Darts & Laurels | Sarah Barnes, Austin Speaker and writer
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Oh, come on. I know you have a beef about something, like a business that is not accessible or offensive language in a movie about people with disabilities. Or maybe you want to talk about a good law (it could happen) or a helpful person or teacher in the world of special education. I’m looking to recognize the good (laurel) and bad (dart). Please leave your comments at the bottom of the page or use “contact” to share your news with me. I hope I hear from you!

Sarah Barnes Laurel

Brave mom

A round of applause for the mother that stood up at the recent meeting with AISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen and said she was tired of the labels “low functioning” and “high functioning” as descriptions for kids with autism and other disabilities.

Sarah Barnes Laurel

Kudos to Austin team

A boy can walk again thanks to an Austin medical team, including Dr. Matthew Geck,  who went to Columbia to correct his scoliosis. His mother walked eight hours pushing her son in a wheelbarrow to get there. I drove five minutes to get Meredith to the pediatric hospital for the same surgery.

Sarah Barnes Dart

Shame on Hollywood

In the film “The Descendants,” starring George Clooney, there is one scene built entirely around the words “retard” and “retarded.” The scene did not add to character development or advance any themes, so why? Perhaps we only need do go to the blog of the author of the book, “The Descendants” to learn that her favorite word is retard and she is thankful to have “friends I can be retarded in front of.” When did it become okay in pop culture to say retard? It’s always been around, but it seems I am hearing it more often, especially from kids.

Sarah Barnes Dart
Sarah Barnes Laurel

A mixed blessing?

I think this next item might be a split dart and laurel. I think it has parts of both.

A reader told me a friend of hers has a son with Down Syndrome who gets high fives every morning when he enters his high school. He loves the attention, but his mother wonders whether he now is getting noticed because he has a disability. In a climate where we are trying to get more inclusion, is a high five an encouraging sign or a way for students to do their three seconds of contact and move on to their typical world. Is it better than nothing?