Thursday, August 19, 2010

Disabled to Enabled

I have started to follow a blog that one of my on-line DS support buddies posted.  It suggests removing the word "disabled" from our vocabulary and instead thinking about "enable".

What an excellent concept!

ENABLED Kids From Disabled to Enabled is a blog  written by Natan Gendelman who has been working with children who have neurological disorders (DS, cerebral palsy, pediatric stroke, etc) for over 23 years.

He states that developmental milestones such as sitting up or in Ellie's case crawling & standing may be "instinctive" for many, but for children with neurological disorders, these tasks  need to be broken down into small, sequential steps.  No kidding.  It is "instinctive" for Ellie to arch her back to do things which I have been informed is "not normal" and "atypical". Consequentially, in therapy, we have been breaking things down for Ellie to encourage her to use "the correct" muscles and body parts to achieve crawling and standing.  Hence, the reason behind the abs of steel exercises that we have been working on.  Right now, I feel like I am beating my head against a brick wall and I am sure Ellie feels the same way when I make her do another sit-up (okay we call it playing) that results in screaming and back arching to escape.  Anyway, this Natan Gendelman goes on to say that "my belief that repetitive exercises aren't the answer. . . "  Hum.  I am not sure that I agree with that statement, but it is intriguing. For now, I guess we will continue down the path of repetition, demonstration, and breaking things down into small, sequential steps.

So, I seemed to have gotten off the subject of this post. . . this blog has some interesting information and personal opinions shared by Natan Gendelman.   He is an excellent communicator and I like his idea of changing disabled to enabled.  I also appreciate his "Don't let your child get written off as a hopeless case.  You're not just a parents-you're your child's best therapist & advocate."  I agree.

Reference: Gendelman, Natan. ENABLED Kids.  Viewed August 18, 2010 at

Buddy Walk 2010: Team The Ellie Bears 

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