Monday, August 30, 2010

This and that

This all-terrain wheelchair goes everywhere! It's the one the Sunshine Foundation rented for us for Ben's time at camp. It's got thick wheels with big treads. It's a dream to push and I've been able to drive it over sandy beach, muddy path and in rocky water. We've rediscovered Cherry Beach on Lake Ontario and it's awesome to be able to walk through the rock-strewn water wearing a pair of flip-flops and pushing Ben. Our dog, Mr. Dumpling, likes it too. The wheels pop off for easy transition into the car -- even I can do them!

There is so much great content out there on disability issues. Here are a few things that caught my interest:

Wretches and Jabberers looks like a fascinating film coming to some theatres in the U.S. this fall. Two middle-aged American men with autism embark on a tour of Sri Lanka, Japan and Finland to change attitudes about disability and intelligence. Both men were socially isolated with limited speech until they learned to type as adults. Click on the picture of the globe to watch a mind-bending trailer.

Love that Max is one of my favourite blogs, and today Ellen continues her series on children with special needs around the world with a focus on Greece, where Emma writes about life with her son Dimitri, who has Angelman syndrome. What struck me was the lack of publicly funded accessible school services in Greece, necessitating private school and a four-hour total journey! Four hours in transit! However, I should note that our public school board has okayed kids with special needs spending up to three hours a day on the bus. Can you imagine what would happen if parents of typical kids entering kindergarten were told their kids would be 'bussing it' for three to four hours a day?

A touring gallery of Outsider Art, which includes work by people with disabilities, is on show in Turin, Italy.

Surprising revelations from a woman who finally gets to know her middle-aged brother, with an intellectual disability, after their mother dies: My brother's keeper from Modern Love in the New York Times.

Creative, non-fiction essays by young people 13 to 30 with disabilities describing growing up with a disability are being sought for a book-length anthology.

Kidneys and Eyes is written by 'the other' Julia Roberts, mom to two children who have had kidney transplants and long hospitalizations (and also have an eye disorder). Talking About When He Could Die is a recent sobering post.

Classics professor Kristina Chew is writing a book about raising her 13-year-old son with autism. Her blog, We Go With Him, chronicles some of the marathon bike rides dad and son go on. She explains more about her blog in Autism: Not exactly heaven on earth, but not a daily hell.

And Woodbine Press sent me Managing My Money, a workbook for teaching youth with intellectual disabilities banking and budgeting skills. I think this could be useful for all my kids.


Thank you for all the links, Louise! I am familiar with many of them but look forward to checking out those that are new to me --

The photo, too, is gorgeous. What is the name of the wheelchair?

Louise, would it be possible to post a link for that all-terrain chair? I have one with big balloon tires and I'm tired of its bulkiness and seating.
I used to think it was great but I'm more than ready for something better, if it exists....

Hi everyone -- If you can believe it, I went down to the van as I was writing the post to see what the name of the chair was (I still have it in the back of the van, with seaweed and sand on the tires!) I could not find a name (other than the vendor) anywhere on the chair! So I will find out tomorrow from the vendor and post it.

As I write this comment my husband is in the basement trying to fix the hole in the tire of Jacob's wheelchair! It just dawned on me that if he didn't know how to find the hole (let alone fix it!), Jacob wouldn't be able to get around. Unlike cars, wheelchairs don't come with spare tires. What a sobering thought to know that without functional tires, we couldn't transport our son... I'm guessing your a-t-c has better wheels than our chair!!!

hi louise! what a great picture by the lake...

i saw the movie Yo, tambièn last week which i heartily reccomend (don't know if it's out in canada yet)

all the best, tekeal

Fantastic picture and a great bunch of links!

Hi Louise, thanks for the shout out:). Great links, I'm in the process of checking them all out (if time permits with D sitting here:))

I didn't get a chance earlier to say how much I liked you essay on Hopeful Parents, I was reading it in the morning over my first coffee (using Dimitri's iPod I might add). I get it completely.

Louise, the photo is GORGEOUS! The links rock too. :)