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  Several weeks ago I asked readers and friends and readers who are friends to share stories of inclusion — what works, what doesn’t work. I got a wide range of answers with some repeating themes, and today I’d like to share them with you. I left names out on purpose, since not everyone is […]


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The Magic of Public Education

posted Wednesday April 25th, 2018

Once upon a time, in a land scorched hard and dry by the sun, public education was in trouble. For decades, the state’s leaders had starved the schools — underpaying teachers, letting buildings decay, and concocting elaborate schemes to create shadow school systems to replace the ones they’d all but destroyed. These leaders founded and […]


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  The other day I was excavating Sophie’s bedroom (if you have a teenager, you know what I mean) and happened upon a middle school relic, a Best Buddies application. Sophie has Down syndrome. She’s the target audience for Best Buddies, a kid who should be matched with a typical (or choose your favorite term […]


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Sharon Cowan Landay is the amazing mother of Sophia. I met Sharon when she took Mothers Who Write, the workshop I co-teach, and we stayed friends on Facebook. I saw her post last week, looking for someone to accompany Sophia to her senior breakfast, and I asked Sharon to write a guest post about the […]


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  Sophie was applying her third layer of mascara (mostly to her lashes) and muttering under her breath. “I’m taking a big risk today.” “What?” I asked, looking away from traffic for a second. “Nothing,” she said quickly. “No, tell me,” I urged. “Did you say, `I’m taking a big risk today’?” “Yes.” “Oh, because […]


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    Last night we had a family reunion of sorts. Annabelle and I had traveled to northern California for spring break — the college tour has begun — while Ray and Sophie attended his grandfather’s 100th birthday party in New York. We regrouped over beer (for the grown ups) and Cornish pasties and I […]


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The Spaces in Between

posted Saturday March 3rd, 2018

    It was a pretty Arizona winter night. The church grounds felt like they went on for acres, probably because they did, and as I waited I tried to distract myself by wondering how much this North Scottsdale real estate is worth. A lot. Modestly dressed middle-aged congregants gathered outside in a courtyard, lining either side […]


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  So far, I have not failed at high school. This morning — the first back after the two-week winter break — Sophie popped out of bed, drank her Carnation Instant Breakfast, and chose a cute new outfit. She refused to brush her hair, but found her ID, remembered her lunch, and cranked Stevie Wonder, […]


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The Airing of Grievances

posted Wednesday December 6th, 2017

Sophie’s lawyer asked me to write down some concerns in anticipation of her annual IEP meeting next week. (IEP stands for Individualized Education Plan — the living legal document that guides/dictates the educational life of a kid with a disability.) I smirked. Perfect timing for an airing of grievances. I started this blog to catalog […]


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Gratitude Mix 2017

posted Monday November 20th, 2017

Election results burning in my ears, last November I made a mix tape called “Gratitude.” The idea was to ratchet back the hate and give some thanks, but by the second or third song I’d pulled out R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” and wasn’t looking back. This year my Gratitude […]


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My Heart Can't Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome is available from Amazon and 
Changing Hands Bookstore
. For information about readings and other events, click here.
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