Westland Teen Caring for Twin Sisters Gets Surprise of Lifetime
- After his parents both died and he was left to care for his
17-year-old twin sisters, Patrick Marshall figured his dream of
going to college was gone. He figured wrong. What he didn’t count on
was the generosity that would spring forward after word of his
plight got out. Marshall found out Saturday he was being offered a
full-ride scholarship to Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Mo.,
the college which Marshall had hoped to attend to become a pastor or
a youth minister.
This Story About a Mother's Love Brought an Entire Middle School to
Tears - If you know anything about middle school, you know
that young teenagers can be hard to motivate and inspire. For former
professional wrestler Marc Mero, however, it only took four minutes
to bring an auditorium full of middle school students to tears with
his personal story about his mother, her passing and his regrets
about pushing her away. His speech is a must watch, but be
warned...you'll need a box of tissues by the end.
Embrace The Day: Preacher Born Without Limbs Spreads His
Anti-bullying Message in Times Square with 10,000 Hugs Tour
- Melbourne-born Nick Vujicic has rare tetra-amelia
syndrome. After a suicide attempt at the age of 10, Vujicic turned
his disability into a motivation to spread the gospel. His New York
appearance was part of 10,000 Hugs Tour.
University Grad Overcomes Paralysis to Earn MBA - As an
able-bodied but unmotivated teenager, Ryan Gebauer didn't think he
was cut out for college. When an accident in 1995 left him paralyzed
from the neck down, he doubted he would even finish high school. But
Gebauer, 30, has proven himself wrong time and time again. On
Thursday, he accepted his master's degree in business administration
from Florida Atlantic University. He was one of about 2,200 students
receiving degrees this week during FAU's fall commencement. The
audience gave Gebauer a standing ovation.
Minds: A demonstration of autistic savant Stephan Wiltshire’s
Click, Click, Click
- We ducked into the dimly lit thrift shop to get out of the rain.
Like so many things since our daughter's birth, I hadn't planned on a
trip to this place. But I figured we'd see what they had since we were
Athlete With Down
Syndrome Scores 99-Yard Touchdown - For two years, senior
Lyndon LaPlante had only been getting a rep or two at football
practice for the Keller Indians and had never seen action in a
real game. The upbeat student with Down's syndrome seemed
content to just be part of head coach Kevin Atkinson's football
team. "I could see the passion in his eyes about how he really
loved football and loved being around those guys," said
Atkinson. But Atkinson had other plans for the dedicated athlete
and wanted LaPlante to take the field in a game.
Website: Kyle Maynard:
It's Not What I Can Do; It's What I Will Do - Kyle Maynard is
one of the most inspiring young men you will ever hear about. Due to a
rare birth defect called congenital amputation, Kyle was born without
arms and legs. "We didn't think he'd ever be able to live on his own,"
remembers Anita, Kyle's mother. Then Kyle's dad made a pivotal
decision that would ultimately bless his son in ways he could not have
known. The Maynards would raise Kyle with a lot of love—but no special
'No Excuses' Fuels
Amputee's Success - Born with a rare disorder called congenital
amputation, Kyle Maynard - despite the absence of both his arms and
legs - became one of the top high school wrestlers in Georgia. "You
may look at me and say, 'That sucks you have no arms or legs,' but
that doesn't matter," said the University of Georgia sophomore.
"There's nothing I'm not going to be able to achieve."
Courage - Hair
was her worst enemy. The disease was fighting each follicle, but the
battle raged much deeper than the roots. By freshman year, Caitlin
Riley was losing more than brunette locks. Her confidence was crushed.
Her faith was faltering. "I thought that if God loved me, he wouldn't
give me something that caused so much pain," she said. Alopecia areata
doesn't hurt. But being bald in high school breaks down a teenage
A Reel Success
- Clayton Dyer, 27, stands tall in the elite world of competitive
bass fishing, despite the fact he was born without legs and with only
one, partial arm. As of press time, Dyer, of Hamilton, Ala., has won
about 25 of some 300 bass tournaments in which he's competed. Bass
fishing on the pro level is a demanding sport that takes practice and
commitment, but "if I can do it, you can do it," says Dyer, who mans
his unmodified Stratos bass boat on his own, like other competitors.
