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  • "Don’t take this kid home, I know you guys, I know this is going to wreck your marriage, I know this is going to destroy your life..."

  • Emily Perl Kingsley is an Emmy-winning writer for Sesame Street, where she has been writing since 1970 and has been instrumental in working to include people with disabilities on the show. Her son Jason was born in 1974 with Down syndrome.

    I interviewed Emily about parenting Jason and working to change limited beliefs about what people with Down syndrome are capable of. In this excerpt, she describes the terrifying decision she and her husband had to make after Jason was born: take him home, or send him to an institution.

    Listen to more stories from Emily:

    This is an excerpt from an interview I conducted for my thesis in the Oral History Master of Arts program at Columbia University. The interview took place in Briarcliff, New York, on October 22, 2012. Upon completion of my thesis in October 2013, the full interview will be included in the Columbia University Academic Commons, and submitted to the the Regional Oral History Office at the University of California, Berkeley, for inclusion in the Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement archive.
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