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A Manner of Speaking Nov/Dec '92

by Bonnie Neugebauer
November/December 1992
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/a-manner-of-speaking/5008852/

Loud thumping caught my attention as I awaited take-off from O'Hare. I looked up to see a handsome young man in business attire making his way down the aisle of the plane using his forearms to balance his body from one seatback to the next, dragging his prostheses behind. Midway, he muttered matter-of-factly, "This just isn't working." He dropped to the floor and crawled on his forearms to his seat. He thanked the flight attendant for her offer of assistance with a cheery, "No, thank you, I'm fine." As he swung his body into the seat, the older man sitting next to him said, "That was quite an effort." Andy smiled and reached for his briefcase as the other passengers boarded.

Andy was in control here. Why did he refuse any kind of help? What motivated him to be so self-reliant? As I replayed this scene over and over in my mind, I came to realize that although Andy has a physical disability and I may assume that he has special needs, I cannot presume to know what those special needs might be.

At National Black Child Development Institute's conference in mid-September, speakers ...

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