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Nancy Greenstein chapter 5


Chapter 1: Childhood
Chapter 2: Marriage and Family
Chapter 3: Sibling Relationship
Chapter 4: Finding Supports for Robin
Chapter 5: Access to School (you are here)
Chapter 6: Parent Network
Chapter 7: Involvement with PATH (People Acting to Help)
Chapter 8: Transition from Pennhurst and Community Collaborative
Chapter 9: Parents and Advocacy Efforts Today
Chapter 10: Reflections on Life, Advocacy

transcript - entire interview

Nancy Greenstein Interview (Word)

transcript - current chapter

Chapter 5: Access to School

13:10:40:04 - 13:13:35:06

Lisa: What was it like to go to the public schools for the first time?

Nancy: Well, as I said, the principal was not in favor of us, but he accepted us because it is more money in his pocket. We had an excellent teacher who was trained, Howard Jennings, who was marvelous with the kids. In fact, for the first month, I was an aide who went in there, until they got an aide to come in on a permanent basis. He was always soft-spoken, he was very kind, he knew what he was doing.

The children all had different abilities, physical disabilities, were incontinent in several ways. He thought nothing of changing a dirty diaper, and was always very gentle. I know of one case where he got this young man to walk with a walker, who had been crawling all the time.

So he went on, sad to say, to become -- what is it now, the next level -- supervisor, because he'd done so well. But then he couldn't -- when you're a supervisor, you have to do what you're told. Couldn't make any waves. So he finally left and went to Connecticut with his crew. So I heard he was then on a state level.

But he was -- I'll never forget -- one summer, he had a summer program in Mount Airy, where Temple has a football field, athletic field. It was a summer camp, and Robbie went there, and when it was in bad weather, then there was a church close by, I think about a half a block away, and they had the basement there where they had a piano and his wife helped out with that.

So that was a wonderful experience. That's what I'm saying is that I was very fortunate, some of the people that I met, really grew myself. And each time, there was -- it was just a wonderful experience.

And with Leona Fiokowski, I learned to advocate. It was like good cop/bad cop. I was supposed to be the good one, you know. She was the more aggressive person. She had been fighting all these years, and I hadn't been doing that. I had been looking for services, but I hadn't gone to see legislators or personnel or anything like that. So I learned from her how to speak out. When it comes to yourself, you may not speak out; when it comes to your child, you will do just about anything, and you will go visit anybody, to try to get services for them. So that's where I learned how to advocate.

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