Monday, October 8, 2012

74. Hello World! I'm Still Here!

If you're visiting because of the post I wrote for TODAY Moms, welcome! This is my personal blog, and it's all about my life with Ozzie.

I started writing this blog immediately after Ozzie was born, and I continued to do so for quite a long time. I wrote frequently until all the dark days had passed me by. If you're in the thick of those dark days, I promise they will soon pass you by, too. Pinkie swear. If any of you decide to stick around and read my story, I recommend you start at the very beginning. July 15, 2008. Post number one.

One quick note - you'll notice that I haven't posted anything new here for quite some time. It's not because I don't have things to say, it's just that life with Ozzie has become "regular old life" for me. These days, I don't often feel like I have amazing and remarkable and insightful things to share with the world. But for those of you who are curious, and especially for those parents out there who are new to the Down syndrome scene, I hope you find my blog interesting and helpful.

Please leave me a comment on this post if you don't mind, especially if you've never been here before. Just a quick hi or something. I'm interested to see who drops by. And if your name is Ann Coulter, the comments section of this post would be a great place to post your heartfelt apology.

Also, if anyone is interested in connecting with me on Facebook, please come seek out the "T21 Brigade" Facebook group. It's a private group of advocates who stand up for the rights of people who have Down syndrome. We are accepting new members and we would love to get a message from you if you would like to join.



81 comments:

Adrienne said...

8Hi! I totally understand where you're coming from! Although I do update my blog a lot, it's more about fashion and decorating! LOL. Like you said, things are just pretty darn normal (my son is 3 with DS) and things are going well. We actually live near you I believe-Raleigh area?? Anyways, was just catching up on my blogs and saw this- glad to read things are pretty "normal" for you as well;)

DownTownDan said...

Yes, you do live near me. Maybe I'll see you at the Buddy Walk. And I'm sorry if this post is confusing, the Today article posts tomorrow morning. I'm just prepping my blog for any new visitors.

chris said...

Hi Daniel, good to hear from you again ;-) I think it is very good to hear from the good time after the dark days... Joshua also turned four and I just started to write about us 2 Years ago, way past the dark day! ;-) I would love to see how cute Ozzie is doing now ;-)
Christine & Joshua from Germany

DownTownDan said...

Hi Christine, glad to hear you're doing well. And yes, I'll post some updated photos and videos in the next day or two.

Anonymous said...

Your son is adorable! I will pledge to never used the "R" again... Many blessings to Ozzie

Kelley said...

Caught your article in my FB feed.
Just wanted to say: Damn Straight.

Thanks for writing!

DownTownDan said...

Thanks Kelley!

Sue said...

Your message to Ann Coulter brought tears to my eyes. I will also be making a huge effort to stop saying the R word because you're right! It's an awfully offensive word and it's hurtful. I'm hoping Ann Coulter is a big enough person to apologize.

DownTownDan said...

Hi Sue, thanks for the kind words :)

CJ said...

I, personally, am over DS right now. Yeah, she has it. Yes, I still advocate. But she's eight and I am over it. She is who she is and o love her.....but I'm worn out, DS wise!

Anonymous said...

Thnx for the informative post. It is a great reminder of how powerful language is. I once had a boss who after firing someone stated, "we had to get the cancer out of the building". Imagine my shocked expression as I was going through cancer treatment at the time & oddly enough his own father had just passed away from cancer. Blessings to you & your family.

Claire said...

Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I have used the "r" word since I was a little kid...and have never thought anything of it. I never realized it could be offensive and hurtful. Thank you for opening my eyes!

Ozzie is a little angel! I wish you and your family love always.

GloBug said...

I feel compelled to tell you a story about my three sons who are now adults. When they were in their early teens, 13, 10 and 10, I took them bowling one afternoon; and as usual, there was a lot of teasing and name calling on the lane. "Retard" was used quite a bit and I cautioned them to stop using that term because you never know who is within ear shot that might take offense. I got a chorus of "Oh Mom's" from them. When we turned in our shoes and were walking towards the door a school bus was unloading a group of children and guess what, they were from the Spring Dell Center and all were children with Downs Syndrome. Needless to say, my boys were humbled and actually started paying attention to my words of advice.

