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‘Speechless’ Tackles How to Have ‘The Talk’ When Your Kid Has a Disability

‘Speechless’ Tackles How to Have ‘The Talk’ When Your Kid Has a Disability

This episode of Speechless, titled “Training Day,” had a twofold meaning. While Maya was busy training the new aids, Jimmy was training himself to become better at giving “the talk”.

The talk: that dreaded “here’s what sex is” conversation between parent and child. Jimmy took it upon himself to have the awkward conversation with Ray. The reasoning behind this sudden urge was because Ray and his girlfriend were getting pretty close. Jimmy thought he was doing a good thing. But, it’s Ray. His awkwardness supersedes anything that may be deemed normal. Jimmy makes the scenes worth it. He gets so flustered, he tries to change to subject with Italian Ices and hitchhiking pedestrians. It gets to the point where they’ve reached the Mexico border and Ray has tons of follow up questions. It is awkward but great. While Ray appreciated what his father was willing to go through, he and Taylor are nowhere near that stage of their relationship. Good to know, but not surprising.

When Ray gets weird and declares he is a man, and in turn gives his dad a pen (strange boy), Maya reminds Jimmy that he gave “the talk” to Ray before he gave it to his oldest, JJ. Girlfriend or not, their motto is to treat a child with disabilities just like any other child. This misstep by Jimmy leads to camping on a school day and more practice for Jimmy to be a great father. Jimmy and JJ give camping a go amid serious conversation. Before Jimmy gets too far ahead of himself, JJ reveals that he already knows about sex. Thanks, internet! Scary to think kids learn the steps of life via the world wide web.

While I am horrified at what JJ learned and saw, Jimmy is relieved he doesn’t have to talk about the birds and the bees. But on a more series note, JJ asks if he would ever get married and have a family. Jimmy is no Maya, and the only response he had was a big, jovial “why certainly!” that did no one any good. Things start to go downhill from there as Jimmy gets trapped in an outhouse and JJ is forced to make an overnight trek to a Ranger Station. After his rescue, Jimmy admits he never thought JJ would make it all the way to the Station. But then he thought, he never thought JJ would be in a mainstream school nor would he got to summer camp and do all the amazing things he got to do there. It was a wake-up call. Maybe JJ isn’t as incapable as he thought. Maybe, just maybe, JJ can raise a family. He’s strong, he’s determined, and he’s learning every day.

Everyone is always learning a lesson in Speechless. It’s never preachy and it’s never over the top. It makes the comment that even parents are learning as they go, and that’s okay. No one has it all figured out, although Maya tries her best. It’s always so exciting to see what lessons will be learned and how these lessons will come about. It’s no surprise Speechless is a great show because it’s honest and relatable. “Training Day” made it clear the DiMeos are great but don’t always deal with situations in the best way. Tune in for an all-new episode, Wednesday on ABC.

Cat CombsCatalina Combs is an aspiring film critic from California. She loves reading, writing, film, baking, music, drawing, traveling, Disney, and playing soccer. Her life usually revolves around all of these and her family. The oldest of six, Catalina tries to set a good example for her siblings. She graduated from Santa Clara University in 2010 with a BA in English Creative Writing and is pursuing an MA in Film. I also blog on WordPress and contribute to the website Twitter- @tiggercraze | Facebook- Cat Combs | Instagram: @tiggercraze

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