On Learning That My Brain is Shrinking

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF I was quick to process and accept the news that my marinated tofu was shrinking. Doing crossword puzzles, listening to Mahler and navigating cornfield mazes was not going to curtail the shrinkage. My boat was dirty. It was the weekend; I would clean it. The plan was a “no brainer,” and I was soon to learn that the expression “no brainer” was an accurate description. Apparently it […]


On Catching the Number 7 Bus Home

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF The tale of Gertie and Gail serves to emphasize the fundamental tenet of caring for and about individuals with dementia, and that is to “live in their world.” Following family tradition, England’s Prince Charles, the Duke of Wales, served in the Royal Navy. He served on an array of ships including guided missile destroyers, frigates, mine hunters and aircraft carriers. Young English schoolboys looked up to him […]


On Coming Out of the Oven Too Soon

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF In the 1920’s, babies like Lucille faced almost certain demise. Lucille did not escape the inevitable and she passed away… but not until she celebrated her 96th birthday. Lucille died earlier this year after living a very meaningful life. In the late 1930’s American songwriter Johnny Mercer wrote a classic tune that had the entire nation singing, You must’ve been a beautiful baby You must’ve been a […]


The Case of the 125-Pound, Drooling, Snoring, Gassy, Loud and Silly Girl

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Most journal case presentations provide building blocks of information. After the initial description, they proceed with the results of diagnostic tests that were ordered. In 1792, British physician Dr. John Howard advised his colleagues, “The examination of a patient should be made by a medical gentleman of the hospital, with the patient before him, his notes to be corrected by himself… and if  anything extraordinary or worthy […]


Honoris Causa

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF If my work in the disability arena over the last 20 odd years is deserving of an honorary doctorate from this respected medical-dental university, the honor belongs to the disability community. My stock has just risen to new heights. I now have something in common with the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet; Nelson Mandela, the leader of the movement that defeated apartheid in South Africa; […]


In and Out of the Lines

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF People, like crayons, come in a vast array of colors; but each one contributes to our collective palette. Stephanie Botswich had a particularly stressful day at work. Traffic was horrendous. Paperwork was time sensitive. Emails were haunting. Meetings ware laborious. Lunch was at a drive-thru. Colleagues were indifferent. Her desktop was indignant. By the time she made it home, she was frazzled. Having been through this familiar […]


Word Count

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF I think readers of this magazine would nominate two words that would give “cellar door,” and “tremulous,” a run for their money. They certainly convey “comfort and the deepness of human relationships.” They are “exceptional” and “parent.” Not sure how many I used since I woke up this morning; but I just used 19 of them. I know because I counted them. That is one thing you […]


Smarty Pants

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Exceptional Parents have always worn “exceptional clothes” and have created an awareness, a movement and a culture that will surely outlast any battery-operated “smart device.” It seems like we are surrounded, seduced and immersed with “smart” things. These days, there are “smart phones,” “smart cars,” “smart watches,” “smart homes,” “smart environments,” and even “smart clothes”! Obviously, all of these devices were imagined, designed and built by smart […]



ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF If Pac-Man is indeed the unofficial game of exceptional parents, then the battle cry of their movement will always be “paku-paku;” as they munch and gobble up anyone who stands in the way of inclusion, acceptance and respect. Rick Riordan is an American novelist who hit it big with his 2005 novel The Lightning Thief, the first installment in the five volume Percy Jackson series. Riordan came […]


The Ghosts of Forest Haven

ANCORA IMPARO BY DAVID ERVIN ■ GUEST COLUMNIST In the 21st Century, only 15 States in the U.S. are institution free. Meaningful self-determination for people who happen to have disabilities remains elusive. My career is littered with most extraordinary examples of the best luck imaginable. Several months before graduating with what I firmly believed to be an extraordinarily impressive undergraduate degree in Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University, I’d made the fateful decision that I […]