Cultural Encounters: A Journal For The Theology Of Culture Volume 11 Number 1 (Winter 2015) - Page 21

VOLUME 11, NUMBER 1 A JOURNAL FOR THE THEOLOGY OF CULTURE Smith: But see, I think from what you’re saying, you have the seeds. You have presented the seeds of what we could do here. You’re already saying for this to work, one, we need to develop a system of advocacy that would release time for parents to actually be able to think. Two, we would need to develop a support group of people to help with the imaginings so that it’s not only the burden of parents, because that’s the big issue with disability, right? It’s so individualized in our system that only that person has to be responsible. We don’t collectivize the care. And that’s another thing I think we need to do in terms of building the world. We think to get together to do certain specific tasks, but we don’t collectivize childcare. We don’t collectivize cooking, the things you need to do to survive. Well, how can you do all this and all that? You can’t. But if people were helping you, then you would have time, if it wasn’t only your responsibility. So why couldn’t our church community recognize this, recognize that people need support; they can’t do everything on their own. That then would free up everybody to think outside the box and say, what else do we need to do? So even just in that two minutes, you started to see the seeds of what this could potentially look like, and we could build from there. Any other thoughts on this? Woman #4: Yes, I have two grandsons: one is finishing eighth grade, though he should have been kept back in third grade. The mother tried and tried and tried, but the principal said, “Well, how old is he?” and refused to even test him to see where he should be. Now he’s finishing eighth grade and is going to go into high school, though he probably has a fifth/sixth grade mentality. There is no way they can put him in a public school. I t would be an absolute disaster. His older brother, who is very intelligent, was in a public high school but was very badly influenced by others and is now incarcerated because of a bad choice. And the parents, my daughter and my son-in-law, just don’t know what to do. The eighth-grader has been in the IEP program, but . . . our church . . . first thing when the older son got into trouble and was incarcerated, the church seemed to hurry and get an attorney to support him just in case something happened that would make a problem for the church. But they’re not getting any kind of help from the church whatsoever, other than their being worried about the sister who was abused. And the parents are just beside themselves. In fact, our son-in-law is not even coming to church anymore. So, it’s really sad. And our daughter started homeschooling, but it just isn’t working for her. Smith: And that shouldn’t be something that she has to deal with. That should be something that we are all working with. Man #2: I’m Allen Sharp; I’m under Pastor Chappell’s ministry. I was just going to say, there is a movement here taking place. It’s called Portland 20