It's a hard habit to change; but one worth changing.

Hugs to you and yours!
Gloria

ycrue said...

Hi Dan. I'm Clare's mom. I love your article. I can be care less what Ann Coulter said, but it bothers me people don't think twice about her using the r-word. They think it's ok to use the r-word because the society DOES devalue our children. It's depressing but that's the truth. People might not realize it but they do think people with disabilities are less than others. When you look back in your dark time, you realized how prejudice you were, weren't you? I thought I was a decent person and didn't think anything about disability until MY CHILD had one. They say they don't mean THAT way, but they DO subconsciously.
But maybe, if they realized how offensive the r-word is, and stop using it, then they might start realizing what they are really saying and what they really feel about people wit disability. I do believe words are the gateway to your inner-self.

Kurc & Carolyn Buzdegan said...

Hi Dan - just in from the "Today - Moms" article. I will start from the top, will read and make sure I return. Just a few quick notes [we'll see as I say that and MANY words later still far from done]. I am a dad of one, my son Carson, who just turned 24 and yes has that pesky little extra chromosome. But I have come to love it as I love him - more than I ever thought possible a person could possibly love. Probably because that love is reciprocated in spades. Anyway, I found that DS became such a small part of who he is that it barely became an adjective when introducing him or discussing Carson in 3rd person. The R-word is another issue, and there have been only a few times over the 24 years that I found it necessary to speak up - initially with fists clenched, but more and more from a position of educating the ignorant as to how powerful and potentially damaging words are. If you haven't yet - swing on over to r-word.org for some encouraging, inspiring and informative stuff. There are always those though whom, once informed, still choose to display - many times, publicly - their ignorance and insensitivity. The best thing we can do is ignore them - not turning another cheek, but rather truly turn them off, tune them out, forget they exist. Because the thing they most want is attention, and when they have little of value to say, they turn to ignorance, profanity and anything else that will get reactions. So all I have to say to the likes of Ann Coulter is to quote Cee Lo Green, who says - "forget you"... or something to that affect.

DW said...

That was incredibly well written, and for sure educated me. Thank you for being a beacon, and a caring parent!

Mitchell Kauffman said...

Daniel,

We need more articles like this on the web and in print.

Ann Coulter has never been a fan of mine, but I would like to give her the benefit of the doubt-- that it was an off-the-cuff, thoughtless remark. If she doesn't have the class to apologize on her own, I would hope that her superiors would insist. Journalists should be held to higher standard.

I have shared your article with my friends and family, and plan to follow your blog from now on.

Thank you for sharing.

Nancy

Brad said...

Dan, wonderfully stated. I was just posting your article to my Facebook page. My name is Brad Myers and I am the Director of the Lakewood YMCA here in Durham. We'd love to meet you and your family sometime and invite you to come by to visit us for a workout. Keep up the good fight and Kudos for doing what is right and good in this world.

abbimireilledion said...

Dan -- you're so awesome! Thank you for your brilliant post. Great writing, reasoning, humor and honesty. Mucho love to you and your family!
xoxo Abbi
P.S. Ozzie is a total sweetheart :)

LauraL said...

Hi Daniel? Dan? (which do you prefer?) I loved your piece for Today Moms and posted it on Facebook to underscore that a) my son is not a punch line, and b) Ann is a petty, classless bee-yotch. Will have to peruse your blog, even though we are past those "dark days," too. Malcolm is five and going full-blast. We live in Winston Salem, but I have family in Durham, so maybe our paths will cross someday!

Suzanne Buck said...

