Everywhere I go, I see discrimination against people with disabilities.
For example, when I was going to church once, there was this guy who had a hard time talking and was using a wheelchair that he could maneuver himself (not by spinning the wheels, but he can make it turn when he wants it to turn).
He motioned to some people to please open the door, but they looked disgusted and walked away. So I had to open the door, and to that he thanked me.
Another example is my brother, who has a rare condition called Tuberous Sclerosis. That means tubers–and tumors as well–grow in his brain and kidney and liver. There are also a few growths under his nail and on his cheek, but those don’t really pose problems. Anyways, for those who can’t access the link due to technological difficulties, the tubers and tumors that grow in his brain cause things such as seizures, developmental delays, and autism (yes, he is autistic as well). The tubers and tumors can also mean my brother can die suddenly anytime. The growths won’t cause a rock to crack my brother’s head open at once, but they can cause a fatal arrest or an attack.
Okay–actually, luckily, I haven’t witnessed discrimination personally against my brother. But I had a teacher, once, whose favorite words seemed to be:
She was actually pretty good at what she taught and I got good grades in her class, but I wasn’t comfortable with her as a person. She would call my class the retarded class. She would call people who didn’t know of Dolly Parton “stupid”. She would say that certain people were uhgg-ly behind their backs. So I got another adult from the school and she and I went to talk to this teacher about this and my brother who was disabled. The teacher basically denied everything and she said that she actually respected disabled people, because special needs was not something she could close her eyes to and many of her students did have special needs. So basically she won the whole thing and I lost.
I do not think that saying retarded every day is respecting peeps with special needs, even if she was referring to the “entire class” as retarded and was not pointing it at a specific person. From that point on, I was afraid someone would call my brother a retard and discriminate against him. It’s not the end of the world if someone did, but we could all use some respectful language and I am also quite paranoid.
More on the word retarded. One time, I heard some kid say to another kid, “You look like some ADD/Asperger’s retarded kid.”
There are people who think that ADHD and Asperger’s are disabilities that “dumb down victims” and I must say this is not true. People with ADHD can be extremely brilliant. Hey–look at these guys with ADHD!
- Whoopi Goldberg
- Walt Disney
- George Bernard Shaw
- Agatha Christie
- da Vinci
See some familiar names? They have done amazing things and they are not retarded.
Some of the same people with ADHD mentioned above also have/had Asperger’s.
- Jane Austen
- George Orwell
- Thomas Jefferson
- Jim Henson
- Susan Boyle
People with disabilities are just like you and me–they just have different needs, but then again, don’t we all?