It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

If You're a Tard and You Know it...

Before I get irate comments in response to the title of this post, I'm all for the R-Word Campaign. This post is a book review of sorts of The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal (see sidebar) by Jonathan Mooney. It is one of the best books I have ever read. Mooney has an honors degree in English from Brown. He's also diagnosed with severe dyslexia and ADHD and can barely read. He was in special ed for years, rode the short bus to school, and thinks that "normal people suck." By the way, I happened to glance at the very end of the book while writing this post. He has also done some graduate work in disability studies. It's no wonder I LOVE this book.

Mooney wrote this other book I've flipped through, Learning Outside the Lines, after which he went on a book tour of sorts, doing presentations to special ed classes/teachers/parents. I've only read up to the end of chapter 2 of The Short Bus so far, but he had me hooked on page 8. That was the part where he talked about his book tour. On page 8 he talks about Clay, a middle school special ed student that he met on that tour. Clay sings a song:

If you ride on the short bus clap your hands
If you ride on the cheese bus, clap your hands
If you're a tard and you know it,
and you're not afraid to show it,
If you're a tard and you know it,
clap your hands

What follows has nothing to do with the book per se, but is rather an extrapolation of what I think this song means. I honestly don't think that this was in any way how that passage was intended to be interpreted.

The song is included in a discussion of the word normal, and the concept of the word normal. The fact that the world is classified as "normal" and "not normal." He talks about what that does to kids and how damaging it is. Then at the end of it all we get "If you're a tard and you know it, and you're not afraid to show it..." I went RIGHT ON!!! GO CLAY!!! What an assertion of disability pride! There is this concept that is frequently used in cognitive behavioral therapy. The "fake it til you make it" principle. I don't think that Clay had any degree of disability pride, because again I really don't think that's what the song is supposed to mean. He especially didn't have disability pride at his age. That's almost impossible. But personally, as twisted as this sounds, I think he will eventually and I think this song will help.


Ashley's Mom said...

Cheryl, my daughter Ashley is the subject of the chapter titled How To Curse In Sign Language in Jonathan book! I loved the book - and love Jonathan. In fact, he is the reason I started my blog,, and the reason I am now working on a book myself. He convinced me that Ashley's story needed to be told, and I hope I can make him proud!


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