Incensed – not a pleasant smell …
Understand that the 1 on 1 aide that my daughter has at day camp is the same twit nanny that I fired a few weeks ago from the house. I really figured that with all the others around she could only do a good job. Also know that the camp director’s sister lives with him and his wife, and she is disabled. With that in mind, herewith is the email I just wrote, names omitted to protect the innocent …
Subject: Absolutely livid
I am besides myself, my hands are actually shaking as I write this.
At first it may not seem like a big deal to you, but stick with me here. My daughter came home from camp without wearing her bra, in a wet t-shirt. I am outraged and incensed and that is no exaggeration.
1. Her 1 on 1 aide wrote in the book that my daughter’s bra was "dirty" so she took it off. I looked at it, her afternoon PCA looked at it, and it is not dirty to the point of anything being an issue at all. Even if it was, so what?
"He [sic] braw [sic] was a bit dirty so she just has a T Shirt [sic]."
2. Every day, I repeat, every day that M worked for us in the house, she was told that my daughter needed to be properly dressed, and specifically mentioned her bra, when around other people. It turns out to be one of the reasons she no longer works in the house, one of many, was that my daughter was braless at a very inappropriate time.
3. It is wrong on so many levels. My daughter is 85 pounds, thin, and wears a 34-C. Need I say more? How dare she be paraded around camp in such an undignified and inappropriate manner.
4. Please, honestly, tell me what your reaction would be if your sister came home from her day program without her underwear?
It was bad when my daughter did not bring home her new bathing suit and towel. Then it was bad when she did not come home with all the pieces of her wheelchair. Then it was bad when her notebook did not come home.
Now she is coming home not fully dressed and in my mind, not decent.
THIS IS BEYOND THE PALE. Period.
I too would have been shaking with anger if this happened to me.
My son has just come back from respite – and this is NOTHING compared with the lack of thought and basic respect your daughter suffered-with his splint on the wrong arm. My son is hemiplegic, can’t walk, talk etc, he has no function in his left arm or hand and has significant spasticity in this area – his wrist and hand are very noticably turned inwards. The splint was on his very obviously ‘normal’ hand.
It is the STUPIDITY that gets to me.
We can’t compare hurt or other’s stupidity … that is as bad, just in a different way! I don’t know if people just don’t think, if they don’t care, if these kids just don’t really matter to them, I don’t know. Maybe you hit it, some of them are just stupid.
Thanks for writing!
Oh I was just a bit pissed off cos I’ve been having lots of problems with my son’s respite – I know accidents happen- . The guy who put the splint on the wrong hand is actually a nice guy who probably does care he is just a bit dopey. Unlike your daughters bra incident ,there is a funny side to this one – the very sore bottom he returned home with was more serious cos it meant my son was in quite a bit of discomfort while he was probably unaware of the splint being on the wrong hand.
Just wanted to say hello really..
oh god i keep putting my foot in it…i didn’t mean to say it was ok to put his splint on the wrong hand cos he(my son) was unaware of this….that is not what I believe or meant to say…..
I hate that because some people are non-responsive or less-responsive than others, they don’t need to be properly dressed.
I would never leave the house without a bra. Why should your daughter?
The mind. It boggles. Disabled people often get looked over or the worst kind of special treatment. For example.
There was a girl I knew in high school – We’ll call her Kate – who was a perfectly normal teenage girl. She was involved with some of the same groups I was (namely the local fire department) and while we weren’t close friends, we did talk to each other from time to time.
When she was twenty-one, she got stung by a bee, something she was severely allergic to. She went into Anaphylactic Shock and went into a coma. We’re talking a grade-A coma of over a year.
When she “came out” of the coma, she had some brain damage and lost most motor skills. She doesn’t talk, she can’t walk or sign, she has extremely limited head and neck control. She can track objects, people, watch TV etc etc. She doesn’t make much sound aside from grunts of discomfort when she’s in pain or uncomfortable. She rarely laughs. She’s got some limited facial expressions.
One day, I went to attend a firehall event, and Kate’s parents had brought her along. She was in her wheelchair, sitting off to the side, away from everyone. She was straining to look toward the group.
“Hey, Kate.” I walked over. “Geeze, don’t be a wallflower, come join everyone else.” I said, trying to humor her. Someone had put her over there by herself, after all, which had to be a slap to the face. I wheeled her over to the group of people and put her between my mom and I. My mom touched Kate’s shoulder.
“Hey, Kate! Glad to see you joined the party. Your hair looks nice, you must have got it cut recently.” Mom said. Kate smiled slightly. We talked to her and amongst ourselves for a while, until a lady came up, got down on bended knee in front of Kate.
“Oh hello Katie-girl. You are just so adorable, yes you are!” The lady spewed unintelligible baby-talk into the face of a 26 year old woman. Kate’s face hardened and she rolled her eyes toward me as though to say “Can you believe this?”
I cleared my throat.
“Don’t treat her she’s like a baby.” I said. “She’s 26.”
“Oh, honey. She doesn’t understand like you used to.” She said, giving me that oh you poor sweet stupid thing.
“You don’t know that. She understands just fine.”
“Well, the doctors said…”
“I don’t care. Kate’s 26, treat her like she’s 26.”
The lady left in a huff. Kate watched her leave, and sat silently for a moment, seemingly zoned out. Then, something happened.
A snort. And another. I looked at Kate and she was smiling. And laughing. We locked eyes for a moment.
Doesn’t understand, my ass.
I have seen this happen countless times with many many disabled people. and even babies…people will “baby talk”. Has no one ever heard “do unto others as you would have done unto you”? Thank you “Dad” for writing such an honest and great blog! I keep replying to old posts, and I’m sorry, but this brings forth a lot of emotions about things I usually keep to myself.