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Lizzie Richardson chapter 3


Chapter 1: Childhood and Family
Chapter 2: Supporting Darryl (Son)
Chapter 3: Sibling Relationship (you are here)
Chapter 4: Connecting with Other Parents
Chapter 5: Advocacy
Chapter 6: Solving Systemic Problems and Building Relationships
Chapter 7: Mentoring the Next Generation of Parents
Chapter 8: The Future for Lizzie's Son and the System
Chapter 9: Reflections on Life and Career

transcript - entire interview

Lizzie Richardson Interview (Word)

transcript - current chapter

Chapter 3: Sibling Relationship

11:17:17:22 - 11:19:39:10

Lisa: I wondered if you could tell me a little bit about the relationship between your daughter Audrey and Darryl.

Lizzie: They had a great relationship.

Darrel -- Audrey accept Darryl, and she would tell you anyway, I remember she was going to the best school in Philadelphia, Bodine, and somebody told her that if you have a mentally retarded brother, you are -- you're retarded. Well she tells them, I have one, and I'm not retarded, and it hurt the little girl's feeling so bad, she said she felt sorry for her, because everybody laugh. You know, everybody laugh, and then she was sorry but she had her own life. She didn't have to keep Darryl. She had her own friends. She had her own life. And that was it. They were like two -- what she need, and what Darryl need, and you gave each one to your children, what they need. And I do have a problem with the school putting all of them in the same classroom. I don't agree with that, because you got these gifted children that's minds just going so fast, and you got the slow ones that -- that's not appropriate for either one of them. That's not helping either side of it.

Lisa: What is a better situation here?

Lizzie: The gifted ones go to with the gifted children like them, so they can excel.

Other ones be with their own peers, and they can excel as much as they can, and that's how I feel -- I mean, a lot of parents look at me like I'm crazy. They want inclusion. I don't. I seen the time that Kratz School had a little one room in the basement.

School closed that year, everybody else would go in the grass and Darryl's in the court doing the due process hearing. Because... he remain where he is until you find an appropriate place for him.

And just before school opened up, two weeks before school opened, I was called back in.

What you want for Darryl at your school at 12th and Allegheny, he got it. All right.

When he got to middle school, Darryl was tall. I think back the parents sign a petition to get him out. I fought 'em all and took 'em all down and Darryl stayed there. He graduated from there. And at his graduation the principal said, Darryl have made history. Say him and his mother have made history, because what they did was open a door for other students like him, said he was going to accept them now.

11:19:39:10 - 11:20:47:20

Lisa: Ms. Richardson, what do you think the other parents objected to about having Darryl --

Lizzie: Because Darryl was taller the rest of them, and they wanted Darryl out. I refused to send Darryl to the school they want, you know, they didn't want -- so I talk with superintendent, superintendent Hicks. I said where Darryl going to school? He said back to middle school, and he stayed there, he stayed there. The teacher was good, the principal was good, and then when we -- the day of the graduation, the principal said, Darryl, as soon as he turned 21, he is in his workshop. He come back to graduate, with his class trip, and that was all. And they go over there running -- never had registered their children in the base service unit. I sit in those meetings and told them to register them in a base service unit. Put them on a waiting list when they got about 14. They didn't do it. Darryl was on the waiting list since he was 14. Darryl was in the program.

Their children was out, and they all run over that graduation day trying to find her.

I said, I told you years ago, when I used to come to those meetings, I knew what I was talking about. Register them at the base service unit and put them on the waiting list, and you didn't do that, okay.

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