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Graynle Edwards chapter 11


Chapter 1: Childhood and Family
Chapter 2: Dr. Edwards as a Student | Professional Aspirations
Chapter 3: Birth of Graynle, Jr.
Chapter 4: Graynle Jr.'s Educational Experience
Chapter 5: Impact of Disability on Relationships
Chapter 6: Graynle Jr's Education and Impact of Least Restrictive Environment
Chapter 7: Joining a Community of Advocates
Chapter 8: Lack of Opportunities Post-secondary School
Chapter 9: Dr. Edwards Advocacy for Children and Adults with Disabilities
Chapter 10: Challenges for Parents Today
Chapter 11: Relationship with Graynle Jr. and Reflections on Advocacy (you are here)

transcript - entire interview

Graynle Edwards Interview (Word)

transcript - current chapter

Chapter 11: Relationship with Graynle Jr. and Reflections on Advocacy

12:08:21:06 - 12:12:33:17

Lisa: What is it about parenting Graynle that's given you joy?

Dr. Edwards: He's a funny guy, you know. (Laughs) We have a lot of fun together, you know, for someone whose non-verbal he certainly knows how to express his emotions. Uh, the, uh, I'll give you an example. We were sitting in the basement watching the big screen television basketball game and he walks up behind me with a big towel and throws and hits me right in the head. (Laughs) Okay so of course we end up wrestling and what have you for this short period of time. He does things, I always tell him that he is a, uh, he has criminal tendencies, uh, I'll pour his juice which is, uh, has the sugar substance and my coke is over here; and I'll, I can be distracted because I'm on the other side of the kitchen and the next thing I know he's gotten my soda and he's drinking it. I come over and snatch it from him and he busts out laughing, you know what I mean. He's jut a jovial guy and god knows he just loves the ladies. God, he's just a mess. In fact at his Saturday at recreation, one of the leaders said you know Graynle has a harem in here. (Laughs) But he's very, for a person who is non-verbal, he is very social able. The folks just gravitate towards him. I think part of it is protection because he is non verbal, they want to make sure that nothing happens to him but, of course, as far as he is concerned, he just likes to be around the ladies, you know. He has a sense of humor. We, uh, you know, I'm constantly catching him doing something he has no business doing. Once he gets caught, he starts laughing. I tell him oh you're trying to be slick again. He busts out laughing. It's interesting the way Graynle works because his level of understanding things is unreal; it really is. So, he can receive and interpret things but he cannot express them so that you know there's some learning going on, um. I bought him a new record machine for Christmas because the ones that I was buying him, the needles were so fragile so, and you know, two or three days, I got to buy another needle. I got to a point where the people don't even supply the needles any longer. So I went on the internet and found a company that he's now had a machine for over a month. Oh, god. Thank you Lord. So, uh, the thing is, the, he's, you can tell that Graynle can learn. It's so obvious because you know, you see him doing something you don't see him doing something today that he's doing two or three days from now. Something new, in fact that's one of the classic lines that are always given. (Inaudible) Graynle you're trying something new again! Too often the something new is something he shouldn't be doing but you can tell that, uh, that there's a mind that's really working there. Its just he can't verbalize. Yeah.

14:53:55:02 - 14:57:14:16

Dr. Edwards: For someone who's nonverbal, uh, he's just a funny guy, you know. Uh... I'll give you an example - I'm driving down the road and he decides he wants to give me an elbow. (Laughs). Of course, I'm glad he's not as small as he is because I'm able to sustain the blow, you know, but uh, the, uh, he has a way of coming up and his first attack is to go into this karate thing. When that doesn't work then he tries to step on my foot, okay. All that's, that's all of his way of trying to have fun with you, you know, and uh, often times in the morning he'll come out of his bed, and sit on the side of my bed and leans back-he needs to have the TV on in my room, so he gives me the remote. Okay. So I turn the TV on and he sits on the side of the bed, and then he leans back, you know. And we have ways of just having fun together, yeah. Uh-huh. And then, of course, we go to the different, uh, games - basketball, football. And it was so funny - one day we went to, uh, we were at the Spectrum I believe. Yeah, it wasn't, it wasn't the... the Comcast - that's the new building. This was the old building. And uh, we-we start, we start to enter the stadium, I'm sorry, we start to enter our section in the stadium but it's the wrong section. So I grabbed his hand and said: "No, we gotta go..." Man, you want to see him fight! You know (Laughs) "Listen, I was on my way in, and now you're pulling me out again? (laughs) That was so funny. I called him fool. I said "Fool, no, no we gotta go in this one over here." He followed me later so we went into where we should be, you know. But he enjoys it. And the band, you know - we go to the Temple games -- and, uh, we, uh... I did something that was smart when they built the new stadium. I wentI didn't deal with the Eagles stuff because I know it's hard to get the Eagles tickets. Especially the price that they ask for the seat that you want. I said "Nah." But I said "I'm gonna make a deal with Temple." And we got season tickets on the front row right behind the football team. Okay. Well what happens when the band comes off the field, they come right into our area where we sit. Oh, he just loves that, you know. Oh, God, he goes crazy. Here comes the band, you know. And, uh, so we have a good time. Yeah. We have a good time.

14:57:14:16 -

Lisa: You were describing earlier some of the leaders of this movement and, uh, I wonder if you consider yourself a leader?

Dr. Edwards: Nah, nah I'm just a soldier. I'm just a soldier. The, uh... I guess a soldier who has had an opportunity to lend his voice to a movement. Uh, the uh... I would, uh... I would like to be perceived in that fashion. Not necessarily as a leader, but a soldier who thought it was important to be a part of the battle.

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