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Anatomy Lesson

Posted Jan 26 2010 10:11am
With a sister like Ainsley we have a lot of medical jargon flying around in conversations at our house. What's a brother to do?

Actually I'm kidding, I can't take credit for this other than he's my kid and I filmed the performance. Adrian's Kindergarten teacher (who is an amazing song writer and educator) wrote this song and taught it to the kids last year. Although during their studies of human anatomy I did participate by visiting the class (both with and without Ainsley) to talk about how not every body works in exactly the same way. It was great. We talked about ways that people's bodies might be, look or work differently, such as how it is common that some people need glasses to see, a hearing aid to hear, or a cane to walk, less common differences such as people that are deaf, blind, in a wheelchair, use a walker, are born with different body parts or just look different, people that use a tube to eat or a tube to breathe, like Ainsley. I could go on. There are too many types of human differences to list.

Last week when kids on the school playground were staring at Ainsley a friend said to me that kids "in this demographic" aren't exposed to or have children like Ainsley. What the hell does that mean?! It is ignorance that people think that birth defects happen to a certain type of person. In fact 1 in 33 kids is born with a birth defect. Yes that's right, click the link! And birth defects happen in every race and class of people. 1 in 625 people are born with a balanced chromosome translocation, the chromosome difference that Ainsley has that is likely the cause of her birth defects. Incidence of craniosynostosis are actually relatively common at 1 in 2,000 births. Again, I could go on, but hopefully I've made my point. To have birth defects is not an uncommon as some people think.

At one time we had only planned on having 2 children. If we had stopped there we would be among the smug who count themselves as producing genetically perfect children. The reality is that if you find yourself in that group you are just LUCKY. Now that I have a child who is not "typical" I know that I am STILL LUCKY because having a child like Ainsley teaches you a lot about people, about what is important in life and that ultimately we are all different and all the same and that all human life is valuable. AND the's not nice to stare at people who look different. But actually, you really don't have to have "special child" to know that one.
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