Laura San Giacomo on Trying to Change the Way Parents View Disability

Season 6 Episode 601
Aired on 04/30/2016 | CC tv-14
Laura San Giacomo is known best for her roles in the hit '90s film Pretty Women and NBC's Just Shoot Me!. Away from the set, the actress is helping to change how people view disability in children.

In 1996, Laura's son, Mason, was born with a cerebral palsy, which created challenges for his physical and verbal development. Laura was inspired by Mason to work with children who have special needs. "Disability is natural," Laura tells Oprah: Where Are They Now? "It always been. It always will be. It's part of the world, and it's part of life."

Laura works closely with a school called the CHIME Institute, which caters to teaching children of all comprehension levels under one roof. Today, she's hoping that parents have a chance to start viewing disability in a different light. "We don't have a really constructive or positive view of disability really around the world. But what would happen if the doctor said to you, instead of these ridiculously heartbreaking predictions—which are so often not true—why don't they say to you, 'Look, this is the greatest gift you're going to be given. This is the chance for you to become smarter and more inventive than you ever thought you would be. You are being called to the biggest plate of your life,'" she says.

"Let's acknowledge your gift, and now let's get to work."

Tune in for Oprah: Where Are They Now? Saturday, April 30 at 10/9c.