Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has provided more than ample eye-roll material since her coming-out as the Republican vice presidential candidate.
I'll leave her lack of experience to other columnists. Disability is my beat, and the blatant exploitation of a cute baby to support a promise that has captured the hearts and hopes of too many parents of kids with disabilities was an outrageous slap in the face of every genuine advocate.
We have had real advocates as leaders in our government and we'll have more, but simply giving birth to a baby given a diagnosis does not an advocate make. Baby Trig has a label: Down syndrome. Period. No one knows yet what his disabilities, physical or cognitive, will be. The chirpy governor hasn't a clue what it is to fight for a disabled child's education, weigh the pros and cons of surgeries, find speech therapists or navigate the cruel land mines of prejudice that are encountered on playgrounds and hockey rinks.
Even if the condescending term special needs is acceptable to some, Palin has no business using it with regard to her youngest child. At nearly 5 months of age, he doesn't have needs that are much different from any other baby.
Deborah Kendrick is a Cincinnati writer and advocate for people with disabilities. Her email: firstname.lastname@example.org