"When people first see me, they're not sure what I can do, and it
shocks them to see me doing it all without assistance," he says. The
most inspiring thing anyone's said to him? "Some parents told me
recently they hoped their kids would grow up to be as good an example
as I am," he says. "That was inspiring -- and very humbling." [Source:
USA Weekend, July 24, 2005]
Walk the Talk
Radio: Monica Moshenko and
DisAbility News and Views - Wanted: 50-year-old single mom
with little money and no media experience—holding a full-time day job
while raising an autistic child—to launch weekly radio talk show for
the disabled community. Major media outlets largely indifferent, but
people with disabilities likely to tune in. Exhausting hours with no
assistants; blind faith and fierce determination a plus.
Friends & Family Speech: A
Mom's Perspective On Autism - As I reflect over the past
four years, I’m struck by how much families like mine need families
like yours. If we don’t have your help, your support, the costs grow
in many ways. You see, the experts agree: The more involved the
parents, the better the outcome for the child. And the experts agree
that 30 or more hours a week is better. However, no one is supporting
the families to make this a reality for the children.
It Is Not What's Gone -
But What's Given - Speech from
Jim Abbott, one-handed famed professional baseball pitcher. Not too
long ago a little girl in my neighborhood was born without a hand. She
was born just after my own second daughter Ella was born. Her parents
were obviously shaken up. About a week later, I saw them at a
neighborhood function and they came over to me and asked what my
thoughts were, if I had any advice, for them and for their daughter.
My advice? This is their daughter's life and they were asking my
advice? Talk about humbling. What do you say? I had nothing very smart
Homecoming Royal Quits For 'Right King' -
When Joe McLarney and Marisa Robson threw up their arms Friday night as Highland High School's newly crowned homecoming king and queen, tears welled through the crowd.
A High School Class Project Evolves Into an Outpouring of Love
- Marketing students at Lake Region High School are
finding out how far a rubber band can be stretched. It can be
stretched around a wrist. It can be stretched around a heart.
From Dorie -
As the mother of a son with Paranoid Schizophrenia I have been
struggling with the issue of prayer for quite some time. It is not
that I have lost faith. I have been running on it for five years now.
Granted there were times when it was reduced to the size of a mustard
seed. But as I look back in hindsight, there was a moment that stands
out from all the rest that left me totally and completely drained and
frozen in fear like a deer in the headlights of an oncoming car when
it came to the issue of prayer.
Integrated at Last:
The Right to Belong, The Story of Yvonne
One of Our Own
- On Tuesday we had the pleasure of
attending an awards benefit in Morgantown, West Virginia. The banquet,
the 2004 Governor’s Service Award Banquet, was hosted by West Virginia
Governor, Bob Wise. We attended the banquet because Our Children Left
Behind’s own Debi Lewis was honored with an award. We are so proud of
- I have to share with you a story about the happiest
journey I've ever taken. This story was made possible thanks to my
sweet son, Nicholas, who has autism.
Syndrome and Mom's Secret Weapon (A Mother's Day Reflection) -
Want to be more effective in helping your child? Want to give him
the best possible training to deal with AS and succeed? Then you need
to access a secret weapon. You. Your immediate reaction may be, "Yeah,
right! I'm already doing everything I can. More than I can! In fact,
I'm so stressed that just the thought of doing more threatens to shut
Led By The Children - I think I
knew in some instinctive way from the first time I watched these young
people walk from Kelly Miller Smith’s church in Nashville to
Woolworth’s lunch counter that I was watching the beginning of
something historic, that they were not going to be turned around.
Something To Crow About: The following are some of the great
things that parents, siblings, grandparents and friends have said
about their loved ones with autism. "I love to watch my dad with my
son. There is an obvious grandpa/grandson bond between the two of
them. I recently asked Kenny what he likes about his papa and he said,
'Well, he knows how to sleep good. And I think he knows Santa Claus.'"
