barb moran
in the works

If Your Dreams...
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excerpts from the book.

By Michael Long (as told to Karl Williams)
Massey-Reyner, 1999

• $12.95
• s/h - $3.00

"The umbilical cord was wrapped around my throat, and I lost a lot of oxygen. There were 13 years of school, and I didn't enjoy 12-1/2 of them, because people were calling me 'retard.’"

"The first appointment of a person with a developmental disability by any state government in the United States was made by California’s Governor Pete Wilson in 1992 when he appointed Michael Long as the Consumer Coordinator at the Department of Developmental Services."

"Michael Long...has been a visionary pioneer forging dreams of a future where people with disabilities are living, working, learning and playing in communities that recognize the value of all people. He is an outspoken, courageous leader and ‘hero’ in the Self Advocacy movement...He has experienced the darkest side of discrimination yet he carries no malice. I have personally witnessed the transformation in others when they have been 'touched' by Michael—he is a unique and generous human being."
—Laura L. Larson, Executive Director, State of California Developmental Disabilities Board

"Michael Long tells the truth in this book. And truth about what it means to be a human being is hard to come by."
—Nancy Thaler, Deputy Secretary for Mental Retardation, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

"...Long's story is deceptively candid and truly intriguing. Clinically, Long has mild cerebral palsy and mental retardation arising from difficulties during his birth. Reading his life story in his words--getting inside his head in a sense--is an eye-opening experience. His story is not terrifically unique or absurd, which is part of the book's charm: the "fact" of his disability did not stand in the way of his dreams, nor should the reader's "disabilities," whether physical, mental or emotional, prevent them from fulfilling their own dreams. The book is honest and forthright. Long's goal with the book is to pass along his sense of confidence and fortitude, and remind readers that no matter how insurmountable their problems may seem, nothing is impossible. Long eventually became the first person with a developmental disability to be appointed to a government office by a state governor..."
— TODAY'S LIBRARIAN, September, 2000, Copyright © 2000 by Virgo Publishing, Inc.

"...Rating: Excellent!...Michael Long is the success story, If Your Dreams... is simply his way of sharing it with the world. In his words, as told to Karl Williams, "We are people just like you." Despite cerebral palsy and mental retardation inflicted at birth, Michael is living his own American Dream, but he also inspires us all to follow our own dreams. The title portrays his message; the book illustrates it and gives us inspiration.
Michael's parents fought through 13 years of schooling to keep him "mainstreamed" long before the term was ever thought of. Michael was not limited to special education classes, but neither was was limited to exposure to teasing, taunting and ridicule. Fellow students were often heartless and cruel and many a teacher lacked insight and told him that he would never lead a normal life.
Michael is a wise man and does not recall his past in order to place blame for his pain, but rather, he is hoping to open the eyes of educators today, to the desperate importance of their roles in the lives of their students. Michael is a motivational speaker to thousands of people, and now his words are being read and touching the lives of many more. This is a must read for every educator and for every person who has ever felt that their dreams were unreachable."
— Reviewed by: Heather Froeschl for BookReview.com