By Pat Rosner, Board Member and Parent Advocate
The following is an excerpt from an article I wrote in 1985 about my son, Danny. Please forgive the use of the word retarded. It was not yet extracted from our everyday language.
|Dan, age 6|
Dan is multiply handicapped. He was born with hydrocephalus (“water on the brain”), small and opaque optic nerves and brain damage. The doctors looked at these problems and said, to the best of their knowledge, Dan would be severely retarded, totally blind, and seriously affected by seizures and cerebral palsy. They said he would probably never communicate effectively, never see anything at all, have seizures and never walk.
The doctors who see our children at birth are not trying to be mean. They are simply reporting a factual account based on their clinical findings.
Here is my factual account based on my clinical findings over the past six and one-half years:
Is it not a shame that there are no medical tests to measure personality, character and stamina? Perhaps then I could have been the one to give a prognosis on Dan: that he would touch, in a very special way, everyone he meets.
|Dan & his wife Maria|
Back in 1985, I was confident in Dan’s strength of character but had no understanding for all of the challenges he would encounter. As an adult, he met those challenges with the life changing support of this agency. My husband and I recognized the importance of the supports The Arc Baltimore could offer him and became involved as volunteers. I am currently a proud mom on the Board as a parent advocate.
As Mother’s Day approaches let me say that I couldn’t be more proud to be Dan’s mom. Oh and, by the way, I was right. He has touched, in a very special way, everyone he has met.