Together for Choice
My visit to Misericordia
I have recently met some wonderful, and I name them inspirational, men and women in a community of people who have a variety of disabilities. How they speak and interact with each other, and then approach those in the typical world, is living in a way few outside this family of friends would understand. To the person outside of this community it might appear their going through life is very different than what people without some form handicap experiences.
What people who are living outside of the world of disability seem to notice first is how we seem different. Faces may bear certain characteristics associated with genetics and this means there might be preconceived ideas of who this person is or what their lives are like. The faces of autism are not marked by any hint of the interior struggles life brings. Having autism means our interactions , our lacking in verbal skills and often our different or difficult behavior, betray us and we are judged most harshly.
The truth is that we are all very much like you who label yourself normal. We are desiring friends and some of us want romantic connection. There is the same drama, highly voiced bickering and gossip that colors your world. Real bonds and deep love is the goal of most and this is no different for us who are called disabled. When you meet someone with a much different look or behavior than your own, be careful to avoid condescending tones and remember they are more like you than you know.
The campus of Misericordia is a, name it-heaven on Earth for many individuals living with disabilities. I knew it was my dream come true the first time I visited. I always wanted to live in a community, a place with people who are like me. The village of Misericordia leaves me the chance to be more independent than some more community based places. Even the individuals living off campus are part of the fun on campus. No people should dare to speak for those of us who will never have the ability to live without help. My dear new friends at Misericordia quite easily can show the world their joy... go see for yourself.
Joey Rosenbloom is a 30 year old man with autism spectrum disorder.
From the age of 15 Joey was home schooled. He earned a college prep high school diploma and was admitted to Harper College as the first student with autism to attend general education classes with a support person.
Joey writes a popular monthly column for Positively Naperville that has gained the attention of many people who have quoted his columns in everything from inspirational speeches and church sermons to trainings and even a fashion publication. He uses an iPad keyboard to type his columns. While Joey has access to some verbal communication, as with many individuals with autism, he most fully communicates using AAC.
Joey is a news junkie and a passionate advocate for the rights of those who both literally and figuratively do not have a voice.
Joey has done a series of conferences for Easter Seals and consults in his mother and sister’s practice COPES Special Needs Consulting.
His dream is to live at Misericordia.