The first time I heard the word “meme” it came from a young colleague who, at Halloween, came as Nyan Cat. Silly me, I thought she was a rainbow. Afterwards, I made a vague connection in my head that a meme was an internet phenom that glorified absurdity.

Wow. Was I ever wrong.

I had no idea those little quips on my friends’ Facebook feeds were anything more than fun. I’d seen a few that I passed by because they were rude. But when I saw *this* meme for the first time, I – along with tens of thousands of parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children – went nuclear.

The most obvious retort was uttered in unison around the globe: Our kids ARE that lonely kid in the cafeteria. The internet of parents, united in the cause of lonely kids in the cafeteria, responded with this:

Memes are the trumpet of cruel and ignorant hate speech passed off as a good laugh. There is no way to avoid them, politely respond to them, or protect your children from them. It’s a big zero in the game of harmless insults. But memes are not benign. They spread unsubstantiated chatter that influences everything from school bathroom policies to public opinion and politics.

If you’re the parent of a child with a disability, a learning disorder, gifted, or otherwise belonging to a class of outliers, you’re ready to go to war. In a more diplomatic approach, I suggest we meet them all with educated replies.

For Example:
RESPONSE: Any 2nd grader knows the correct contraction is “I’m”. Therefore, 2nd graders, some of whom may be autistic, are smarter than you.


RESPONSE: Yes, there are a lot of us (1 child in 68, to be exact, which we always are) but Oprah has too much class and sensitivity to award that status to idiots.


RESPONSE: Wrong again. Shitty parenting is the cause of ignorance, selfishness and hate speech. What’s with the dodo bird?


RESPONSE: How airgun lion. I mean unoriginal. We’re way better at anagrams than you are.

RESPONSE: Childhood became a mental illness when beating and publicly demeaning a child for a disability resulted in severe depression, destroyed self-esteem and suicide.
NO SNARK RESPONSES: If retorts and snippy quips aren’t your style, you can meet memes head on with de-escalation tactics, such as:

not your job

And, my personal favorite:


If none of the above are helpful, refer the offending party to any of the following success stories who have/had ADHD, Dyslexia and other learning disorders.

  • Justine Timberlake
  • Adam Levine
  • Jim Carrey
  • Keira Knightly
  • Robin Williams
  • Tom Cruise
  • Emma Watson
  • Steve Jobs
  • Glenn Beck
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Zooey Deschanel
  • Alyssa Milano
  • Bill Gates
  • Anthony Hopkins
  • Eva Longoria
  • Jay Leno
  • Joan Rivers
  • John Lennon
  • Henry Winkler
  • Avril Lavigne
  • Albert Einstein
  • Orlando Bloom
  • Steven Tyler
  • Cher
  • Bill Cosby
  • Keanu Reeves
  • Vince Vaughn
  • Elvis Presley
  • Michael Jordan
  • Liv Tyler
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Jack Nicholson
  • Whoopi Goldberg
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Anderson Cooper
  • Ozzy Osbourne
  • Danny Glover
  • Nikola Tesla
  • Galileo Galilei

If they STILL don’t get it, throw in this one:

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