And the conversation went like this:
"You've never taken your kids to a concert?"
"No, but sometimes my husband & I will go to a concert when we have a date night."
"But you've never taken your kids to a concert?"
"Not even the Boy?"
"Not even the Boy."
"Oh. Is that because he's retarded?"
HOLD THE PHONE!!!!! Did this 10yo little girl just say what I think she said?!?!? She most certainly did, and my jaw was on the floor. It took me a minute (well, it was probably more like a few seconds, but I was shocked), but I knew there had to be a miscommunication somewhere in there. After all, I know her Mom, her Mom's boyfriend, and they don't speak like this.
"My Mom said that he is retarded, and if he wasn't retarded, you'd need to whoop his ass because he is a nuisance, especially when he starts to growl & yell when things aren't going his way."
As I resisted the urge to pinch myself and wake up from this bad dream, I said, "ABC, you've heard our entire family talk about the Boy's autism. Remember, his brain processes things differently than yours & mine. This doesn't make him retarded, stupid, or anything like that. As a matter of fact, his IQ is very high."
"That's not what my Mom says. She says we have to be nice to him because of your other kids. My Mom said that you probably did something when he was in your tummy, and that is why he is retarded."
"STOP IT!! You may not use that word again, when you are around my family. That is a very cruel and untrue thing to say."
"Well my Mom said..."
"ABC, come here!!!"
Thank goodness, her Mom is here. We can straighten this out.
"ABC and I were having a talk, and..."
"I heard part of it, and it's true."
"You think my child is retarded?!?"
"I know he is."
"So his doctors are wrong in their diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, and YOU think he is retarded, which by the way, is a slang term, NOT a medical diagnosis anymore?"
DID SHE JUST SAY YES?!?!?! I'm going to cut someone....
At this point, I said a few other things, but I won't recount the entire conversation. I did ask her if it's okay if I refer to her daughter as a n**&*r. I don't say that word.....but, I had a point to make.
"Just because she is of mixed race, you may not call her such a derogatory thing!!"
"No, the difference is that your other two kids are so nice, and the Boy needs some discipline."
"We are done here. I really hope that someday, one of your nieces or nephews aren't diagnosed with a disability. Maybe you can spank it out of them. We are so done here; don't ever speak to any member of our family ever again.
"It's okay; ABC has other retarded friends at school. She helps THEM all the time; her teachers think she is the best helper for them."
Yes this entire conversation took place. I have been playing it over & over in my head for the past few days. This was someone who I thought was a friend. The 'r' word and the 'n' word are words we don't say. I don't care if you use them, I don't, and especially in regards to any of my children.
I will not associate with people of this mentality. We often pick and choose when to educate people and when to walk away. I thought this woman was a supporter of our family. Obviously, she had me snowed.
I don't care if you know someone with an intellectual disability, developmental disability, neurological disability, or any other kind of different ability, we don't use the R word. I don't care if they tell you it's okay to call them a fucktard, or any other form of the word, DO NOT DO IT!!!! I've had people tell me that words only have the power that you allow them to have. Those people don't live in the world, and if you are not living it, all of your excuses are just that: excuses to demean another human being, and I can't have you in my life.
Now I have to tell my children why we won't be having play dates with ABC. I have to absorb the fact that someone who I thought was a Sassy Pants Family Supporter is just an ass.
When things like this happen, I want to rake my kids and isolate our family away from the world. Then there would be no hurt, no pain, & no assholes. I've learned that this will not happen, as too many pioneers have paved the way, and it is my job to educate as I'm able to, and it is my job to help pave the way for the up and coming families who haven't even received their diagnosis yet.
I will start with deciding when, where, and how I'm going to educate others. Right now, I will start by telling you, the R word is unacceptable....