February 23, 2009
He was 5 years old, not much more than 3 feet tall - and he could not walk. As a ward of the state, he had spent most of his years as a bedridden patient. The state transferred him from a metropolitan facility to one that was adjacent to a special education school. In a wheelchair, he could participate in most activities except those that required mobility in his legs. After months of therapy, several members of the special-education staff decided he would learn to walk. Entering the school one fall afternoon, I heard an inordinate amount of noise in one of the corridors.