Hope and encouragement: Jillian’s summer job

Hope and encouragement: Jillian’s summer job

Jillian has a new job, at least until August. The ease, acceptance and grace that accompanied it are hopeful and gratifying. Both of her regular jobs, as an assistant to the Athletic Director at Northern Kentucky University and as a 1st-grade teacher’s assistant, charged with helping the kids with reading and math, run the length of the school year. She begins officially next week at LA Fitness, tasked with maintaining the cleanliness of the workout equipment and locker rooms. Most…

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The AHCA is not who we are

The AHCA is not who we are

When Jillian was in high school, I attended her IEP meetings as an enforcer. Kerry my wife knew the law. Our good friend Ellen Mavriplis – Jillian’s future mother-in-law – knew the law entirely. Her business, Inclusion Advocates, is based on upholding it. I was there to bang my fist on the table. Every time we sat across the big conference table from the school people who fought us, I wanted to produce a picture of Jillian, slam it on…

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Leaving Home Ain’t Easy

Leaving Home Ain’t Easy

I don’t often do this, but I’ve gotten so much feedback on this piece, I decided to re-post it here. It’s about our move across town, from a house we lived in for 29 years. Aside from the expected upheaval — 29 years is a long time, ask your basement and your attic — there came a psychological wounding that was a bit of a surprise. A house can inhabit a soul. I know that now. Further, the notion of…

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An Uncomplicated World Down Syndrome Day

An Uncomplicated World Down Syndrome Day

I almost forgot it was World Down Syndrome Day. I don’t mean that disrespectfully. There’s a lot to celebrate, not the least of which is the triumph of the human spirit people with Down syndrome demonstrate all the time. Resolutely, our kids/relatives/friends are showing the rest of us how to be better people. I think the rest of us are beginning to take notice. Happy day to you, Liam Langan, and you, Violet Ryan and you, Rob Knodle and you…

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Jillian’s song

Jillian’s song

  In my day job as a sports columnist for the Cincinnati Enquirer, I author a Monday through Thursday blog called The Morning Line. It’s a mish-mash of sports, culture and personal asides. I conclude each post with a Tune O’ The Day, most often taken from my memory-bank of ’60s and ’70s rock. This tune isn’t that. It’s a song written by the country twanger Guy Clark. It’s performed here by country gal Patty Griffin. I put it on…

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Sam Anderson is a chronicler of dreams

Sam Anderson is a chronicler of dreams

My new friend Sam Anderson, in collaboration with his mom Katherine, produce In My Own Words , a blog dedicated to sharing the stories, reflections, and experiences of people with Down syndrome, as expressed in interviews. Their most recent post was about my daughter Jillian and her husband Ryan.Sam and Katherine started in October of 2016. I’ll let Katherine tell the story: “It was begun partly because our family deeply values Sam’s opinions and perspectives—and so often, we realized, we don’t hear…

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Jillian’s uncomplicated life

Jillian’s uncomplicated life

  Recently, we got a request from a mom and her high school-aged son born with Down syndrome, to do a FaceTime interview about Jillian’s life. The FT didn’t work, for some tech-related reason, mostly because I’m tech-dumb. We did do a phoner, though. Katherine Anderson was kind enough to send me the transcript. Here it is. As always, thank you for reading. Expect. Don’t Accept. Paul (By the way, the photo is from our presentation this past weekend at…

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She soars to help all of us fly

She soars to help all of us fly

Here’s a column I did for today’s paper about Delaney Dunlap, a local 8-year-old born without a fibula in her left leg. She’s a gymnast  and shining light who strikes a huge blow for inclusion. Read it and cheer!  

A message of hope, from someone who read the book

A message of hope, from someone who read the book

 Greetings and Happy New Year! We have been lax with the posts. The holidays intervened. Here’s one from a friend, celebrating Down Syndrome Awareness Month last October. An Uncomplicated Life is available on Amazon.com. Groups interested in having Jillian and me speak can contact us here, or at pdoc53@gmail.com. We are speaking in Kansas City later this month, twice in Ohio in February, in New York in March, and recently booked an appearance in Hartford, CT for next November. Thanks…

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A new job for Jillian and new hope for everyone

A new job for Jillian and new hope for everyone

We make strides in small increments. Improving the lives and futures of our kids with disabilities is like walking the Appalachian Trail. Every day is a chance to take another step. We took a few recently. Jillian got a second job, as a teacher’s assistant in the school system she attended. In addition to her duties in the athletic department at Northern Kentucky University, Jillian now works with 1st- and 2nd-grade students in the classroom. She reads to them, helps…

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