Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Patricia Bauer op ed: A movie, a word, and my family's battle

Patricia Bower has written this op ed in the Washington Post about the "Tropic Thunder" controversy. Patricia Bauer is a veteran journalist and mother of an adult daughter with Down syndrome. She also reports and provides commentary on disability issues at her blog PatriciaEBauer.

Here is the beginning of her article:

Margaret and I were lingering in front of the multiplex one evening last summer, a mom and her adult daughter laughing about the movie we'd just seen, when a gaggle of cute pre-teen girls sauntered past.

The one in the lead jerked a thumb in our direction and made a goofy face to her friend. "Look. Retard," we heard her say, and Margaret wilted. Her chin trembled. One by one, the other girls turned to look, nudging one another and whispering. The last girl spun all the way around as she slowly walked by, eyes fixed on my daughter.

In her size 6 jeans and Old Navy shirt, Margaret hadn't done anything to attract that unwanted attention. But then, my blond, blue-eyed daughter lives every day behind a face that can be a lightning rod for such talk. The beautiful face I've loved for 24 years displays some of the characteristic signs of Down syndrome, a chromosomal anomaly associated with varying degrees of cognitive impairment.

Last week lightning struck again, not just for Margaret, but for millions of Americans with intellectual disabilities. Ben Stiller's highly anticipated "Tropic Thunder" hit screens across the country...

More here....