By Linda Selman
I am the mother of an autistic and mentally retarded son, Frank David Selman. At twenty-four, Frank David is one of the thousands of developmentally disabled adults living in this nation's Intermediate Care Facilities for the Mentally Retarded (ICFs/MR). Although they make up only a small percentage of America's population, all their stories are important, but I can tell only one. Here is Frank David's. (First presented to the Rotary eClub of the Southwest USA).
Frank David with Mom (Linda) and Dad (Frank) Frank David with Brother (Rushton) and Sister-in-Law (Tabitha)
"I came to Fernald to help these residents out, and in the end, it was those who could not speak who helped me learn so much about myself."
By Laura Marmion
As a young girl I didn’t know much about the Fernald Center; a massive state-owned property for mentally handicapped adults in the heart of my town, Waltham, MA. All I knew was it was a ten minute walk from my house, they had a soccer field my team always practiced on, and great hills for sledding. Little did I know, I would grow to learn more about the Fernald Center and its people than I ever would have imagined I would.
Submitted by Sam Golden
Anne was the third of our four children. The first two were Daniel and Jonathan, born, respectively inh 1951 and 1954. She was born on April 7, 1956, so she is now fifty years old. Our first two children were boys and, after our experiences with Anne we decided to have another child and our daughter Miriam came along in 1960.
We lived in two different apartments in Hyde Park, on the south side of Chicago, when our boys were born. With Anne we acquired a small house in a development further south in Chicago. Anne had problems from the start. She was very small and she developed severe seizures early on.
We took her to our pediatrician and he recommended a pediatric neurologist. This turned out badly- they performed a procedure on her (pneumoencephologram) which caused more seizures and arrested her development further. Thereafter we vowed not to go for any faddish procedures but take Anne as she was and do our best.
My Jimmy “J”
Submitted by Fanny Janazzo
We were married for 12 years before our son, James Mark Janazzo was born. He was born on May 15th, 1959 and is our only child.
My husband and I were very happy to know we were going to be parents. My pregnancy was normal and it was going to be a happy occasion. When I saw him he was the most beautiful baby. Today I still think he is beautiful.