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Our guest is Dr. Stephen Grcevich. We discuss the state of mental health and how churches can help include those with "hidden disabilities"
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When my son was born twenty-two years ago, I remember walking into the neo-natal ICU and seeing that row of incubators full of babies. Most of them were there because they had been born premature like our son, and as we walked to the incubator that sustained our child I remember being amazed at how these tiny children were being so skillfully cared for. I was astounded by all the technology that was working to help these babies, including mine, survive. Last month, my family went to see our niece, who was also born prematurely, in the NICU. I noticed a far more sophisticated setting; the staff still displayed the care and skill needed to help the babies succeed, but the technology and procedures had clearly advanced since our experience.
I know I shouldn’t expect the technology we had all those years ago to still be in use, but the amazing speed at which new and better medical technology is evolving blows my mind. It isn’t just the medical tech; does anyone remember speech pads that cost thousands of dollars, now replaced by commercial, reasonably priced, off- the-shelf tablets? How about apps which serve as learning aids? There are so many of these available now that you have to scour review sites to find the best, and many are free or cost ninety-nine cents. I don’t think there has ever been a greater collection of tools available to help parents and their children succeed. Not only are current technologies a massive step forward, but many others are just arriving or coming soon, and will change the landscape for those with special needs forever. From Google’s self-driving car to exoskeleton technology, we are making ever-greater advancements, giving more and more people with special needs the ability to live a life that may never have been possible before.
We are living in exciting times. But I also see a disturbing trend as people talk about the value of the same lives so many others are working hard to improve.
Many are calling for the right to end a life they esteem less than optimal. This seems so counterintuitive; to spend millions of dollars and years of labor and research developing technology to better lives, and at the same time to lobby in order to allow these lives to be ended. Does that make sense? Doctors who are trained to save lives turn around and take lives, not even seeing this as problematic. This doesn’t really line up with the oath doctors take to do no harm does it? I can’t really get my mind around the two ends of the spectrum. Never has quality of life been better for everyone, yet many don’t see it that way.
Where to turn? Visit Need Project to locate numerous local and web resources concerning one of dozens of Disabilities Resources that can help guide you and your family where you can go in times of difficult circumstances. We're here to provide a bridge to help in your time of need to receive the resource(s) you need the most.
What are Disabilities? A disability is either an impairment that could be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental, or some combination of these. A disability may be present from birth, or occur during a person's lifetime.
Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations.
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