Wednesday – January 4, 2023
The American social reformer and clergyman Henry Ward Beecher once said, “We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves.” Families come in many forms and in the United States, nearly 10% of children live with a parent with a disability.
Join us for an engaging conversation on parenting with a disability and a new book on the topic, “A Celebration of Family: Stories of Parents with Disabilities,” with our four guests:
- Dave Matheis, Kentucky Coalition for the Rights of Parents with Disabilities
- Jason Jones, Disability Specialist, Human Development Institute, University of Kentucky
- Kimberly Tissot, President and Chief Executive Officer, ABLE-South Carolina
- Kara Ayers, PhD. Associate Professor, Associate Director, University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCCEDD), Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.
Audio: Soundcloud Episode 113: Stories of Parenting with a Disability
- Interactive Transcript for Episode 113: Stories of Parenting with a Disability
- Transcript: Episode 113: Stories of Parenting with a Disability (PDF file)
A Celebration of Family: Stories of Parents with Disabilities contains the stories of thirty families. In every family, one or both parents have disabilities: physical, mental, sensory, and/or intellectual. The stories illustrate the infinite variety of the American family. It is that variety that gives the family both its strength and its beauty. Like individuals, no two families are the same. In the course of discussing their family experiences, the parents cover a number of topics. Most stories concern having children through birth, but there are also stories about fostering and adopting. Four stories concern single parenthood. Many parents talk about adaptations and accommodations they made to be effective parents, but even more talk about how wonderfully adaptive their children were to their disabilities. Many parents talk about individual discrimination and societal bias they have faced. A number of stories highlight the decision-making process to have children when the possibility exists of passing on an inheritable condition. Parents are included that had children before they acquired a disability and they relate how that acquired disability affected their family. Several stories discuss legal and policy issues around parenting with a disability. The stories contain humor, compassion, and gratitude. They are proof that one thing you can get any parent to talk about is their children. As one parent in the book puts it, “if you suck as a person, you are going to suck as a parent, whether you have a disability or not. If you are compassionate and caring and nurturing as a person, you will be like that as a parent, too.