Using a phenomenological approach to questions about empathy and stigma, this essay explores stories told by parents of children with disabilities. In a close reading of “Welcome to Holland,” an allegorical account of discovering that one’s child has Down syndrome, I explore the concepts of narrative alignment (and positionality) and the politics of recognition in narratives about disability. In addition, this autoethnographic account describes my own “empathic unsettlement” as a parent and as an ethnographer.

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