If you choose to follow my blogs, you will soon discover that I am not always politically correct in my use of terms like autistic or retarded or normal. I can say that Kalisha is on the autism spectrum, but what does that mean to someone who isn't familiar with autism? The autism spectrum is all inclusive and is composed of individuals with many varied abilities and disabilities. It is a huge umbrella that covers all kinds of symptoms. Her other label is MIMH. This also means little unless you write it in its entirety...mildly mentally handicapped. Normal is such a hysterical label. Someone once told me that NORMAL is a setting on your dryer! True! I personally think that people should be classified as being on the Normal Spectrum. I know some people who are nearly normal and some who are barely normal and some who are high functioning normal.
All of this rhetoric is to let you know that when I refer to my first four children as normal (on most days, ok?) and Kalisha as autistic with some Asperger's symptoms, mildly retarded, OCD, seizures, and some depression thrown in for good measure, I am not being insensitive, just truthful.
Kalisha and I discussed the term 'retarded' when she was quite young. She understood that she would probably be called that name by some people and that the meaning of the word is: a slowing down. As in a musical piece or to build a dam to retard the flow of water. She knows that her abilities in some areas are slower than other people her age. However, none of that is worth a dime when some kid is hatefully screaming, "Retard" in your face. You still want to deck them.
Actually, Kalisha always wants to pray for them and I want to deck them!
She has been through lots of things in her life. I will eventually tell you about all of them. She has been associated with really wonderful people and some of the worst scumbags on earth. There have been great teachers and some that should have been fired. Some great schools and administrators and some who allowed ridiculous things in the name of discipline. She had a few wonderful job coaches and some that she should have coached. She participated in 4-H, Special Olympics, the high school choir, cheerleading and the church praise team. On the downside, she has been taken advantage of in many indescribable ways, taken off of city buses by the city police and had to get a few restraining orders against some professed 'friends'.
When I read some articles or poems that say that God chooses special people to be parents of special needs children, I always have to laugh. I don't presume to know what God is thinking, but I think the criteria is more along the lines of ...intestinal fortitude, faith and a sense of humor.