Re: DSM: Seeking CT mavericks and info re: " developmental disabilities"

Holly L McHaelen (
Wed, 11 Oct 2000 22:57:01 -0400

Hi All! Thanks to the folks who replied to my request for ideas on
finding like-minded folks with whom to start a SV model school in central
CT. Sorry to be so long in following up, my partner works out of our
home office and some weeks there is precious little time when the
computer is free AND our 17 month old daughter is sleeping...

Kristen Dakota, Thanks for all your ideas re: reaching out to interested
families, all good stuff I hadn't thought of!

Melissa Tyson and Robyn Segali, I would be delighted to talk/meet with
you both. I live in Manchester, which is a bit northeast of Hartford
[about 20 min from Windsor Locks? Robyn, are you in the Hartford area?]
Let's plan to get together to discuss the possibilities here! Also,
Robyn, I have a friend who's working on her M.Ed. at UHa and is very
interested in SV [and is even interested in working to get a school
going], I'd love to see you two hook up! My email is
<<>>, why don't you two email me directly and we can
work out a time to talk-- I'll look forward to it!

Melissa Bradford, Whew, the voice of experience! I really appreciate
your insights. I hear what you're saying about the amount of work
involved in starting a school compared with making a long commute. And I
would love to hear more from you about how you did make it work,
difficult though it must have been-- not only starting/maintaining a
successful school, but balancing home/family with the enormous
time/energy commitment the school demands. The commute really is a
secondary consideration. I LOVE Greenwood, and I would be willing to do
the commute if that's the only way my kid(s) will be able to benefit from
being in a SV environment. But I also believe in service, and I believe
this is education that could really change the world, not just little
pockets of it, if it were available to enough people, if enough young
people could grow up being nurtured and trusted in the matter of their
education instead of forced/cajoled/bribed/shamed into "learning". I
would feel excited and honored [oh, yeah, and exhausted I'm sure] to be a
part of creating such an environment that would be accessible to central
CT, which is far more densely populated than Greenwood's area. As far as
my interest in starting a school-- the thought had never, never entered
my mind until Holly Rawson at Greenwood started telling me about their
genesis, I remember her saying "many hands make light work". Out of the
blue, I thought, "I could do that." And of course I immediately took
back the thought and replaced it with "I can't do that, I don't know the
first thing about what it takes to start or run a school." And thus
began a rather lively wrestling match in my head! "Yes I could"/"No, I
must be crazy to even consider it", etc. But what I really took from
that internal conversation is what an incredible growth experience it
would be for me and anyone else who might want to work on it. My
parenting has changed already as a result of my exposure to SV literature
and Greenwood, I am coming to "question my own authority" more, I say
"no" less. But when I think about what it would take for me to
consistently "stay out of the way" of a child's learning process, not
just as my daughter's mother but as a staff person with students-- that's
a slightly scary and very intriguing, exciting proposition to me!
Anyway, I don't know what will ultimately happen, but it seems like it
could be a real win/win, to make a difference for some young people and
feel challenged and fulfilled as a person and parent in the process.

I still would love to hear from folks who can speak to the issues of
children with "developmental disabilities" [e.g. autism, brain damage]
within a SV environment-- either to share first-hand experience or
direct me to pertinent literature. Any ideas, anyone?

Thanks again!

Holly McHaelen

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