Like so many who heard her, I was blown away by Amanda Gorman. And the next morning she. was. everywhere. And I’m thrilled for her–and us! 

Preemie Amanda Gorman

Preemie & youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman

In my own kid-related corners of the interwebs, I read “Amanda Gorman, Youth Poet Laureate, has speech and auditory processing issues,” published by Understood in 2018, that told me something new, something amazing. This told me more about her passion and drive and persistence than any and all of the other stories about her. (Photo from the article.)

And I wondered why. Why isn’t this part of the headline anywhere but in the little interweb corner devoted to challenges and differently abled kids?

Why is this little part of this amazing poet NOT picked up in any of the mainstream pieces (at least in what I’ve read so far)?

There’s such a proliferation of language to describe folks in this corner of the interwebs: involved; atypical; medical; differently abled; challenged; special needs; neurodivergent; handicapped; delayed; kids with: diagnoses, disorders, issues, deficits, or needing accommodations. 

So many different kinds of people that fall into, overlap with, or bump up against all the language. There are few families that don’t have similar experiences on some level. Understood’s mission claims that 1 in 5 people have learning and thinking differences, like dyslexia and ADHD, and 1 in 4 adults have some type of disability

But in spite of all the people and families who relate, and all the words to help tell their individual stories, “special needs” news is segregated EVEN when it does not need to be.  When it should not be. Should it ever?

I am grateful for Understood, eParent, and The Mighty — and other places that dedicate themselves to people and news in these areas.  And still I wonder: how we will ever re-create the history of “our kids” and how they have changed the world: families, communities, and the possibilities for others?

Even if there IS an instance where one of our kids leaves a paper trail, that’s probably not going to include the details of the hard work and overcoming and family involvement…

Even when an odds-beating preemie like Amanda Gorman comes along and is catapulted to the national stage and written about.

If you want to save the story of your kid, get on my list to be the first invited. Set the stage for what to save in your family archive, too, by signing up HERE.  You’ll get a 1-page guide to starting your archive.