Friday, 31 July 2015

Weekend reading and viewing: 1st - 2nd August 2015

Dr Brian Skotko, Co-director of the Down Syndrome Program at Massachusetts General Hospital drew our attention to this article, urging consideration of its content in relation to children with Down syndrome:

Teaching Social Skills to Improve Grades and Lives
David Bornstein, New York Times (Opinionator), 24th July 2015
... “These early abilities, especially the ability to get along with others, are the abilities that make other kids like you, and make teachers like kids,” said Mark T. Greenberg, a professor of Human Development and Psychology at Penn State and a co-author of the study. “And when kids feel liked, they’re more likely to settle down and pay attention, and keep out of the principal’s office, and reap the benefits of being in a classroom. And this builds over time; it’s like a cascade. They become more bonded with peers and healthy adults and they become more bonded to school as an institution, and all those skills lead them, independent of their I.Q., to be less at risk for problems.”
This isn’t a new insight. In a national survey, more than 90 percent of schoolteachers said it was important for schools to promote the development of students’ social and emotional skills (sometimes called 21st century skills, noncognitive skills, or character education). But many struggle to integrate this kind of teaching in their classrooms ...
When the urge to 'protect' a child is really a judgement
Jenna Price, Daily Life, 23rd July 2015

... "A lot of the discrimination is couched in political correctness, in people being overly protective of his condition," (Jackie Macedo) says. It also applies to her, she says – people feign concern at the way she manages her work as a chef and her life as a single mother of a child with Down syndrome.
It's part of what is often described as courtesy stigma – the way people treat those who are related to someone who bears a stigma, such as a disability; and was first highlighted by Erving Goffman in 1963. It's not just the intrusive inquires or the staring and pointing, it's also the kinds of devaluing remarks that strangers and even friends make. And, of course, social withdrawal.
It's public disapproval wrought on those who are doing the best they can to make sure their kids are having the best lives possible ...
Carly Findlay, Daily Life, July 27, 2015
... I said I'd like to see fewer stories about people with disabilities told by others. I want to see fewer stories of disability as a burden. I also said I want to see less of parents showing their child's disability on social media until their child can give permission.
I felt pretty brazen tweeting those statements. There is often a divide between people with disabilities and parents , and often I am scared of raising the the issue because I feel some parents may overlook the experience of disabled adults. Many of my writerly friends with disabilities are scared too. Deep breath. I don't want to create a further divide ...
Inside the Growth and Evolution of the Special Olympics World Games
P.J. Brown, Coca-Cola Australia, 28th July 2015  

July 20, 1968, was a glimmer of hope in what was one of the most volatile years in the history of the United States. The country was in turmoil. Eunice Kennedy Shriver was facing her own personal tragedy, as her brother, Robert Kennedy, was assassinated that June.
Yet, she decided to move forward with her plans to use sports to open the hearts and minds of people to those with intellectual disabilities, because she believed everyone deserved to be the best they could be ...
Intellectually disabled gain greater legal rights as bill passes South Australian ParliamentNance Haxton, PM (ABC Radio), 30th July 2015
Legislation promising people with an intellectual disability equal treatment in the justice system has been passed by the South Australian Parliament.
The vulnerable witnesses bill passed four years after a pivotal legal case involving seven intellectually disabled children who were allegedly sexually abused by their school bus driver.
Special Olympics World Games 2015, Los Angeles
Special Olympics Australia volunteer Peter Muhlbock is the official photographer for Team Australia in LA and will be sharing all the great moments of the Games in pictures. Click here to view the latest photo galleries.

The Games finish on Sunday 2nd August (US West Coast time)

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