View Full Version : Grandma told ds that he's (legitmately) retarded

Shannon P
04-30-2011, 03:59 AM
Years ago ds was evaluated and labeled as "moderately to severely retarded." While I can't deny that, in addition to his hearing loss, he is incredibly right brained, dh and I do not agree with the label. We had him formally re-evaluated a few years later, with the same results. I've always been mildly disgusted that the "deaf and dumb" stereotype seems to live on in the minds of neuropsychs. We have never shared the results of the evaluations with ds.

DS stunned me tonight by mentioning that label.:eek: I asked him where he'd heard that and he said that Grandma (my mil) told him. (Insert steam-coming-out-of-my-ears-smilie here.:angry:) I didn't think to ask him how long he'd known.

Is there ever an age where kids quit shocking the life out of us parents?:lol: I'm aging fast.;)

Bless his heart, he seems OK with it. He mentioned it offhandedly. I haven't had a chance to talk to him more about it. We have a major chess tournament this weekend and I don't want to stir up emotions. (The irony here makes me chuckle.)

I suppose we should have told him about the label, but it just never came up. How do you sit down and announce "Oh, btw, you're officially retarded"?

This comes a few years since his grandfather (my fil) told their neighbors, in ds's presence, that ds would go be deaf by the time he was 18yo.:eek: It threw ds for a loop. He was scared, and wondered if we and the doctors had been lying to him. I was livid. Neither dh nor I were there or we would have rebutted. DS went through a swing of being embarassed by his hearing aids and depressed about his relationship with his grandfather after that.

I need to talk to my doc about increasing my hypertension meds.:lol: Maybe some "shut up" pills for my inlaws.

My apologies for my language, especially for the R word. Its use was meant intently, not as flippant trash talk.

Thanks for letting me vent. Please don't take it too seriously. I just needed a safe place to be frustrated.

So, has anyone else dealt with their kids learning about a label from someone else?

04-30-2011, 07:05 AM
Dear Shannon,

We've spent the last couple of years just nurturing our sons self esteem because of things like that being said at school, BUT being said by your own grandparents is like a betrayal.:sad: My son would be devastated if he thought his grandparents thought him anything but perfectly wonderful just the way he is.
Being home educated, to us family mean a lot to our children and I know if I couldn't trust the grandparents to protect my child's heart he wouldn't be staying with them alone at any time. There is no circumstance where that sort of negativity should be spoken over a persons life, simply for the sake of chit chat. It could be simply a generational thing as sometimes those of the older generation are very narrow in their understanding of such things.
Hopefully you can all focus of all the positives in ds and build him up at home.
It is terribly frustrating when people close to you just don't get it though.
God is able to do more than we can ever think or imagine ( even teaching an old dog new tricks - so to speak)
Take care.
Blessings, Renelle:)

Rachel Jane
04-30-2011, 07:23 AM
so. out. of. line.

Gwen in Texas
04-30-2011, 10:36 AM
so. out. of. line.

Oh yes. I'm speechless.

Robin in Colorado
04-30-2011, 10:55 AM
I think I'd have dh let his parents know that there is such a thing as 'three strikes, you're out' and they have used up strikes 1 and 2.

I'm so very, very sorry. Grandparent relationships can be so difficult.

laurie in ok
04-30-2011, 07:13 PM
:eek::eek: That is horrible! Praying for you as figure out how you will deal with this!

Sue C
04-30-2011, 10:18 PM
so. out. of. line.

also speechless. I'd send husband to talk to the in-laws. :sad::mad1:

04-30-2011, 10:34 PM
I'm so sorry, Shannon!:sad:

Please let him know that my kids think he is a great friend. Period.

Kendall in GA
05-01-2011, 10:26 AM
so. out. of. line.

Absolutely! :yes:...The other side of the coin is that labels only have the power that one assigns to them.

I'm from the shoot straight school of thought. IMO, it seems that an alternative route to take is to discuss labels frankly with your ds and equip him on how to handle/address them. I'd rather my dc hear the "ugly"/less pleasant/uncomfortable side of things/life from me so that they aren't caught off-guard or shocked when they hear it from someone outside of our household ~ KWIM??? It's a great approach to address the ignorance/hatred they will encounter from others. Perhaps this may be a route that you'd like to consider taking with your ds in the future. :unsure:

Shannon P
05-02-2011, 10:36 PM
Mondays are very busy; I still haven't spoken to ds about it. I don't think came up in an angry situation, but in an informational, if misguided, situation. I honestly think this was revealed to him only recently, since it doesn't seem to have had any significant impact on his self esteem.

DS has a handful of labels. If we were to believe them all, he would be profoundly disabled, which he is not. He knows about the labels that apply to him, but we have not revealed the labels we disagree with.

For instance, his hearing loss is classified as progressive, but has been stable for many years. The longer it is stable, the less likely it is to suddenly progress. However, we have tools in case it does. It's part of coping with that unknown. Even so, he was a bit thrown by the incorrect news from his grandfather that he would definitely go deaf in 2 years. (Two years later and he's still not deaf yet.) In fact, I think he learned not to take anything my inlaws say too seriously after that incident.

Jo in PRC
05-03-2011, 11:39 AM
I always hesitate to put too much weight on tests. Our littlest tested very low on her first IQ test, in part because of cultural nuances (ie: When mommy wants to clean the floor, she plugs in the _______....Embarrassing confession but at the time, dd had NEVER seen me clean our marble floors as we had a house helper. She'd never seen a vacuum cleaner either. So her response was a giggling "Li Guo Ping doesn't have a cord" -wrong!) The motor component also distracted her. We had to wait until she was much older and then we had her re-tested by a pediatric neuropsychologist who was able to test in a variety of ways in order to pinpoint exactly where dd's deficits were. THAT was amazingly helpful. Being told she was low IQ was not in any way helpful.

We did talk with her about the results. Because her handicaps came suddenly (with her brain tumor) she had a pretty good grasp of exactly what she'd lost. Now, though, the notorious IQ test, has become family legend. At least once a year or so, her brother will ask her, "Hey, Anna, what's round and bounces?" She was supposed to say ball, but (and I totally blame this on FIAR) her response was "A kangaroo, if it's fat enough." Guess what book we were rowing at the time? So she understands that she bombed that test, but she also understands that tests are NOT perfect or even necessarily pertinent to our lives.

Her diagnosis is also progressive...and we have at times discussed her prognosis with her as well. We don't dwell on it and in fact we've pointed out how far she's come in recovery and how she's exceeded her doctor's expectations. We didn't want her to google her tumor some day and be shocked to find out that kids don't live beyond five years....so we talk about it.

Sounds like your ds is thriving and happy. Would you feel comfortable discussing all this with your in-laws? Sounds like they have some misconceptions about his issues or at least have interpreted information differently. :group:

Alice R
05-03-2011, 06:16 PM
Uh, Granny has some serious mental health issues to inflict emotional pain on her grandson.

It doesn't matter the context or how it came out...it is just plain WRONG.

I'm glad your son is so cool and seems fine.