My Journal - Week 39 (19May10)
Well, well! What did I just discover yesterday? Hunter has sprouted yet another tooth! It's his upper left front tooth and it's broken through the gum line. That makes 3, plus the original tooth way back when he was just about four months old (his eye tooth or one behind that on his bottom left side) still pops up every now and again. That tooth really is the case of the disappearing tooth! It still plays hide and seek with us. So happy to see he is able to chew some things now to give him a taste of solids.
I found something that is controverisal to say at best, on one of my forums I frequent. I thought I would put it here in my blog for people to watch and think, "What would you do?"
ABC's "Primetime: What Would You Do" includes a scenario where a woman berates a grocery store bagger with Down Syndrome on the Wednesday, May 19th episode on ABC at 10 PM Pacific Time. The bagger is portrayed by self advocate Mark Hubler of Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Currently on ABC News' website you have the opportunity to respond with what you would do if you observed this act.
To find out how customers would respond to such a scenario, we set up our "What Would You Do?" hidden cameras in a grocery store in Brooklyn, N.Y. While the scene described may seem extreme, it echoes behaviour that happens all too often.
In this very store, a grocery clerk named Elvis -- who has an intellectual disability -- has been stocking shelves for more than a decade. His boss, Ivan, calls Elvis "the best," and holds him up as a standard for all other employees. Unfortunately, customers sometimes berate Elvis, using words like "stupid," "idiot" and -- the most hurtful -- "retard."
Madeline Will of the National Down Syndrome Society knows how this word damages people with special needs.
"It makes them feel less valuable, makes them feel less human," she said. "It's important to say, again and again, this is wrong, this is not fair, this is not how we treat other people."
But will customers take a stand when they see a person with special needs being verbally abused?
To find out we hired Josh Eber, an actor who has Down syndrome. Josh has spent his life acting opposite Muppets on "Sesame Street" and A-list actors in Hollywood movies, but for two days he played the part of a grocery clerk facing profound ignorance supplied by other actors, posing as customers in line.
[There is a short 30 second advertisement before the clip starts]
Keep in mind - the people in this clip are Actors. But we all know this kind of behaviour happens everyday, and sometimes from people we just don't expect to hear it from. Hopefully you wouldn't let this kind of bad and totally unacceptable behaviour go unanswered. As the representative from the National Down syndrome Association says, silence condones the actions. And just like any other bad remarks like racism and the like - it's wrong.