, a really good one comes along...
Stopping to Notice a Day of Grace
Image: Phil Dutton

Do you ever have a day that captures the simple goodness within your life? For me, it doesn't happen often. I have lots of grumpy days--when the kids are whining and I'm tired and there's a voice in the back of my head telling me to pay more attention to the good things but instead I ...

Can Pro-Life Christians Be Genetic Counselors?Virginia's problematic new law contains possibilities for creating a safe space for counselors and clients alike
Can Pro-Life Christians Be Genetic Counselors?
Image: Torsten Mangner/Flickr

Virginia's Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe recently signed two bills into law that provide rules for licensing genetic counselors. Genetic counseling has been recognized as a field since the late 1970s, but many states still fail to regulate it. With advances in technology and an increase ...

What Slowing Down Teaches You That Rushing Never WillThe mother of a child with Down syndrome joins her daughter’s rebellion against hurried living. A guest post by Elisa Fryling Stanford
What Slowing Down Teaches You That Rushing Never Will
Image: Lisa Beth Anderson

My daughter Eden is slow. I know that sounds negative. It feels almost like a betrayal to write it. Our world rarely welcomes slowness. But Eden, who is nine years old and has Down syndrome, remains unaware of the need to rush. Ever.

This morning she walked out of the house with mismatched mittens, ...

Parenting a Child Who Is Profoundly OtherA mother reflects on the humanity she shares with her daughter with significant disabilities
Parenting a Child Who Is Profoundly Other
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"Good morning, sweetie peetie," I greet Temma each morning, my own eyes still half-shut when I paddle into her room. Her eyes are most often open as if she has been waiting for me. She startles a bit at the sound of my voice, her arms and feet lifting up and her eyes becoming even more ...

A Doctor Faces His Own SufferingHow one man found joy in the midst of debilitating physical pain
A Doctor Faces His Own Suffering
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So much pain. I was at what should have been the prime of life. Med school finished, internship and residency done. Two kids and a wonderful wife at home. But there was so much pain.

I was a rheumatologist practicing in Roanoke, Virginia when I began to have discomfort in my feet. I instituted ...

Including People with Disabilities In Your ChurchWe all miss out without the whole body of Christ
Including People with Disabilities In Your Church
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"If people in your community are going to Wal-Mart in their wheelchairs but not coming to your church, a lot of times the church community calls them shut-ins. They're not shut-ins; they're just shut out of the church" (Ned Stoller (cited in Making Churches Accessible to the Disabled, ...

Perfectly Human: What Is Ministry Success When a Child Dies?Ministering to children with special needs in Zambia. A guest post by Beth Bailey
Perfectly Human: What Is Ministry Success When a Child Dies?
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It had been more than a year since we last buried a child. And though we all knew it would eventually happen again, it felt like an especially hard blow. When the time came, Special Hope Network had existed in Lusaka, Zambia, for close to four years and we had been serving children with intellectual ...

Perfectly Human: How a Little Girl with Cerebral Palsy Shared Her GiftsDisability couldn't limit her love. A guest post by Meadow Rue Merrill
Perfectly Human: How a Little Girl with Cerebral Palsy Shared Her Gifts
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A few years back, I read a beautiful and heart-wrenching article in the Boston Globe about a family who had adopted a child from Uganda named Ruth. I reached out to the author, Meadow Rue Merrill, and an online friendship budded in time. Since then, I've had the privilege of reading Meadow's ...

What We Celebrate on World Down Syndrome DayAnd how you can help us tell, and live, the good stories
What We Celebrate on World Down Syndrome Day
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Every week, I read heartwarming stories about Down syndrome: homecoming kings and queens, young men and women going to college, starting businesses, becoming models and actors, running marathons. And every week, I read horror stories about Down syndrome: rape that only becomes more horrific when ...

The Best Parenting Advice I Ever ReceivedSmile. A lot.
The Best Parenting Advice I Ever Received
Image: Chris Cappoziello

People sometimes ask me what I've "done right" with Penny. They ask because Penny reads and goes to ballet class and practices piano and orders her own meal when we eat at a restaurant. They ask because she is "high functioning." I suspect many people assume we've coached ...

