Author Topic: That kinda hurt my feelings...  (Read 10883 times)

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Teenyweeny

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Re: That kinda hurt my feelings...
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2014, 01:34:10 PM »
I guess I don't quite understand why using the word is so awful. I understand that peopled find it offensive and out of respect don't use it. But, I don't get why it's an insult. I looked up the actual definition and it is:

"characterized by a slowness or limitation in intellectual understanding and awareness, emotional development, academic progress, etc."

So if it is not meant as an insult and it accurately describes someones' condition, why is it offensive? Or am I just a dolt for not getting it?

Like many such words, it's come to be very loaded. It comes with a whole weight of baggage that it's disingenuous to ignore. It's much like the 'p word' in the UK. It started out as an abbreviation of Pakistani, but is now horribly racist.



cheyne

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Re: That kinda hurt my feelings...
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2014, 01:36:43 PM »
Redneck Gravy, you are a woman of some wit and tons of common sense (at least by your posts).  Please step back and think about this before you get upset at your friend.

If you used the word "retarded", your friend may have been parroting the word back to you.  I try and use the words mental disability, but in my generation "retarded" wasn't considered a slur.  If I were in your friends shoes I would have probably used the word you/she used.

As far as dismissing your concerns, the child is 18 months!  Let's give him a chance to mature a bit before we start labeling him.


m2kbug

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Re: That kinda hurt my feelings...
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2014, 01:50:20 PM »
You seem to be bouncing around all over the place.  I'm not sure you really know exactly what it is that you want.  You used the word "retarded" first while you are offended by use of the term.  You say you haven't panicked yet, you are are worried about mental retardation, the doctors are overkill, it's probably nothing to worry about.  Your friend sounds like she's trying to be supportive, but I wonder if anything she says will really work for you.  You sound a little hypersensitive here, and I certainly don't blame you, but it seems to me your friend is trying to be supportive but really may not know what to say.  What do you say?  Especially if you have zero experience in this area.

It's good this is being caught early.  Your grandson can qualify for programs through the school district.  Both my children were in speech therapy.  My DD also had occupational therapy.  They both started preschool through the school district to receive speech therapy services.  My daughter had speech therapy up through 2nd or 3rd grade while my son stopped around kindergarten. 

I don't know that you have any big major issues to worry about.  He gets what he wants without words.  Speech therapy will help get him using words and make him more understandable.  When he's understandable, he'll probably talk more. 

Drunken Housewife

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Re: That kinda hurt my feelings...
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2014, 02:20:38 PM »
I'm so appalled by the OP's friend's rudeness.

My own daughter was severely delayed in her speech development.  I believe pediatric speech therapy has changed her life, allowing her to become normal.  She was completely unintelligible and ranked in the 2nd percentile for children her age for verbal ability, poor thing.  A few years later, she tested at COLLEGE LEVEL for reading ability.  Yes, in the first grade, she had the same reading ability as a person with 2 years of college education. 

So much for speech development being a marker of intellect.  It can be a marker for autism, but again, that does not speak for intelligence.  Autism is associated with brilliance often. 

I think that the OP's friend needs to be politely educated that her information is wrong. 

And to move in a different direction:  even if the OP's grandchild were to have other cognitive problems, that does not mean that he would not be a joy in the OP's life and could not go on to lead a worthwhile and happy life.  Using the word "retarded" is cruel, and in 2014 people should know better. 

OP, send me a message if you'd like to talk about pediatric speech therapy.  It really saved my daughter's life.   

ED TO ADD:  I think I was so taken aback by the OP that I am being too harsh on the friend, who was probably trying to be supportive.  Clearly I have strong feelings about this, because my own daughter's speech was so severely delayed and impacted.   
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 02:23:21 PM by Drunken Housewife »
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NyaChan

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Re: That kinda hurt my feelings...
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2014, 02:46:13 PM »
I took the comment as meaning - the child is what she is, that's out of your hands, and you'll have to accept it and love her/take care of her regardless.  Not really in a bad way, but in a "there's nothing you can change here, so adjust to the reality and then keep going."

As for the use of the word, the word on its own and in the proper context is not an insult.  It turned into an insult over time when people started using it to denote something negative.  If someone said "the patient suffers from severe mental retardation" I wouldn't think they were insulting that person, but if someone said, "You are such a *******" with a sneer to their friend, I'd find it offensive.  In this case, if OP used it first, I don't think it is fair to hold it against the friend for repeating it - especially since it isn't clear whether she was using it as an insult or referring to a condition.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: That kinda hurt my feelings...
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2014, 02:46:55 PM »
What I got from what the friend said was that, no matter what, DD and OP will love the child, and being retarded (since that is the word used in the OP) isn't something shameful. I see the OP did not hear it that way, but that is the way it came across to me.  I see that as a very positive and supportive comment.

