Friday, November 5, 2010

Waiting for Home

Richard Prangley was unjustly institutionalized for fifteen years. Yet he managed to become not only a productive citizen but also an effective advocate for the developmentally disabled.

In Waiting for Home, journalist John Schneider chronicles the compelling true story of Richard Prangley. Born prematurely, Richard exhibited delayed development and hyperactivity as a small child. His parents struggled to raise him along with their other 10 children, and they turned to the medical authorities for help.

Based on the diagnoses of two psychiatrists, Richard at age 6 was committed to the Coldwater State Home and Training School, an institution for physically and mentally disabled children. He was labeled retarded and his schooling and work experience were limited to manual labor.

When he was finally released at age 21, Prangley struggled with socialization as he learned to live on his own.

His life today, however, stands in sharp contrast to his early years. Through faith, hope, determination, and a constant yearning for independence, Prangley is self-supporting and works in the Office Services Division of the Michigan Department of Community Health. He is an effective advocate for the developmentally disabled and has been instrumental in creating a successful stand for the rights of the handicapped as a lobbyist in such places as the Michigan State Capitol and the White House.


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