Tag Archives: kids

“That’s retarded!” or “What a retard!” or “Are you retarded?”

11 Feb

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This is my son’s worksheet from after an incident at school today. It wasn’t the first incident. Today, though, they surrounded him and joined in and taunted him. It started because one student called him a retard.

This is not ok.

I realize many people still use the “r-word” casually and I realize many people use it and think it is ok if they use it because it was considered acceptable when we were growing up. It is not acceptable now. Please consider what you are saying when you are calling a friend “retarded” or “a retard” or calling their behavior “retarded” as in “that’s so retarded” or “you are such a retard“. You are saying (even if this meaning is unintentional) that people with developmental, cognitive, and physical (people assume far too much about cognition based on just a glance) impairments and disabilities are less than you, are less than “normal”.

Our community has fought, and continues to fight, just to live as others live and to have the same rights as Joe or Jane Average. We all have dealt with adversity, even the youngest in our ranks.

Do not add to the vitriol and mistreatment by using that word.

If you use it now, please stop. If you use it by accident… That happens, but think about the child or adult you are really hurting, and vow to never use that word again (and share this message. Please.). If you hear a child, your child, a nephew, niece, neighbor, etc… use the “r-word“, tell them what I am telling you here. Tell them it hurts. If you are a teacher or school administrator or support staff, please consider spreading awareness that this word is inappropriate and too many students are still aiming it at other children, and not always in a casual way.

Some of those children, being called retards or asked, “are you retarded?” on the playground, in the halls, in the cafeteria are children who have been fighting hard their entire life just to have a seat at the table and in many schools, inclusion means that the table has kids with disabilities.

If you think it’s not a big deal, ask those kids and ask their parents how they feel about it. Ask an adult with disabilities. If you don’t know any you feel comfortable asking then please ask me. It is a big deal.

I was called that dreadful word, as a child with developmental delays, and my son has been called that word daily, at school. My kid isn’t “normal” (which is a word we also don’t use in our home.). He’s better than that. His response to these lunchroom bullies is to explain to them why the r-word is not an acceptable word to use anymore. He is so much better, kinder, smarter than those nasty 8th grade boys. He would never call another child anything other than their first name, because he has been tormented and he knows that teasing and bullying is wrong. He is so much more mature than they are. He can’t fight back the way a developmentally average child would. So he explains. He tries to explain to these bigger kids why they are doing something wrong and mean. Which, of course, makes things worse, and magnifies his differences (which I see as such magnificent strengths) to these bullies. And the taunting increases. Where do you think these kids first heard the r-word? Probably at home, either from a parent or in a movie/on a tv show, and then they spread it around.

WE CAN STOP THIS.

Sticks and stones may break bones, but the reality is that words do so much damage, and until you have been at the receiving end of them, for a lifetime, it can be impossible to fathom the destruction they can cause.

Please share this and share this link: http://r-word.org/r-word-why-pledge.aspx#.Vr0azN-rTdQ

Please take the pledge and spread the message to family, friends, coworkers, classmates and ask them to move the message forward that the “r-word” is not acceptable in 2016.

Thank you.

xo,
Bek

Please welcome…

12 Feb

Oliver

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& Dave!

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Kid has been talking about adding a furry critter to our family for quite some time. I’ll admit that I have been entertaining that idea for a very long time too. 

I really wanted to adopt a rescue pup, but right now I’m barely coping with the second bout of severe iron deficiency in under 6 months (this one is non-anemic iron deficiency) . I feel lousy. Walking a dog a few times a day just is too much to ask of this sore body with it’s tired blood.

Not that these cutie pies don’t require lots of care and attention.

They need so much more EVERYTHING than I would have ever imagined, even after reading everything I could set my eyeballs on.

They do not need to be walked, though.

Everything else can be spread throught the day, especially the snuggles and playtime and the neverending supply of hay and veggies.

So far, so wonderful.

Kid is over the moon and we are all very attached to our new family members and they are settling in nicely.

22 Jun

Some good advice for creative folks… Though my problem isn’t angst as much as this energy and time deficit I keep adding too. So my big hurdles are numbers two and three… My recipe for reject is remembering that every art (even the most random wall hanging made of tampon applicators… see http://www.regretsy.com for some fantastic examples!) has an audience, and sometimes the problem isn’t your art, but it’s that you are presenting it to the wrong audience… Anyway, I’m exhausted and overwhelmed and underwhelmed (unfortunately, when they occur together they don’t negate each other. I wish they did.) as you could probably guess by my infrequent postings… I’m working on the “making it a habit” part of blogging and creating. I am, even though progress can be hard to gauge in such fascinatingly teensy scale.
Hope everyone is well!
Cheers,
Bek

Studio Mothers: Life & Art

Sometimes creative angst gets the better of us. How often do you find yourself thinking “I don’t have enough time,” or “My work’s not good enough,” or “I’ll never reach my creative goals”? Here are four simple ways to avoid those minefields and stay focused on what really matters: your creative work.

1. Turn rejection into affirmation. With practice, you can reframe rejection so that it actually affirms your creativity, rather than causes injury. Here’s how. Simply put, you can’t get rejected if you haven’t had the courage to send your work out into the world. And you can’t send your work out into the world if you haven’t reached a level of completion and polish that makes you believe your work has legs. And your work can’t have legs if you haven’t put yourself at your desk or easel or studio bench and actually done the work, for however…

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The Tuesday Ten & I Am Loved.

11 Oct

The Tuesday Ten… Not happening. Sorry. Can’t do it. Is anyone surprised? Ok good. Perhaps I’ll post random facts or some sort of meme-ish shenanigans on Thursday… Thirty Thursday sounds like a stretch if Tuesday Ten is this daunting. Hmmm. I do have plenty to share. We’ll see….

Alex came home with this neat little “about me” packet he filled out when he started at his new school.

I asked him if I could share it on my blog and he said, “Oh Mama. Of course you can. You can put it all over your blog if you want to.”

I think this even tops the one from two mother’s days ago when he said I was pretty as a cupcake.

Such love in that kid. I make sure to tell him, especially when things are extra challenging, that I’m the luckiest lady in the world because I get to be his Mama. It’s important, to me, to make sure that he doesn’t go through life feeling like an imposition, or a 2nd class citizen, or as though my life is challenging because he has Autism. No kid should have to feel that way. It’s so damaging and endless. So I remind him all of the time how proud I am of him, and that I love him stinky feet and all. He says the same stuff back to me, which is unnecessary, but to me it shows that he’s getting some of this reciprocation thing. It’s also incredibly healing for me, as he is the first person in my world, in my immediate circle, to love me as me and not as a chunk of clay to be molded into something more desirable. So much of my life, starting at a very young age, felt like I was some piece of something getting thrown out and everyone around me tried to upcycle me into something useful for their needs, rather than helping me navigate the way to being the authentic, strong, unique me. So my kid’s admiration and love for me is a pretty gigantic thing considering how long I went without that trust, acceptance, and unconditional love. I don’t lean on him like a crutch, but he can’t help but inspire me to work harder and to be myself. After all, what would I be teaching him if I wore a mask all of the time?

xo

B

Pigs, butts, photographs…

8 Sep

Alex wanted me to take a picture of the pig’s butt (everything is butts and gas lately.. Oh and Captain Underpants, of course…). So I told him I would, but only if he got in the picture too. Here you go…

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