Guess I should have been visiting these boards a little more often. Things got a little out of hand between my daughter, Sa-sha, and some of the other posters.
Sa-sha and I have discussed the difference between being disabled and having a disability. "Disabled," in her mind, means broken down. Whereas, having a "disability," means a physical and/or cognitive difficulties.
Sa-sha, now 15, was born with Cerebral Palsy. She finds most teens and adults confusing. We don't always speak in a straightforward manner that she can understand. She takes what we say literally.
I think what she was trying to get across in one of the threads was, children who have disabilities are not *broken,* so they cannot be *disabled* (i.e., a disabled vehicle).
I don't know if I've made any sense with the above explanation.
I've asked my daughter not to post to the boards on this site anymore. More so for the protection of her feelings (telling her she needs "help?"), than to save the feelings of anyone on this site. She only wanted to reach out and help, because she vividly remembers the nightmares of her past, also known as public school. The memories still haunt her after more than two years of homeschooling. And, my blood still boils when she relays the details that were once her daily school routine.
Nothing got out of hand really. Several posters responded kindly to your daughter - myself included. Only one got a little crispy. And one of the posters commendably figured out what you shared finally with us - she was interpreting the word 'disabled' in a very literal way.
These boards aren't that helpful to children certainly - even older ones - and we so rarely see them here that it might have taken the crispy poster by greater surprise.
I would absolutely agree with you though. While we all love our children dearly, these boards and their messages assume that only adults are here and the feelings of children could be hurt here even when that is not intended.
i posted a response supporting sa-sha's assumed reaction to the words we use to talk about children and adults who are competent in different ways than the made up norm or who have challenge points when it come to fitting into an extremely disfunctional school system.
as a linguist, i, too, am offended by the ways in which we choose to use language. "disabled" has negative connotations, no matter how you slice it. i never begin talking about myself or my son by using the "accepted" terminology. i will start by saying that my son has a task-switching proficiency. when i get the "huh?" i then apologize for our societies lack of forsight in labeling those who possess different brilliances as somehow defective and then i will use the "disabled language" of disabilities, constantly acknowledging and calling into question its belittling and demeaning connotations.
there are close to half a million words in the english language. surely we could be more encouraging and discriminating in our choices.
it sounds to me like a youth was honest about her feelings in response to some posts. when a youth ventures out to share feelings, even if they are angry feelings, it is an opportunity for us to listen, allowing that person to feel heard. responses such as "no one reads this board anyway" and "i know you won't take advantage of it, but get some help" are forms of verbal abuse. they demean, minimize, and belittle those feelings expressed by sa-sha.
verbal abuse equals child abuse and should not be tolerated on this board.
i'm glad, susan, that you have chosen to protect your daughter from such abuse.