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Topic: "Welcome To Holland"-For Those With Disabled Children

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Subject: "Welcome To Holland"-For Those With Disabled Children
Date Posted: 12/1/2007 5:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2005
Posts: 232
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"Welcome To Holland by Emily Kingsley 1987"   "I am often asked to descibe the experience of raising a child with a disability-to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it,to imagine how it would feel like this......   "When you're going to have a baby,it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip-to Italy.You buy a bunch of guide books and make wonderful plans.The Coliseum.The Michelangelo David.The gondolas in Venice.You may learn some handy phrases in Italian.It's all very exciting.   "After months of eager anticipation,the day finally arrives.You pack your bags and off you go.Several hours later,the plane lands.The stewardess comes in and says,"Welcome To Holland."   "Holland?,you say.,what do you mean Holland? I signed up for Italy!! I'm supposed to be in Italy.All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy!"   But there's been a change in the flight plan.They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.   The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible,disgusting,filthy place,full of pestilence,famine and disease.It's just a different place.   So you must go out and buy new guide books and learn a whole new language.You will meet awhole new group of people you have never met. It's just a different place.It's slower paced than Italy,less flashy.After you have been here awhile you will notice that Holland has windmills....and tulips.Holland even has Rembrandts. But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about what a wonderfull time they had there.And for the rest of your life,you will say"Yes,That's where I was supposed to go.That's what I had planned." And the pain of that will never go away...because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.But...if you spend your life mourning the fact you didn't get to Italy,you may never be free to enjoy the very special,the very lovely things...about Holland.  
L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 12/30/2007 3:04 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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I love this.  Thanks for posting it.  I was looking for it to send to a friend and couldn't find it.

Date Posted: 2/20/2008 8:33 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2007
Posts: 127
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That's actually a pretty accurate portrayal...

Date Posted: 3/19/2008 6:20 PM ET
Member Since: 9/1/2005
Posts: 8,035
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I love this. Thanks for posting it!!

Subject: Celebrating Holland
Date Posted: 3/27/2008 12:23 AM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2008
Posts: 282
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There is actually a follow-up to that poem out on the web now.  I came across it not too long ago while I was helping my best friend put together a teaching portfolio for her Masters degree in severe special education.

I have never posted a link here before so I hope this work:  http://www.ourspecialkids.org/poem13.html