Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm Prejudiced. And So Are You.


*Long Post Alert!  And as always, thanks for allowing/putting up with the occasional ad.  


A couple months ago I took the girls to get PSP registered at her new school.  As I sat in line my mind started wandering... and I thought about PSP's new teacher.  I wondered if we'd get to request a teacher or have one assigned to us.  For some reason the thought came into my head, What if her new teacher were in a wheelchair?  And my instant, gut reaction was:  Oh no... I don't want her teacher to be in a  wheelchair.  To be very clear, this was not because I was worried if this hypothetical teacher would be able to preform her job functions correctly, this was because the thought of a wheelchair made me uncomfortable.  

And about a half second later I thought, Did I just think that?  How could I think that?  Me out of all people.  Me, who has a daughter with physical handicaps, a daughter who also has a powerchair.  How could I, the mother of such an amazing daughter, the one who hosts a special needs spotlight on her blog, with the very direct effort of spreading the message of love and acceptance, think such a horrible thought?

Well, the answer is easy.  I'm prejudiced.  And I'm pretty sure you are too.

Of course, given a few minutes of thinking through it I knew I would have over-ridden my immediate reaction.  In the long run, I know I would have been totally cool with and probably even really excited about the prospect of PSP having a teacher in a wheelchair.  Regardless, my first instinct was No, I wouldn't want that, and I've been thinking a lot about that reaction ever since. 

However, that's not even the worst of it.  I met a woman a few months ago who also has a limb difference.  Just one arm affected.  As we stood there talking, about limb differences--about her and my daughter--I realized I was a little uncomfortable.... with her difference.  While I no longer feel this way about her difference--in fact I think she's a wonderful person and I look forward to each and every time I see her--that slight discomfort was there.  Even if just for a few minutes.  This isn't the first time I've written about coming to terms with my prejudices, but I wrote about it in the past tense... like I used to have them.  Now I'm facing the fact that I still have them.  
  

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Part 1.  Thoughts about where these prejudices came from.  

As much as I hate to admit it, I have some prejudices and these prejudices are embedded deep inside, starting from a very young age.  I remember once being at a swimming pool as a kid and seeing an older boy with Down Syndrome splashing around wildly, angrily.  No one would go near him and the lifeguards and his parents were trying to get him out of the pool.  He was large and as a kid I remember his presence and size seemed menacing.  I don't remember entire conversations but I remember snippets about him holding a kid under water and that his parents were brother and sister and that's why he was 'retarded.'  When kids hear lies like that, it takes a while to unravel that lie from your brain.  It was probably years before I understood that's not what makes someone 'retarded.'  (ps Ann Coulter is boiling my blood right now and I'm sorry for each and every time I ever used that word...and especially when I tried to justify it.   

In general I would say most of my interactions with people who have special needs were probably during my school years.  And when I say interactions I mean, looking at and noticing from a distance.  I didn't really interact too much.  In my defense, I don't think I had much opportunity.  A while ago I was chatting with a friend of mine who used to teach special ed.  I remember her making the comment that my daughter was lucky because I was going to be a hip mom that would dress her daughter in cute clothes and take good care of her.  I remember her saying something like, Because when you dress a special needs kid in dirty sweats everyday, it just doesn't help the stereotypes.  And I thought...By George, she's right.  When I think about the special ed. kids I saw at school I remember so many of them being dressed similarly.  And for some reason in my mind, I associated that with being poor.  And in my mind, in placed I never really knew existed, I think I have somewhat associated people with special needs coming from low income families.  Poor people.  As if that mattered, but there it is.  And again, in the back of my mind, in a place that I don't want to admit exists, I might have connected low income with low education, low health care and perhaps that had something to do with their special needs family members.  I have tears in my eyes for typing that sentence.  

I can remember many of these kids names from my childhood days and I bet you can too.  There was Jason, who had some type of intellectual disabilities, but not Down Syndrome.  There was Adam, who also was affected mentally but actually had some friends in the 'cool kids' crowd although sometimes I couldn't tell if they were laughing at him or with him.  There was also Emma.  A girl I went to church with who I was kind to on the surface (mostly) but in and out of church my interest in really being her friend was nonexistent.  And behind her back we made fun of her quite a bit.  And there were countless other kids I saw in hallways with teachers pushing them in wheelchairs, slobber running down their chins and hands curled up by their faces.  I can't say that I knew them or took the time to get to know them, but they were there.  Socially it's harder to connect with those who have mental limitations--especially as a teenager.  And of course those kids went to different classes, so truly my ability to interact with most of them was limited.  Yet those who I did interact with, like Emma, I could have and should have been better, kinder and more loving.   To be fair, I was not and am not some sort of heartless monster.  I definitely have an innate compassion and love for people--the two ideas are not mutually exclusive.  

