1. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Meeting Rachel Simon

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by EdFromNY, Oct 20, 2013.

    Rachel Simon, author of "Riding the Bus With My Sister" and "The Story of Beautiful Girl", was the keynote speaker at the 64th Annual NYSARC* convention in Albany. She talked about both books, the first nonfiction, the second a novel, weaving her thoughts on novel development in with stories of her life growing up with her younger sister who is developmentally disabled.

    The MC in "Beautiful Girl" is selectively mute, and at one point learns to communicate through art. When she told us this, I had a sudden "Aha!" moment - my daughter, who has autism, is verbal but is limited in the extent of what she can/will talk about, and much of her speech is rote. But she loves painting and drawing, and I suddenly thought, "What if they worked with her at her day program to get her to paint what happened during her day?" I immediately called her residential manager, who loved the idea and suggested I talk to the manager of her day program about it. But, in Albany at the same time, was the art coordinator for all the agency's day programs, so I told her and she said they would start working on it. Then I went to the book signing, bought both books, and told Rachel what she had (quite unintentionally) triggered, and she got all choked up.

    You never know.

    *NYSARC is the New York ARC, which serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities all over the state. I'm a member of its Board of Governors.
     
  2. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    It's a common tack used by child psychologists too, when children are unable to talk about their feelings. Rather than coming at it verbally, they'll just sit the child down with markers and paper, and chat with the parent/s. Very often the child will reveal what they are thinking through their drawings, and in time will learn to open up through discussing not their issue, but what they've drawn.

    I'm pleased you gained such a positive idea from an unexpected source. I'm not surprised Rachel was choked up that she inspired your way of thinking.
     
  3. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    That's the funny thing - I knew that. I had just never connected the dots.
     
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  4. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's wonderful, Ed. It's always amazing how sometimes things come together in this way, and how seemingly unrelated interests can intersect.
     

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