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PHOENIX MAGAZINE: Raising Phoenix: How Amy Silverman Fell in Love with Phoenix

Illustration by Laura Spalding Best

Illustration by Laura Spalding Best

Until Laura Spalding Best came along, I never would have called my street beautiful.

Mind you, I love my sweet, cluttered home. It’s the surrounding Tempe neighborhood that always left me a little cold, despite qualities that most people would describe as “charming”: irrigated lots, big trees and quirky old houses, with Frank Lloyd Wright’s ASU Gammage auditorium just a short stroll away.


THE GUARDIAN: Changing more than pronouns: a non-binary teen fights education laws

Cassidy Araiza/The Guardian

Cassidy Araiza/The Guardian

Santi Ceballos worked to change Arizona’s curriculum laws that focused sex education on heterosexuality and left them out.

Sometimes, other kids call Santi “it”.

“It’s sort of like treating me as a different species,” said Santi Ceballos, who goes by they/them pronouns, looking straight into the camera for a video produced by the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance last year. The video was made in an effort to educate others about what it means to be gender nonconforming.


THE GUARDIAN: 'It could be any of us': Arizona patient's sexual assault reveals lack of protection

Ross D Franklin/AP

Ross D Franklin/AP

Carolyn Tillman loves her job. Many would consider it thankless. And it is true that most of the people she works with cannot say thank you. Cerebral palsy, epilepsy, brain damage and other conditions can make that impossible. But, she says, in tending to a person’s every need – feeding, bathroom needs, repositioning – you really get to know them.

Sometimes, in the “total care” room at Gompers Habilitation Center in west Phoenix, she plays music. One day, she realized that every time Don’t Take the Girl by Tim McGraw came on, a male client would start to weep.


LENNY LETTER: FAYE AND ME

ILLUSTRATION BY TIANXING WAN

ILLUSTRATION BY TIANXING WAN

As the mother of a child with Down Syndrome, I found myself in Faye, a woman decades older than me who chose to institutionalize her developmentally disabled children.

My mother tells a story about a phone call she’ll never forget. It was the summer of 1966. She was several months pregnant with her first child (me), biding her time by the pool of the Phoenix apartment complex where she and my dad were living. Her due date wasn’t till November, but they’d already picked out both boy and girl names.


PHOENIX NEW TIMES: Vintage John McCain: Dead at 81, He Was America's Senator, Not Arizona's

Gino Santa Maria

Gino Santa Maria

John McCain rubbed his hands together a lot.

He did it all the time — on the U.S. Senate floor, during campaign events, standing around — hands cradled, moving. It wasn’t a casual gesture. You could tell he was putting some force into it.


PHI DELTA KAPPAN: Writing better stories about students with disabilities

AMY SILVERMAN AND HER DAUGHTERS

AMY SILVERMAN AND HER DAUGHTERS

When our newborn daughter was diagnosed with Down syndrome, my husband Ray and I just stared at each other.

I’d been a journalist for more than a decade, covering politics and social welfare. But I had never met anyone with Down syndrome; I knew nothing about it.


 
 

“Silverman’s fierce account of coming to terms with having a child with Down syndrome is at once precise, mordant, and compassionate, and ultimately is exquisitely human.”

— Julie Lythcott-Haims, New York Times bestselling
author of How to Raise an Adult