‘Head-Banging’ Is About as Funny as ‘Retard’

Kristina Chew autism.typepad.com Kristina blogs about parenting her teenage son Charlie at the URL above. This post was one of Kristina’s recent daily dispatches. We just got through one of those begins-with-whacking-the-corner-of-the-iPad on the bedroom wall storms, though several degrees less bad than the one Charlie had the night before he went back to school, almost exactly a month ago. He called and called for his iPad after things were over but (powdery with plaster dust from the wall), the iPad remains on the brown chair: As we told Charlie, he needs to sleep first then he can have it. It is past 2am and I want to take one fast glance at some things pertaining to Herodotus but I just wanted to say something I’ve had on my mind for years: I really get all-out annoyed when people make references to head-banging and head-bangers and head-smack-on-desk and that sort…

Recognizing Ableist Language in the Autism and Autistic Communities

Lydia Brown autistichoya.blogspot.com It’s everywhere. “Autism isn’t mental illness. We’re not like those people.” “It wasn’t an autistic person who would commit mass murder. Only people with actual mental illness, like psychopaths or schizophrenics do that kind of thing.” “Those ideas are insane!” “Autism Speaks’s idea of representing Autistic people is absolutely crazy.” “People who want to give their kids bleach enemas are just nuts. Their ideas are nuts.” It comes not merely from Autistics and non-Autistic parents and professionals and researchers but also from Autistics and non-Autistic parents and professionals and researchers who are disability rights advocates and activists. Take the humble pill, recognize your own strands of ableism, and stop using the ableist language. It is not okay to refer to ideas and people with whom you disagree as ‘insane’ or ‘crazy’ or ‘nuts’ or ‘loony,’ because those are hateful and hurtful words just as much as the…

Words Matter: Thanks, Ricky Gervais, for the Pitch

Emily Willingham biologyfiles.fieldofscience.com daisymayfattypants.blogspot.com For background on this post, see the coverage and update at LoveThatMax.com. -The Editors When I was young, I lived a somewhat sheltered life. My parents never used racial or ethnic slurs around me or not around me, and even though I grew up in a small-ish, very southern town, the only slur I ever learned before middle school was the N-word, which I am myself to blame for having learned. At age five, rapt with the poetry of rhyme, I was working my way through the alphabet, rhyming with the word “Tigger.” When I reached N, my parents became rather dramatic and, let us say, instilled in me a permanent repulsion for the word. I was in Texas, so naturally, I did manage to hear that term again here and there. But it wasn’t until high school that I came across other slurs, mostly having…