Based on Irma Penner's own true story, this FrederictonACL Board Member wrote and published the book:
THE RIGHT TO BELONG
The Story of Yvonne
"Yvonne belongs with us!” we firmly told the psychiatrist when he insisted that we place our two-year-old daughter in an institution. To us, Yvonne’s sudden regression meant that she needed us more than ever. We could not abandon her; we could not reject her.
At first we struggled on our own, there were no community supports. Then, together with other parents, we advocated for appropriate supports in the community for children who were labelled “severely mentally handicapped.”
We believed that Yvonne, and children like her, had a right to live at home, had a right to go to school, and had a right to participate in the life of the community. Our vision was shared and supported by some service providers and professionals, but others opposed our views and worked against us.
Yvonne’s story describes both the painful experiences and the joy that she, and we as her parents, encountered as we strove for her right to belong.
~ Author, Irma Penner