I was not mainstreamed. As you know, I attended the same school from the age of six to nineteen. The only thing that my high school had in common with other high schools was that we had a prom one year. But, thanks to the magic of television, I have some idea what it's like to attend high school with students who are not disabled.
I know about the cliques. The Jocks. The Geeks. The Popular Girls.. And, there had to be a Cool Table where all the really together people sat.The ones who dressed well and looked as though they had their act together all the time, even when didn't.
I would have been part of another clique. The Nerds. I was called Virgin Ears because i didn't use profanity. The girls in my class thought I was strange because I was not boy crazy. I didn't fit in anywhere. The fact that all of us were disabled didn't matter. In the seventies, that saying about kids being cruel, applied to kids with disabilities as well. At least, in my high school anyway..
Fast forward to the present. There is one main dining room here. Residents from a smaller dining room have moved to the main one. I had been eating at the same table with the same resident for a number of months. We were told we would have move because our table was needed for the other residents.
After trying several tables and not feeling comfortable, I went to a table with two residents close my age .My former table mate was sitting at the table too. I had been waiting meet the other residents for a while. I thought we would have things in common and we do, we like to watch movies.
I was happy. We do get along well, but I don't like the fact that the one resident makes fun of my former table mate. They call them names and say how annoying they are.
It's true that my former table is not the happiest person. Neither am I. I guess that's why I understand their behavior. They do have issues,, but everyone here does. The person doesn't know they are being talked about. it bothers me that another adult would act that way. I have been called names since I have been here too. I have been talked about by other residents. The old feelings from high school resurfaced. They didn't stay with me long, but,I must admit, It hurt for a while.
I enjoy the meal conservation most of the time. The other two residents are funny and we talk about movies. I hope someday they will learn to be a little more understanding of another resident. We don't know what issues they may be going through.
Then our table will really be The Cool Table.