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Terri Mauro

Ten Toxic Special-Needs Topics

By March 16, 2009

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I caught up today with a pretty funny NPR blog post by Linda Holmes entitled "Ten Toxic Things You Should Never, Ever Attempt to Discuss on the Internet." It got me thinking of this blog, and of comments I read on special-needs and mainstream blogs, and of flame wars on special-needs e-mail lists long before my blogging days.

Like everybody else, I guess, parents of children with special needs have their hotspots. Here's my impromptu list of "Ten Toxic Special-Needs Topics You Should Never, Ever Attempt to Discuss on the Internet," or via e-mail, or in support groups, or, you know, anywhere and anytime you don't want your hair to catch fire. They're here either because they cause parents of children with special needs to attack one another with particular vitriol, or because it causes others to attack us with the same passion -- if you've read comments on any of these topics on mainstream websites, you'll know what I mean.

1. Peanut bans in schools

2. Autism and vaccines

3. Neurodiversity vs. autism cures

4. What kind of special-needs parenting is hardest

5. Sarah Palin

6. Tolerance for children with behavior challenges

7. Celebrities becoming spokespeople for their children's disabilities

8. Celebrities refusing to become spokespeople for their children's disabilities

9. Parents disagreeing with doctors on treatment

10. The R-word

What special-needs topics have you found to be particularly incendiary, online or in person? Share your thoughts in the comments ... but I'd like it to be a discussion of the discussions, not a discussion of the issues. In other words, I'm deleting any comments that prove my point.

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April 14, 2009 at 12:12 am
(1) Trish @ Another Piece of the Puzzle says:

Love this list! So true. :)

April 14, 2009 at 2:27 pm
(2) Sharon says:

This list is SOOOO accurate. However, you might want to consider adding: Parent fo a Special Needs Child vs. the world at large. Somehow, we also seem to upset someone by just being. (You know, people like our mothers, mothers-in-law, our perfect sister, the neighbor down the street who is losing their sports team as school, idiotic radio show hosts who have large mouths that believe they have working brains, professionals without children, etc.) Thanks for the laugh; I needed it!

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