Wednesday, 14 January 2015

#21. "You And Your Retarded Child" - Samuel A. Kirk

"Pharoahs can't swim in the desert." (3.4/10)

By  Peartree

(chosen by Beau Dashington)

Editor's Note: Carrots are purple. Why am I a bird?  

When Beau assigned me 'You And Your Retarded Child' to read for our group I was a little confused. It didn't seem like a book that would be funny to read, nor would it upset me enough to delight his schadenfreude. But as I read on I came to understand his choice and the man who chose it. I came to realize that Beau is a mentally challenged man. Albeit one who finds humour in self-hating antiquated words like 'retarded', 'mongoloid', and 'cretin'.

The book makes very clear from the beginning that all of the advice and tactics used within should be individualized for each child. No two 'retarded' children are the same. Beau happens to be a fairly specialized case of 'idiocy'. Firstly we must find out how 'retarded' our child is by defining his mental, physical, and emotional capacities into either dependent, trainable, or educable. These classifications are defined as one who develops either at one quarter, one quarter to one half, or one half to three quarters the rate an average child, respectively.

Beau, being an early thirties adult male, while reaching a mental capacity of that age, a physical one of that of a twelve year old, and an emotional/maturity level of a sixteen year old male averages out to be a twenty year old. Or one who has developed exactly two thirds of his actual age, making him an educable child; one who can help with chores around the house, support the family in some way or another, and does not require constant supervision. This must have been a burden on his family, but 'rarely are educable children admitted to the growing number of specialized schools now being offered by the state'.

Looking back through our Facebook messages this should have become clear much earlier. But I suppose I took most of the signs as nothing more than idle banter between friends. Checking my messages to find things like

"i just did an online search to find out how many kilograms are in a metric ton." 27 June 2014 at 22:07.

"Pharoahs can't swim in the desert" 27 June 2014 at 22:07. 

"man.. i just worked out why I am a bird... it always seems like the more questions you answer, the more questions get raised;" 10 April 2012 at 10:49 PDT .
I never questioned why these ideas came about and figured he was just being what adolescent girls like to refer to as 'so random'.

But I am glad I did not shoot down these remarks as this book taught me that "The feeling of accomplishment derived from even the simplest activities goes a long way towards developing a feeling of personal worth in retarded children." So when he worked tirelessly at the task of determining himself to be a bird luckily I simply congratulated him. Validating his work and his sense of self. Although this may have had an adverse effect in his development.

You see, while although well travelled for a 'retard' he has come to have a sense of superiority with all of praise given him, leading him to become a bigot. The countless derogatory racial slurs have unknowingly piled up. There are too many to list here in the 6,503 messages I looked back on, but when brought together it is quite shocking. But there must be a balance between reprimands and praise. As you see "when a child is resistant to suggestion and refuses to comply with your request, the child is said to be negativistic." Which "begins when he has matured sufficiently to recognize himself as an individual" and should be "seen as a sign of growth". So yes it is in poor taste for him to say thing like:

"Dutch people are like ants. Fucking everywhere." Wednesday, 9 July 2014 at 15:06 PDT. 
But it is helping his developmental growth.

I have faith in him though as "the cretin tends to be docile, listless, good-natured, and easily led." So hopefully through my guidance I can help him to channel his inner 'cretinism' and get back to the good-natured little boy growing up. Not only that but he has expressed his own frustrations to me directly and has wished to continue to develop and not be complacent with where he is now, telling me
"god i wish i wasn't such an idiot"  5 January 2015 at 09:27 PST 
very shortly after assigning me this book. Well Beau, know your cry for help did not go unheard. I will be there to help push you further than the doctors of this book could have ever believed possible.

- Peartree

P.S. if any Thai women have been reading this blog and wouldn't mind meeting up with Beau he once stated
"Thai nurses are really sexy. I really hope one of them touches me on the penis" Friday, 22 August 2014 at 21:19 PDT 
it would probably mean the world to one little 'retarded' boy.

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha loved it. I particularly appreciate the way in which you took the book's advice on board, and applied it to a real-life situation: clearly a thoroughly educational and useful tome!