Affectionate slang for a person of French
nationality. My husband self-identifies with
this label. Condition which predisposes our
children to bilingualism, biculturalism, dual
nationality and related disorders.
Troubles Envahissants du Développement
French for Individual with Developmental
Disabilites. One of my son’s labels. The others
are Autistique and Epileptique.
T.E.D. is also the acronym used here for
Travel in Europe Differently
Frog & TED was inspired by the title of a beloved children’s book. When my children were very young, the series Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel were among their favorite books. In each story the two friends are faced with a simple dilemma which Frog approaches differently from Toad. Friendship triumphs as wise Frog eases uncertain Toad through his frustrations. These tales show the better side of human nature and encourage its readers to act on behalf of others. Toad is dependent on Frog’s friendship just as our now adult son is still dependent on others.
What is the motivation for this guide ?
Frog & Ted celebrates cultural diversity and neurodiversity. It aims to foster awareness and acceptance. Once in the United States, someone asked us incredulously “There is autism in France? ” We often hear similar questions about everything from European attitudes towards people who are differently-abled to how does my son handle jetlag with our frequent travel. The first article Welcome to Holland in France is my personal perspective. Future articles will be specifically about cultural institutions making accommodations to include visitors of all abilities and our experience as we explore them. Exposure to culture is a means towards social integration. The Arts allow everyone to see beyond their own limitations whatever those may be.
What can you expect to find in Frog & TED?
This is the guide I wish I had as a young mother. It is my silver linings playlist where you will hear about accessibility and inclusion initiatives at museums, theaters, concert halls and other cultural venues. Read it to learn some practical tips and “handi-phrases” in French that will enable you to discover France’s rich cultural heritage. Browse its pages to meet some extraordinary people who, via the Arts, significantly improve the quality of life in France for those with intellectual and/or physical handicaps. I will share stories of the different ways we explore artistic treasures in unusual places – beyond the well-known monuments – and invite you to do the same by posting comments or asking questions here.
The articles in Frog & Ted highlight the “leaps” towards integrating people of different abilities in the city of light.
Vive la Difference !