Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Racial slurs

Akila has been using racial slurs for several years now. She often doesn't use them in the right context. She will call me the "N" word, and a black person a "stupid white person". Most of the time though, she will use them appropriately. Haha. Appropriately. Wrong word. What I mean, is that she will call a white person a stupid white person, or a black person a stupid black person.

I and many others have had conversations with her about this, and how inappropriate it is. How it can and will get her into some serious trouble someday. She obviously doesn't get it, and uses these words when she is not very regulated, and is having a hard time controlling everything she is saying, and doing.

And now we have a new problem. A taxi is what is driving her to and from school while she is in the crisis home. Mpls Schools transportation says that is our only option. Not a great option. Different drivers all the time, and they are obviously not trained in dealing with kids, and for sure are not trained to deal with special ed kids, and are especially not trained to deal with Akila! There have been several issues. The taxi company has complained about Akila, how she won't buckle up, stay buckled, and is rude. And Akila has been complaining daily about the drivers and how rude they are.

Again, it takes a lot of patience to work with Akila, and these people are not trained. It turns out that Akila got the pack of cigarettes mentioned here out of the taxi. She said they were on the floor and she picked them up and took them. Lovely.

But here is the new problem. Many, I think the majority, of the taxi drivers are Somalian. Not a problem in and of itself, except that this is the new group that Akila hates now and is using racial slurs against. Last night, she was going off on the "blankety" Somalians. I told her that it is OK to be frustrated with someone, and to not like them even. But it is not because they are Somali that she has an issue with them. It is because of what they said or did. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they did anything wrong even, but in her eyes they did. I have been saying that to her for months, as she complains about this staff or that staff at the crisis home, and brings their race into it.

I am now nervous, about when she figures out that several of the drivers are more than likely Muslim, and starts to say derogatory things about their religion. It is one thing for the crisis home staff to get called racial slurs, they know it means nothing coming from a child with brain damage (although I know it is still annoying), but for a taxi driver with no understanding of her disability, it might not go over well. So one of my new prayers, is that she can control her mouth with the taxi drivers and that if she doesn't, that the drivers will respond with patience. Lord knows that all who work with and love Akila, need lots of patience.

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