This is how I read it. Possibly also with a reminder that if there is anything out of the ordinary about the kid's development, it already exists and is a done deal--all the doctor's diagnosis does is identify what in particular is going on and provide tools to address it. The kid is still exactly the same, beloved kid as before there was a diagnosis applied.

When I read the OP, I assumed that the friend used the word she did because that was the word the OP had just used to express her concerns. If TurtleDove's take on it is correct, she might have thought switching to a more "PC" term kind of watered down the message. She wouldn't want to imply that being, e.g., "learning disabled", was nothing shameful, but that being "retarded" is, when that is the word the OP used.

VorFemme

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Re: That kinda hurt my feelings...
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2014, 02:47:23 PM »
My husband's younger sister didn't use more than two words at a time until she was four - then it was "I got NEW shoes!" while pointing to them (two older brothers and a frazzled mother who had her military husband off in Viet Nam).

Kids develop their ability to talk at different speeds.  As long as your grandson understands the people around him AND can make his needs plain (at least to his mother & anyone at day care or babysitting him) - then he's got time to get more help.

But waiting until formal schooling has started in the case of hearing impairment is too late for maximum impact of teaching how to handle whatever the issues might be...so good on your daughter for checking things out for her son NOW rather than in two or three years.
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

fountainof

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Re: That kinda hurt my feelings...
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2014, 02:55:43 PM »
I guess I don't get why you would use a word you don't like to quote your daughter.  Just modify the expression to include something you are more comfortable with.  So in that way I don't think it is odd the friend mirrored the same word back; however, honestly if I were the friend I would have used a different word but maybe said the same thing.

I personally don't feel it is supportive to be fake optimistic.  While the friend could have phrased her comment a bit better, I feel it is supportive to be honest about the negative possibilities.  I don't mean dwell on the negative but realistically discuss the issue and provide people a shoulder they can cry on and vent to without trying to spin everything into sunshine and roses.  I personally would be hurt if a friend told me my child seemed fine or her doctor knows nothing and is only concerned over a lawsuit when her doctor had concerns, it seems dismissive and inconsiderate. 

lakey

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Re: That kinda hurt my feelings...
« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2014, 03:38:18 PM »
Personally, I wouldn't talk about this to people other than the child's parents. Disabilities are widely misunderstood, just as a child's difficulty, even failure, in school is widely misunderstood.

There are different possible reasons why your granddaughter isn't speaking clearly yet. I don't even want to list them because, what would be the point? Let the people who are trained to diagnose her deal with it, and you can deal with it when they get a diagnosis. All this talk about her being "retarded", which is correctly referred to as "developmentally disabled", is premature. There are other possible reasons than IQ. What is happening here is that professionals, like her pediatrician, are trying to catch any disabilities, or other issues, early so that they can be dealt with, before she enters school. That way, when she does enter school, she has a better chance of being successful.

If her language development isn't as far advanced as with other children her age, she can receive language services that will prepare her for school. Good grief, she could just be immature.

Jones

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Re: That kinda hurt my feelings...
« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2014, 03:58:02 PM »
My DS is almost 3 and doesn't speak clearly all the time. He very rarely uses sentences. I've tried getting him in local speech services but there's only one office here and they refused to see him because he's "too old" (they generally start at 18 months) and suggested I just wait and put him into preschool instead. No I'm not happy about it and have been doing some reading to take matters into my own hands (3 new words last week; 2 of which he refuses to use agin...it's a slow road).

He is intelligent. Oh my gosh! He is a problem solver, will rearrange light furniture to get darts to play with the dart board. He does puzzle after puzzle...not toddler block puzzles but preschool piece puzzles... for fun. He imitates bird calls and follows multi-step directives given to him. He just doesn't see a reason to use a sentence when a word will do, or a reason to use a word multiple times when I obviously heard him the first time.

