DSM: just a thought

Allan Saugstad (asaugstad@vsb.bc.ca)
Tue, 16 Jan 2001 16:53:18 -0800

The other day someone told me my child shouldn’t be touching the fruit in the
store. The immediate thought in my head was “ well, you are allowed to touch the
fruit, and I am allowed to touch the fruit, so why not them?”

This kind of thing happens frequently. Many people don’t think of kids as people
who deserve respect and have rights just as you or I do.

This made me think...

Imagine you, at the age you are now, being told you had to go somewhere everyday
for the next 12 years (except weekends). You would meet someone there who would be
there to tell you what to do; not just when you were in trouble or confused, but
all day long. When you were in the middle of a daydream, when you wanted to build
something, when you were in the middle of a conversation - they would stop you and
tell you what to do. In fact, it would be important for you to listen to them
carefully because they would be upset with you if you didn’t listen to them - they
may even say disrespectful things to you, separate you from your group, or sit
down with you in a private room to talk about how important it is that you do what
that person wants you to do.

That person, your “boss”, might belittle you or yell at you - not always (as long
as you did what she wanted you to do), and you could not choose to quit or leave
that place.

Imagine asking permission to go to the bathroom or hearing a loud bell every now
and then and learning to go where the bell told you to go to. Imagine giving up
and trying your best to do what you are told and then being rewarded with a
sticker or when you were older, a letter on a piece of paper telling you that you
did well. Imagine not doing what they wanted you to do and being told you were
inferior to the others; what would you do then?

Imagine writing, reading, even cleaning, for 12 years, and not getting paid a

After these 12 years, how much of you would be left?



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