See the third-grade boy having fun, playing with his classmates at recess? Sometimes his pals give his wheelchair a push, other times he wheels himself. Their teacher, Mr. McHale, arrives to escort his students back to class, and he calls out to the boy, “Hey, Hollywood, let’s round ’em up and move ’em out!” Hollywood grins, and his eyes light up behind his sunglasses.
The boy was very light sensitive, and the large, dark glasses shielded his eyes from the bright sun. He loved movies (and was quite a ham), and his teacher thought he looked cool—like a Hollywood star—in his oversized dark shades, so he nicknamed the boy Hollywood, and he named him well.
Some might have referred to the boy—my son, Benjamin—as the wheelchair boy, crippled kid, sped student, CP kid, or some other offensive descriptor. But to his teachers and classmates, he was Hollywood—he wore the name proudly—and what a difference the name made!
What about you? Are you the PTA Prez, Yankee Bob, Hot Mamma, or maybe...Click here to continue.
What's in a Name?
Imagine sharing information about a child or adult with a disability that begins with a positive, interesting, respectful nickname at a team meeting, or when introducing the person to someone new. Imagine using that term on a regular basis with the person ("Hey, Hollywood!").
New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense