Lazy MB Leaves Nanny Feeling Lethargic

opinion dec
I am a nanny with 15 months of childcare experience. I am trying to go to college part time as well. I have worked for a family for 11 months now and have been having some issues. I am a live in nanny and get paid $200 a week. I signed a year contract and it is up next month. I watch eight year old triplets, 2 boys and a girl. Both boys are autistic. One can talk and one can’t, and the one that can talk is in pull-ups still. I originally only had to watch the children, clean up after them, make sure they do their homework, give them baths, and do their laundry.

I know it is hard to work with autistic children and didn’t expect anything different, but I was told they were well behaved but sometimes they would have crying fits if they got mad or if they got hurt. I have been hit several times, my hair has been pulled, I have been kicked on many occasions, and my chest has been grabbed multiple times. I try to explain to the boys that it is not good behavior and it isn’t nice to do those things to people, then I send them to time out for eight minutes. The mother has seen this happen several times and has done nothing to discipline or explain to them that it’s not good behavior.

I have 6 hours a day during the week without the children during the school year. But during that time I am cleaning up the kitchen, doing the children’s laundry, family sheets and towels, and grocery shopping. The children’s jeans and shirts have to be ironed every time I do the laundry. I can’t be far from the house during school hours because at least twice a week I have to go to the school and drop of a change of clothes, medicine, snacks, or pick up a sick child. I also have to clean the children’s bathroom weekly and make sure their rooms are clean. I have no vacation time but I have every other major Holiday off. I did not get paid more during the summer for watching the children all day or a bonus for working a Holiday. I only have every other weekend off as well. When I do get a Holiday off I get the day of the Holiday off nothing else. For Thanksgiving I had to work on my weekend off to get Thanksgiving off (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday) so I could visit family out of state. The mother told me I now owe her a day for getting that Friday off. The mother is also never really around... she goes out shopping, has bible class, visits friends, and gets her nails done weekly. I make breakfast, lunch, and heat up what the mother makes for dinner for the week, I put the children to bed and if they wake up in the middle of the night I am up with them.

When the mother is home she talks about how tired she is and then just stays in her room or on the phone until after the kids are in bed. On the weekends I work sometimes, the boys will wake her up to play or eat breakfast and she tells them to get me because she is tired. All they want is to spend time with her and I have told her this but she says she is busy. After I get back from my weekends off I find that the kitchen is a mess, the dishes are only half done. If I get back before the kids are in bed then I am taking care of them until bed and during the night.

I want to talk to the mother when my contract is up about having every weekend off, and getting at least a $200 weekly raise. So I would make $400 or more a week instead of $200. I also want to have every major Holiday off and the days that she has off work for a Holiday off I get off. I love the kids when they are not having fits or hitting, kicking, and grabbing. I like to help them with homework, and teach the one that can’t talk how to talk. I like doing science projects and playing dolls and house with the girl. I also like to take the kids outside and go on walks with them. I just don’t know how to go about talking to their mother about these things without her getting defensive. I am also not sure what amount I can ask for without being unreasonable.


alex said...

It seems like the mother doesn't want to parent her own children. You didn't say how much she works but it doesn't seem like much.

You are also really underpaid because you are doing LOTS of work (but you are a live in, so that has to be taken into account), but I think asking for a $200 a week jump you may be asking for too much, so be prepared to be looking for a new job.

I think having the weekends off is definitely important, definitely having vacation (why did you not ask for that before? No one should have to work without vacation!) and only every other holiday? That is not fair, you should not have to watch their kids on a holiday that is about spending time with family!

I would also ask about getting paid more in the summer when you are responsible for them all the time! I'm actually a triplet (none of us had special needs though) and I cannot imagine how difficult it is to watch three the same age and especially with two special needs. Good luck!

Anne said...

Have you worked with children with autism before?

It sounds like you may be over your head in that area. Are the boys receiving any sort of therapies/interventions?

If you end up staying seriously be trained and learn techniques about how to manage their behaviors in ways that are effective and keep all parties safe, yourself included.

Anonymous said...
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Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

IMO, although all I have to go on is your post, MB sounds like she simply is tired of coping with her kids. Triplets, 2 of whom are autistic sounds like a heavy load for anyone. Yes, you should be getting paid more. You need to contact area agencies and look at (the International Nanny Association's nanny salary survey is available there) to find out what a decent salary for someone with your level of experience is, and then you need to sit down with your Mb and have a talk. Outline what you are doing above and beyond your contracted duties, and emphasize what you bring to the table.

