In 2006, while on a family vacation, Gordon Hartman, a San Antonio home builder, went to a hotel swimming pool with his daughter, Morgan. She was born with physical and cognitive disabilities; at 12, she had the cognitive age of a young child. Other children were swimming as well, two of them throwing a ball. As Hartman tells it, Morgan slowly made her way to them, and not being verbal, hit the ball. The frightened children collected their ball and scrambled out of the pool.
Morgan turned to her dad. “I see her face going, ‘What is up? What? Why?’ ” said Hartman. He jumped in the water to play with her, musing on a conversation he and his wife, Maggie, had all the time: where can we take Morgan to have fun where she can feel comfortable?
When adults think of providing for a child with special needs, first on the …