Finally, different is different.  And sometimes, as much as we like to think we're open-minded and unafraid we can really be shaken, disturbed, quieted, uncomfortable and simply ignorant of those who are different.  I remember what it was like knowing I was going to give birth to a baby who would look different from anyone I had ever known.  I was worried that my immediate reaction would be one of hesitancy and not love.  It wasn't.  I loved that little babe with my whole heart and loved on those limbs the way any mother does with her babies.  But the worry was there because I was not familiar with different.  I was scared of different.    



Part 2.  Why am I telling you this?  

A big part of my decision to host a special needs spotlight was because I wanted other people to see children with special needs the way we, their parents, see them.  We love the same way we love our other kids, or the way you love your typical kids.  We are grateful to be their parents.  There is love, light, joy and laughter.  But what I realized is that just because I am a special needs mom, I certainly don't have all the answers.  The spotlights open my eyes as well, they are informative and educational for me.  The spotlights have helped me know how to talk to other parents of children with special needs.  Being 'in the club' has not made me an expert.  

And clearly, I still have prejudices. 

Socially speaking, the very idea of having any form of prejudice makes you a bad person.  You cannot and do not admit to having them.  It's more than just taboo.  So if I can admit to you my prejudices--me, the mother of a daughter with special needs--then you can feel more at ease in admitting your prejudices.  Which I hope will lead to self-reflection and perhaps a change in attitude and ultimately behavior.  It's the ol' now you know and knowing is half the battle mentality.  I wasn't really ready to admit to my prejudices until the teacher/wheelchair incident--and not admitting it was basically not knowing.  Now that I know and have reflected and thought about it I can do and be better. 

To be clear, there are different kinds of prejudice.  There is ignorant prejudice, and there is hateful prejudice.  I think few of us fall under the hateful category.  But just because a lot of prejudice doesn't lead to hate and deplorable acts of violence and intolerance, prejudice even in it's most naive forms isn't good.  Prejudice can lead to avoiding people and their families.  Prejudice can lead to unkind thoughts and actions--ignoring, bullying, teasing.  Prejudice can lead to exclusion, fear and name calling.  Prejudice can lead to people not getting hired for jobs.  And yes even naive prejudice can eventually lead to violence.  

One of my readers posted a video a while ago about a woman, Cerrie Burnell, who hosts a children's television show in the UK and who happens to have a limb difference--missing the lower part of her right arm.  I couldn't find the original video but you can watch a similar interview here or read this article here.   Anyway, when she first appeared on this show many parents wrote in, expressing their frustration and anger that she would be allowed to host a TV for children.  My daughter is scared, people wrote.  How do we explain this to our kids? others said.  I was actually quite horrified at this response, because this could be a reflection of my daughter's future.  Well in this interview, the host Carrie was asked if she was surprised by the response.  She said no.  She wasn't surprised.  She said this is quite typical of the prejudice that people with disabilities face every day.  I was sort of stunned by her answer.  She was absolutely not surprised one bit people felt this way about her.  However she was happy for the dialogue it opened and said that it's a problem that people with disabilities face everyday, but one that people are reluctant to talk about.   




Part 3.  What can we do?  

My first answer, is I don't know.  This blog post is only going to do so much.  Like "drop, in a drop, in a drop of a bucket" so much.  But it's something.  My hope is that anyone who reads it will seriously consider the prejudices they have.  Please think about them.  I don't care how liberal, open-minded you are...somewhere you have them.  Perhaps you are uncomfortable with people of a different race, a different social class, people who are overweight or as discussed people with disabilities.  Once acknowledged, the next step is to think about the extent to which those prejudices affect your thoughts and actions...and then think about how you can change them.  For me I can honestly say that self-reflection has helped a lot.  Once I recognized my feelings for what they were, and then asked myself Why are you feeling this way?  What is making you uncomfortable?   I was able to move past these apprehensions.  I mean I doubt I'm cured forever, but I really do feel better about myself, other people and why I was thinking those thoughts and feeling those emotions in the first place.  And now I know I have the guts to face them should they come up again.  

