Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Bit Of Mainstream News News

I usually don’t bother posting about non-disability-related topics, but something is about to happen that I think should matter for people with a higher than average stake in health care should care about. Ezra Klein is leaving the Washington Post. Klein has been one of the very few truly “honest brokers” of information and perspective on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) since before the law even passed. As others are saying all over the place, Ezra’s departure is a loss to the Post.

Fortunately, the other honest broker on the ACA, Sara Kliff, is as far as I know NOT leaving the Post, so we’ll still be able to read her outstanding coverage of all things health care at the Washington Post Wonkblog.

"Bless Your Heart"

Alison Piepmeier, Charleston City Paper - January 15, 2014

This is yet another perspective on how parents of kids with disabilities speak about their children, and how others perceive them as parents. I think calling the sentimental language “The Bless Your Heart Phenomenon” is phenomenally great. The writer suggests there’s a regional cultural element at work, which I honestly had never considered before. It raises a sort of obvious question. Which is better, sweetness that may mask more negative thoughts, or rudeness that may be more honest? I would think it would depend a lot on the kind of day you’re having.

Red Flags ... Followup

I feel like I should add a note about one of the "Disability Red Flags" I wrote about yesterday. I do realize that what I regard as a kind of sickening sentimentality that some families seem to have about their "special needs" / disabled children doesn't necessarily reflect a bad or alarming parenting approach. Some people are just sentimental, and some people are not. I am not. It's not my thing. Really not my thing. For others, the sweet, spiritually-infused labels, nicknames, and ways of speaking are expressions of devotion, affection, and love. That's fine.

All I would ask, as a former disabled child, now a disabled adult, is that parents never forget that their child is a person ... not a symbol, not a test, not a delivery system for improvement in their character, not a challenge for them to overcome. Your child is a person, with his or her own thoughts, ideas, opinions, wishes, dreams, and potential. And one of the best things you can do for a child with a disability is help others to see them as a person, too, by how you speak about them.

End of sermon!