Disability

Stories, theology, and cultural commentary related to disability.

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What I’m Reading: Articles on genetics, depression, hospitals, and disability

These days, I spend a lot of time with my Iphone. When I'm nursing Marilee, I read. I have an app for the New York Times, the Atlantic, Time Magazine, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Christianity Today, and the ESV Bible. Although I wish I had more time to offer my own thoughts and questions prompted ...

Happy Belated World Down Syndrome Day!

(First, a quick blog update: I'm sorry to have been MIA this week. Beliefnet was changing our blogging platform and they forgot to include me. It took a few days to figure out, but now I'm back…)

And here's what I had hoped to post on Monday:

March 21, or 3/21. It is snowing outside. I look out the window ...

When the World Comments On Your Life

I've found myself in the center of a squall this past week. A squall of my own making. When I wrote about my choice not to screen the baby in my womb for Down syndrome, I didn't expect it to draw any attention other than readers of this blog. But Lisa Belkin, of the New York Times' Motherlode, was willing ...

Perfectly Human: Transparency, by Margot Starbuck

With the move to Beliefnet, I decided to start a weekly guest blog post called "Perfectly Human." This weekly feature is intended to provide a picture of life with a disability in all its possibilities and limitations, gifts and struggles. The title of this feature comes from the Greek word telos, which ...

Perfectly Human: The Wideness of Prayer by Paul Miller

Paul Miller is the author of A Praying Life (click here for my thoughts on this wonderful book) and Love Walked Among Us. He is also the Executive Director of seejesus.net. The following essay includes a few paragraphs from A Praying Life, with new material at the end:

For some reason our daughter Kim ...

Perfectly Human: Walking Toward Freedom by Jessica Bigby

I am a believer, a dreamer, a traveler. I love learning, experiencing new places and cultures, and climbing to the highest point simply to check out the view. Music and singing can occupy me for hours. Reading, not so much. My faith, family and friends are the most important things in my life. I find ...

Bridging the Gap: An Introduction to the Special Hope Network

A few months into our life with a child with Down syndrome, I realized that we live in exactly the right place at exactly the right time with exactly the right resources. We are within an hour of the best children's hospital in the nation, a hospital that has a satellite office 15 minutes away. People ...

Where Does Unconditional Love Come From?

I have a new post at her.meneutics about the spiritual significance of Williams Syndrome. It is called "The Anti-Racist, Anti-Fear Gene." Incidentally, the title is somewhat misleading as Williams Syndrome involves the absence of certain genes, but that's somewhat beside the point.

The post begins: ...

Burdens and Blessings

I have a new post at BLOOM: Parenting Children with Disabilities.

I'm printing it here in full, although I also encourage you to click over to BLOOM when you're done reading and scroll through the content there. Anyway, here's the post, which should make sense of the photo, taken when Penny was in the ...

If I Accidentally Say the Word "Retarded"...

Peter was talking with a friend of ours. I don't know the context, but she called something "retarded" as they talked.

We bumped into her again the next day. She reached out and touched Peter's arm. "I'm so sorry about what I said yesterday. I don't know if you even noticed, but I was sleep deprived, ...

How Down Syndrome has Opened my Eyes to the World

A few months after our daughter Penny was born with Down syndrome, a friend of mine lamented the fact that Penny's diagnosis would narrow my field of interest and influence. "I want you to be able to write and talk about more than Down syndrome," she said.

I agreed. I wasn't particularly interested ...

Is it okay to say Idiot?

I've always loved language. I spoke early, and according to my mother, I wouldn't speak as a child until I could say a word correctly (except for raisins, which I called "sha sha." Go figure.). I stopped taking Science classes midway through high school so I could double up on English classes. I was ...

What's it like to have a sister with Down syndrome?

When I was pregnant with William, I thought a lot about what it would be like for him to have an older sister with Down syndrome. I thought about how "good it would have been" for me to have had a sibling with Downs. I assumed she would teach him things like patience, or to have less concern for social ...

Forgetting Yourself, Finding Yourself

I'm in the home stretch of writing my thesis for Seminary (for those of you who play close attention, I got an extension and it is now due this Saturday. Long story.) on Flannery O'Connor's Theology of Disability. I've learned a lot about theology, disability, and O'Connor, but the unexpected blessing ...

They Cheered For Me

As readers of this blog already know, Penny attends an inclusive preschool. There are about 14 kids in the class–eight who are "typically-developing" and six with special needs. On Sunday, it was Sarah's (I've changed her name) birthday, and she had a "pony party" with all the kids from her class at ...

My Sister's Name is Doha

About once a month, Penny and I take a special trip to Panera for lunch. Tuesday was the day. "Let's go out to lunch," I said.

"At a restaurant?" she asked. "I like a restaurant!"

We stood in line, and I picked Penny up so she could see over the counter. The woman taking our order beamed. Penny said, ...

What does God have to say about disability?

A while ago, I read a scholarly book called Disability in the Hebrew Bible, by Saul Olyan. I have a review of the book right now with Books and Culture. It begins...

If I had a nickel for every time Saul Olyan uses the word "stigmatize" and its cognates in Disability in the Hebrew Bible, I would have ...

Finding the Right Words to Talk About Disability

I have a new piece at her.meneutics, the Christianity Today blog. Regular readers of this blog will recognize some of the ideas, although it does contain new material as well. It begins:

The word retarded has made the news lately. The Special Olympics designated March 3rd as a day of awareness about ...

What Wasn't Said: Language, Assumptions, and Special Education

We're moving next year. Just for the year while Peter goes back to school. But it still means packing our things and finding new doctors and new friends and, most worrisome to me, a new school for Penny.

So I went online and looked at the website for the school system where we'll be living. Here's what ...

The R-Word

I'm planning to write more about "the R-word" (and even the designation of the word retarded as "the R-word") next week. For those of you interested in more reading right now, I'll commend to you Louise Kinross' comments on BLOOM:"The R-Word: It's a Hateful Slur That's Got to Go" and "The Tyranny of ...

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