Another BIG thing, that is almost always pointed out in the special needs spotlight is to talk to your kids about people who are different.   Especially if they see another child with special needs.  Do not, I repeat DO NOT, shush your child and rush them away.  That confirms their fears that something is wrong, when it's not.  That tells a child that they are not to concern themselves with people who are different.  Open a dialogue and let your child ask their questions.       

I told you this was long.  Anyway, I don't have a tidy little closing for this whole thing, but I hope it's been helpful.  I hope it was meaningful to someone out there.  Feel free to share your thoughts and feelings on the subject.  Although I've never really had this problem, I just ask you to please be kind in your comments.  

So that's it.  I'm prejudiced and so are you.  Let's talk.

Hugs, 
Miggy





38 comments:

  1. woah. what a raw, honest, vulnerable post.
    thank you.
    you know, i think you are brave for talking about this, because you're right, it is taboo and not something people readily admit or talk about, but yeah, everyone is prejudice. i hate that it's true- i wish i wasn't. i am sure it stems from ignorace and misinformation. i remember the people/events in my childhood, too. i wish i knew more people who weren't typical so that i could become more open and comfortable. but, i am grateful for your spotlights. and i agree and thank you for repeating that kids shouldn't be shushed when they see someone different, but they should ask politely. we've had so many good experiences doing that.
    love this.

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    1. Thanks Eve. I admit I haven't been that nervous about pushing the publish button in a long time. But so far so good. : ) I'm so glad the spotlights have helped.

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  2. Anonymous5:39 AM

    I live in the UK, Cerrie is a fantastic host. There is also another show on CBBC (UK kids channel that Cerrie also works on), called Something Special which stars special needs kids only. Its hugely popular and shows kids with various disabilites having fun with the host.

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    1. That is awesome! I'm going to try and YouTube that show. Thank you.

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    2. No joke. Her co-host, Alex Winters, on CBeebies is a really good friend of mine. We were mission companions back in England.

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    3. Rich--that's awesome! So basically what you're saying is that you can get us a guest appearance on the show? Great...we'll iron out the details later.

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  3. Excellent post. Your spotlights have really opened my eyes to my own misconceptions, and I had never thought it was a good idea to go up and speak to people with disabilities - just assumed it was disrespectful to bring it to everyone's attention. Thanks for your great blog and the Special Needs Spotlight - I look forward to it every week

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  4. Love your post, so honest. I have learned so much from a few blogs I follow about special needs. It took some work for my mind to switch from seeing "disabled", to "differently abled". We all our unique. We ALL have disabilities, we all have wonderful abilities. Thank you for opening up and sharing your stories.

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    1. Agreed Emily--diferently abled is not just a good term, but a good way of thinking about these things. Because everyone has abilities and disabilities.

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  5. I love this post.

    As a kid I was fortunate to be exposed to many other children with various physical and mental differences. My grandmother was a foster parent for special needs children. She definitely opened my eyes and my understanding of people that are different. She even ended up adopting one of the little boys with down syndrome.

    That being said, I still catch myself shying away a bit from people that are obviously different. My gut reaction too is one of being uncomfortable. I don't know why that is. I know better. It's just something I need to work on.

    Thank you for saying this so well. Hopefully all of us will admit and move past our predjudices.

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  6. thank you. this post is honest, raw, and thank you for TRYING to open people's eyes. I have an autism spectrum kiddo, and man, he is awesome. yet my heart breaks every day from the things he has to go through and things other people put him through. when he was younger he 'seemed more normal' to others, but now that he is nearing 10, the difference is becoming more obvious. sometimes i want to move on the off-chance he'd somehow find nicer friends, and then i realize what a gamble that is - they could be worse.
    anyway, i'm rambling.

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  7. oh, but I meant to write that an unexpected quality i love about my 'neurotypical' kiddos is that they seem much more open about people with special needs. that makes me SUPER happy. they don't even notice things like that because they live with it, and when they do, they are really accepting - it's just not a big deal.

