Thursday, May 05, 2011

A Conversation Haiku

I've never heard anyone call me 'retard'.

That's great, I'm glad that no one's ever called you that name.

Oh, they've called me that name ... I just never heard it.


Anonymous said...

Now there's a lesson!

Kristin said...


LoriJ said...

you can write paragraphs and essays but that haiku just hit me between the eyes... profound.

Thank you again.

Moose said...

Sorry to nitpick
but that is not a haiku
however, this is


Maggie said...

What wonderful self-care and what intelligent selective hearing! ... no matter how many syllables we count.

Noisyworld said...

Technically as most Japanese "on" do not translate directly into english syllables it's probable that neither are true Haiku! Unfortunately as I don't speak Japanese I can't elaborate lol

I do think both Dave and Moose have good points well made though :)

Lori said...

Love it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,
That reminds me of the dramatic example you used at the conference, when you had a group of individuals saying negative things to an individual walking by ... and then had us (and the individual walking by the group) repeating a positive message about their identity.

Is this something that a lone-individual can do themselves (without being overcome by the negative messages?)

My son was called "retard" every day for two periods, five days a week. Despite letters and meetings, the school did nothing. He was removed 5 months later, and homeschooled.

I want to help my son get to the point that he "never hears it" and does not replay it in his head.

Thanks for sharing with us. Your honesty and openess is soooo appreciated.

~ Elizabeth N.

Ettina said...

Elizabeth N,

I can relate to your son. I wasn't called retard, but I was called many other names. (Though my autism was undiagnosed, it was easy for my classmates to tell that I was different!) My parents ended up homeschooling me through most of my high school years.

Firstly, keep in mind that the most important thing to do about that situation is what you've already done - get them out of there. The longer he goes *without* being called names on a dialy basis, the less he will identify himself with them.

Teaching him about prejudice will also help. My parents knew nothing about disabilities, but they are both staunch feminists, anti-racists and anti-homophobia, and told me about the struggles those three groups have had. Even before I knew why I was different, I knew that I was the target of prejudice.

Another big thing that can help is finding your community and being with them. Are there any disability-specific social activities in your area that your son could participate in? Especially self-advocacy stuff. I have found participating in my local branch of the Association for Community Living very helpful. Earlier, I found online autistic self-advocacy groups helpful in redefining how I saw myself.

Anonymous said...


Shan said...

Moose made me laugh.