Dan---thank you for the piece you wrote. I also "have an ear" for that word these days, ever since my sweet son Finny was born with DS last year. Since then, I hear it all the time, from otherwise kind and smart people. I know what I'll tell Finny when some jerk uses that word, but it's harder to know what I'll tell him when he hears it from someone he respects, isn't it? When I was in grad school (in Durham, actually!) I heard Maya Angelou speak at commencement, and she exhorted us never to be silent when we are in the presence of racism. It's easy to apply that advice to the use of this word, and I now (gently) confront the speaker whenever I hear it, asking them personally to make the choice to stop using it. I think, with your excellent article, you're doing the same. Thank you!

John said...

just had to leave a quick remark. . . I have always had this belief that the listener gives the power to words and I am therefore free to say whatever I choose regardless of how offensive. . . Sir you are the first entity to ever make me question this stance. . . I will make an honest effort to really think about the words I let leave my mouth.
P.S. keep up the good fight

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your article. Like you, the "R" never really made me cringe until a good friend of mine had a little boy with Down Syndrome. G-Man is one of the most loving, happiest kids I've ever known. We are so blessed to have him in our lives.

Melissa said...

Loved the Today piece. We are in the process of adopting a little with Ds. Although we have always chided our other kids for their language we REALLY do now. Thanks for being a stand up parent. Come on over to the RR (Reece's Rainbow) facebook group. There are a LOT of like minded parents and advocates over there!It's a closed group but you can request us and we'll let ya in! https://www.facebook.com/groups/officialreecesrainbow/ Have a blessed day!

Robin said...

Good for you! It's about time someone told that vile woman to watch her words. Your son is very cute and very blessed to have you for a father. Times have a changed-I know someone with an adult DS child. The boy went through a regalar school graduated and is now employed by a supermarket chain. With your and your wifes contined support, Ozzie wil have a productive and meaningful life. Too bad Ann Coulter doesn't live in the 21st century. Her ignorance is disgusting. Keep on speaking out!!

Anonymous said...

Dan--

I just read your piece on NBCNews.com. I'm the father of an 18-year-old son with autism, and I wish never again to hear the word "retarded" used about a person. The use of that word as a casual substitute for "stupid" or "foolish" is horrible and insensitive, and your piece captures the point very well. Your Ozzie is a handsome boy, and he's fortunate that you are his dad.

David (Camp Hill, PA)

Anonymous said...

Dan - I have a son who was born with ocular albinism. I now have that same shrill black bird call for the offensive word "albino" that rings in my ears. People with the genetic affliction of albinism are not albinos. It's a pejorative name people use which dehumanizes them and turns them into their very disease. We don't call people who have cancer, cancerites. Thank you for your beautifully written article in response to Ms Coulter. You brought tears to my eyes. Your son is blessed to have such a wonderful family! - Julia from Memphis, TN

nikitasmom said...

Hi Dan,
Just read your Today post. My son has severe ADHD and has suffered many cruel comments over the years. The R word but one of many. Kids are usually the culprits but sometimes adults as well. I commend you for bringing this to everyones attention. I think we can all benefit for being reminded to be kind to one another.
Ann Coulter should know better but then again it doesn't surprise me she uses such poor judgement based on past performance.
Wishing you and your family the best.

Shannon Marie said...

I am also here because I read your Today article. While my family has not been directly affected by down syndrome I feel disgusted when I hear the R word being thrown as an insult. You article is a great way to bring awareness. Best wishes to your son and your family!

Anonymous said...

Dan, I loved your article about Ann Coulter's offensive tweet. I have twin daughters, age 12, with special needs, so what you expressed hit home to me. The "R" word is inexcusable. Thanks for speaking up.

Kat said...

I absolutely LOVED "It's a slur that demeans a lot of people who have a hard enough time getting on with the business of life without having to deal with the constant reminder that a great swath of society thinks their existence is the world’s best punch line."
I feel like I have this conversation at work AT LEAST once a week. Thank you for putting it into a cohesive statement that I can regurgitate. Best of luck to you, I look forward to digging around in your blog!

Frog's Mom said...

