Slurs: I grew up in a world that was well acquainted with religious slurs, but not the “r” word. Perhaps because in the 1950’s and early 60’s, the world focused on communist threats and racial and religious inequities, leaving the problems of the intellectually challenged for the most part, out of the news. My early childhood movie matinees were love stories and westerns or a combination of the two (Calamity Jane) and later in adolescence and early adulthood, cutting edge Bergman films such as Scenes From A Marriage or the iconic The Graduate. I had no idea that it became cool to call someone a retard until I was a middle aged woman.
Get outta here: No, it’s true. When I started viewing films of the last decades, and I heard and saw the “R” word thrown around, frankly I was appalled. As a kid, being called a “big jerk” by my sister was as outrageous as it got in intellectual insults.
Spread The Word To End The Word: Today a friend introduced me to this website and I am forwarding it to you: http://www.r-word.org/ There is no room in a decent world for such despicable cruelty, especially towards folks who are fighting for their dignity, whether it be religious, racial, sexual or intellectual. Check out the video below and thank you dear blogger guy for giving me another tool to emphasize the grace and beauty of the special needs world.
Percy’s Place: On another note, our daughter called at 9 P.M. last night to refer us to a breakfast place in Hyannis. A chip off her dad’s block, she provided a blow-by-blow of what she had for breakfast on Saturday (part of their Saturday School, where they learn travel training, proper restaurant decorum, something she needed no training in, as well as the financial negotiations of cost, budget and tip). What impressed me was that she knew exactly where this restaurant was located (“across from the Hyannis Transportation Center”). Living off campus for the last ten months has done wonders, as I have mentioned before, for her travel sense, location awareness and general orientation to community. She not only knows how to get around college campuses but she can direct you to the best darn waffles on Cape Cod. Great prep for the next big step.
©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2011