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19 October 2007 @ 08:36 am
Welcome to Holland  
In a 2003 article entitled Planet Autism, author Scot Sea mentions an essay entitled "Welcome to Holland" by Emily Perl Kingsley.

I recommend both pieces to any parent raising children with learning, psychological or physical disabilities.

Excerpt from Salon article:

Sooner or later, parents raising children with severe learning disabilities receive the "Welcome to Holland" essay by Emily Perl Kingsley. It describes a couple planning the trip of a lifetime to Italy. They prepare and study and learn everything they can about their cherished destination. When their plane lands, though, an announcement: They have arrived in Holland. Holland? They wail. We've dreamed all our lives of Italy. Italy is where they want to be. Not here!

"But there has been a change in the flight plan," Kingsley writes. "You've landed in Holland and there you must stay." New guide books, a new language, a completely different group of people than those you hoped to meet. Worse still, "everyone you know is coming and going from Italy and they are all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, 'Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned.'"