Hello and thank you for your response to Ann Coulter's use of the R-word. I'm Kim (aka Frog's Mom @ 4-frogs.blogspot.com), and mom to a wonderful, non-verbal, 10 year old son who has Autism. I am also president of the board of Clallam Mosaic, a non-profit that supports adults with developmental disabilities to expand and enrich their own lives through educational classes, social opportunities, and self-advocacy in our community. The R-word is a hot button issue for most of the participants in our programs and they have very strong views on the matter. They have even gone to our state capital to speak with our elected officials about banning the R-word. I've also spent a good deal of time in the elementary schools, educating the kids about Autism and acting as an ambassador for my son. I find the kids have picked up the word from their parents and pass it onto their peers - but a good, heartfelt discussion about the word, its origins, and its coruption into a slur, and its impact on others usually hits home for most of them. I salute your efforts to reach out to the adults - I find they have a much harder time grasping the concept. I hope your words reach Ms. Coulter and she is big enough to take responsibility for her lack of thought and judgement - maybe making it a teachable moment for all. Happy to hear you and your son have reached the normal stage - we are there also :0)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful and inspiring! Thanks for sharing your story with the world.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing your story with the world.

ansantan said...

Read about the Ann Coulter thing today and decided to look at your blog; read from 1 to 74. I could say a lot of things that will sound like platitudes so I won't--just that I was truly moved and I think Ozzie is a lucky little guy and that you and Dina really hit the jackpot with both your children. Thank you for opening up my eyes to how a thoughtless word can really hurt and I promise to never use that R word again, and if I screw up and use it, I will remember you and recommit to never using it or letting someone else use it in my presence. God's blessings on you and your beautiful family.

Louise Cook said...

How do you keep from hugging that child to death. He is so adorable and tries so hard. You are wonderful with him and your precious, loving daughter. Seriously, Ann Coulter is a bitch and unfortunately that is her favorite insult because she has a limited IQ.

Hugs to your two beautiful and wonderful kids. And kudos to you, you are great parents.

Louise Cook said...

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Louise Cook said...

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The Snyder Family said...

Thank you so much for your well-written post. It put my exact feelings into words. I have a 5-year old with DS. Life for us is also normal and uneventful. I'll be following your blog from now on. Thanks again for being a voice for all of us.
All my best,
Rachelle Snyder from Seattle, WA

Sarah Davis said...

Hi Dan! I am new to your blog after your demand for an apology caught my eye. What an amazing story about an adventure and strength. Your family is beautiful, in every aspect of it, including how you approach the challenges that were originally given to you and how you have found the beauty that lies within. I look forward to reading more. Take care and God Bless!
Sarah from Seattle, WA

Laura said...

Great article on Today, well put!

Anonymous said...

great article. touched many of us. thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dan: I read your article on Today. I completely agree with your disgust of the word and do not like hearing the word. I often think about what it would be like to have a child with DS. I imagine that if my child came to me saying that someone had called him a retard, my response would be the same whether or not he had DS and it would be "well, that is silly because you're not a retard" and leave it at that. The fear and anger exists because either you, or I, or society associates retard with down syndrome. If there was no association, it would just be another word that doesn't affect parents with children who have DS. Years ago, before genetic testing, society lumped all people who were not normal together and call them retarded. Today, we have technology to understand the ways in which children have special needs. I consider neither DS or Autistic children "retarded" because those are very specific conditions in which the cause, or lack thereof, is known. I am not in your shoes, so appreciate your candor. This response is only to say that maybe you are letting the word own you, and if you could give it up, it wouldn't matter what other people said.

Anonymous said...

As a HS teacher I am trying to work on changing this every time I hear the word in school, explaining to every student who says it and those around them why that word should not be used.

I'll be printing out your inspirational article for our next art project where I ask students to select a topic they care about and create an art piece expressing that theme so students can help spread the word about an important topic.

Best wishes to you, your adorable son, and your family.

JoAnn Stone said...

