Saturday, March 5, 2016

Book Review: Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern: Chapters 6 and 7

ABLEISM:

Chapter 6:

Nicole says Amy's peer helpers are "fired if they put any make up on you."  There is never a conversation about whether or not Amy would actually want to wear make up, or an assumption that Amy was perfectly capable of consenting to make up or not herself.



Sanjay, one of Amy's peer helpers, tells the cheerleaders that he is "kind of like a babysitter for Amy."  How totally embarrassing.

We also learn, courtesy of Matthew, that in the training sessions, Nicole has passed out a list of Amy's interests that is six years out of date, so that her peer helpers will have something to discuss with her.  Amy has no idea her mother passed out such a list and has no idea what was on it.

Matthew still can't tell whether Amy is upset or joking.  I feel like, even with half her face affected by CP, emotions would be fairly easy to read (assuming Matthew doesn't have other disabilities that make reading emotions difficult.)  I'm fairly sure though, that it is just Amy's emotions he can't read.

Chapter 7:

Here, we have Amy's mom telling all the peer helpers in training about how Amy was "supposed to be a vegetable" but proved all the doctors wrong.

I wonder if I am the only one who finds the fact that her mom is sharing Amy's medical history with her peers as wrong.  Not to mention, I don't think it would do much to break down barriers if the other kids constantly hear what low expectations there were for Amy when she was a preemie.  Twice now, Amy's medical history has been shared without her knowledge or consent.

Mathew says he looked up Cerebral Palsy and read about it.  He says he has also rented My Left Foot and watched it twice for insight on CP.

To me, this is like people watching Rain Man for information about what it is like to be autistic.  You are seeing one very particular presentation of CP, one man's experience, portrayed by an able bodied actor (so that it feels, in essence, like a mockery.)  Matthew recommends that Amy watch My Left Foot, because he does not like her recommending books to him on OCD.

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