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  8. thinking about this more, i remembered something from last week. i was talking with my husband's grandfather and caught myself thinking about age prejudice.. like how we condescend to listen to their stories sometimes, or feel like we are being so nice by taking the time to visit. really their worth is not diminished as they age. their importance and significance is just the same. they are the same person they were when they were younger, they have just aged. they have the same value.
    anyways, just something else to think about!

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  9. Thank you for doing the spotlight on special needs series. I'm a daily reader though rare commenter. I grew up with disabled family members (deafness, cerebral palsy, etc) but am uncomfortable knowing how to talk to treat differently-abled people in public. Your series has been helpful for making me acknowledge my own discomfort and prejudices and reminded me that we're all just people, no one more perfect than the other.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. Strange how even when we know/live/love people who are different we can still find ourselves in these awkward hang-ups. And I agree...we are all just people and most of us are doing our best. I hope my post didn't come across as accusing but rather, "hey, this happens to all of us--even people in my position--so lets just get it out in the open." Or something...I had a few objectives I guess but it's hard getting everything across just so.

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  10. Alexis12:12 PM

    Self awareness is half of the battle, in my humble opinion. Rather than believing I'm perfectly unprejudiced, I try to be aware of the assumptions that I make. Ideally the self-awareness leads to overcoming them. But let's be real, that isn't going to happen for every bias we have. Self-awareness still lets me correct for my prejudices before I act on them. Like in you story, yea you *thought* "I hope the teacher isn't in a wheelchair" and that's not a great thought to find yourself having, but you caught yourself long before you said that out loud or acted on that thought in any way. We are all works in progress.

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    1. Alexis--absolutely agree. I'm not trying to suggest we can somehow completely eradicate prejudice, but only to get people thinking about the prejudices they do have and then be willing to work on it. My main point in sharing my stories of prejudice was just so that people understand, even someone who is around differences all the time can still make some bone-headed judgements and that's OK. As long as I'm trying to improve and be better.

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  11. Carolyn2:47 PM

    Thanks for bringing awareness to special needs and particularly to people to "look" different.
    Chalk this up to another wonderful "bonus" to being the mom of a special needs kid - gaining more awareness of our own prejudices. My daughter, like yours, will have very visible physical differences. If I'm completely honest with myself, one of my biggest fears is that because she looks different, people will assume she is mentally disabled as well, and I worry about this limiting her future in subtle, and not so subtle, ways. But this is exactly the problem you are highlighting - we all still have prejudices, and worry about our kids being "labeled" (in my case, though my daughter is special needs, I still don't want her to be classified as mentally disabled - so there is one of my prejudices to overcome!)

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    1. Carolyn--I get what you're saying. And I don't think you're necessarily being prejudice by not wanting people to make additional assumptions about your daughters capabilities. There is nothing wrong with having mental disabilities, but your daughter doesn't have them--of course you don't want people to think she does and especially not to base that judgement on her appearance.

      Sometimes it's sticky walking these lines between not judging others, not wanting others to judge us and wait...who's judging who here? But I get what you're saying.

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  12. What a great post. You say all the things I am too scared to say. I remember the first time some Dr. was talking to me and said "Your son's birth defect....and special needs." I was so angry that they referred to him like that. But you know what-he was born with a birth defect and he does have very special needs. And they aren't bad things. I just had a prejudice of never wanting those words associated with my son. I can now say I have gotten over that but it took a long time. Thanks for all you do!

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    1. Yeah--those words can sting. Like you said, there is nothing wrong with those things, they are what they are...but sometimes the connotation makes them bad.

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  13. Like a previous commenter, I'm in the UK and despite the initial backlash, Cerrie has become one of CBeebies most beloved presenters. It's a channel for pre-schoolers and there are several regular anchors of which she is one - she is truly fantastic and wonderfully engaging with the children. My son is now 3.5 and I don't think he's ever even noticed her difference - and in fact when we've come across children with limb differences he hasn't noticed (whereas he frequently comments on other more obvious difference - hair style, skin colour etc) and I put this down to his day-to-day viewing contact with Cerrie.

    The other programme the previous poster mentioned, Something Special, teaches Makaton (a simplified version of Sign Language used to communicate with children with various disabilities that affect their hearing or speech) and it's very popular here to teach babies and preschoolers baby signing or Makaton now which further increases inclusivity. The presenter of Something Special, Justin Fletcher, has been awarded an OBE for his efforts in this area.

