Is That Really Your Brain?
If you have followed me any length of time you know I am passionate about people being treated fairly, equally, and lovingly. So when I read stories about someone being neglected, abused, or shamed for their mental capacity I get a little steamed. Today I read about a young lady who has the mental age of a ten year old but is in High school and how she was treated poorly by a teacher because she has a hard time following certain things she is asked to do. Imagine a ten year old in a high school, even if it is a day to day routine the maturity and ability to process is not present in most ten year old children to cope with what the average teenager is expected to. Sometimes taking a step back and realizing a person may look a certain age but is not intellectually caught up is an important step people skip when dealing with young people and old people.
I all to often see or hear about the elderly being degraded for not “acting their age” when there are memory problems present. I also see this when a child is not conforming at a rate some teachers feel acceptable. Our brains do not all operate the same, nor do they keep their elasticity. Please think about that the next time you see a child who “should know better” in a store but their mom is talking to them like a toddler instead of a big kid, or an elderly person in front of you is having a hard time paying their grocery bill because they can’t seem to remember that two twenties make forty. It is so easy for us to go from oh how sweet to if it were me I would…mode and when things like this occur the people who are really dealing with that situation don’t need to hear that. If you say anything, offer a kind word such as “you are doing great”, “you can get this”, “can I help”, or for the parent who looks near tears “you a being the best parent you can be”. Small things words like that can change a situation from total disaster to a new determination.
If your child comes home talking about the weird kid, encourage them to befriend the “weird one” not out of pity, but because the weird kid is probably one of the coolest people they could hang out with if they would just take the time. My heart aches for the people who feel like they have to eat alone, who are trapped inside themselves longing for someone to try and understand, and for the people who despite their best efforts just aren’t getting it for the thousandth time because those are the people who tend to be avoided by so many in today’s society, but they are often the hardest working, kindest, coolest people you would ever want to meet.