I think you should also be looking for a new job, since you are being grotesquely underpaid, and it's not likely you'll get a 100% raise. I think your Mb decided to find the cheapest labor she could, and you've now done your time, you have experience for your resume, and it's time to get out.

Phoenix said...

I would look for another job. That is too much crap to deal with. You are not their mother

People first said...

Please do not refer to your charges as autistic children, they are children with autism. Their is more to them then their autism.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

Wow, OP I really feel for you. I am a former nanny turned ABA Therapist and I work with children with autism so I know how challenging children with autism can be.

First off, I cannot believe how little you are making. Of course you probably didn't know how difficult this position would be when you agreed to a salary but that is too low. I am not sure how many hours you are working (it sounds like a TON) but generally depending on where you live I personally think you should be making at least $15 an hour. Granted you are a live-in but $200 is too little. Also, the holiday thing is ridiculous! Why should you work on holidays when mom clearly has them off?! She just doesn't want to watch her kids.

It sounds to me like you want to stick with this job which is probably due to you loving the children only because nothing else about this job sounds good. If you are going to stick around, all of these issues need to be brought up to MB. Firstly, you need holidays off just like most other working people. Generally, nannies are needed when parents are working and I am betting mom had Friday off so she should stop her complaining that you owe her a day.

Next, the issue of salary really needs to be addressed. So you are working basically before school, all day while the children are in school for 6 hours, and then up until bed time? Then on top of that... every other weekend? That is way too much for such little pay, in my opinion anyway. I think that the $200 raise is justified but I am sure that MB will not feel the same. You have nothing to lose so list everything that you do and show her why you deserve this raise. At the same time, bring up the issue of more pay during the summer.

Lastly, at the very least I think you should look up ABA therapy techniques on the internet or talk to a specialist or something. The boys must receive services at school but it would be very beneficial for everyone is you used these techniques at home. This will optimize on the skills that they do have and facilitate more communication on their end. After all, most of the behavior issues we see with kids with autism results from an inability to communicate wants and needs. You can even look up some simple sign language to use with the boy who is nonverbal. If you are willing to do this, start now and bring this up to mom when you talk to her. It is yet another reason why you deserve a raise. Best of luck to you and let me know if you have any questions about ABA. I'd be happy to help!

mom to 3 little monkeys said...

WOw will you come to michigan I have normal children and I pay 200 a week for a sitter 6 hours 3 days and you could live in as well. YOu are so under paid OMG I was maken 600 a week one child 40 hours. no laundry light meals for the toddler.

ums said...

mom with 3 monkeys,

kids with autism are "normal." My daughter has autism, and she is not abnormal. She has a disability.
Please try to be a little more sensitive throwing the term "normal" around.

To the OP:
you are in way over your head, and are underpaid. the "bad behavior" you are describing is indeed bad behavior, although it is to be expected with kids on the spectrum. there is a certain way to deal with it, and if you have no traiing in ABA therapy, you should be given that training or support. the family you work for should facilitate it, too.

MB sounds burnt out and unplugged. Sorry for your situation: it's not your fault, you sound like a good person. But seriously, you are NOT getting paid enough. :( No way are you getting paid enough.

Please keep us posted.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

I agree with ums, mom to 3 little monkeys, please try and be more considerate. Children with autism are normal, I think the term you were looking for to describe your children would be TYPICALLY DEVELOPING.

MissMannah said...

I don't think mom with 3 little monkeys meant any harm. Face it guys, an 8 year old child throwing fits like the ones OP described is not "normal" as we would usually describe it. Being so PC all the time can get really irritating.

Before I get accused of being hateful (again) let me just say that YES I am quite experienced with people of various disorders and let me tell you, it is usually their family members who get more upset about the labelling than the people themselves.

Getting back on track here...OP I really hate to say it but I don't think you're going to get what you want in this situation. My advice would be to work till the end of your contract, get a good letter of recommendation out of the mom and then cut your losses. She is definitely taking advantage of you and you can get a much better job, especially after you have a year of great nanny experience under your belt. I think any parent will look at your resume and be impressed when they see what you've been doing for the past year.

