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Lizzie Richardson chapter 4


Chapter 1: Childhood and Family
Chapter 2: Supporting Darryl (Son)
Chapter 3: Sibling Relationship
Chapter 4: Connecting with Other Parents (you are here)
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 4: Connecting with Other Parents

11:20:47:20 - 11:22:57:19

Lisa: Ms. Richardson, you're talking now and you've talked a little bit earlier about all of the mentoring that you've done for parents, but I'm wondering when it was that you first started to connect with other parents who had children with disabilities --

Lizzie: Because I had a parent name by Dorothy Glass that was beside me, and told me about the base service unit, helped me register, and she helped me so much. Until I wanted to pass that on to other parents, what she had passed on to me.

Lisa: What did your friendship with Dorothy or other parents mean to you?

Lizzie: We was -- here's how we met. Our children was going to Carousel House for three weeks, and she had a little son, a little baby boy, and we -- her son had missed the bus that morning, and so she come to me. She said, the bus come? I said, yeah. You was talking about the Carousel House bus? I said, yeah, it's gone. We started talking that morning. We never got any work did, the three weeks cause when we put the children on the bus, we talked on the corner, and we talked and talked, until when we went back home, it was time to go back to get them, but three weeks. In that three weeks, she told me how to register Darryl, the different things, and we started going to meetings together, and advocating together and all, and that's how I got started. Because she was so nice to me, and I just wanted to pass that on to other parents, what she had passed to me, and we still the best of friends today. But when we got in the meetings we got our own person, know -- it was years and years before anybody know that we was friends. You could never tell we was friends at the table. We picked up our friendship on the way back home, because that friendship didn't influence us with no way.

We were not friends when we got to the table. You say what you had to say, and what you would do and so would I, and that was it. But on the way back home we become the best of friends, and we'd go talk, and that's how we did it. And they come up with friendship and business never mix, and that's what we had.

11:22:57:19 - 11:24:21:02

Lisa: Were there other parents or other advocates who were an influence at this time for you, or a support to you?

Lizzie: You know, it was good and bad. I had parents that -- you know, they can treat you bad, but at that time, the only thing I thought about was what I did was for the children, not for the parents, and that's how I had to think. And I didn't get upset with the parents, but anything I could do for the child, I would do it. And that didn't bother me.

You know, I stayed back to the table, saw a handful of parents, they would come in one morning. They was upstairs because I wanted to help people, and I had a way of just helping people, working with the staff, and they wanted you to talk to the staff and ask and all that. I refused to do that, because I wanted to respect the staff, and work with the staff, and they didn't. So they come to the table that day. They was supposed to be removing me, I remember that. First the staff said no, and everybody, all the other parents, said she help us so much, and they voted down. So I stayed and began to help them and all that stuff. These are the same parents that I helped get their children into services and everything. But that, for some ways, all the disappointment that I had with parents never stopped me from helping the children if I could, because one thing had nothing to do with the other. The children were not responsible for what their parents did or said.

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