Melanie Murphy of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, thought at first that her son Cole just had a speech delay. He would say only a few words, and I couldn't understand what they were, said Murphy, 36, in a telephone interview, of her then three-year-old son.
This columnist recently featured Joni Eareckson Tada, a 40-year survivor of spinal cord injury, who broke her neck while diving into Maryland's Chesapeake Bay in 1967. She uses an electric wheelchair, and has paralysis in all four limbs.
Stacy Picard of Knoxville, Iowa, thought having a fifth child would be easy. The first couple children you worry about something going wrong, but after that you don't even think about the possibility of a disability, said 30-year-old Picard in a telephone interview.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) website defines autism as a wide spectrum of disorders characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills, social interactions, and restricted, repetitive, stereotyped patterns of behavior.
As mentioned in a recent column, Team Hoyt consists of 66-year-old Dick Hoyt and his 44-year-old son Rick Hoyt, and together they have competed in hundreds of marathons and other athletic events throughout America over the last 26 years.
A number of readers have drawn my attention to Team Hoyt and graciously asked me to feature this amazing father-son running team associated with disability. The first email came from a reader of Grainger Today in Tennessee.
In 1994, a doctor diagnosed John Pare (pronouced pah-ray) with cone-rod degeneration, an eye disease involving retina degeneration similar to retinitis pigmentosa. The Univ. of Florida graduate learned his eyesight would further deteriorate. There was no cure.