My Story – Submitted by: James
I have cerebral palsy and started life at a special school in Chicago where the physical therapy staff routinely diapered the kids who had accidents. This was nearly 60 years ago. Some of the students wore diapers regularly. As a deterrent, I suppose, they made fun of the kids who had the occasional accident. The method of humiliating punishment was general. Boys were made to feel sissies, changed into girls’ underwear; girls and boys ridiculed as babies (“How many babies need changing?”), and shaming was applied as a general deterrent. Maybe it worked in a number of cases. But I have come to believe it was precisely the wrong way to address the problem. At the time there was only one other special elementary school in the city’s public school system.