Remember Me When I'm Gone: Jan
Berry's Farewell Message
Cut From Band, Boy
Lashed Out, School Official Testifies -
A Tale of Two Bands and One Mother's Response. The following
article appeared in the Detroit Free Press. The response was posted to
a parent listserv.
Eddie and Maria Bell
Have Adjusted Gracefully to Life — and Parenthood — Without Sight
- "A few years back, I was assisting a family in Texas who had a
teenage daughter who became blind within about a three day span due to
medical complications from an infectious disease. By the grace of the
universe, Eddie Bell was in town and available to work with the young
woman and her family on a one to one basis. We were all so thankful
for his expertise, patience and kindness. Sharing his very similar
experience and positive attitude about blindness (including the
information of the journey that led him to that positive attitude)
made all the difference in the world for the young woman who has moved
on in her life with courage and grace. Thought the following article
might be of interest to some of you too…" - Brunhilde Merk-Adam,
Parents of Blind Children of Michigan
When You Thought I Wasn't Looking -
When you thought I wasn't looking you hung my first painting on the
refrigerator, and I wanted to paint another.
When you thought I wasn't looking you fed a stray cat, and I thought
it was good to be kind to animals.
Story - I knew that this day
would come. I just didn't know when. My son Sebastian (age 10) came
home from school today talking about how Lincoln helped free the
slaves and how Martin Luther King Jr. helped people of all races to
realize his dream of equality.
Boy, Have They
Missed the Point! -
Because I have IDEA reauthorization on my mind all of the time
these days, as I was driving away from the auditorium, all that I
could think was, “Boy, have our legislators missed the point!” Because
of IDEA ’97, Nicholas’ kind school staff now just naturally
understands why we work toward placement in the least restrictive
environment with age appropriate peers, give access to the curriculum,
and implement Positive Behavior Support concepts on a daily basis.
We Get What We
Get: The Bottom Line On Parent Accountability -
The following is a somewhat blunt, but quite definitive answer
to the questions so often asked by frustrated teachers: What should be
the parent's level of accountability in their children's education? ~
What do classroom teachers have the right to require and/or expect
from parents in the way of cooperation, involvement and participation
in their child's learning? If the parents won't see that they get
their assignments done and won't come to conferences, what can I do?
Jim Abbott Speech –
People will tell you that I overcame obstacles…maybe. But the
truth is I was incredibly blessed in my life. More was given than was
ever taken away. Some of you may know that my career statistics
weren’t that great. There were some incredible highlights and some
agonizing lowlights. The truth is, I won’t go to the hall of fame. But
if a career can be measured by special moments, lessons learned, and a
connection with people then I would stack mine up with anyone’s. Maybe
there is an obligation to share. To try and learn from the experiences
life puts us through.
for Life: Jones Named Homecoming Queen -
The big moment in Cy-Fair High School's homecoming celebration
wouldn't come for another two hours, but Shannon Jones had already won
the most important contest. That she was on the field at all, posing
for photos with the rest of the homecoming court, was a testament to
her own personality, her sister's love and changing public attitudes.
New Yahoo Group:
Joy in Disability -
Having a child with
a disability - of any age - can at first seem like anything but a
Exhibits in Charleston -
Nine paintings by Tucker Lewis, a 10-year-old Morgantown
resident with cerebral palsy, were displayed this week at the
Charleston Civic Center. Tucker, who can't physically hold a paint
brush, paints using the Artistic Realization Technologies method.
Children for Whom Reading and Learning Are Difficult -
How old are you?
Ninety-nine percent of us answer this question reflexively, without
having to think. A reporter who put this question to Peter W. D.
Wright several years ago was stunned when Mr. Wright, an education
lawyer, resorted to a calculator before answering.
A Beautiful Note -
Tom Harrell, named jazz trumpeter of the year three times by
Downbeat Magazine, is known
for the gorgeous, intricate melodies he composes.
