Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The New “R” Word

Yesterday, my friend Marcy’s sister was waiting in line when she overheard someone say, “I’m having an ‘autistic’ day.” She was horrified, but didn’t know what to say. Is “autistic” becoming the new “R” word? Marcy and I discussed it. How should someone respond? Should we ask did you suddenly lose the ability to speak or develop echolalia? Do you feel a compulsion to stim or line your money up on the counter? I wonder if it would be appropriate to respond how William, a true autistic, does when he hears something he doesn’t like. I could walk over to the offender say “all done” and pinch them.

I understand that people have always mocked others but isn’t it a shame that the same person who would never dream of making a racial or ethnic slur thinks nothing of making a comment that any mother of a toddler would correct.

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