By the way, you absolutely do NOT owe mom a day because you took the day after Thanksgiving off. If she didn't want you to have that day off paid, she should have docked it from your paycheck rather than wanting you to work for free now. My last job ended because of this. The mom went on vacation for a few days but paid me for it (as was stipulated in the contract) then later the dad tried to get me to work overtime for free because I "owed him 35 hours." I refused and got fired.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

I agree that people trying to be PC all the time can be annoying. BUT the reason that it is usually the family members that get upset about non-PC terms being used is because the people with the disorders cannot advocate for themselves. I know mom with 3 monkeys didn't mean any harm, I was just saying that it would be more respectful to not group children as normal and not normal.

another nanny said...

OP, are you for real?! As I was reading I kept thinking this must be made up, because it sounds that horrible. Not as far as the kids (although they do sound challenging) but the hours. It sounds like you are basically working 24/7 all for only $200 per week. Unfortunately I think you'll have to move on. The descrepancy between what you are getting and what you should be getting is just too great. I really don't think Mom will agree to it.

As a side note, I understand Mom is exhausted, but then shouldn't she understand that overworking the nanny will cause the nanny to also burn out? She needs to hire a second nanny to cover more of the weekends/holidays. She should also look into respite programs in her state.

CaliCo said...

I agree with a lot of what Anonymous just said EXCEPT "if all else fails, call CPS." I don't think people realize how that one call can DEVASTATE a family. Here in California, a call to the child abuse hotline from anyone can result in a CPS worker accompanied by law enforcement removing ALL children from the residence based on the CPS worker's lone judgement. Often, these workers are not familiar with autism, especially the fact that self-injury not unusual. A negative finding of neglect or abuse could affect the future employment of the parents since employers often do a search. How do you think the triplets would be affected by such a result, especially the boys with autism? Of course, if there is real neglect and abuse, the call is appropriate, but I do not see that is the case here.

JKD said...

Wow you have your hands full!
Tbh I think you have nothing to loose but to request the pay rise/time off at wkends/vacation etc. Just sit and chat to her explain what you would like to happen-maybe also say that you will look into training which will be another reason to give you a raise.If she says no or you dont meet a reasonable compromise then start looking for a job

ums said...

Miss Mannah,

I am not a very PC person, actually. However, I have had my daughter referred to as "not normal" by too many thoughtless people and THAT is irritating. Strawberry is right: usually a five year old or 8 yr. old child cannot advocate for themselves.

As far as an 8 year old having a fit not being normal: I work with what you would call "NORMAL" children. (not autistic kids) and they throw huge fits when they can't get what they want. to their parents, who cater to their bad spoiled behavior. (they won't try it on me, they know it won't work.)

It is rude and insensitive, to be quite frank, to call children with disabilities abnormal, or to refer to ones who do not have disabilities as "normal." I can name some children who are regular ed and they act way less "normal" than my child, who is sweet and kind and has "fits" because of sensory issues and neuroligical issues she cannot control easily.

I am not overly PC, but I guess being a parent who has to advocate for my child, I am on this issue.

Educate yourself.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

Thank you, "ums" I think you said it very well. I don't think people should go around walking on eggshells all the time because they are afraid to offend anyone but there are certain things that you should just not say. Yes, we can classify things are normal or abnormal, but we shouldn't do that when it comes to people. Next thing you know people will be referring to others as the girl with the "normal" skin color or "normal" hair color. What would that even mean?

I can see why someone would say they have "normal" children because their children's BEHAVIOR may be more like what we would expect for their age. But it should never be the child that is referred to as normal or not.

Anonymous said...
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ums said...

My only intent is to educate people on the sensitivity of the issue of having a disabled child. Instead of trying to have the last word and be "right" why not show a little more kindness in your daily life by being sensitive to those who are disabled and their loved ones? We don't appreciate the term "normal" or "abnormal" when discussing our children. What is normal for one is not for another. That is all I'm saying. Of course people are not trying to be insensitive: but if you are given helpful advice on how to deal with/refer to people with autism, take the advice from people who live with it. We are just trying to educate you. It is important to us,even though it may be trivial to you.

Anonymous said...
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StrawberryShortKakes said...

It doesn't matter if someone "means no harm" when using a term like "normal". Obviously mom with 3 little monkeys meant no harm in what she said, especially because she was talking about her own children. But the issue is that by referring to her children as normal, it is offensive to the children to which she was comparing her children (the children with autism in this case). She is essentially calling her children normal and the other children, therefore, are abnormal. I don't see why this is so difficult. Just don't classify people in such a potentially hurtful manner. As I said before, you can refer to their behavior as typical or atypical but that is all.

