Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Knew This Was Coming...

Warning: Angry Post Ahead. Read at your own risk!

Over the course of the summer I have encountered a few people who have made some insensitive (ie. stupid) comments to me in regards to Bennett and his lack of speech. I would be lying if I said that I didn't expect it. I also knew that these comments would make me angry. I wasn't sure though, exactly how I would react at the moment. I must admit that each time it has taken me off guard a bit and I haven't said much in response. I expect that I'll get more comments and questions as time goes by and Bennett gets older and his lack of spoken words becomes more obvious. So, in preparation I've decided to organize some of my thoughts here.

First of all to the person who asked, "Really - he doesn't speak yet?" My answer to you is "Yes, REALLY - now suck it!"

To the person who inquired, "Is Mama all he says?" My answer to you is, "Yes, yes it is - now do you want to talk about your mama?"

To the snarky woman in the grocery store who interrupted Bennett's joyous babble to ask, "What kind of language is that?" My answer to you is, "It's the language of #*!$ off. Would you like to hear more?"

We don't owe any of you an explanation but I would like all of you to know how amazing my son is. He may not speak but he understands EVERYTHING you say. He knows and uses more than 60 signs. He would know more but he's been too busy learning how to use his communication device and book which both have more than 200 pictures and symbols - he knows them all.

Bennett knows the alphabet - he can pick out letters and tell me what words go with each one. He knows the numbers 1-10 and can count up and down. He knows all his colours and shapes and pretty much every body part a human being can have. He can communicate in a variety of ways and you will be blown away by what he has to say if you take the time and make the effort to see it.

Does it sound like I'm ready for a fight? Yeah - it sure does. I'm ready to fight for Bennett and with Bennett for as long as it takes. And for those of you who still don't understand, although your words come easily without much thought or consideration, I have two words for you - BRING IT! I'll be ready for you next time and rest assured that I have access to all sorts of words and I'm not afraid to use them!


Popcorn House said...

WOW! Bennett is so smart. I don't know what to say, besides I am sorry you have had to hear these things. I don't understand why people can be so insensitive.

Kara said...

Some people are stupid. Plain and simple. For every kind and understanding person you run into in the world, there will always be at least one jerk with comments like those you mentioned.

I don't hold back anymore when faced with those hurtful and insensitive comments because I don't ever want to regret not standing up for Kasia. It doesn't mean I "explain" her situation, it just means that I don't let those comments pass anymore. It feels so much better to let it out rather than stew over it later.

As Mr. T used to say.... I pity the fool who runs into you next!

Mummu and Poppa said...

It's been awhile since Mummu and Poppa have posted to the Blog but this certainly does warrant a reply.

Words are only one part of a language, and we believe that they will come in due course.

... to the insensative people, maybe words should be left unspoken and they should take a look at the 'bigger picture' of a boy making the best of his life and our lives.

Bennett's physical and facial expressions speak louder than words can say. He is understood and loved more than words can say.

...and is there a softer more loving word than Mama???

Barbara, you are the Mama and you-go-girl and do whatever you have to do to protect your little man.

On the other hand, the other day at the Metro a customer was very taken with how lucky Bennett was to be gaining strength in his legs by walking all over the store.

People stop and talk to him and 'get an earful' because he is very sociable and comments on everything he sees. People love to be drawn into conversation with him.

We are very proud of him.

Let us not forget that he is not yet three.

The best is yet to come.

... always remember that Roberta's newphew was four before he talked.

Bennett has accomplished so much. Let us rejoice and be glad.

Love, hugs and kisses.
xxx ooo xxx ooo xxx ooo xxx ooo

Bonnie said...

My dear Barbara:

What a wonderful thing - to see a mother who loves her son like you do. It is so natural to want to defend and protect Bennett, and yes, some people are small-minded and insensitive. When I heard some of the comments that have been said, after feeling shocked, I could only imagine how overwhelming and hurtful these would be to you. You see Bennett's amazing progress every day, and we know he is exceptionally intelligent. I had a great conversation with him on the phone, and he does love to interact. His comprehension is truly amazing.

To those who question - telling them the wonderful things Bennett does and his amazing spirit and determination, and how proud you are of him - they still won't understand. To tell them you feel sorry for them that they are so insensitive and can't see the wonderful things you do - that might make them think.

You are such a great mom. If ever I'm in need, I would want you on my team! It's hard not to let it get you down, but you just need to look into those eyes and see Bennett's smile - and it will give you the courage to forage on. The protection of a mother bear will be pale in light of your passionate love of our dear little Bennett. What a gift he is to us. Thank you so much for sharing your love for him, and his loving heart with us. We are all much better people because you, Jim, and Bennett (and Murphy) are in our lives.
With love,
Auntie Bonnie

Amy said...

So sorry you have to deal with insensitive comments. The other commenters have summed it up very rock! Stay strong... I have a feeling that there are many fights ahead but you are up to it and Bennett is lucky to have you in his corner.

This is not really the same thing but I've been very frustrated lately because Maddy's been wearing a cast on her good arm and I am SO SICK of people asking what happened to her arm. I know they are just "being nice", but I really don't feel like explaining how my daughter had a stroke to some random person who just happens to be behind us in line at the library! Annoying!

Barbara said...

Thank you to everyone for the support. You all make excellent points. I just wanted to add that the reason why I've been taken so off guard by people saying things is because the overwhelming majority people are great. That's the good news!

Christine said...

I chuckled at this post as I could so relate. I am new to your blog and I hope you don't mind me adding you to my blogroll. I was going to write more, but will do it at some other time. Hope you have a wonderful day!