    I think you've written a very important post - that to reach inside and challenge your own prejudices is vital - especially as a parent, so that you can teach your children how to challenge prejudice within themselves and in others. Hopefully, there is a less prejudiced future ahead for our children.

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  14. Love your honesty! Thank you! I will continue to enjoy your blog. I'm pretty sure we'd be friends "in real life" if we knew each other outside of the fake life where I just get to read about your awesome life. :-)

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  15. very well said. I work at a preschool that is located in a large building that also cares for adults with disabilities, I must say that I have learned A LOT working there. The classroom I work in is integrated, there are 6 children with disabilites (both physical and cognitive) and 6 "typically developing" children. The kids see around their friends disabilities, they hardly even notice the wheelchairs, walkers, oxygen tanks, prosthetics, etc. When I started working there I was comfortable with the kids no matter what their disability was, but I was a little nervous around the adults. Now, I know most ofthem by name and love chatting with those who are able to talk, and waving and saing hello to those who use different forms of communication:) I still get a bit uncomfortable every now and then but I must say that i have learned alot from my little preschoolers about acceptance.

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  16. I'm a long time follower, but haven't commented before. My sister-in-law (R.B.) and family were in your ward in Cincy. Anyway, this post is really making me think. My sister is 30 weeks pregnant with her first and the baby has just been diagnosed with Dandy-Walker Malformation. You can look that up if you want. Dandy-Walker aside, the syndrome often comes with other challenges andas a family, we are realizing that this child will be a very different experience for us. Other than some interactions with differently abled children, I haven't had too many relationships with them. So I'm now asking myself the same questions. I already love our little niece/nephew-- that's not the question. But how do I overcome my initial discomfort or shyness with a child whose needs I've never experienced? How do I talk to my girls about my sister's baby and help them overcome any uncertain feelings they have? This post is perfectly timed and very well written. Thank you.

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  17. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post!! Ironically enough, I am not a huge blogger, but seemed to be sucked into yours. You have a way with your words! I had the same realization not too long ago, with a similar situation. Why is this? I've even at one point had the thought What if I have another special needs kids, one without autism, and I was scared and again uncomfortable. Sad truth. Guess I am in need of some self-reflection!!

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  18. First I must say I love you blog. SNSL is awesome. I used to think I wasn't prejudice until I had my daughter, Alicen. She is 8 now but the minute I had I her I started seeing things differantly. She goes to a special school in Mattoon Illinois, Franklin School. On her first day I was so scared because I didn't know what to think, say or do with myself. I literally felt lost in a huge sea of "differantly abled" children. Up to the first day of school the only child I was with was Alicen and she doesn't "look" disabled in the way I thought they looked, other than her wheel chair that is the only way someone would know that she was diabled, I don't like that word anymore. Yes I would say that I am still prejudiced, but I think in a differant sence of the word, maybe. I remember leaving the school that first day saying to my husband You know, we really can do this, because we are not alone, not like I thought we were. Again I love your blog and your girls are adorable.

    Christina Wooley ( a preemie mom )

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  19. Very well executed post! Prejudice is definitely something I struggle with, and it's amazing what a difference simply recognizing the prejudicial thought can make. Thank you for the reminder to do so more often.

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  20. Thanks for your very thoughtful post. My brother has a nephew who is blind. My kids (six and four) met him a couple of months ago and wouldn't speak to him. I guess they were nervous. Secretly, I was sort of delighted because it gave me the chance to talk to them about people who are different on the outside but the same on the inside. We talked about a couple of other people we know, including a neighbor (she is 19) who has a limb difference. We had a wonderfully candid discussion during family home evening, and it was great to be able to tie in how we are all Heavenly Father's children and He loves us. I am working harder at being kinder and friendlier to others who are different from me, too.

