18 August 2009

Video: Honoring Eunice Kennedy Shriver Who Honored Special Needs Kids in America

From Denny: Saying goodbye to Eunice Kennedy Shriver who brought the vulnerable in our society out into the open and gave them long awaited respect and care. Since I have a mentally challenged sister-in-law who became so because of a woefully mishandled hospital birth this lady meant the world to my husband's parents. They were thrilled with the Kennedys and Shrivers when they championed this cause.

Since my sister-in-law's speech center was injured at birth it can take her as long as two weeks to get out a sentence regarding her wishes. Usually, I just take the shortcut and read her on the spiritual level to divine her intent, ask a few short questions to narrow down her intent and then she sighs with relief and nods her head. Virginia is a lot like having a happy 5 year old around with OCD Monk behaviors along with autism. She's great fun, though her facial expressions rarely show it. We get her to laugh often.

I could go on and on about Virginia as I enjoy her immensely as many people do who have "special kids" in their families. The medical challenges can be daunting as it has for Virginia who suffers from severe epilepsy. She's required outrageously expensive medication since she was two years old, the doctors fearing as she's grown older that the next epileptic seizure will kill her.

Well, we just can't live in fear. She's lived longer than the doctors told the parents when she was born. They advised they lock her away in an asylum and forget about her. The parents were horrified and refused. That was too callous an attitude for my very cool mother-in-law, Bonnie, whose Irish was up and marched forward to do something about it. Can I tell you that my mother-in-law was the first special education teacher in Louisiana and helped organize education in the state for others like her daughter?

The terms like retarded, mentally disabled, mentally challenged, special have evolved over the decades yet Virginia remains forever the same. When she was younger she had a baseball arm like a cannon. The family and Virginia loved the Special Olympics that Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded. Virginia always won first place in any throwing competition. The woman was fierce! :)

A lot of families across America and the world over have gratitude towards Ms. Eunice for bringing so much understanding into the community and relief to families who no longer had to hide their special family members in shame. Take a look at her remarkable life.

Biography, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, mentally challenged, NBC, remembrance, society and culture, kids and teens, Special Olympics, special needs
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