Anonymous said...
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StrawberryShortKakes said...

@Jedd, yes I agree with you about the term "disabled" or "disability". To me, that term implies children with autism are unable to do certain things and oftentimes, that is simply not the case. In a lot of situations, children with autism just need help to facilitate learning so that they can become independent thinkers and learners. In my company, for example, our ultimate goal is independence on the part of the client.

Unfortunately, a the label of "disabled" is often needed in order to get services. I think that isn't right because the word disabled is so negative and who are we to say that someone is NOT ABLE to do something? Yes, there are situations where it is apparent that someone isn't able to do something (if a person has lost their legs, they are disabled when it comes to walking, or if a person is blind, they are disabled when it comes to seeing), but that is just one aspect of the whole person and they shouldn't be labeled as a disabled person. At the most, he or she is a person who happens to have a disability of some sort.

kari3723 said...

I am the op and I don't believe I actually called the children normal or abnormal. I know about behaviors seen in children with autism and I have talked to their teachers on how best to deal with the behaviors. Everyone is right and children with autism are people too. They are just more unique than the rest of us.

Thank you all for your input and I am going to think everything over so I can decide which is the best way to go. By the way some one said they didn't know how many hours a week I work well weeks with working weekends is 76+ hours a week and weeks with the weekends off is 60 hours.

Army Wife said...

Someone might have already said something similar to this, I don't have time to read all the comments right now. First and for my benefit, what does OP stand for?!

I am a 20 yr old living in Syracuse NY. Living cost here is below average and the economy is decent. I tell you that do you can compare my salary, obviously I'd living cost were manhattan priced it would be different. I make 387$/wkly after taxes. 425$/wkly before. I care for ONE extremely well behaved one year old. I'm a live our nanny. I have every holiday off (recognized my the government as a holiday) even ones such as MLK day and veterans day. Those days I have off ate also paid. I have 10 days a year of paid vacation time, but am hardly required to use that. For instance, i'm going back home to the west coast for ten days dt Christmas time. I only have to use 2 vacation days for that, the other 8 they are considering paid holiday. Besides the baby my other duties include cleaning up after him and myself, dishes toys ect, feeding snacks and lunch and keeping a daily log of when/how much he eats and when we diaper change. I also am a certified nursing assistant. I had 1 year experience before this nannying for 4 amazing little girls.
You are being taken advantage of horribly, as you can tell I an no more qualified than you but my job is much better. I would demand at least 500/Wk (100 each kid, 100 extra because of the disabilities, 100 extra for housekeeping) and start looking for another job do if she falters and won't increased your pay you can quit and find someone to appreciate you. With those qualifications (autism is serious, it takes a ton if patience to deal with that) you can get a great job.

Army Wife said...

Oops lots of typos. These IPhones... Sorry and I hope you can muddle through my mistakes OK!!

Dr. Juris said...

Army Wife, OP means "Original Poster."

Army Wife said...

Ohhh thank you!!

Phoenix said...

autistic children are NOT normal. Autism is NOT normal. If it were then no one would be paying special attention to the kids. Any defect, deformity, genetic mutation, retardation, child cancer, or anything else where something is not quite right is NOT normal.

It is ok to admit that. It is ok to notice when something is not quite right. If autism were normal then everyone would have it. In fact if it were normal people would be wanted to make more of them. I don't understand why people have to sugar coat things, or maybe it's just turning the blind eye. If I don't say it, no one else will.

Now because we have kids that aren't normal doesn't mean that they are any less special. Or cute, or precious, or important. It just means they are NOT normal kids. If they were, people wouldn't need to take exrta training to deal with them, they could get real jobs and not live at home, they would be able to get married, start a family. But they can't because they are NOT normal.

For sake of sanity.

MissMannah said...

Thank you Phoenix, that is exactly what I was trying to say. Abnormal does not equal bad or wrong. It is just different.

But I do disagree with you on one thing you said. Autistic and other disabled people are able to get jobs, get married and have families. It all just depends on the severity of their condition.

Crisss said...

OP. you are being taken advantage of, but asking for your salary to be doubled is unrealistic. You agreed to work for a certain wage, accepted the conditions and did so, you are to be commended. You should ask for all you wish but be prepared to look for another job. I wish you nothing but the best and hope you get all you want you deserve it.

