Show & Tell ((By Olivia))

Olivia here. Contrary to what it seems, I do still exist! Here’s a snippet of what I’ve been up to during my hiatus.

1. Finished the book The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown

I heard about this book I believe from NPR (check out this episode of Fresh Air interviewing the author) last summer and purchased a digital version of the book to read on the subway. When I began reading it waaaay back in August (Thompson & Thompson took priority somewhere during that time!), I had had no exposure to life with a severely disabled child and I thought this might provide in-depth insight. Brown’s book chronicles his experience raising his son, the affects it has had on his family, and his personal desire to find meaning and reason in his son’s existence. The book expands to a greater exploration into the lives of the disabled, families like Brown’s who have succeeded and struggled to provide for their children, and the people who have advocated for appreciation, acceptance, and basic rights for the severely disabled.

Check out this excerpt from the NYTimes.

2. Followed blogged adventures of international genetic counseling in Guatemala

I didn’t go anywhere exotic this spring break, so I’ve been living vicariously through the GenetAssist Team Blog as they explore this beautiful country, learn honored cultural beliefs, and educate midwives, women, and teens about basic genetics and prenatal care. Formed in 2011, GenetAssist Team consists of inspired students, alumni, and their program director who hope to expand the access to genetic counseling services to all nations.

3. Listened to Patient Voices for a personal perspectives on life and living

WARNING: This is addicting and may detract from studying (nerd alert!) But, it is a form of studying, no?

Patient Voices is a collection of recordings and images from patients who have health problems, be they genetic, chronic, psychological, that have affected their lives for better or for worse. They can make you laugh and cry in the same session and I love that many different people are featured. It shows the diversity of people who can be affected, as well as the variability of symptoms within each disorder.

4. Playtime at Gigi’s Playhouse NYC

I went with a classmate earlier this week to have pizza and playtime with the folks at Gigi’s Playhouse in Harlem, which is a nonprofit play and meeting space for families, siblings, and children with Down Syndrome. Before going, I checked out their site and thought that the concept was fantastic; why aren’t there more places like this out there?! It seemed like a place of common ground where both the parents and the kiddos can relax and have fun. The NYC location is kind of new, but I’m sure that their base will grow as the word spreads about the support and friendship that’s been found at Gigi’s Playhouse NYC!

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