ECM 91: Understanding the Anxieties Around Educating Special Needs Kids

Gary Dietz is the father of a special needs child. After his child was born, Gary realized that Dads are often an ignored caregiver for helping special needs kids. He created and edited the book Dads of Disability: Stories for, by, and about fathers of children who experience disability (and the women who love them!). In today's show, Gary tells some stories. He feels it is important to provide people with the vocabulary to discuss these topics. Listen now to hear his thoughts about raising a special needs child…

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Gary explores in his recent book, the empty-nest syndrome he experienced when his special needs child moved into another living arrangement. He found that there is too much sensitivity surrounding the vocabulary used to discuss those labeled with unique challenges. He noted that many people do not talk about these issues because they do not want to offend anyone with politically incorrect vocabulary.

Gary found many stories in the general media are inspirational and upbeat, showing a postage stamp slice of time but not a child's whole life. The majority of the time, those labeled and their caretakers must live 24/7 with labels, and those are the issues for which Gary wants to provide vocabulary. Listen now to find out more about Gary’s thoughts about raising his son.

[callout] Production Coordinator Lisa Durff created this notes and did a great job. Here's one important thing I'd like to emphasize. Let special needs kids create video! -Vicki [/callout]

Gary Dietz wrote Dad's of Disability

Gary Dietz wrote Dad's of Disability

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[callout] Every Classroom Matters is a bi-weekly Radio Show by Vicki Davis on BAM Radio network with best practices for busy teachers. Subscribe.
Show notes prepared by Lisa Durff, Production Coordinator for Every Classroom Matters.[/callout]

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Dawn Oliver June 17, 2015 - 8:02 am

I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. As a future educator, I enjoyed this podcast with Gary Dietz. I may not have otherwise put much thought into the role of the father in the life of their special needs child. I agree that his book Dad’s of Disability should be on every educator’s bookshelf. I plan on getting a copy the book of my own and am looking forward to reading it.

Lisa Durff June 17, 2015 - 9:08 am

Thanks Dawn for commenting! I wish you the best in your studies – EDM310 is their technology course, isn’t it? I am sure you will be a wonderful educator and am so glad you enjoyed this episode with Gary Dietz!
Lisa Durff

Gary Dietz June 18, 2015 - 9:27 pm


Thanks for the kind words. Best of luck in your studies.



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