I want to let you know how much I enjoyed Dream Catcher. Stan’s story is so important, a story for our time, in helping us to see how essential it is that each child is accepted, included, and embraced in society and what they have to offer. Stan was fortunate that he had family and friends who fought for this and who believed in him. Thank you for writing this book, for sharing the gift of your family’s experience — the gift of Stan’s story. It is so perfectly titled.
Back in the eighties, I volunteered at a church for what was called Saturday School for adults with Down’s syndrome and autism and other cognitive challenges. Class was usually followed by a church service that these beautiful people themselves led and conducted. I thought they were pretty amazing. They understood alot more than what we often gave them credit for. I sometimes wondered what they were doing in a class all by themselves and had alot of mixed feelings about it. It seemed that the class was more for the “benefit” of others who didn’t want these people mainstreamed, aside from the “once a year” services when they were actually included. I remember thinking that this is how it should be every Sunday.
I used to be in total amazement of a little girl at one of the schools I used to substitute teach in. She was about seven and blind and was allowed to be in a regular classroom. Do you know that little girl could type word for word a whole story that I would read to her? She would type as I spoke. I would wait between sentences, but she let me know in no uncertain terms that I didn’t need to wait for her to “catch up”. She was always one step ahead of me.
The other side of that coin are schools who group all “special needs” or cognitively impaired children together, shut up in a classroom by themselves with no interaction with other children, even for lunch. I realize the challenges but there’s something wrong with this. It seems that all it does is foster and reinforce old stereotypes. Both sides lose.
Some years ago I suffered neurological symptoms that affected my speech and mobility. My entire life was flung upside-down in a matter of moments. I was pretty much homebound for sometime afterwards and I will never forget the intense pain of the isolation I felt. But many of these children endure isolation even into adulthood for all their lives.
When friends at my current church asked for help for the Buddy Walk (for Down’s children), I volunteered. They have a son with Down’s and had been involved with organizing the walk for several years. It was very rewarding to be involved with an organization that promotes inclusion of these children and interaction with them. We live in a society that loves and worships what is “normal” (if even that can be defined), a society that often doesn’t have the time or capacity to cope with people on a personal level out of the ordinary “stream” of life.
Your book offers hope by standing strong against stubborn stereotypes. I heartily recommend it to every parent and teacher. It should be in every educator’s library. Thank you, Yvonne, for investing in writing this book. I believe it will be a strong voice for acceptance as more and more people are inspired by it.
Wishing you continued success!
“This is a true story written by a prolific author, about her own younger brother who suffered Encephalitis when he was not more than a newborn. It entails his strength of personality and will to overcome an illness which left him with a so-called, mental handicap as well as physical.
I was filled with admiration for this man, Stanley Robinson and by the time I finished reading, I was in awe. I would recommend reading to anyone but for those who have known or had a person like Stanley in their lives, it will tug your heartstrings. At the least it is a lesson to the rest of the world…Souls come wrapped up in many different packages..all are a wonderful gift.”
This review was written by Sandy
Dream Catcher by Yvonne Mason
A story of triumph, love, persistence, endurance and more
There is no such thing as a child who cannot learn. There is no reason why anyone should be shunned or considered an outcast because he or she is challenged academically or in any other way. But, for a child to succeed he or she needs the support, guidance and love of a family. In this story you will meet a remarkable and unique family who not only proved the unimaginable and the unthinkable about a special young man, but engaged the help and love of friends too. Born with a serious illness, Yvonne Mason’s brother Stan proved beyond a shadow of doubt that he was going to show the world that he is here and that he will definitely succeed.
Not able to speak, not able to walk, and not able to do the things that other kids could do at first, he taught himself how to maneuver and crawl when faced with a challenge before the age of one. Born with 2 clubfeet and faced with wearing heavy plaster casts on his feet, Stan, Yvonne’s brother learned to overcome this and managed to move around. But, that is not all, with the help of his brother Barry, sister Yvonne and lots of friends and cousins he managed to learn to walk, take care of his own physical needs, attend school, graduate, help play practical jokes with his sister and cousins, take a bus to his Work Training Program and much more. But, what he had to learn after all of this is not much different from what we had to learn: Lessons of Life and Lessons of bigotry and prejudice not only toward people of different color or races but toward people who are different. Stan learned that not everyone is who he or she appears to be. Stan soon learns people can be cruel and underhanded. People take advantage of you when they think you are less knowledgeable than them. This holds for everyone, not just Stan.
His love of bowling, the first time he went to an Atlanta Braves game and his courage to forge ahead against all adversity makes you wonder why young people today give up so fast and try and take the easy way out.
Stan is truly a person to be admired. Nominated for the Toby Nobis award, which recognizes business, and employees who are challenged helped to give him a sense of pride but to his family too. Although he did not win this did not deter him. This was a man who was not supposed to be able “to do the simple things in life. How amazing the brain works,” as the author puts aptly puts it. Where others would whine and complain when Stan was faced with a problem he would handle it head on.
