- Posted September 21, 2013 by
INNERview: Mommy, I Wish I Could Tell You
INNERview with Richard Stripp on HAVE YA HEARD
For his entire life, the man affectionately known as “Mr. Rick” has been selflessly giving his all to help others. His empathy, understanding, and compassion have combined with his natural ability to make people smile to form the perfect mix of tools for him to use toward his goal of making this world a better place. He has endured many hardships in his life, and while some might use them as a crutch, Mr. Rick has used them as motivation. Over the last decade, Mr. Rick has turned his efforts toward helping children with disabilities. After many years, he is now writing this emotional and educational book in an attempt to use his experiences as both a precautionary tale and a guideline for the future. “Mommy, I Wish I Could Tell You What They Did to Me in School Today” has enabled Mr. Rick to become a voice for the voiceless. He has already touched, changed, and helped so many lives; through this book, he hopes to continue to do so.
YVONNE PIERRE: In summary, what is your book, “Mommy, I wish I could tell you what they did to me in school today” about?
RICHARD STRIPP: I think my son, Rick, Jr., who wrote the synopsis that appears on the back cover of the book answers this question best. He summarized the book this way: “Mommy, I Wish I Could Tell You What They Did To Me In School Today” is a glimpse into the minds of 10 different children with varying disabilities through the eyes of one of their closest friends. The author has worked directly with these children and because most of them can’t speak for themselves, he has given us an idea of what they might possibly say. All of the scenarios discussed in this book are based on actual events. While some of it may be disturbing, the hope is that the reader will learn what can occur in an effort to make things better in the future. This one-of-a-kind book is a must-read for anyone socially, emotionally, or professionally linked to any special needs person.
YVONNE: How did the idea to write this book come to you?
RICHARD: After nearly a decade of working in schools that service special needs children and witnessing and reporting far too many cases of bullying, abuse and neglect at the hands of staff, I felt this book was a necessity. Non-verbal students seemed to be targeted more often than the individuals who could speak.
Reporting these atrocities to both school administrators and to state authorities didn’t prevent them from re-occurring. Many parents were completely unaware of what was happening to their children while at school. I felt it was necessary for someone to speak for those who couldn’t speak for themselves. In the book, I attempt to pull away the veil of secrecy that surrounds far too many classrooms. The public must be made aware of what can and does happen to these innocent children. More must be done to protect them.
YVONNE: There are ten characters in the book. What are the diagnoses of these characters?
RICHARD: The ten children characters that are portrayed in this book are based on students that I have interacted with and/or worked with directly. The majority of them attended a school that serviced students with varying disabilities. Some of the children had multiple diagnoses. I worked with students with developmental delays, both physical and cognitive, autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, angelman syndrome, PANDAS, mitochondrial disease, epilepsy, spina bifida, and numerous other medical conditions.
Read this INNERview in it's entirety at http://hyhonline.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/mommy-i-wish-i-could-tell-you