Party Hat

Let’s Stick a Fork in the Term Mental Retardation

posted Friday December 16th, 2016

  The other day I took Annabelle, Sophie’s big sister, to a doctor appointment at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The doctor recommended a flu shot and, glancing at the consent form, I noticed the term “mental retardation.” In 2016. Look, I get that in the scheme of things this is not a big deal. Frankly, I’d rather […]


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My Little Intellectual

posted Friday August 14th, 2009

I am so selfish that I actually had the following thought on Tuesday morning: How dare Eunice Shriver die on Sophie’s first day of school. I know. I’m horrible. But really, for once, I’d love to have a day that  is just about Sophie. Sophie. Not my future Special Olympian, my mentally retarded kid — […]


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Party Hat

Paper Hearts

posted Saturday November 15th, 2008

So I’m doing this reading tonight. Don’t be offended because I didn’t invite you. I didn’t invite anyone, not really. I screwed around on Facebook, trying to post something, but I’m not sure that worked. Anyhow, I’m doing this reading. I’m reading the original version (with some tweaks) of the piece I did for This American […]


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Can People with Down syndrome Vote?

posted Tuesday November 4th, 2008

Can people with Down syndrome vote? That has got to be the worst question I’ve asked since Sophie was born. The second worst: When Sophie was three months old — and about to have open heart surgery — I asked the geneticist whether people with Down syndrome ever have curly hair. (He gave me a […]


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The IQ Test Results Are In

posted Monday August 4th, 2008

In February, Sophie’s “team” at her pre-school broke the news that they weren’t so sure she was mentally retarded. They sent me home with a copy of my parental rights and a pink paper heart that Sophie had cut herself, with minimal assistance. This was huge. She might be relatively smart, but no one can […]


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Are People with Down syndrome Mentally Retarded?

posted Saturday August 2nd, 2008

Before you start pelting rotten eggs at your computer screen, let me explain. First, “mental retardation” is a medical term. The IQ cut off is 69. Seventy, and you’re not retarded. Second, I have spent much of the year considering this topic, particularly since Sophie’s IQ clocked in at 83. (This was the topic of […]


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This American Life/Sophie's 9 Minutes of Fame

posted Monday June 30th, 2008

Saturday’s show is up now at www.thislife.org – the last segment in the “Social Engineering” show from June 27 is Sophie’s. I haven’t tried it (um, no thanks, don’t want to hear the sound of my own voice again — don’t you hate that?) but looks like you can just click and listen.


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My-Heart-Cant-Even-Believe-It-Cover
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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