Now for Phoenix, you skank, what the hell is normal? Bleaching your hair? Cause I think people who do that are defective. You REALLY pissed me off you insesitive heiffer. Go back to the trailer park. My daughter is autistic and I don't appreciate dumb asses like you referring to her as abnormal or defective. I don't usually ride the PC train but you, sweetheart, need a lesson in common courtesy.

Phoenix said...

I don't bleach my hair. Never dyed it once.

MissMannah, you are right some of those people can get jobs ect. I was just trying to make a point.


your daughter has autism. So what. Lots of kids have autism. She is no more special than any other kid. They are all equally talented, precious, fragile or whatever you want to call it. Frankly if you do not accept that she isn't normal you have issues. I'm sorry but that's the way it is. Maybe she is normal compared to other autistic children but compared to what society deems normal she isn't. Maybe she is just more special than everyone else. Think of it that way then. She is so much more special that she isn't normal. I never said she was wrong or bad or doesn't have feelings or isn't sweet and nice.

Autism is a defect. Just like everything else that isn't considered to be normal. Take the fucking emotion out of it. You stupid idiot and look at is from a scientific view. Not from crazy mom view. You have 1,000 apples. Lets say 850 are red, shiny, perfect apples. The others show signs of problems like color is wrong, a few are lopsided, others didn't mature all the way. If you look at them you will notice 150 apples are NOT NORMAL compared to the other 850. Be a smart person please not a crazy bitch mom who thinks that I personally attacked her child. I don't even know you or your kid. And your daughter is not anymore special than any other mom's kid who is autistic or has even worse problems. Get over yourself. I didn't attack you, don't attack me. (I am attacking you now because you don't seem to understand anything)

I swear, everyday I run into people who show considerable signs of de-evolution. I'm scared to death for the future of humanity. Especially if a lot of them are being raised by crazy ladies.

MissMannah said...

I think it is pretty obvious Criss has issues. It is evident in the way she flew off the handle for no real reason. Defensive, much?? "Defect" or "abnormality" is not meant to be an insult, it is a fact. I have asthma and also my right foot doesn't work all the time. Those are my defects, but it doesn't mean I'm less of a person, just like being autistic doesn't make your daughter any less of a person. Some would say my personality has major defects, but I'm not touching that one.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

Phoenix, you have crossed the line here. I see your point that children with autism are not in the majority, but you cannot go around substituting the word NORMAL in there. Who are you to decide if something is normal or not. Yes, children with autism often have behavior that is UNLIKE the behavior of a typically developing children, and yes, that would technically make their behavior abnormal. But no, you cannot go around calling people normal and abnormal. Actually YOU can because you have no regard for other people's feelings.

As I have said previously, you can't just decide what is normal and abnormal. Oh he has normal skin. What is "normal skin"? Did you go around and count up how many people have black skin, white skin, medium tan skin, etc so that you could see which one is normal? Oh she has "normal" hair. Wow you counted all the people with blonde, black, brown, red, etc hair? Remember, whatever one has more is normal and everyone else is abnormal! Yeah right!! That is essentially what you are doing by putting children with autism in the "weirdo" group because they may have some differences in behavior, language, development, etc. Don't even get me started on how you called them "those people". Ew. As far as other "defects" go (as you call them), if someone has a birthmark on their face or a widow's peak, is he/she then not normal?? Wow just one thing is "abnormal" and BAM! into the reject zone. In that case, we ALL have something different/abnormal/strange about us! Ok a more extreme example, a Deaf person. Yes, their hearng is not normal. It is different from the majority's threshold of hearing but the people themselves are not abnormal! Autism may be more of a prominent example because it effects daily life more, but so what? And guess what, "these people" (your words, not mine) can get "real" jobs and get married.

I am not sugarcoating anything. I agree with you that society has a view of what is normal and what is not. However, that does not mean that you can go around putting people into categories like you have some sort of all-knowing mentality or something. Find some compassion, please.

And Crisss... way to go for sticking up for your daughter! She is lucky to have a mom like you who is willing to be her voice against idiots like this.

BKmommy06 said...


Thank you for saying exactly what I was thinking.

Anonymous said...
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Crisss said...

Shortkakes...thanks. If Phoenix owned or knew how to use a dictionary she would know that nobody should ever be called "defective" I have been around this blog along time...For the Cali Mom and stalker crap and when UMASS went MIA so I know what kind of person Phoenix is.

Damn right my daughter is special. When she was 7 they told us she was "Retarded" That I should think of long term placement and not consider academics. She is now 18 and in all college prep classes with honors. She is also a SCUBA diver and spokesperson for the Shark Research Institute. She would take Phoenix apart verbally and intellectually if they were ever to debate this issue.

