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November 2007

The Right of Children With Disabilities to Have Fun

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007;161(11):1104-1105. doi:10.1001/archpedi.161.11.1104

During my 45 years of pediatric practice and teaching, I have been involved in the care of numerous patients with serious disabilities, but only in the past 5 years have I really learned of the challenges these children and their families face outside clinical settings. My epiphany, not surprisingly, came from personal experience: I adopted a son with special needs who attended a birth-to-3 developmental center here in Seattle, Washington, called the Boyer Children's Clinic. My son's needs—speech therapy for a cleft palate—were relatively minor and eventually resolved. The disabilities affecting most of the other children attending the Boyer clinic, however, were severe and permanent.