DAN, if you are as good a designer as you are a writer, the world awaits you. As for the pseudo-human Ann Coulter she will someday wind up all alone with just her thoughts. And oh what a refreshingly fresh hell that will be.

Time for you to start a book series based on the exploits of little Ozzie.

Go for it. Rich AND happy.

Jo Ann Stone

DownTownDan said...

It's been a crazy day, and I've just now had time to sit and read every one of these comments. I want to thank everyone for taking the time to share their personal stories. I wanted so badly to be able to sit and respond to each one as these were popping in. My phone was buzzing nonstop all day with blog comments and Facebook alerts, and it was absolutely overwhelming. I'm amazed that my words had this sort of impact on so many people. Truly, I hit a bird with a stone today.

DownTownDan said...

It's been a crazy day, and I've just now had time to sit and read every one of these comments. I want to thank everyone for taking the time to share their personal stories. I wanted so badly to be able to sit and respond to each one as these were popping in. My phone was buzzing nonstop all day with blog comments and Facebook alerts, and it was absolutely overwhelming. I'm amazed that my words had this sort of impact on so many people. Truly, I hit a bird with a stone today.

Michael said...

I totally get this. I'm gay and like the "r"word, people do the same thing using gay. "Oh that's so gay" comments, even within my own family, so i appreciate everything you had to say. I doubt Ann will apologize, but you helped spread the word and that is the real blessing here!!!! Many Blessings to You and your Family. Michael from Wisconsin.

Lisa said...

This is what true advocacy is all about. I am pleased as punch that so many people saw what you wrote. It doesn't matter that some of the people who commented on the article didn't get it. Your post (and the fact that it got picked up by a huge, national news outlet) brings the topic to a large audience. The above comments make it clear that many people are hearing--and processing--the message. Keep sharing. Keep making people think. Our kids are worth it.

Alma Boudreaux said...

HI Daniel
Wonderful that you are receiving national attention. The latest videos of Ozzie are great...I enjoyed visiting your site, also

Alma

martilindsey said...

Hi~
I have never had someone nail it on the head like you did about "the ear"! My son is Max, age 7. We live in San Diego and Max goes to our neighborhood school and is in a regular class of 2nd graders.

When Max was a baby, I thought about Down syndrome every day...as he gets older, I rarely think about his condition. He's just Max and we're like any other family.

I have a few Max stories on my blog...also not very active of late. Feel free to check it out: http://martisadventuresinsandiego.blogspot.com/

Thanks for your post!
Cheers~
Marti in San Diego

Anonymous said...

Hi I seen this story today & read thru some of your blog. I've seen you hear & there but never really payed attention until "retarded " came up. I too have an ear for the word! My son doesn't have DS but is autistic & non verbal. I wanna thank u bcuz even tho you speak & act for your son, u speak for my son & thousands of other ppl who arent able to speak for themselves! I applaud your courage & am amazed at your ability to get thru it in a very dignified way!

Momma2Bean said...

Hi Dan! I'm new here (well, to your blog, but not to DS!). Thanks so very much for your Today article. Lisa Peele turned me on to it. Like you, I've taken my share of hiatuses (is that a word?) because my Lucas will be 6 on Monday! But, I'm back to blogging for the 31 for 21 challenge and if you don't mind, I'm going to post your article on my blog as a reminder to everyone about that dirty, dirty word! Please continue to write...you have quite a gift. Enjoy your Ozzie...it's such a wonderful time!
Sandy

I'm at mundobean.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I think your article was excellent and not far into it, I called four of my boys (ages 10, 13, 15, 20) in and read it out loud to them. What you said needs to be heard.
What we say matters. : )

Your son is precious.

Michele in TX

Elizabeth said...

Just stopping by to lend my admiration for your Today post that I saw on Facebook. I have a seventeen year old daughter with significant developmental disabilities and a seizure disorder -- I've been on the bandwagon plenty of time, hoping that there'll be an end to the "retard" slur, and I'm so happy when another person takes it up and gets good coverage! Thank you!

Yo! said...