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  21. Beansie10:39 PM

    i love what youre doing with your blog...i've actually never commented on a strangers blog before but...just to drive your point home, i think you should know even people in wheelchairs think "prejudiced thoughts" or whatever youd like to call it....
    my older sister has spinia bifida and has always been in a wheelchair. i still remember when she met a friend of a friend from her basketball team who was born with no limbs. remember, my sister is girl who has a group of friends with a variety of limbs missing, limbs not functioning, senses that dont work, etc etc, that call themselves "the crips" (as in cripples, not the gang). she is not some one who hasnt had experience with people that look different. yet as she tells it, when she met him she was thinking " zero limbs! no legs! no arms! we were all going out to dinner and i couldnt stop staring at him. me! the girl in the wheelchair who hates being stared at couldnt stop staring at the guy in the wheelchair. i felt like a horrible person. i was so distracted when everyone ordered food...i could stop thinking about how he was going to eat the hamburger he just ordered! but sure enough the waiter put his plate down and he just bent down and started eating. no big deal." they became close friends after that. the next year at her birthday party, i got made fun of after i offered to go get drinks for a few people. as i started walking over to the table i realized i didnt know what to do with his drink. how would i hand it to him!? i must have looked panicked as i walked over because they all laughed at me when i got closer and said "you have no idea where to put that drink, right?"

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    2. Beansie--I LOVE this comment so much. I was laughing and smiling...it's so true, we ALL struggle with people who are different. And I love, love, love their group of friends--the crips. Thank you for sharing this story.

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    3. Beansie9:28 AM

      They crips a great group. They all still make fun of me awkwardly walking around holding a rum and coke and pretending I wasn't freaking out. I've definitely seen people get uncomfortable around their humor, like when my sisters fiance takes off his prosthetic leg and says 'Hey hold this for a second'. Not to say that they don't have to deal with frustrating situations...it is by no means always a comedy show with them, but, I have never met people with better attitudes. I think a lot of people would benefit from hanging out with them for a bit.

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  22. Confession: I'm a little nervous responding to this post because I'm afraid something I write will inadvertently offend someone. But I guess running and hiding won't solve anything either...

    I have a 3 year old daughter who is very curious and is constantly asking questions. I also have a 10 year old nephew with mild autism, and so far my daughter hasn't questioned why he's different. Other than him, we don't really know anyone else with special needs. I know the time will come soon when Jane sees someone in public and will want to know why they are different. I hope that when put on the spot I will have a good answer for her, but I have to admit it makes me nervous. I feel like I only have one chance to make the right impression with her. I'm also afraid that something will innocently come out of her mouth that would offend someone. I'm really glad you started the Special Needs Spotlight because I am now more likely to instigate a conversation with the person in question.

    Now for a prejudice(?) of my own: it is usually my knee-jerk reaction to feel sorry for someone with special needs, as in, I feel guilty that I have certain abilities that they don't. I am sad that their lives are more difficult because of something completely out of their control. I'm pretty sure that no one with special needs would appreciate being pitied, so I'd like my feelings about this to change. Is that something you'd mind discussing?

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  23. Great post! Really makes you think about what prejudices we all carry around with us.
    By the way, if you're interested I found this petition:
    Here's a link to a petition you can sign that is asking Ann Coulter to apologize and to quit using the word retard:
    http://www.change.org/petitions/ann-coulter-public-apology-for-constantly-using-the-r-word?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=12502&alert_id=btTkuxgLSi_ufIGhrgdmw

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  24. i love love love this post so much. i spend all day everyday working with kids with special needs, and i love them with all of my heart. BUT, this post is so completely real and true. thank you for sharing and helping us see that we are all prejudice in our own way. besides the truth to it all, your writing is amazing. i loved it so much i'm linking it as one of my favorite posts of the month. http://aubreyzaruba.blogspot.com/2012/10/fave-post-of-month.html

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  25. pallavi3:22 PM

    first of all you must be wondering why u got a response on this old post suddenly...I discovered your blog recently and I am kind of addicted to it now :) You writing is so wonderful, honest, clear and full of love.
    This is a wonderful topic and yes I totally agree that everyone is prejudiced..but what makes it better is realizing that one is prejudiced and working towards it. People just take it for granted and think it is ok to be like that...I am sure I have lot too and after moving to this country I seeing people from different backgrounds and countries, I realized that everyone has equal rights in this world and change starts from within to actually see that happen.

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  26. Anonymous11:18 AM

    I found your post and loved it. Our daughter has cognitive disablities from a brain tumor and treatment she survived. It is so wonderful to run onto people that can write about their thoughts and feelings, not everyone has that ability...and by that I don't mean "the guts" to write it...I mean the ability to take raw emotion and but it down in words. Thank you for the gift. I understand every word you write above. Thanks. It helps me move onto the next level.

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