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A reader asked for information regarding the homeschooling funding I accessed for Owen. I wrote her back, but figured it might useful to post about it again here. Short story is this: homeschooling is legal in Ontario as long as you follow the notification requirements. If your child is (or would be) eligible to receive support in school due to physical or developmental issues, you

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My friend and comrade* Donna Thomson launched the softcover of her book, The Four Walls of my Freedom, in Toronto on Friday. She graciously allowed me to interview her for my other site while she was in town (conversationlibrary.org) – there was so much material it may take me weeks to edit?!  Anyway, I had the extra pleasure of attending her book launch the following

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(First published in Bloom, March 1 2014) When my son was very young, I was an enthusiastic participant in what I now think of as the ‘rehab machinery’ of childhood disability. Owen had multiple severe disabilities, making him eligible for a host of supportive and therapeutic services. We tried them all, with very few of them showing discernible long term benefit to Owen. While each

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I’m launching a new site today! A sort of adjunct to my blog.  I’ve been sitting on it for a while and figured I should just release it already.  More videos are in the works.  I’ll post here when a new interview goes up. Hopefully the site speaks for itself: The Conversation Library » I decided to release it today because a) it’s the project that

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I gave a presentation a few weeks ago to a group of Masters-level students. The particular course was ‘Topics in Bioethics’ (or something similar) and for my session, the topic was ‘disability’. The ethicist for an adult rehabilitation institution gave a presentation, then I followed with a first-person perspective. I can talk about my story practically in my sleep – so no issues, right? I

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I have been working on a new video project that I will be launching soon, in which I interview people about their patient or caregiver experiences. I had the honour of meeting and recording two of my favourite people from the internet: Bill, and Claire. First I want to tell you about Bill, and how our conversation is making me rethink everything. Bill Peace is

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My plan was to storm the health care world when my degree is finished – but I thought, why wait? I have proposed this abstract for the annual Canadian Bioethics Society conference this spring. The theoretical presentation spots are hotly contested and my bioethics colleagues are inarguably more qualified than me–but hey, who knows. My big idea needs a place to breathe. Solving the Power

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October 24, 2013

3 years since

Written by Posted in Day to Day Comments 7
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Today is the day. The one when Owen died. I take the day off work each year, and in the past Angus has skipped school as well. He opted out this year, said he didn’t feel he needed it. I don’t mind; Angus is on to bigger and better things, hardly tripped up by dates unless he’s supposed to get something. I read somewhere that

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August 23, 2013

Burn out

Written by Posted in Day to Day Comments 7
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I’ve read a few things lately – articles, blog posts, facebook musings – on how parents are increasingly burning out and deciding that there is such a thing as too much. Too much intervention, training, therapy, structure. While it’s unfortunate for those of us who have experienced it, I am glad for the rising public intolerance of systemic pressure to turn a childhood into permanent

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August 18, 2013

Fifteen

Written by Posted in Day to Day Comments 3
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Owen would have been fifteen years old tomorrow, on August 18. It’s a number I thought about a lot while he was still very young. I would think “I can’t imagine what he’ll be like at fifteen!”, or “He’s easy to carry now but just wait ’til he’s fifteen!” It’s a number wedged between states – older child and teenager. Maybe unimaginable even in regular

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