When Words Get in the Way
The story of Elaine Schultz unfolds within a set of contexts fraught with tension. Born prematurely in 1988, Elaine suffered brain bleeds, resulting in aphasia - a condition affecting her language acquisition and expression. At home, her parents believed in her ability to overcome her developmental delays and to learn as well as other children.
In her early school years, Elaine benefited from the dedicated support of some teachers, doctors, therapists, and other professionals; but she also confronted health care workers and educators who did not understand or appreciate her disability and unique educational needs.
As Elaine progressed through public schools, her parents fought a long and hard legal battle on her behalf, hoping to secure for her the kinds of help she needed in order to flourish as a student. All of this took place within the larger context of the nation's educational system coming to terms with the fairly new legislations, the IDEA and ADA.