Perfectly Human: Reflections on Seven Years with my Daughter with Down syndromeWhy one mother now prays for strength and weakness
Perfectly Human: Reflections on Seven Years with my Daughter with Down syndrome
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It's a bright Sunday afternoon at the park. My youngest daughter Evangeline giggles in an adaptive swing while her dad dutifully pushes her back and forth. We adopted Evangeline, who has Down syndrome and autism, from Ukraine. Elaina and Zoya, our two older girls, with adult-like bodies but childlike ...

Anticipating World Down Syndrome Day: What I Admire About My DaughterHow Penny is helping me learn the secret of being content
Anticipating World Down Syndrome Day: What I Admire About My Daughter
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When Penny was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth, I was sad and scared. The sadness and the sorrow dissipated with time, replaced by joy and hope. One of the reasons I began to have joy and hope for this baby I loved was because I began to believe that she wasn't defined by the list of delays ...

Sinless Down Syndrome Angels? Or Something Else?A Perfectly Human guest post by author Margot Starbuck
Sinless Down Syndrome Angels? Or Something Else?
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Peeking out from my living room window, I see one of my sons chucking a snowball at a neighbor who has Down Syndrome.

This could be disconcerting for some moms, I know, but not this one.

It's February in North Carolina and, after a rare snowfall, the friendliest snowball fight you could ever ...

Why Ending the R-Word Isn't EnoughSpread the attitude to change the attitude
Why Ending the R-Word Isn't Enough
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A few weeks ago, Jerry Seinfeld appeared on The Tonight Show. His five-minute comedy set included a joke comparing inept postal workers to the "mentally handicapped." (See Mark Leach's gracious post about this incident for more information and analysis of it.) Seinfeld didn't use ...

Perfectly Human: Reflections on Disability and the Good LifeIntroducing a weekly series
Perfectly Human: Reflections on Disability and the Good Life
Image: Chris Cappozziello

Soon after our daughter Penny was born and diagnosed with Down syndrome, I started to ask questions about the spiritual implications of her disability. To give a glimpse of some of the questions I was asking, here's an excerpt from our time in the hospital, as related in my memoir A Good and ...

What My Daughter Wants You To Know About Prenatal TestingYou don't need to worry.
What My Daughter Wants You To Know About Prenatal Testing
Image: Chris Cappozziello

At 5:00, my oldest daughter Penny finds me in bed. Cough drop wrappers, a used tea bag, and Dayquil packets surround me. "Come on up, sweetie," I say, and she climbs in next to me.

She has brought her spelling book. Her second grade assignment this week involves ten plural words. As she ...

Why Person-First Language MattersJust because you know my daughter has Down syndrome doesn’t mean you know her.
Why Person-First Language Matters
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A friend of mine read a prayer at church yesterday which included a reference to "the epileptic boy." She received criticism later on because she hadn't used "person-first" language. She hadn't put the boy first and his diagnosis second. She could have said "the boy ...

Introducing Thin PlacesWhat to expect from this blog in the weeks and months to come...
Introducing Thin Places
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In addition to the video chat about this blog with Katelyn Beaty yesterday (and for those of you who might be like me and prefer reading words to watching conversations), I thought I'd offer a few thoughts on what to expect from this blog going forward.

The title of this blog, "Thin Places," ...

Welcome Amy Julia Becker, CT's Newest BloggerThe author of three books and longtime Her.meneutics contributor talks about her hopes for the site.
Welcome Amy Julia Becker, CT's Newest Blogger
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In early 2010, Amy Julia Becker was a wife and mother of two, an MDiv student at Princeton Theological Seminary, and the author of an unpublished book about raising a child with Down syndrome. The book had been rejected by 48 publishers. "I put the project away, focused on finishing my last ...

My Questions About the Ethics of Embryo SelectionWhat should parents do when their children run the risk of inheriting painful fatal diseases?
My Questions About the Ethics of Embryo Selection
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It sounds pretty basic. A lovely young couple wants children, and they want those children to prosper and grow. They want to do as much as they reasonably can to ensure that those children have good, full lives. Happy lives. Lives that are as free from suffering and pain as possible. The problem ...

Displaying 21–40 of 365 articles
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