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ERIC Number: EJ906282
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-0013-8274
Parenting a Child with Special Needs: A Teacher's Journey toward Discovery about Disability and Identity
Messer, Cynthia
English Journal, v100 n2 p36-40 Nov 2010
Several years ago, in the roots of the author's teaching career, she was consumed with reading research papers, creating innovative lesson plans, and grading. While today these activities still fill her time, now her days are marked more by dismantling and reassembling a wheelchair, programming an augmentative communication device, and carrying her 50-plus-pound seven-year-old from bed to table to wheelchair to walker. Today, much of her "scholarly" work involves practicing physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy skills; teaching basic reading strategies; and attending Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, this time on the other side of the teacher's desk. Nearly seven years ago, when she found herself with a child with disabilities, she could not foresee how this would change her life: her daily habits, her perspective on many aspects of life, and ultimately her teaching practice itself. On this journey, she has developed an appreciation for the light that disability has cast on her identity, her son's identity, and her students' identities. In this article, the author provides some general "rules" for teaching and describes two writing activities: (1) an authentic research project she calls Other Voices; and (2) an "I Am What I Am" prose poem writing.
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A