Seeing Harrell play, it's impossible to
believe that he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia - a mental
illness so profound that it institutionalizes
many of its victims.
by Sylvia Lawniczak - On most days the furthest thing from my mind is my child being
different from any other. We laugh, play together, even bandage
changes are so routine it feels like a 'normal' thing to do.
by Debi Lewis -
For so many of us, the brainwashing begins when our children are
quite young, occasionally even before their birth. Diagnoses.
Prognoses. It’s no wonder we learn to underestimate our
children. After all, we’re bombarded with information regarding
their potential (or lack thereof). We get it from the medical
profession. We’re fed it by educational experts. We go in search
of it online or in libraries. We even get it from friends,
family, and total strangers. Some of it is bound to stick. All
of it, regardless of the intent with which it was delivered,
limits our children.
Every day parents and advocates of
children with special needs reach out to each other and offer,
through the magic of e-mail and Listservs, online information,
advice, and support. Today "karatemom" told this story and we
want to share it, in the hope that it will inspire others.
Commentary with Mike Lopresti:
Confront Depression -
The man on the telephone has four Super Bowl
rings, a television name...and a lifetime of living with depression.
is Not a Place, It is a Feeling
I am a person with
disabilities and when I say "my friends" I mean friends, real friends
just like everyone else, I have friends. Most of you think all people
have friends but for people with disabilities friends are not always
real. I want you to know why I have friends.
Everyone said his 10-year-old student would
never learn to read. For a long time, he believed it, too.
to dream by:
Group surrounds ailing children with creativity
While adults all around her cried, Clare Walsh smiled and cooed as she
lay in her new crib, staring at the lights and toy hummingbirds
dangling above her.
Ha! Jonathan IS a Little Brother -
This morning there was a brief skirmish over the VCR.
Not an atypical situation in a family of children, of course, but this
skirmish had an interesting twist to it.
Human Touch: Jake
Porter’s emotional story has gripped the Southern Ohio region
for Life in the new millennium from the Dalai Lama
A business leader learns his lesson. "I
have received many kind words for telling the blueberry story, but the
real credit goes to the teacher."
Life a Chance
There aren't many
people that know the story behind my own son's birth. It's just
one of those things I've been silent on, and not one I have shared
with Ben or his sister. In the words that follow, you will
Jayne Is New Mobility's Person of the Year! - David Jayne, imprisoned by ALS, is
fighting the Medicare homebound rule that says he must be a prisoner
in his home to receive support services.
the Love of Pete
Linda Verville saw a lesson to be
shared in the life of her deaf and blind dog Pete,
and decided to write a children's book.
Don't take it out on the students -
college teacher writes the governor.
Off to See the
When you add what the Scarecrow wants (a brain) to what the Tin Man wants
(a heart) to what the Lion wants (courage) to what Dorothy wants (a home), you
end up with a fully educated person.
Open Letter to the School Board
An inspirational letter from a mother in West
Legally blind, Runyan in NYC
chasing a dream
Name Is Michael'
This is a true story—one that both haunts and inspires me.
I wish I could say that the names have been changed to protect the
innocent. The names were changed, but, sadly, no one was
Story: Alexander the Great
Anthony Carter's son is
his No. 1 priority -
Former U-M football star spends
days caring for Anthony Jr.
The unstoppable Eileen Lee
- She takes care of her disabled son and fights for the parents
of other children.
Thriving on Challenge:
Attorney Focuses on Life,
Said A Mother
Two Stories From a Mom in
Inspirational & Motivational Quotes
Blind Brother Teaches
Story: The Day I
Story: Things Can Only Get Better
"When I first
started out in the special education field I had
the opportunity to work with a little
girl that nobody else wanted to take time with. She
was diagnosed as having autism and she was
To You, My Sisters
Article: Some Cream For Your Coffee? Jonathan
Helps (?) His Mom
Hurdle Too High
I am not your average kid with a learning
disability. I am a unique kid with a different style of learning. I
did not choose to have this learning disability. It chose me. Because
I am stuck with this, I am not going to let this problem get in the
way of my success.