Thursday, October 25, 2007

Marlee Matlin's Mom-- On Raising an Empowered Child

On Sunday, October 7th, I headed down to Nashville for the "Investing in Family Support" conference. I met up with Libby and Don Matlin, (Marlee Matlin's parents) and joined them for dinner. Libby was scheduled as the keynote speaker the following day.

The conference opened with a panel of parents and professionals lead by Leeanne Seaver from Hands & Voices, titled "Issues Worth Raising: Parents & Professionals Speak Out." I participated on the panel and one of things I shared was this: I've learned that professional opinions are just that--opinions. I've learned that I could take those opinions and use them as I saw fit, rather than having those opinions direct my decisions as a parent.

The next day, Libby spoke about "Raising an Empowered Child." Her message was a simple one: love your child. Libby spoke about parent support, noting that today's parents have access to a variety of information, choices and unbiased support via organizations like Hands & Voices. Back then, information was harder to come by and parents were often limited to the information given by the professionals in their area. Libby recalled that she and Don attended regular meetings where they could meet other parents and obtain face-to-face support, something that today's parents may find harder to do with both parents working.

After the presentation, we gathered with Libby and Don for a picture. From left to right: Karen Putz, Janet DesGeorges, Libby, Don and Leeanne Seaver. Janet is holding a copy of "Marlee Matlin, What My Parents Understood."


Kim said...

Thanks for sharing! It must be empowering for you meeting the awesome parents and learn from them. Opinions does not mean the final answer, fact or truth.. it's same with Theory.
if you happen to have more notes, I would love to read. Thanks! Kim

Stephen Hopson said...


Very interesting! I'll bet Marlee's mom was an engaging speaker who spoke from the heart.

Nice photo of you and everyone else!

Anonymous said...

I am in awe... YOU had dinner with MARLEE MATLIN'S folks... WOW!