If your friend hangs out in Christian bookstores for fun, you might need a new friend.
I had this friend once who didn't give a sh*t what anyone thought. If he wasn't certain about one's level of sarcasm in a post, he didn't think twice. Hell, he didn't even think once. Now, for some reason, he does.
Kenny, you're a sharp fella.
There is absolutely no way you could've failed to see how this thread, along with the other two, spiraled out of control and offended the friend you're not speaking to since last night.
Fix it, make amends where necessary, and get back to entertaining us like you used to. You know you want to. Delete the posts here, and move on.
Don't reply. As Injun said, let it sink to the bottom of the thread-pool.
I am not in the medical field, but I have close friends who are doctors, nurses, therapists, etc. and I understand that when you deal with someone's medical condition day after day, you have to find a way to make light of it or it really starts to get to you.
Things that doctors, nurses, etc. say about their patients behind their backs or when they are lying on an operating table would blow most people's minds. But, if they allow themselves to be too drawn into each and every patient, they would be so emotionally drained they would have nothing left to help others.
That being said, I feel you were being overly insensitive by addressing these children as retards. If that is your private feeling, then you should keep it quiet. When you talk about children, it stirs up much emotion in people. And when you talk about mentally challenged children using what some consider a very negative tern, it REALLY stirs them up!
Your story overall was interesting and I can see that you actually are getting through to the kids on some level. However, the story could have gotten its point across just as well without the use of derogatory terms.
You might try reading L. Frank Baum's "Wizard of Oz" books to the class. The old illustrations are classics. The concept here is that once you get their imaginations going, you can better relate on other subjects. The key to successful teaching is for students to embrace their instructor. Later on in school that's sometimes called a "Teacher's Crush".
Keep on writing and don't get discouraged by the comedians on this thread.
Simply banter with them. Give them back more than they ever expected. I do.