March 14, 2013 | North America: Massachusetts

SOCIAL PRAGMATICS

By Miss A

I am a teacher who works with teens and young adults with moderate- severe special needs. I took my students with special needs to Target today. A women standing just a couple feet away from us, very loudly called her friend the r-word for doing something she felt was not good. My students, aware of the word and the fact we do not call people it as a means to diss them or a situation, looked at me worried. My nonverbal student frowned and signed “bad.” If I wasn’t there to be a role model for my students I would’ve caused a scene and yelled at her as she deserved. Rather, I explained to my student’s right there next to her in the aisle how IGNORANT some people are and how people misuse the word. Retardation is a diagnosis not a diss! People, be aware of what you say and its implications. My students, who tend to struggle with social pragmatics understand this concept of how the use of one word can affect people better than some "typical" grown adults.

About Miss A: SPED Teacher (Masters Degree in Special Ed)
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