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Peer pressure from developmentally-delayed peers. Fascinating.

by enginethatcould on August 22, 2014   |  FacebooktwitterTumblr

My brother has a wide group of friends, quite a few have known each other since their early childhood special education program (starting at age 3). Well over 30 years ago.

All of them have significant difficulties, but most of his friends are a little higher functioning than my brother, more socially aware, sexually aware, and more self-aware. Most significant, I feel, is that they have an understanding that they are "different" from others. Certainly more so than my brother.

A few times, I've been present for gentle (and sometimes not so gentle!) admonishments from those friends directed at my brother. Particularly his taste in music.

Some direct quotes:

"It is NOT COOL to listen to Mr. Rogers or Sesame Street. You are too old for that. Do you want people to think you're retarded? You need to listen to COOL music. Like Kenny Rogers. Or Britney Spears".

It's been more than 10 years of varying levels of this. And the last time I took my brother out to buy CDs, he actually did select the aforementioned artists. He then proclaimed (loudly!) his wish to find a "Justin Beaver" CD. Yes, I corrected his pronunciation. (Sister-pressure is a different story altogether!) Then, of course, I bought him the CD.



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