And to the person who said I have issues...damn right I do. I have issues with people who are idiots, spew nothing but misinformation and ignorant statements and pollute the gene pool by reproducing

Phoenix said...

So Criss what's your beef? Your daughter is doing normal things? And she is successful. I don't understand how my statement relates to you. I wasn't the one who called her retarded.

Did you know that I have a mutation? A defect? Something wrong? Having red hair is a mutation. A fuck-up. A very good one but none the less it is a mutated recessive gene. And it makes me different, not normal, special.

Give it a rest. You are a fucking moron. If you can't understand simple science. Get a grip. YOu have a successful daugter, so.......

Phoenix said...

and btw strawberry, I didn't decide what was normal. The scientists did. The doctors did, the teachers, and every other mother-fucking person who walks around and looks at the obvious.

Stop being stupid. I don't even know why I would come back to argue, it's like talking to a wall.

Phoenix said...

And I will say this. I LOVE not being normal. I LOVE the fact that I am different than everyone else. That I am able to be set-apart from everyone. I LOVE being the way I am. And I am one of the most NON-NORMAL people around.

Sorry if you guys are so embarrassed by your not normal children to try to squeeze them into society that should accept them for being "normal" Stop trying to fit the square block into the round hole. Shame on all of you who don't see your kids as being different.

I don't get it. So ignorant. And you were the ones fighting for them to be "normal" Now you see how good being defective, different, mutated, or deformed can be. It is what makes people special. I was not trying to be mean I was stating the obvious. But like always we have psycho women who think I murdered their child with words. GET OVER YOURSELVES!!!!

StrawberryShortKakes said...

Phoenix, you are missing the point. Yes, we are all have things about us that make us different but it is the TRAITS that are abnormal... not the PEOPLE. If you have red hair (FYI so do I), she has a birthmark, he has a clubfoot, and she has autism, then you all have something "not normal" about you. In that case... everyone is abnormal! I am trying to point out that you should be more specific about the trait and not just call a person "not normal" because there is one thing different about them. Again, we are ALL abnormal. You said it yourself.

I will agree with you that someone who has autism is different than most. They often need services and help becoming independent, again, I have said all this before. "Normally", people do not need those services. Yes, I get it. But don't you see that flat out categorizing someone as "not normal" can be offensive??? I have been on this site for quite some time and I know how you can be, but this has struck a chord with me. As you said, it is nice to have something unique about you, most people like it. I, for one, love my red hair although it is not common. The difference is that children with autism encounter struggles DAILY, related to their specific areas of need. They have a right to stand up against people like you who remind them of all the idiots who say they can't do stuff. I don't understand why you can't see that. It has a negative connotation, that's the bottom line. Just the way that you should say "child with autism" rather than "autistic child", you shouldn't label an entire person as "not normal". In case you don't know that rule, the "defect" (your word again, not mine), goes after the word "child" so that people realize that the child is a child first and foremost. That rule should be used so that the child isn't seen only for the "defect". You probably don't care anyway though.

Crisss said...

Phoenix you are a pig. And you prove your low class trailer trash status by resorting to cursing. And the only mutation you have is being able to walk around lacking a brain. Like a zombie only not as smart. Now I am DONE with you so go ahead you piece of all you want. You have proven the skank you are.

Crisss said...

Thanks again StrawberryShortkakes.

For those unaware, parents of special needs kids use the terms "typical" and "non-typical" because we realize that even the most severely effected kids can have moments of clarity and if they hear someone referring to them as abnormal or defective can wound them terribly. Just a heads up.

MissMannah said...

"But don't you see that flat out categorizing someone as "not normal" can be offensive?"

Why? It isn't as if "not normal" is an insult on the same level as "trailer trash...lacking a brain...skank" all of which Criss called Phoenix for no real reason.

I said it earlier and I'll say it again. Generally the ones who are offended by labels are the family members because they are the ones who are having a hard time accepting a diagnosis. The disabled person him or herself usually doesn't care about being labelled "abnormal" for several reasons: (1) He isn't listening to to what others are saying anyway and (2) He knows he is different so the diagnosis comes as no surprise to him.

Keep in mind, I am not giving leeway for people to point and laugh at disabled people or to go around calling them "Defect" or "Retard". That's an entirely different matter. I'm just saying if you tell a child who is obviously different that she is "normal" and that she shouldn't listen to anyone who says she isn't, well then you are not preparing her adequately for the real world and you are basically hiding your head in the sand.

