A friendly request from Danny Pettry to remove an image from social media
A graphic reading, “Yes, I’m a recreational therapist, but I can’t fix [insert slur for people with intellectual disabilities]” appears to spreading on social media.
I feel a uneasy about this image and slightly disgusted. I don’t like it and I don’t think it is a good match for our profession.
Imagine if a person with an intellectual disability, autism, a traumatic brain injury, a stroke, or a person who is suffering from dementia sees this image.
I’m afraid it could insult our clients. I worry that it might give Recreational Therapy a bad reputation as well.
My personal experiences:
I [Danny Pettry] have a Central Auditory Processing Disorder. I attended special reading classes and speech therapy in elementary school. These classes were held in the special education section of the school. I often felt a stigma that I’ve never fully outgrown.
I’d be very upset if I saw another profession like a special education teacher or a counselor wearing a similar shirt that claims their profession can’t fix [insert this similar slur for intellectual disability].
I’m asking you to delete these graphics if you’ve shared them. Please “share” this newer image on social media [at shown at the top of the page].
Rec Therapists are good people.
I believe that recreational therapists are good-hearted people.
Those who shared this image probably had a playful approach and weren’t intentionally meaning to cause harm.
And, I’d like to reinforce that “YES WE CAN AND DO” help to improve cognitive functioning skills.
The graphic claims we can’t fix [insert slur for intellectual disability].
I’d like to argue that we can indeed make a difference.
We do provide services for people with cognitive deficits. We do provide interventions to increase cognitive functioning skills.
A Person’s IQ stays relatively the same over a lifespan. However, there is evidenced-based research that certain activities can indeed increase IQ. A person’s ability to learn isn’t as fixed as IQ. People have the potential to learn and grow.
My final thoughts:
Be proud of the work you do.