I'm finalizing my first grading period units and down to decision time regarding the major fiction selection for (freshman) Literature 1. General ed students are reading Of Mice and Men and I do plan on using passage chunks so they are exposed to the same literature, but making Flowers For Algernonmy main text. I've found enough common themes and character traits between the two to mirror activities and have common discussion topics. In addition, my students can contribute unique content claims and evidence to gen-ed displays that look more like an extension than a replacement of texts. My question is this: both stories address mental disabilities in main characters. My higher students make connections between their disabilities and I worry they feel defeated by their disabilities as a result of seeing depictions of persons with disabilities third-hand. Any thoughts on "the elephant in the literature" that would help me finalize my plans? Could I traumatized my students by engaging them in authentic, real-world discussions that involve perceptions of mental disabilities? In the past I've approached these in very self-advocating positive, motivational approaches but I always worry, and this year my class is an even mix of very low, and just-below-the-cutoff-for-inclusion students.