Dan-o-mite,
Here because of Today, read whole blog, left new comment in Savage post, your daughter seems close in age to mine, 7 in April, you both have brown eyes? she has stunning blue? same situation here, unless I'm wrong and your wife is blue, in our case, recessive gene handed down from both of us us from our moms....they take all the credit....blue eyes are especially stunning with the dark hair

Yo! said...

Went back....wife has the blue eyes....both have the blue eyes and dark hair WOW! Combo

Anonymous said...

Since I was a child the r-word made me cringe, even though I didn't actually know anyone with intellectual delays/disabilities. Now I have a son with DS and am glad I don't have regretful memories. For me what is most hurtful is not when normally mouthy people use the word, but when friends and normally considerate people use it. I feel like they have taken time to be considerate of every other segment of the population so how did they miss this one? Your wording in the piece to Ann Coulter was perfectly striking, the lid on a travel mug or it showing up in a comment thread....that's where it gets me. Maybe your explanation will help me have convincing explanation for people now, and not just an attitude that "friends" and their children will just try to avoid using it around me, but they will just stop using it.

Anonymous said...

Dan, your blog on Ann Coulter's use of the word "retard" was so spot on, and I can't imagine that any parent of a child with special needs didn't read it and feel like you were speaking for all of us. As that horrible word is just thrown around left and right, I feel like I'm just waiting for the first time my four-year old son comes home crying because someone used that word about him. It's my biggest fear. His life is and will be hard enough, without hurtful, unnecessary and senseless banter making it harder.
THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for speaking out on behalf of moms like me and my amazing little boy. Your son is a precious gift and is so lucky to have you on his side.

Unknown said...

Hi Dan ..

I was a Cool Spring kid and a 1989 NIHS graduate. I remember hearing your name, but don't really remember knowing you in school. You are a few years younger than I, correct? Did our paths cross?

I'm so moved by your letter to Ann Coulter. I saw the link on Elizabeth Mason's facebook page and it brought me to tears of empathy (I have a son with autism) and cheers for your courage to call her out in such a public way. I recently asked a facebook friend to stop referring to democrats as "libertards" for all these same reasons.

Way to go, Daniel Niblock! You've clearly grown into an amazing man and father.

Kim (Kelly)

Laura J said...

If Ozzie is ever looking for an amazing place to spend his summer, please check out Cradle Beach Camp in Angola, NY. I am the third generation of my family to work at this incredible place, and I know that both Ozzie and Layla would love it!

I live every day of my deeply indebted to and in awe of the experiences I had at Cradle Beach; its truly one of a kind.

Thank you for sharing Ozzie's story, you have so much to be proud of!

http://www.cradlebeach.org/

Hello! I'm Kate. said...

Found you on TodayMoms. Heading over to the Facebook page now too. :)

Anna said...

Hey, I am Anna, a Russian mom living in Bulgaria. I have a 3-yr-old daughter who has no syndromes, but I am campaigning for the stopping of anti-down syndrome propaganda between the doctors and pre-natality advisers who are scaring and almost forcing mothers into abortion with the help of early diagnostics if there is a high risque of the trisomy or other genetic modifications of the foetus.
I am also campaigning for inclusive education and would like very much to help organize inclusive education school in Bulgaria where we live so that my daughter could have a chance to study with and accept all kinds of children.
Thank you very much for sharing your experience!

marla said...

funny how drastically circumstances can change our thoughts, isn't it? i'm glad i was given the gift. came from the article & shared it on my fb, thank you.

Beekers said...

Thank you for speaking out! I work with kids every day and it's sad to see them say things just because they have heard them so many times. They wouldn't drop the F word but they don't think twice about the R word. I'd rather them lay out a good swear or two instead of using a word that they don't really understand the implications of.

Susan Carson said...

It's great to see you back in the Blogosphere, Dan, and in such a big way! I'm so glad to have you on our team!

thinkofme said...

