“Judgy-wudgy was a bear…”

Alright. I’m riled up.
What’s new?
I know… I know…
But bear with me on this one. (or these few…)

So, in class last week our assignment was to respond to this question:
“If you HAD to have a child with a disability, what disability would you choose and why?”
WHOA!
That’s a pretty loaded question…
First of all, isn’t that taboo, politically incorrect, or at the very least just jinxing yourself?
Nope. That’s the question. Come back with your thoughtful answer.

(Now, before you start asking other questions such as, “Is it my first child?” “Am I married?” “Do I have a good job/any money?” Just get those questions out of your mind. You don’t get to ask them… just answer the original question.)

Initially what I thought about while making this decision were two things:
What disability could I have the most effect on?
What disability do I think I could offer the most as a parent for?

Naturally, I thought of a behavior disorder first. What I believe most about behavior disorders is that they can often be somewhat controlled given the most accommodating environment. Not to sound overconfident here, but I do know that I have a high interest in behavior disorders, and I also know that I have made many connections with children suffering from behavior disorders… connections that I feel are pretty beneficial. I think that as a parent I would be able to use some of those success strategies in my own home and possibly enhance the life of a child with a behavior disorder.

And then my mind got the best of me and I kept going… I went on to think about the students that I have worked with in my years of working with disabled children… and I thought about the situations that many of them are in, and in the most drastic of those situations how would I be of any benefit to that child? Basically thinking, (of specific students) and wondering if they were mine, what I would do differently.
(You can go ahead and save the judgment lecture… you know the one, about how I am not a parent… blah, blah. You know the line… “Some people do crafts…”)

Back to thinking like a parent, long story short, I thought about how having a behavior disorder is often times in correlation with having another disability, which also got me thinking about having a child with autism. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I work with a student with pretty severe autism, and she most definitely has a long, hard road ahead of her. But, ultimately do I think I could offer something to a child with autism? Yeah. I know I could. Do I know that it would ultimately benefit my life having a child with autism? Yeah, I am pretty sure of that.

Now, fast forward to class tonite… We have to “share” what disability we chose.
“Dyslexia.”
“ADHD.”
“Dyslexia.”

Hold on! What the fuck are you talking about? ADHD? Dyslexia? Seriously? Well, people go on to say, “I was just thinking about what would be least invasive for my child.” Or, “I was just thinking about what I could actually deal with as a parent.”

Alright, I’ll give you thinking about what is least invasive for you child. Call me selfish, I was thinking about what disability I could have an effect on to help my child. But, what you can deal with as a parent? Really? First of all, is ADHD a disability? Hmmm… And what kind of disability can you deal with? Are you here in this class to become a special education teacher? Because that might cause some serious conflicts of what you can “deal with” as well.

And this is what I hear in return, “Well, you aren’t a parent… so obviously you would have a different outlook than us.”
Hmmm… I’ll just leave this one blank and let you guess how I responded to that.

And just when I thought I was going to blow, this is what I hear from the guy who showed up 47 minutes late to class:
I would choose to have a child with Down Syndrome, because you know… they all are just so happy all the time!”
Yeah, and that’s the rant of the next blog… being a graduate student having to sit in class with undergraduate fuckwits who are just looking for an “easy major.”
(Go back to your crafts… I am most certainly judging now!)

7 thoughts on ““Judgy-wudgy was a bear…”

  1. i understand this is an assignment, etc… and you’ve related most of this to your classroom… and you do excellent work there and devote yourself to those children.

    however, don’t go saying you’re unselfish in your home. because as i recall, you don’t want any child of your own – regardless of being disable or not.
    …so, luckily we’re married.

  2. I went to bed…after laying in bed thinking about it (I couldn’t sleep, thanks Kari), I couldn’t help but get up and write a comment…I’m tired, so it may come out a bit hazey though;)

    My first reaction without reading the entire article was to think, what a stupid question. First of all, that would be like labeling one disability to be more favorable than others. And, personally, I feel like that’s crap. Each comes with it’s own hardship for the student. Something that they will have to be dealing with for the rest of their lives…but…

    I, like you, went through the different disabilities thinking to myself, how would this disability effect the child, which would be the easiest for the child to deal with in his/her life time, and which could we come up with the most helpful strategies that help the student be able to function day to day. I, forgot the “parent” part of the question. Maybe it is because I’m not a parent also, but if I were a parent, of a child of a disability, and I guess I got to choose it, I would want the one that would be the best for my child…even if it meant me having to do 6 million and ten things a day for the child so they could succeed.

    ALSO, it makes me really sad that the guy said that about the students with Down Syndrome…what a f-ing dumbass. I hope you threw something at him…something like a very hard, heavy book.

    stupid, stupid people. They are the ones that make me want to tear out eyeballs! aahhhh!

  3. Seems like a totally sick thing to even think about. Nobody wants a child to have a disability, and the question is totally demeaning to those poor kids everywhere who didn’t really ask to be born that way and to their parents to love them unconditionally. Maybe a better question would be the one you were asking yourself, “What disability am I most prepared to deal with?” That’s how I think of it, anyway. Nobody would “choose” a disability, but if it happens, you can be prepared to deal with it.

  4. I would have to say that if Bethany and I had to have a kid with a disability it would be to the effect of the child being blind or deaf. Now hear me out becuase that is a disability.

    I think it would be such an awesome experience to see how differently my childs views the world without vision or hearing or even both. What an amazing chance to see the world differently. Your whole life would be flipped upside down. You would be forced to change little simple things to adapt to their disabiliy.

    Or what if you changed nothing? Then you would have to face the heartache of seeing your child struggle to make it in the “real world.” What a great experience and opportunity.

    interesting.

  5. O.K. I’m not the best of writers so here goes…
    The only reason I am responding to this at all, is the fact that it actually made my eyes well up, and yes, just a few fell. I generally don’t get worked up about too much.
    I will do my best to put into words the way I am feeling. Hopefully, it doesn’t come out to be – wow, you are such a saint! not my intention at all.
    As I read through this my first emotion was a heavy heart, as I read on the original burden was lifted and happiness flowed through my eyes. It was such a joy to read how these people were affecting you. Everyone of the people in your story. The comments from the hearts of closeminded people, genuinly trying to connect with you. Honestly speaking what they believe to be reality. Secondly, the children you speak of. The wonderful children who seem to be teaching you as much as you’re teaching them. When I finally got to the end, it was so clear to me- YOU GOT IT! Most of the things I know are from life, not books. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t teach it to others. I used to get so frustrated with the ignorance. I finally realized, the ignorance is what teaches the unteachable to the openminded. It can only be learned, and you got it. Thats all I wanted to say. You got it.

  6. I would have LOVED to be in class with you. I know it was a serious topic, BUT the shit you were saying under your breath was most likely hilarious. I should have taken that class. Obviously the kid had never worked with ANYONE with downs syndrome.

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