Thinking Out Loud

June 7, 2014

To All The Parents of Problem Kids

Filed under: family, parenting — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:36 am

To the parent of a child in

  • Junior Kindergarten
  • Senior Kindergarten
  • Grade One
  • Grade Two
  • Grade Three

who is hearing school staff talk about

  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Hyperactivity
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder

we know what you’re going through. The frustration. The calls from the school. The appointments with specialists. The inappropriate comments from other parents.

We’ve been there. Keep praying. Keep talking to other parents. Keep open to nutritional, non-pharmaceutical alternatives.

Thursday, he graduated with an honors degree in Engineering.

~Paul & Ruth


January 6, 2012

Target Ads Right On Target

Hats (and gloves and scarves and belts and socks) off to Target (and Nordstroms) for featuring a Down Syndrome model in a recent flyer. Over to the blog, Noah’s Dad:

If you were browsing through this week’s Target ad you may have passed right over the adorable little boy in the bright orange shirt smiling at you on page 9! And if so, I’m glad!

The reason I’m glad? Well, that stylish young man in the orange shirt is Ryan. Ryan just so happened to have been born with Down syndrome, and I’m glad that Target included a model with down syndrome in their typical ad! :)

This wasn’t a “Special Clothing For Special People” catalog. There wasn’t a call out somewhere on the page proudly proclaiming that “Target’s proud to feature a model with Down syndrome in this week’s ad!” And they didn’t even ask him to model a shirt with the phrase, “We Aren’t All Angels” printed on the front.

In other words, they didn’t make a big deal out of it. I like that.


5 Things Target Said By Not Saying Anything

Even though Target didn’t make a big deal out of the fact they used a boy with Down syndrome as a model in their ad, they said plenty. They said the same things that Nordstrom said when they used Ryan as a model in their catalog this past summer. I could list a hundred things Target said by running this ad, let me give you 5 that immediately come to mind:

  1. They said that people born with Down syndrome deserve to be treated the same as every other other person on this planet.
  2. They said that it’s time for organizations to be intentional about seeking creative ways to help promote inclusion, not exclusion. (It’s no accident that Target used a model with Down syndrome in this ad; it was an intentional decision. If want the world to be a place where everyone is treated equal we can’t just sit around and watch the days tick away. We have to be intentional. We have to do something.)
  3. They said that companies don’t have to call attention to the fact that they choose to be inclusive in order for people to notice their support for people with disabilities. In fact, by not making a big deal out of it they are doing a better job of showing their support for the special needs community.
  4. They said it’s important for the world to see people born with disabilities with a fresh set of eyes. That it’s time for us to lay down all the inaccurate stereotypes from the past and move forward embracing the future with true and accurate ones
  5. They said you don’t have to spend a lot for your kids to look good! (I mean come on, that shirt’s only five bucks!)

…You’ve just read only half the post at Noah’s Dad; continue reading here.

Ryan's Modeling Portfolio is Slowly Growing

August 4, 2009

Neurodiversity: Austism Examined from the Inside

Filed under: issues, parenting — Tags: , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:56 pm
Autism Awareness
On Monday night, the CBC-Television network in Canada rebroadcast a 19-minute documentary on Autism which apparently was a rerun from an earlier screening.  “Positively Autistic” focused on the built-in bias that we have toward people who are ‘exceptional’ and how we try to modify behavior because we assume that certain behaviors are ‘correct.’   One of the highlights for me was the interviews with Amanda Baggs who speaks –eloquently I must add — through a keyboard.   But in fairness, each of the people interviewed made meaningful contributions to the discussion; and as each one is diagnosed autistic, their comments — from the ‘inside’ so to speak — were far more helpful than listening to ‘experts’ in lab coats pontificating on the subject from the ‘outside.’  One that really stuck with me was — I’m sorry I forget which person said this — that we ‘tolerate’ all kinds of diversity these days but not ‘neurodiversity.’  (There’s a word I’ll bet you never heard before.)  If you or someone you know has a connection to Autism, I encourage you to take the 19 minutes to watch the video at the CBC documentary page here.    You’ll also see references to the videos that Amanda makes for YouTube.   You can follow her user channel starting with this video, “If You Can Do X, Why Can’t You Do Y; My All Purpose Answer” which you can link to here.

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