I talk honestly and openly about my experiences with mental illness, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome through the lens of feminism, fat acceptance and process theology. I also do recipe and book reviews. My mission is to spread the message that hope is always real for a better life, despite living in a world that is often very harsh.

Friday, August 6, 2010

People with Developmental Disabilities are Proud Too

Recently I had a job where I helped take care of an autistic boy during the day. He loves to go to Wal-Mart, so often we would go there and look at the toys in the toy section. This boy is mainly nonverbal, but is still very good at communicating his wants and needs. As we would walk through the store, he would make noises that probably seemed like nonsense to the average person and it occurred to me that some people might be embarrassed walking with someone that does elicit stares from other people, but I am not. I am not, because I believe we all have a right to be ourselves in public. We are all children of Godde and deserve to be treated as such. Years ago, people with autism and other forms of developmental disabilities were kept hidden from society in attics and basements. Some people still think that people with developmental disabilities should not be seen much in public, but I think the time for keeping certain people hidden from society is over.

When I was taking music therapy classes in Milledgeville, I worked with a program called "Creative Expressions" that lets adults with developmental disabilities showcase their creative talents. My favorite was the drumming group! Working with these individuals was great fun and I learned that creativity is separate from intellect. I also learned that these people are truly individuals with distinct personalities, wonderful senses of humor, giving spirits, and the capacity to greatly love. Society often forgets that people with developmental disabilities are distinct individuals and that through their creativity adults with developmental disabilities can contribute to society. That is why I loved it when I saw these pictures from Studio Viohl taken of the adults involved in Creative Expressions. I urge you to take a look at these pictures, so you can see each individual's personality shine and I commend the photographer for showcasing people who are truly special.

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