The World Doesn’t Bend for Disabled Kids (or Disabled Parents)
My kids have been kicked out of many, many places for being different—just like I was.
At age four, I’d been kicked out of our preschool carpool, and my mom was both ashamed and worried. She knew we needed help.
Did she put other kids in danger? Did she put herself in danger? Did she damage property?
Katie, that’s amazing
If she’s a good swim coach, she will know what to do.
That’s right, you make him do things.Why would you want to anyone do anything?
Well,That doesn’t sound easy at all.
Stubborn. Noncompliant. Talks out of turn.
My sons’ first piano teacher moved away. The second one died tragically young. My sons love playing piano. So I hired a third piano teacher. The other day, she quit after only three lessons, saying that my sons “aren’t interested in piano.” After I got over my devastation—the initial feelings of shame, embarrassment, and pain—I recognized her words for what they were.
She told me that she was at a cocktail party when the Mean Girls of Carpool informed her that I was no longer welcome in their station wagons.
Katie's work has appeared in Catapult, Slate, Full Grown People, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and more. She’s the author of more than ten books, including the IPPY Gold award-winner EVEN IF YOU’RE BROKEN: Essays on Sexual Assault and MeToo, the INDIE Gold award-winning THE FREELANCE ACADEMIC: Transform Your Creative Life and Career, and the bestselling LIFE OF THE MIND INTERRUPTED: Essays on Disability and Mental Health in Higher Education. A professor of law and creative writing, she lives in Chapel Hill, N.C.
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I’m not looking for a cure—not for my kids, and not for me. Any treatment we choose is merely a tool to help us enjoy our lives.
I think about the many invisible struggles, the empty places I have had to fill for my kids. The bridges I’ve had to build.
Unwritten social rules might as well not exist for me. The only reason I can read them at all is because I’ve forced myself to learn them.
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In the emergency room waiting for a potential diagnosis, I soothe myself with loops of pudgy toddlers tripping into the antics of babyhood over and over again.