Re: DSM: Developmental Disabilities: "Can the student take responsibility..."

Robert Swanson (
Fri, 27 Oct 2000 01:01:39 -0700

"Ask not what your country can do for you..."

At the Recreation Center for the Handicapped and at Shriners Hospital for
Crippled Children it was to my great surprise what they did for my
perspective on life and my sense of self and for my appreciation of
beingness. Potentially there is such joy even if there are missing limbs or
an incoherant brain. Something happened in me as I participated in their
joy. A change in my introspection changed my life.

Is a handicaped person able? Just set up reasonable safety measures per your
budget. Then stop worrying. At Shriners, the less we attended to or worried
over the kids the friendlier and more sufficient our community became. That
was a beautiful lesson for me.

robert swanson

on 10/24/00 11:20 AM, Holly L McHaelen at wrote:

> On Fri, 20 Oct 2000 02:43:03 -0400 "Joe Jackson" <>
> writes:
>> As far as bonafide disabilities are concerned (be they autism, brain
>> damage, blindness, deafness, spinal cord injuries, etc.), I think the
> two
>> questions should be: 1) Can the school accomodate the disability (i.e.
> a ramp
>> for a wheelchair-bound student), and 2) Can the student take
> responsibility for
>> themselves in the school.
> Thanks, Joe, this is helpful as a framework for assessing the "goodness
> of fit" between a school and potential student. The first criterion
> --can the school accomodate the disability--seems fairly clear-cut, but
> I'd like to hear more thoughts on determining if the student meets the
> second one-- can the sudent take responsibility for him/herself in the
> school. Is this just about matters of safety and hygiene? Or is there
> more to "responsibility", for example a responsiblity to be a
> contributing and engaged member of the school community? Since there's
> no curriculum and no requirements around a student's learning process, is
> it important for a student to at least have a cognitive understanding of
> the range of what's available? I think I'm coming from ignorance about
> "disabilities" here, but I'm wondering about children with "delayed"
> cognitive functioning-- might they be less likely to explore on their own
> initiative as children typically do? And if so, what would it mean for
> them to be in an SV environment where there is no effort to direct them
> or engage them in a specific task/activity? I would imagine that a
> child who's been barraged with targeted "special needs" services might
> have developed more "learning disabilities" as Daniel Greenberg defines
> them in his "Why the School Doesn't Work for Everyone" article.
> Thoughts?
> Also, whether children have developmental disabilities or not, how do SV
> schools go about determining whether prospective students are
> "appropriate" for the school?
> Re: ADHD/ADD, there were several excellent articles in the July/Aug 2000
> issue of "Mothering" magazine [], they generally
> advocated not medicating children, but explored different facets of the
> "condition".
> Thanks!
> Holly McHaelen
> ________________________________________________________________
> Juno now offers FREE Internet Access!
> Try it today - there's no risk! For your FREE software, visit:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Sun Oct 29 2000 - 23:37:04 EST