Club 166 has drawn our attention to an offensive skit put on by Saturday Night Live, and now showcased on NBC's website. The fact that people find this funny is very disturbing. This isn't laughing with someone (such as The Birdcage might be to the gay community). This SNL skit is nothing but pure mean. 100% pure mean. If you think something this mean is funny, all I can say is, wait until this kind of meanness is directed at you.
Even though Joey stayed home from school today with his cough, we went ahead and had OT. It's amazing how much work my boys have done in the last few years. Andy's OT saw us there, so she fetched the results from his latest eval and sat down with me to look at it. He's gone from moderate deficits in motor control and sensory integration, to being fully functional in the classroom and displaying normal-range motor skills in our year of OT. We have a number of strategies for dealing with the remaining sensory issues. We are considering having him in a group OT setting over the summer, but for all intents and purposes, he's discharged. How's them apples?
Around the corner came a friend of ours from school. His mom is big in the disability community around here. He's in middle school now. He's come a long way; he asks and answers questions now, even though his speech pattern consists of rises and falls of inflection that give his speech and eerie, sing-song sound, he does speak with good control of language. He flapped his hands happily to see his mom in the waiting room. He had come out to get some water, and the OT aide came with him to guide him over to the sink, where he got his own water, though it took some prompting and a few tries. A sing-song stream of talk on his favorite subject accompanied the process, then stopped abruptly when it was time to return to the session.
I thought of that SNL skit, and realized, with a deep sense of grief and anger, that people who think that skit is funny, probably will think this child is funny. And stupid. And not worth knowing.
And how wrong they are. The child has problems with social behavior and cues, but his ability to read and do math are amazing. Listening to his knowledge on his favorite topics is like listening to a living dissertation. He tells jokes- good ones. He has his own way of doing things, many very inventive ways of getting around his own motor skill difficulties. He's a good, smart, hard-working kid. To think of him as the butt of jokes because of his challenges just makes me see red.
Joey comes out, and I know he will also be facing those people who think mean is funny. He tilts his head, smiling as he jogs in a tight circle while his OT tells me about the session. He shows me the pumpkin he drew, a beautiful orange jack-o-lantern, with "Jack-o-lantern" written in his blocky letters on the back. I have a first grader who can spell "headphones" and "smudge" and "cheeseburger", who can read on a third-grade level, who can add three numbers together- but he is still considered by some people to be a joke. Something to be scorned, laughed at, put down.
Then they tell me to "get over it."
I don't think so.