Giving Tuesday, book disappointment, and what the heck happened to Anne Shirley?

29 Nov

First – let me start with Giving Tuesday. You know, where after all that consumering, you then use your monies to give to charities? Well, I have a list of them on my Facebook page, so if you’re not following me on the book of faces already, you should.

Second – have you ever read a book and just were completely deflated by it? Yeah, I’m having a bad book hangover this morning. I won’t say which book, because it’s actually an author I’ve enjoyed before. And the writing wasn’t bad. It just didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. And the thing is, I kind of knew going in that this might not be my cup of tea…so really, I should listen to my gut more in book choices.

Third – PBS has remade “Anne of Green Gables”. I barely got through the trailer. There were clips I could watch, where I learned that in this new version, Diana doesn’t have raven locks, Gilbert looks to be about 8 years old, and Marilla’s eyebrows are showcased.  The PBS version is just painful to watch. Mind you, I’ve watched the terribly campy, black and white 1930’s “Anne of Green Gables” movies, starring Anne Shirley (no, seriously, the actress changed her name it Anne Shirley to play Anne Shirley).

And yes, I’ve read the books. I own the books. I was one with the books as a teen. And while the 1980’s mini-series strayed a bit in the sequel from the original story line, it felt true to the spirit of Anne.

Also, Jonathan Crombie. Enough said.



Confession – I’m not that good with people first language

17 Nov

Yeah, I know, that makes me not a good spokesperson.

Seeing as I’m not getting paid to be a spokesperson…I can live with that.

Maura has special needs – that’s our quick and easy way to explain her issues to strangers. Strangers who don’t need the whole saga of being undiagnosed, her speech issues, her strabismus that’s also pseudo-strabismus, etc, etc, etc.

I have a special needs teen – because sometimes, I just don’t have time to type out “I have a daughter who is a teenager living with disabilities…”.

“Special needs” and “disability” IS part of Maura’s definition. There is NO shame in that. It’s just part of who she is. Just like I can embrace my role as Anxiety Mom (which totally comes with a cape, btw, which I worry about getting caught in things.)

I could say I have a daughter with disabilities – but society still sees “disabilities” as that wheelchair symbol. You know the one –


The fact is, Maura isn’t really physically disabled. Explaining her cognitive disabilities would require a different kind of symbol, one that has yet to be discovered.


I also use the phrase “special needs” in regards to things like Maura (“she has some special needs”) or as a self-descriptor on the internet (“I’m a special needs mom”) because people get it. People don’t question it. And it’s the shorter, easier to say version of “She has moderate cognitive disabilities with some minor motor skill issues”.  Because that <—? That is what we have in the “label” department.

Now, pause and think about all this yourself. When you hear “disabled”, what comes to mind? The wheelchair symbol? The elderly person with a cane or scooter?  A Paralympian?

Do you see someone who doesn’t have anything physically wrong with them?

My daughter doesn’t look disabled even though she’s pretty darn disabled according to paperwork. According to my daughter, she’s pretty darn abled, and I completely agree with it.

However, I could get criticized by the disability community for using the phrase “special needs” and “special needs mom”. Apparently it’s a no-no. And in the autism community, there’s the big “people with autism” vs “suffering from autism” vs “I’m autistic, I will call myself autistic, stop correcting me in how I call myself!” (no, seriously, it happens. People get so gung-ho on people first language that they correct actual autistic people for calling themselves autistic.)

Here’s the thing – at the end of the day, the order in which you put these words don’t matter as much to me as how you treat my daughter. Do you treat her as a cognitively disabled person…or as a person? That’s the “people first” part that concerns me the most.





This is where I publicly shame Facebook

14 Nov


Do me a favor-

Go to your Facebook page. Go to the search box. Type in “retard”. Now, see how many results come up? Take out the ones in foreign languages. Still leaves a large number of groups out there.

Feel free to report them to Facebook. But let me tell you one thing – they will keep that page up and tell you that it doesn’t violate community guidelines.

What brought this rant about?

A Fabeook page called Trump Acceptance Resistance Disorder – or TARD for short.


Let me repeat – TARD.

Now, I’m not linking the site because nope. But one of their photos is a “calm down kit” with PECS pages. PECS – also known as Picture Exchange Communication System – something my daughter uses. Something many students with disabilities use. Because TARD.

Elsewhere, I learned that they listed the symptoms of TARD and one of its co-morbities is autism.

Because TARDS have autism. TARDS need the PECS system.


But Facebook finds this okay. This is an acceptable community group. As is all the other “retard” inspired group names like

And He was a Ra-Tard

atheists and evo-TARDS think they can trick me

Smokin’ Tards

Fuck Tards (that one is “just for fun!”)

Retard Town

Retarded Things NFL Fans Say

Retard Incorporated

Retarded Space Monkey


There’s more…but I’m tired. And Facebook is okay with this. I reported it and got the generic “This doesn’t violate community guidelines” reply. As my friend said, “It’s a shame there wasn’t a picture of a nursing mother there. My friends are reporting it as I type. I fully expect Facebook to send them the same generic response. Facebook doesn’t care that my daughter with intellectual disabilities or my friends sons with autism are used as bad political humor fodder.


ETA – Hey! You know what? Maybe if everyone who reads this post  also reports that one Facebook page I talked more about, maybe Facebook will get the hint that we as a society do not find this acceptable.

Wanna take the report challenge? LOL!


%d bloggers like this: