Dick Sobsey: Personal Page

  1. Taking it personally....

  2. When I was a kid in school, I was labelled in different ways by different people at different times. Some people said I had a behaviour disorder or hyperactivity, others said I had a brain injury, and still others insisted that I was just lazy. I did have a significant  of a closed head injury when I was about 7, and I am still a bit dyslexic. In all honesty, however, I can’t think about myself as someone with a disability. If I did, I would feel like one of those people who pretends to have a disability to get a handicapped-parking placard. Nevertheless, being labelled in school and everything else that went with it did teach

    “Please — a little less love, and a little more common decency." --Kurt Vonnegut, Slapstick, 1976

    me something about labels.

  3. When I was 16, I was sent t a small private residential school for kids with various kinds of special needs. There were only 14 students and I was the oldest one of the lot. Shortly after the school-year started, one of the teachers left. So the people who ran the school suggested that I help out by teaching math to other kids and helping them learn to ride horses in return for my room and board. So, at 16, I was promoted from special ed student to special ed teacher, even though getting an actual teaching certificate took another 15 years.

  4. When I was 21, I took a job in a large state institution. There were more than 5000 children and adults with developmental disabilities who lived there. It was a horrible place. For awhile, I thought that I could make it better. It did get a little better as time went by, but not much and not because of my efforts. It took me ten years to figure out that the place was a lot more successful in making me a worse person than I could ever hope to be at making it a better place.

  5. I came to the University of Alberta in 1982 to train teachers to work with children with multiple disabilities.

  6. Our son, now a young man, has severe and multiple disabilities. Spending a couple of decades as a parent-caregiver is also a part of who I am.  Pretty much every day, Dave teaches me something.

  7. In May 2009, Dave was diagnosed with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome. We have a lot to learn about this condition,

  8. I  think there has been one thing that I have done pretty well, which has shaped my career. Most of the time, I have been a good listener.

  9. I’m getting old now. Neither my body or my mind are everything that they used to be. I guess that is okay,