"That's so retarded"
"The guy acts like he has Downs or something."
"I'm not smart like [him], you know, I was more like a short bus kind of kid..."
Deep breaths, just take deep breaths...
Words have so much power; power to heal or to destroy, to bring life or death. The words above are just a few of the very painful comments that I have noticed in the last couple of years.
People almost always love Cohen before they even get to know him. It's like one mischievous little grin in their direction and most people are goners. When they get the chance to know him beyond the "he's so happy all the time" phase, they find out how much he loves to play tricks on people, how fierce his love for his little sister is, that he can be incredibly naughty, that he is a crazy good wrestler for how tiny he is, and that he is fantastically strong-willed.
Cohen is a lot of things. He is not a joke.
"I'm so sorry, if I'd have know you had a kid like that I wouldn't have said anything."
It doesn't matter WHO you said it to!
Cohen has had to WORK hard for every skill he posses. He was two before he learned to walk, but every single day he endured difficult physical training so that he could build the muscle tone and the coordination he needed. And now, at three, he runs everywhere with his brothers and sister.
Cohen doesn't speak much yet, but every day he works through our speech therapy program and has an outside speech therapist once a week. It is difficult, but he keeps trying. Is that funny? Stupid? Retarded?
No, it's not. It's brave. It's strong. It's Amazing.
Being compared to this kid should be a complement, not a joke.