I’m a mother of two special needs children at Northwest Center Kids. My son was diagnosed at 18 months old with autism. Our daughter, during that same period, was born prematurely at 29 weeks and diagnosed with Prader Willi Syndrome, which is a rare genetic disorder with both physical and mental delays.
More than a century old, Starbucks Center (formerly the Sears, Roebuck & Co. building) is a buzzing hub of retail, office, warehousing, and manufacturing activities. Each day, thousands of Seattleites drive by the iconic building, now home to one of the world’s most iconic brands. And behind the scenes of this two million square-foot, 17-acre operation is Brandon, who prides himself on keeping the facility as beautiful as it has been for the past 100 years.
If there’s one rule to follow about how to treat people with disabilities it’s this: simply treat them the way you’d treat anyone else. At Northwest Center Kids, where children with and without disabilities share the same classrooms and playgrounds, kids naturally learn that we’re all more alike than we are different. Here are some great tips on sharing that same lesson with your kids:
When Tiago and Aviana were born two months prematurely, doctors told their parents that they would need to adjust expectations for the twins’ development. Developmental milestones including walking and speaking would likely develop on a different timeline than that of full term babies. Sitting for the average baby is usually around six to nine months. For Tiago and Aviana, it was much later.
On November 19, Evelyn Chapman, co-founder of Northwest Center, passed away. She was 80. It is with deep respect and honor that we express our sincere condolences to her family and to those that knew and loved her. Her legacy and dedication to those she served lives on in the work of Northwest Center and the lives of those with disabilities that she fought for. Evelyn and her late husband, John, an esteemed attorney, were always on hand to provide wise counsel to the management of NWC until recent years when health prevented them from doing so. We are grateful for their tutelage and guidance over the decades. We hope to honor Evelyn here by reposting this story of her legacy with Northwest Center.
It was 1971, and Chapman was on the phone with the latest in a string of Seattle school officials she’d had to fight for years, just trying to make it possible for kids with developmental disabilities, like her son Coolidge, to get an education.
“I was talking to the Superintendent of the Seattle Public Schools,” she remembers. “The Special Ed director was keeping out kids like Coolidge. So I called his boss. I was very frustrated. He had a million excuses: we don’t have any money, we don’t have any mandate from the state, and on and on. I was on my kitchen phone, and I just kicked a hole in the wall.”
Northwest Center is passionate about equal rights, anti-ableism, and full inclusion for people with disabilities. Thank you for reading.