Crisss said...

When my daughter came home crying one day because the kids at school made fun of her she wanted to know why she wasn't normal and what she had to do to become normal. I explained to her tha no one is really "normal" we all face challenges. Kids with special needs are often very aware. Here is an article of one such case.

People who don't have experience or knowlege really should not comment they just sound at best judgemental and foolish.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

MissMannah, I just said my opinion, I am not saying that I agree with the way Crisss called Phoenix names, although I do see why she is angry.

I DO NOT agree with how you said that usually the people with disabilities (NOT DISABLED PEOPLE, clearly you didn't listen to what I previously posted) do not care about being called abnormal or disabled. First of all, I am curious, how many of "these people" have you asked? Secondly, you say they do not listen to these names. I am assuming that you are implying that they do not understand what these names mean and while that can be true for some, it is not true for all. And also, "He knows he is different so the diagnosis comes as no surprise to him" ummm if he is aware he has a DIAGNOSIS, that may be ok but since when is "not normal" a diagnosis. Hmm, can't seem to find that one in the medical book.

Phoenix said...

I still don't know why I would be called names when I said Criss daughter was successful. I am so glad she is. Because Criss you are a horrible woman and your daugher must have not listened to a dam word you ever said. Because if she did, she wouldn't be half the woman she is today. Notice she had to do all those things herself. You didn't hold her hand, those things came from within her.
You are a horrible person and I don't get you. I don't know why you have no logic and your daughter does. So you mean to tell me that your daughter, who you said has autism is normal. If you didn't tell me she had autism I'd never know, her doing all those things. So YOU are the one keeping her in that catagory. And you know with that label she isn't normal. So you are trying to throw her accomplishments in everyone's face saying "look my kid who has autism is normal, look at all the things she can do and you called her retareded!" If you don't say anything no one would be able to see it and call her those things. If you want you kid to be normal don't tell people she was diagnosed with autism because it is not a normal thing to have.
You are a very bad mother if you can't see what you are doing. I am so happy that your daughter is able to go to school and I bet she is actually a very nice person in spite of you. I will point out that I am not insulting your daughter, I am insulting you. If you still think that I am insulting your daughter after this statement, you are literally a nut job.

And also Criss - I have a lot of fucked up not normal people in my family. I have an uncle with CP. My cousin is retarded and so are some of my nieces. We tell them they are not normal because it is better coming from us then having some bully at school do it. So when someone at school calls them stupid they say "no, I'm just different and I'm happy to be special." Criss, you have to accept that your daughter has autism. You don't. YOu can't cradle yourself. You didn't go about it the right way. i know all to well what happens to kids at school who are "not normal" but at least the people in my family aren't in denial about it. We accept it, don't use it as a crutch and move on with life. Sorry you could never do that. I feel bad for you, I truly do.


I really don't get why it is so hard for people to accept this concept. Maybe i could replace the word Normal with majority. Autism is not the majority so therefore it is considered different. I made a mistake, it isn't like talking to wall. Walls don't talk back. It's like talking to a flock of seagulls. Who just sit there screaching and squacking for no reason. Thanks for having my back. Not many people know how to take emotion out of arguments. i'm so happy you intelligent.

MissMannah said...

"People who don't have experience or knowlege really should not comment they just sound at best judgemental and foolish."

People who don't know other people's experiences shouldn't say things like this because they come off as effing morons.

"First of all, I am curious, how many of "these people" have you asked?"

I don't have to ask. I figured I've danced around this concept long enough so I'll just come right out and say it: I am one of those people. Not autistic, but a different mental illness. Clear enough for you?

"I am assuming that you are implying that they do not understand what these names mean"

Well, you know what they say about those who assume.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

Phoenix, I wish I knew from the beginning that you are okay with calling people (especially your family) retarded. Then I wouldn't have argued with you at all because I would know exactly the type of person you are. FYI, retarded is not a PC term either. In fact, it is offensive. I am SOOOO happy I am not in your family.

MissMannah, funny you should say you have a mental illness yourself, because so do I. It is not something that I go telling people about because it really isn't any of their business but if someone finds out, it really isn't the end of the world. If someone were to insult me for having this specific condition, I wouldn't be insulted because I have it, I am fully aware and accepting of it. However, I would be offended because they are making such a big deal out of it for no reason.