Hi Dan,
I found your blog like, i would guess, 99% of your readers today. I would never have stumbled upon you, your story, your family, as I am do not have close contact with anyone with DS. Except someone posted your 'demand for apology' on my facebook news feed. I might be the person who pauses a beat on the bus when i see the recognizable features of DS, and I always try to be the person who offers a smile instead of a stare. But i am apart. I am certain I have used the word 'retarded' as a slur, unthinking, offhanded, without intentional cruelty. But it is cruel. And I apologize. But more than an apology, I will monitor my language use, and gently prod others to do so.
Love and Blessings to you and your family.
SP

Yaz said...

Thanks for educating the world and standing up for your son and all the other kids with developmental delays and syndromes!

Green Indulgence said...

Basically if you're living your life in a way that Ann Coulter fans bag on you that much you - you're doing a lot to be proud of. Good on you.

JM

Susan said...

Hi Dan,
I read your Today Moms article posted on Facebook and am in shock that people, esp. adults, are still using the word retarded. I am 48 and definitely grew up hearing kids talk that way but have always taught my daughteres (13 and 15) that it is not an acceptabel word. But your article got me thinking that maybe this is a word that they hear at school. My 13 year old said that she does hear kids use it. But my 15 year old said,"NO! My grade is really against that word." I gues I am writing to let you know that there are people out there that are teaching their children someting about compassion.
Susan
P.S. Ozzie is absolutely adorable. Your video reminded me of the days when my daughters used sign language, before "the words were all there". :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you! No other words right now, just thank you.

Anonymous said...

You are an amazing dad. Our son is 6 and I love that you are fighting the fight for Ozzie. We do the same for Vinnie. I saw, loved and shared your article on Facebook. Thanks so much.

RoanInish said...

I came across the post you wrote for TODAY Moms and I just had to get in touch. I have worked with a lot of children of different abilities and, even though they are not my own children, I feel deeply hurt on their behalf every time I hear the R-word. Thank you for your post and I hope that Ms. Coulter has the decency to apologise...though I suspect, given her track record, I shouldn't hold my breath.
Thanks again for your wonderful words,
Rowan

Linda said...

Saw your article about the r-word. Here in MN we have an effort to stop the r-word from our state Special Olympics group. I am the mom of a 37 yr old who got your site from my daughter. She has been a mentor for her brother since her birth and continues to advocate for him and for others. Just natural for her..... Gotta love those siblings who learn quite early the things all people should learn about getting along and accepting everyone! Thanks for your blog.

Kathryn said...

I have stumbled here (happily!) via moms.today. I have a 9 year old son with autism and I stand with you 100% in solidarity. Keep up the great work!

~S~ said...

Dan, you are my hero of the day! I found you through the Today Moms article and see I have 4 years of reading to catch up on. I didn't have that much to do at work, anyway. Thank you!

Sarah Gowan
Blog: Got the Big Eye

Vanessa said...

Just read the article; thank you so much! I am a mom of 3 beautiful children, 2 of which have Autism, from Ontario! Canada :). That word fires me up and how loose that term is thrown around. Thank you for standing up for the families and people effected! - Vanessa

Anonymous said...

Just found you through the Today Moms article (which I found from a friend's facebook link). I am discouraged at the lack of sensitivity of so-called celebrities, but more distressed at the comments her followers posted. I hope your post results in increased awareness of how the R-word hurts.
peg

Lauren said...

Hi there. I got here from the TODAY blog post. Thanks so much for doing this. I don't have any direct link to the DS community other than being a fellow human who (apparently subjectively) thinks all humans deserve a minimal amount of respect and compassion. Best wishes to your family.

Anonymous said...

Ozzie is a BEAUTIFUL boy. I am a speech pathologist who works with special needs children and everyone one of my kids is their own special wonderful person, who along with your son, should not be associated with negative slurs. People who use them are ignorant and should be ignored until they grow up a little bit!

Leah said...

Hi! I commend you for standing up for your son. Good for you. He is blessed to have you as a father. He is very handsome and has such a happy life. Best wishes to your famly!