A Vision for Abby

Produced in 2012 (Run time 4:50)


LuAnn Loy: I just wanted Abby to be treated with the utmost respect, given the opportunity to live a life that was full and had meaning and be able to give back to a world that she lived in.

Mike Loy: Abby is a remarkable young woman, who over the years has never ceased to amaze us in terms of the things that she's achieved.

LuAnn Loy: Abby isn't a Down syndrome adult; she's an adult who happens to have Down syndrome. We had been told that Abby would go to a school in a neighboring town, and we didn't want that for her. We bought our home in Brighton because they have exemplary schools, and that's where we wanted her to go to school.

Mike Loy: I think early on some of the obstacles were teachers and administrators that didn't have the same vision that LuAnn and I had. It was quite a process to work with them and to encourage them to see the same things and the same potential that we saw in Abby.

LuAnn Loy: The challenges were like the upfront work because a lot of people if you just caught them off guard and said, I would like to have my daughter attend your Montessori school, their knee jerk reaction was, No. We started ahead of time a-year-and-a-half or two years before and kind of let people know what was going on, introduced Abby ahead of time, give them an opportunity to get a feel for what she really was about and what she could bring into the school or preschool or whatever it was.

Mike Loy: This goal of inclusion, having her in the regular classroom with her same-age peer students and not segregated her into a special ed room.

LuAnn Loy: A typical day would be she works at the preschool from about 9:30 to 11:15.

Abby Loy: I love preschool a lot. I like over there is kids having fun and just [Inaudible] in your life.

Lisa Guise: She's actually assisting like she really has a role. And so I think it's given her encouragement to see that she can do things independently. She gets delighted to see the children and that she's giving back.

LuAnn Loy: She will continue to work at preschool, just kind of continue what any typical person at 20 would do. Maybe have a part-time job and go to school. She has two hours with her tutor working on reading comprehension skills and writing and math. She has two hours there, and then she takes two dance classes at Washtenaw Community College. One of them is dance exercise and the other one is hip hop.

Abby Loy: Well, I like to dance. It's really about like your life. Dancing has to be like my passion.

Laurice Anderson: Really, with Abby there is no difference from any of the other students. In someways Abby is more focused. Comes to class sometimes more ready than a lot of my students. Abby really has a gift for dance. She has an intuitive sense of rhythm, those things that you can't teach, Abby has naturally. I think it's a wonderful thing to have her in class. I think it's wonderful for her, and it's wonderful for the rest of the students.

LuAnn Loy: We come home, make dinner. Sometimes we walk the dog. Sometimes we'll play Wii. We just kind of have a typical evening. I think it's really important for parents and teachers to view people with disabilities as people first. Learn to understand your child, learn to appreciate what they value and what their interests are. And don't give up. Help them to see themselves as a valuable member of society. Give them opportunities to grow. This was our goal for her to be educated in the regular classroom with supports that were needed, whatever those were. And to help her be the best that she could be, which is what we want for all of our children.

For more information visit the DDI web site at http://ddi.wayne.edu