My main argument is that it is OK to acknowledge that someone has a disability/"defect"/weird thing about them. That is fine and I think it is even better that people ask questions so that people can come to accept their differences and as Phoenix said, move on with things. Also that allows outsiders to understand it and accept that everyone is different. BUT it is not ok to act as if a person is solely defined by one thing about them. Also, using names such as "retarded" and "autistic child" are just not OK. It is not coddling or sugar coating, it is being understanding that people with disabilities are people after all, human and not perfect.

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Phoenix said...

holy fuck Strawberry are you serious. For the love of all that walks the freakin Earth! THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I'VE BEEN SAYING FROM THE BEGGINNING OF MY ARGUMENT!!!!

"That is fine and I think it is even better that people ask questions so that people can come to accept their differences and as Phoenix said, move on with things. Also that allows outsiders to understand it and accept that everyone is different. BUT it is not ok to act as if a person is solely defined by one thing about them."


MissMannah said...

Strawberry, seeing as we have this in common, then I would have thought you would understand what I've been saying. You are have an abnormality. It is proven, you've been diagnosed with it and if you've come to terms with the diagnosis (which I hope you have, because I know how hard that can be), I would think you would have no problem accepted the fact that you are not normal. So why is it such a problem for someone to make an observation when a person is obviously not normal?

I am not making a big deal out of this, because I don't think it is a big deal. I understand my brain does not process things normally...therefore making me abnormal. I just don't get why this is so difficult for yall to grasp. And I don't get why the word abnormal is so offensive. Nor do I see a difference between saying "autistic child" or "child with autism." It is just semantics really.

And actually yes, retardation is a proper medical term. It may not be "PC" but I haven't quite figured out what is and what isn't. Seems to change rather frequently anyway!

StrawberryShortKakes said...

Phoenix, I said the points on which I agree with you but I also hope that you see MY points as well? Like I said, it is fine to notice that someone isn't "normal" in some way and it should just be accepted but that doesn't mean that you can just throw terms around that are potentially offensive. If I were, say, paralyzed, it is obvious to most anyone, I cannot walk. But that doesn't mean that it is always OK to constantly bring it up and constantly point out that I am not "normal". It can be a sensitive subject whether or not the person/family/friends have accepted it. It is not necessary to make a big deal of things but also have to be aware of how it might affect someone. It is a very fine line.

MissMannah, yes, I am abnormal and I accept it. Sometimes I appreciate this difference because it has made me stronger in some ways and it forces me to strive to be better and overcome my issues. But I make sure to not let it define me. Without forsaking my privacy, the illness I have has the potential to force me to miss out on a lot of daily life that should not be a problem for a "normal" person. For myself, I make sure to not let my illness take control over my life. If I let that happen, I would find myself saying "you aren't normal, just stay home" and where would that leave me? I don't use it as an excuse to get out of things or avoid stuff and keep me from doing things. For other people who are "not normal" in some way, I would hope it would be the same for them. It won't keep them from striving to be "normal". Saying someone isn't normal, in my mind, shoots down any possibility of being the best at something. I hope that is clear, I just want to agree to disagree on the points we can't see eye to eye LOL.

MissMannah said...

Actually what you said wasn't too clear but if I am interpreting it correctly, I think you're saying you can accept you are not normal but you are not going to let that stop you from living as normal of a life as possible. Or at least that is what I'm doing, and I assume that is what Criss is trying to do for her daughter. This is commendable and I think we can all come to the agreement that many disabled people (or people with disabilities, whichever terms you prefer though I still insist it is the same thing) are able to live normal or at least semi-normal lives. Or as normal as is possible for them. But it is still naive to insist that they are a normal person or that it is insulting for someone else to point out their differences. I'm lucky that most of the time no one can see my differences but sometimes I wish it was as easily explained away as blindness.

I'm rambling. I think it is time to put this conversation to bed, so here's my olive branch I am extending to you. :)

StrawberryShortKakes said...

Yes MissMannah, that is exactly what I meant. Thank you.

Crisss said...

Phoenix, you make me laugh. Someone as ignorant as you calling me a bad mom and person makes my day! It proves just how good a parent and person I must be. Thanks for making me smile!

GetOverIt said...

Oh for crying out loud. "children with autism" vs "autistic children?? Same damn thing! I have never met anyone who thought the term "autistic" was offensive. People are so out of control with being PC. It's good to not be offensive, but sheesh, I think this is taking it a little too far.