Cheryl Hein on Parenting a Child with Disabilities
Radio Interview: 28 August 2013
I interviewed Cheryl Hein on "Parenting a Child with Disabilities" on 28 August 2013. Listen to or download this episode of Philosophy in Action Radio below.
What are some of the rewards and challenges of parenting a child with disabilities? How should parents navigate family dynamics, education, and social interactions? How can parents do right by their disabled child, as well as themselves and other family members?
Cheryl Hein is the mother of nineteen year old boy-girl twins, one of whom, her daughter, was born with developmental disabilities, including Down syndrome and autism. In choosing the approaches for educating their twins, Ms. Hein and her husband considered a number of key values, such as effective education, opportunities for intellectual and social enrichment, family dynamics, and, as they got older, their kids' preferences; practical considerations such as cost and logistics were also weighed. Ms. Hein became heavily involved in understanding and navigating public school special education services and other available private and government programs for educating her children, and in advocating for the choices she believed were right for them. As she has lived with the daily and long range parenting challenges, she has also thought deeply about matters of family, private and government support for the education, care and keeping of children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Ms. Hein received a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and an M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from UCLA. She has managed multi-million dollar R&D programs for private industry, state and federal governments for more than 30 years, in settings as broad as manufacturing, product development, private research laboratories and university research organizations. Most recently, as managing director of the UCLA Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology (CASIT) and in private entrepreneurial efforts, she has focused on fostering advances in technologies for education and training based on combining findings from the science of learning with interactive computer technologies such as simulation and games to create learning systems that align effectively with how our brains work.
- Duration: 1:15:47
- Download: MP3 File (26.0 MB)
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- About her daughter's developmental disabilities
- More about apraxia of speech
- The pregnancy
- Heart surgery as an infant
- Prior experience with Downs Syndrome
- Response to the heart surgery
- The diagnoses of apraxia of speech and autism
- Early education via UCLA
- Lessons learned from UCLA
- Preschool: keeping the kids together
- The sibling relationship
- Elementary school: full inclusion
- Speech development and reading
- Her effect on other kids in the classroom
- Middle school and beyond: segregated special education classes
- A better education: private schools, homeschooling, and Montessori
- Improvements in education, medicine, and home life for developmentally disabled kids
- The dangers of reducing the person to the disability
- Grief for the child, love for the child
- Plans for the future, after school ends
- Advice for parents of disabled children
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My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback and Kindle
Does the pervasive influence of luck in life mean that people cannot be held responsible for their choices? Do people lack the control required to justify moral praise and blame? In his famous article "Moral Luck," philosopher Thomas Nagel casts doubt on our ordinary moral judgments of persons. He claims that we intuitively accept that moral responsibility requires control, yet we praise and blame people for their actions, the outcomes of those actions, and their characters – even though shaped by forces beyond their control, i.e., by luck. This is the "problem of moral luck."
In Responsibility & Luck, I argue that this attack on moral judgment rests on a faulty view of control, as well as other errors. By developing Aristotle's theory of moral responsibility, I explain the sources and limits of a person's responsibility for what he does, what he produces, and who he is. Ultimately, I show that moral judgments are not undermined by luck. In addition, this book explores the nature of moral agency and free will, the purpose of moral judgment, causation in tort and criminal law, the process of character development, and more.
Responsibility & Luck is scholarly but accessible to active-minded people interested in philosophy. You can preview the book by reading Chapter One and Chapter Three as PDFs – or by listening to my reading of Chapter One.
About Philosophy in Action
I'm Dr. Diana Brickell. I'm a philosopher specializing in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback and Kindle. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."
My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on most Sunday mornings and some Thursday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Thursday evenings, I interview an expert guest or discuss a topic of interest.
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