Flying by himself, dealing with a broken television set and adversity at work, he is truly an inspiration for all those who take defeat so easily and readily. Imagine trying to explain to someone the difference between 9-pin bowling and the regular method. As a bowler I do know the difference and when Yvonne describes the incident where Stan was trying to explain why he and his knew friend Lisa changed to a different bowling alley I remembered my brother trying to teach me to bowl without toppling over and throwing my arm cross alley. This story brought back some great memories. But, some lessons are difficult to learn and this time when Lisa proved herself to be a user and conniver his mother stepped in and thwarted Lisa’s scam. Others do not only learn by those who are challenged but these lessons of life too. You can never be too careful when it comes to lending money to a friend, especially when it appears that money is a primary reason for the friendship.
With their Abbot and Costello routines and their many funny high jinks Yvonne, Stan her mother and her family learned that you could do anything if you want to and don’t ever give up.
Everyone looks up to their parents and wants to emulate or follow in their footsteps. Stan loved his father and spending quality time with him and imitating some of his mannerisms and daily routines cemented their bond even more.
You need to read the last chapter written by Yvonne’s mother and presented at West Georgia for everyone to hear. Yvonne’s mother is truly amazing and someone who did what most mother’s should do but might not have the wherewithal or the stamina to do: SHE WOULD NOT ACCEPT FAILURE AS AN OPTION!
Stan is an example of what people must do in order to be happy. He accepted who he is and what his limitations and capabilities are. He would not blame the world for his problems and accepts people for who they are not bigoted or prejudice or hurtful to anyone.
Stan: I have a nephew that was born deaf. No one knew this until he was about a year old. The doctors told his mother and father he would never stand, sit up, walk, and drive a car or more. Then, he entered Lexington School for the Deaf and his mother and father would not let this diagnosis hamper him. He is now the father of a beautiful little girl and a web designer for a major hotel chain and more. Never give up on who you are. Never think that just because a doctor says it that it is written in stone.
Your influence on others will remain in their hearts and mind just by reading your story now and forever. Educators need to follow the example of those who cared enough about Stan and her caring enough to help him learn to read, speak and more. For those educators who teach Special Education you need to remember that kids learn at their own pace and as with Stan they will often surprise you and overcome insurmountable odds. Never give up and never say never.
You need to read this book and give it to every educator, doctor and parent to know that knowledge if powerful and love and family can help you through anything. Stan’s life is message to all of us that everyone can succeed no matter what if they want to.
This book deserves more than just five stars. Fran Lewis: reviewer
Dream Catcher Failure was Never An Option is number 5 on the best seller list for Kindle under siblings. I now have three of my books on the best seller list. Check it out. Dream Catcher is a book to live by.
As a published author and the sister of a challenged sibling who was born during the early 1050’s when there were no resources and most if not all of the challenged were placed in institutions and forgotten or put in the back room of a family’s home and forgotten Daniel Task’s book DMR hit me between the eyes.
My sibling was blessed with a family and a support group who loved him and encouraged him to succeed at a time when success was not an option. However, during the course of my lifetime, I have seen challenged indiviuals who were not so blessed.
DMR brings that home to roost. Daniel takes his reader into the minds of these beautifully different people who only want acceptence as we all do.One of his characters by the name of Stanley( which is also my sibling’s name who is challenged) only wants love, and respect. It is clearly indicated that he had been abused by care givers at one time because he was different. Sean the current caregiver appears to get great delight in Stanley reliving the horror of that abuse.
Juilian a lost soul in a trapped mind. Daniel shows us how our ignorance or stupidty of accepting the challenged affects those who are challenged in his dealings with Juilian. Juilian a kind soul who always has a smile who is much smarter than he is given credit for. This is shown the day John forces him to get up to get ready for work. Juilian knew he was not supposed to go to work that day. But, John didn’t.
The moral is we as “normal” people think and really believe the challenged are stupid and don’t have any sense at all.
The reality is they are sometimes much smarter than we are.
The poignant love of Ralph and Rose pulled at my heart. This is so true with the challenged. They want to have normal relationships w ith the opposite sex. They want someone who loves them unconditionally. The want what we have. Some would say that is wrong. My question is why? That is for you the reader to decide.
Daniel takes the reader into places they really don’t want to go. Maybe it is fear, maybe it is the fact that we refuse to believe that the challenged are just like the rest of us with wants, needs, desires and goals and dreams. Maybe we don’t want to believe that simply because un our own way each of us are also challenged and often fall very short of our wants dreams goals and desires. We fear that which we don’t understand. Daniel Trask has broken down that door of fear. He has made each of us face our own demons by facing those of the characters of DMR.
This book should be in the hands of every teacher, social worker and judge. This book should be required reading for every person who goes into the special education field either as a teacher or social worker.
Daniel Trask has captured the essence of the challenged and prejiduce facing them.
This book is a must read.