Sunday, August 20, 2006

People, and Magazines, of Note

Hubby and I love reality shows. Rockstar: Supernova, Treasure Hunters and Last Comic Standing are among our recent boob tube indulgences.

We loved Last Comic Standing its first times out, but this season did seem a little lackluster. There were some great comics who were cut in the Hollywood round and some others let through that Hubby and I just didn't "get". But we were both at least happy to see . Josh Blue as a finalist. A disabled person (he has Cerebral Palsy) given a shot to succeed at his choosen career, sharing his amazing talent of comedy with the world. Awesome!

In the end, Josh won this season of LCS. No, he may not have been as hilarious as some of the past finalists and/or winners, but he's definitely funny. He pokes fun at himself - a unique, refreshing angle in the comedy world. While other top comics resort to going "blue" to get a laugh, Josh Blue gives us a comedic look into his personal struggles and challenges of daily life, letting us know it's just "what is" and, over all, he's doing well and living his dream. Hey, when life takes over and tries to bring you down, isn't it better to find the laughs instead of drowning in the tears? It sure is. Thanks for reinforcing that, Josh. Congratulations on your win.

Then I was recently reading the latest issue of Nick Jr. Family Magazine. In this issue, the editors recruited 12 "average joe" moms and dads to be special Guest Editors. One of whom being Ms. Kristine Schroeder, a 40- year old military wife living in Florida with her husband and adopted son. No big deal, huh? True, but I didn't yet mention - she has spina bifida and has used a wheelchair most of her life.

I love that her disability wasn't the prominent feature noted about Kristine in the mag. There's a roundtable discussion, moderated by Hannah Storm, where today's parenting hot topics are discussed. Kristine, as well as all the other Guest Editors, speak up and voice their varying opinions. At one point Kristine does mention that, I was in a wheelchair most of my childhood. But she didn't explain any further. And in most of the pictures of the GE's you can't see that she's at all different, ability wise, from any of the others.

It wasn't until I turned to a different article, where Kristine was interviewed by herself, that the headline announces her as One Can-Do Mom. The smaller subheading goes on to explain her position as a mom with spina bifida. Huh! How cool is that?!

Taking a closer look at the Nick Jr. Family Magazine website, I see that they've also featured articles in the past about how to include children of all different abilities in common play. Teaching "typical" children to be comfortable around and interact in a fun, safe way with disabled children. Cool! Nick Jr. Family Magazine really seems to be talking about and talking with some interesting, unique and worthwhile people and ideas. Way to go!

While I'm at it, here are some other really wonderful magazines I love - for their parenting advice and/or their informed, empowering take on the life of both disabled children and adults.

Audacity Magazine - of course. I mean, I am a featured monthly columnist for this awesome web zine. Audacity's tag line is: The Disabled Magazine for the Abled Minded. Always looking for new writers and new readers, this zine focuses on the audacious, daring lifestyles of today's physically disabled individuals.

Wondertime Magazine - a new parenting magazine out of Northampton, MA, this could appear to be "just another mommy mag". But in recent months they've featured a series called A Differnt Kind of Normal, about a family raising their special needs son. It does seem rare to get the focus on the disabled - child or adult - so I applaud Wondertime for taking the time to show that disability is not to be feared or shunned but is, in fact, just another type of normal.

Brain Child Magazine - I LOVE this magazine. My cousin turned me on to it (spoiling me by letting me borrow their "best of" edition) and, in turn, gifted me with a year's subscription for my birthday. I call this mag The New Yorker for the Parenting Set. With smart writing submitted from freelancers and "regular" parents alike, along with line drawing comics scattered throughout its pages, this publication really is a stand out periodical. The articles tend to read more like literary essays. They always make you stop, think, and appreciate how others live, love and survive - overcoming parenting challenges and helping kids with important issues they face in their own lives. A truly wonderful read, every issue.

What magazines, books or T.V. shows do you love? Who's making a difference in the world for you?

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