I have a young brother who also didn't speak until he was well into being 3 years old, and that was with foster system speech therapy. If anyone called my brother or my son the R word, I'd be furious. BUT, I would have never used that word myself, in the first place. It's just not in my vocabulary.

lakey

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Re: That kinda hurt my feelings...
« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2014, 04:43:16 PM »
Jones, have you checked with your local school districts? There are early childhood development programs that he might qualify for. Also, when he is ready for kindergarten, some districts have what is called "early fives", "developmental kindergarten", or "pre-kindergarten". These are for kids who are a bit immature, who don't speak much, or for any other reason where they might need some added help before starting regular kindergarten. There are quite a few kids who don't speak in complete sentences when they start school.

Other than that, keep talking to him yourself. Ask him questions, perhaps trying to come up with some that require longer answers.
If he builds something with building blocks, ask him to tell you how he made it. If he draws a picture, ask him to tell you a story about it. It sounds like you are on the right track with what you are doing.

Jones

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Re: That kinda hurt my feelings...
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2014, 05:26:22 PM »
Thanks Lakey, I'm doing what I can to homeschool his speech and continue to encourage his problem solving. The place that denied us services is the only place in town that handles kids with developmental issues under preschool age. It's a rural community so not a ton of choices, sadly. I'm jealous of my other-county friend who gets weekly home visits from a therapist for her own son's speech issues...not jealous enough to move, though. I've had the public preschool neglect to return my calls asking for an evaluation to be done and one private preschool enthusiastically invited me to try them out next school year. I plan to have a long talk with his pediatrician at his 3 year old checkup in March; the pediatrician is also on the school board, and an old friend of MIL's, and I'm sure will help us get set up with someone through the district if it appears necessary.

Anyway, sorry for the thread jack, I just wanted to comment that I hate the R word, wish people wouldn't use it, understand the fear, but realistically, some kids just develop on a different scale from each other.

lollylegs

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Re: That kinda hurt my feelings...
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2014, 05:36:37 PM »
Honestly, I think your friend did you a kindness by not selling you false hope. I personally would find something like, "Oh don't worry about it, I'm sure the doctors are wrong," to be dismissive.

I hate to flog a dead horse but I also don't understand why you used the r word when you find it offensive.

gemma156

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Re: That kinda hurt my feelings...
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2014, 06:06:46 PM »
OP speaking from personal experience who had a child with the same issues, ignore anyone's negative comments.  Keep pushing for solutions with medical personnel.  Even though we had multiple ear checks each one kept coming back as clear.  Our paediatrician finally decided to organise to have our child have ear grommets.  The ear specialist didn't think it was necessary but our paediatrician pushed for it to go through.

Turned out he had a 30% hearing loss due to the build up of glue in his ears, the ear specialist came out an apologized to us and couldn't understand how it didn't get picked up in the hearing tests.  It made such a difference.  Our son's speech developed dramatically after this occurred.  We combined speech therapy for a while to help him catch up.   

Sharnita

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Re: That kinda hurt my feelings...
« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2014, 06:24:00 PM »
I'm so appalled by the OP's friend's rudeness.

My own daughter was severely delayed in her speech development.  I believe pediatric speech therapy has changed her life, allowing her to become normal.  She was completely unintelligible and ranked in the 2nd percentile for children her age for verbal ability, poor thing.  A few years later, she tested at COLLEGE LEVEL for reading ability.  Yes, in the first grade, she had the same reading ability as a person with 2 years of college education. 

So much for speech development being a marker of intellect.  It can be a marker for autism, but again, that does not speak for intelligence.  Autism is associated with brilliance often. 

I think that the OP's friend needs to be politely educated that her information is wrong. 

And to move in a different direction:  even if the OP's grandchild were to have other cognitive problems, that does not mean that he would not be a joy in the OP's life and could not go on to lead a worthwhile and happy life.  Using the word "retarded" is cruel, and in 2014 people should know better. 

OP, send me a message if you'd like to talk about pediatric speech therapy.  It really saved my daughter's life.   

ED TO ADD:  I think I was so taken aback by the OP that I am being too harsh on the friend, who was probably trying to be supportive.  Clearly I have strong feelings about this, because my own daughter's speech was so severely delayed and impacted.

I am not sure what you read.  I think you read a lot into the OP's [pst that was never written.  The friend simply said that if it turned out that the child was, the parents would have to accept the outcome she currently feared. She didn't say that it was going to turn out that way. She didn't diagnose the child with anything. She didn't introduce the terminology OP objects to - OP introduced it into their conversation.

Sami, I do understand what you mean about the word because originally it was a clinical term and not an insult or put down. Unfortunately, society took it over and now it has been colored by misuse and prejudice.