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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How to Overcome DreamBusters Part III: John Quinones What Would You Do To Stomp Out Bullying of the Blind?

Thought for the Day:  Sometimes you have to learn to fall to learn to stand tall. Have you ever wondered why toddlers love to play the game of "Ring Around the Rosie," over & over again? Why do they love falling down & getting back up? As a psychologist, I believe it is more than just a game. They are learning an important life lesson. Toddlers are new to walking. You can't learn to walk without falling. By playing the game, they are mastering the art of falling down without getting hurt & building resilience & self confidence. 

In this longer post which is taken from a longer article posed today on PRWeb. The article  announces a joint campaign I am launching with The Blind Judo Foundation supporting the fact that October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. In this post, I take the importance of of learning to fall to another level. I hope you will comment & share this with your friends & family. If you have any friends at ABC, feel free to share it there as well!

In the popular ABC TV show, "What Would YouDo?," with John Quinones events are staged by actors to see what people do when confronted with hurtful actions by people in public places. Here's some “What would you do?” parenting dilemmas to consider:
Imagine that your child is blind. Constantly, you warn them about falling down. They want to learn to ride a bicycle, but keep falling and hurting themselves. You fear for their safety, but want them to have a normal life. What would you do? 
Neighborhood kids take your child to the playground. Hours later, a stranger calls. Your child was left stranded in the park not knowing how to get home. What would you do?
In high school, teenagers taunt the students who guide your child through from class to class. Calling them gay or stupid. What would you do? 
Would you try to shelter your child? Would you take the bicycle and tell them it is too dangerous? Would you seclude your child in schools for the blind and avoid neighborhood kids who fail to understand that bullying the blind is cruel and unacceptable?
All parents struggle to keep children safe while encouraging them to dream, but it is more challenging for parents of blind children since the statistics (75% ofblind adults are unable to support themselves financially) are stacked against dreams of independent living. I spoke with Ron Peck, co-founder of the Blind Judo Foundation, Lori Pierce and her parents to understand what helps 30% of blind adults become self-sufficient following their dreams.
Lori Pierce's parents grappled with safety issues daily as they raised their adopted daughter, Lori who is blind. Miraculously, they gave her the confidence to not only ride a bike, but also to run track and play modified soccer. They practiced what I calls "dream parenting," encouraging their children to follow their dreams even when they are attempting to do something they may be concerned about.
Despite their fears, the Pierce’s trusted Lori’s judgment while keeping a watchful eye. Lori’s seven siblings treated her as “normal” and also encouraged her to try things. With “dream” parents and siblings, Lori learned to “dream” of possibilities. She met and exceeded the “challenges” along the way.
Lori training in Judo
When the Pierce's learned about the Blind Judo Foundation's program, they dared to introduce her to a sport many parents would have feared. Their experiences make them strong supporters of a new campaign to raise money for the Blind Judo Foundation which they believe was life changing and crucial in empowering Lori.  
Lori with Lola getting her Degree at the U of TX
Judo taught Lori how to fall down, get up and persevere. It empowered her to stand tall and triumphant as the 1st Silver Medal winner of the 2004 US Paralympic Judo Team in Athens.  She gained the self-confidence to pursue and complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at the University of Texas, far from her family in Colorado. Judo also helped her believe in her ability to coach blind children in Judo, work on her Teaching Certificate and live independently at age 28.  It all started by "waking up and dreaming" of things many blind people do not dare to dream.I believe that Blind Judo and how Lori's parents responded to the unique challenges of raising a blind child played a significant part in why Lori and her dreams thrived. Since I believe that if one person can accomplish a dream, anyone can, she launched a joint fundraising campaign to help the Blind JudoFoundation teach blind and visually impaired children and wounded warriors to fall down so that they too can learn to dream it forward like Lori.  Half of the profits from sales of The Wake Up and Dream Challenge to teach more children to dream using Judo enhance self esteem, empower self confidence and stomp out bullying of the blind.  When ordering the book please write “Blind Judo Foundation” in the "comments"  section. Please consider changing lives with the purchase of the book and donations to the work and mission of the Blind Judo Foundation at www.blindjudofoundation.org/donate.php

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