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#016 Be careful how you define your community – it matters

#016 Be careful how you define your community – it matters

Blog, Podcast
You can listen to this podcast episode on iTunes or Spotify. A transcript for this episode will be available soon. Check back often. Humans need human connection. With people who understand them. I get it. But let’s not surround ourselves ONLY with other parents of kids with disabilities. 1. We don't help people to understand and be "our people" by isolating ourselves. If we want people to "get it" then we need to offer the opportunity. That means not shutting ourselves off. 2. If we want our kids to exist and be accepted in the community then they need to be IN the community! 3. All the people on our island have got their own stuff going on! When we primarily surround ourselves with other parents of kids with disabilities…
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#015 Why I let my son get frost bite and the dignity of risk

#015 Why I let my son get frost bite and the dignity of risk

Blog, Podcast
You can listen to this podcast episode on iTunes or Spotify. Recently I sent my son out onto a mountain during the frigid Canadian winter on what was the coldest and windiest day of the year with gusts of wind strong enough to close down parts of a ski resort and a chill of colder than -30 degrees Celcius. When he returned, he had frost bite. On his face. What on earth was I thinking you ask? Should somebody call and report me? (OMG I really hope nobody reports me!) What I was thinking, was a reasonable assumption of risk and the dignity of risk. Our family spent a couple of days at Mont Tremblant, Quebec. A popular ski resort in the Laurentian mountains, a few hours north east of…
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#014 Vision leads to belonging in places without paid support

#014 Vision leads to belonging in places without paid support

014, Blog, Podcast
You can listen to this podcast episode on iTunes or Spotify. A transcript for this episode will be available soon. Check back often. Last week, episode 13 of the podcast, I told you all about how my son’s really great support workers moved on in their lives and their careers in education. And I explained that this had largely decimated his social life because my son needs support to do most things. I’m not sure what to do about it! So, the first two things I’ve done are: 1. Go back to vision 2. Ask people I trust to help me think it through. One amazing thing that has happened since I published that episode and sent out a link to the podcast by email… Did you know that I…
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#13 The first 2 things I am doing in response to my son’s social life imploding

#13 The first 2 things I am doing in response to my son’s social life imploding

013, Blog, Podcast
You can download a cheat sheet on the first two things to do when you don't know what to do. Hi! Genia Stephen here. Welcome to episode 13 of the Good Things in Life podcast. I am so glad you are here! Today I’m going to tell you about a struggle I am having right now in my life and it is nice to think that I’m sharing with people who might be able to relate. You know, sometimes in life things go along well for a while. And then BAM! All of a sudden you are looking around at a hot mess and trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces. That’s what is happening right now for my son Will. What happened... Will has disabilities and…
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#012 Paul Young: High Expectations and Mentorship

#012 Paul Young: High Expectations and Mentorship

012, Blog, Podcast
A transcript for this podcast episode is available here. Paul Young is an internationally-recognized keynote speaker, winner of the Governor General Meritorious Service Cross, the former Chair of the Council or Canadians with Disabilities, Founder of People First of Nova Scotia, former president of People First of Canadian, and retired CBC Radio technician. But if you had looked at Paul as a child you might not have predicted a life full of such impressive accomplishments. On today’s episode, Paul and I talk about what made the difference in his life. From a small town with no supports, services or any expectations for growth and success, to a life full of accomplishments. Paul attributes his success to the power of high expectations and mentors who believed in him. The takeaway for…
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#011 The Captivating Life and Influence of Becky Till Part 2 – with Linda Till

#011 The Captivating Life and Influence of Becky Till Part 2 – with Linda Till

011, Blog, Podcast
To listen to part 1 of this episode click here. The transcript of this episode will be available soon. Check back often. After finally freeing Becky from a life of neglect, abuse and captivity, Linda and Becky set their sights on the good life with a “come-hell-or-high-water-just-watch-us!” attitude. Linda began advocating for Becky to become a student at her local school because she knew that Becky needed to be immersed in a life rich in language, learning, opportunities and relationships. First the school board said that Becky should go back to the institution for her education. Ummm… NO. Then they suggested that Becky go to a segregated school. Ummm… NO. The best they could figure out was a segregated class in a regular school in the next town over. It…
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#010 The Captivating Life and Influence of Becky Till Part 1 – with Linda Till Transcript

#010 The Captivating Life and Influence of Becky Till Part 1 – with Linda Till Transcript

010, Blog, Podcast
Becky's first day home for good! The transcript for this episode will be available soon. You can find the show notes and listen to the episode here. Join us in the next episode (episode 011) to hear about Becky’s remarkable human rights case that established the right of kids with disabilities to an inclusive education. After listening to the episode, tell me what you think! Email me your top takeaways or messages for Linda. I'm happy to pass them along. Thanks for Listening! Resources & Links Mentioned: Documentary: Becky Belongs To get an email about new podcasts so that you never miss an episode sign up here. To share your thoughts: Leave a note in the comment section below.Ask me a question by email.Share this show on Facebook.Talk about this show…
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#010 The Captivating Life and Influence of Becky Till Part 1 – with Linda Till

#010 The Captivating Life and Influence of Becky Till Part 1 – with Linda Till

Blog
You can find the transcript for this episode here. When Linda met Becky, she was 3 years old and weighed 10 lbs. She was starving to death due to neglect in a nursing home in Ontario, Canada. Linda and Becky knew right away that they were meant for each other. And Linda had a clear vision of the life that Becky deserved. But as Linda says, “you can’t just walk into one of these places and take a child out!” Becky's first time being home for good! Linda had to fight with the nursing staff administration who refused to let her visit. And she had to find, contact and earn the trust of Becky’s birth parents who had effectively abandoned her but still had parental rights. It took 8 years…
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#009 Having a vision means you can make informed choices

#009 Having a vision means you can make informed choices

009, Blog, Podcast
Download the Guide to Informed Choice in Health Care and Service Systems. Parents make thousands of decisions on behalf of their children. Sometimes we don’t even realize that we are making decisions. We just roll along. But our choices and decisions can bring us closer – or farther – to our vision of the good things in life. Decision can be hard. Once a vision specialist made recommendations that could improve my son’s vision. But it meant he would have to give up classroom time. How do you choose between two options that both seem important? That is where informed choice comes in. You can practice informed choice by using the mnemonic BRAINS. It stands for B: Background and benefits R: Risks A: Alternatives I: Intuition N: Doing Nothing S:…
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