Everyone is “normal”

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

My parents were talking this morning about officers shooting people. Then my dad left and I started making comments about it saying what person has been shot. A deaf man was shot because he was signing, a caregiver was shot when they meant to shoot the autistic person because he was playing with a toy truck in the middle of the street and it traumatized the autistic man and luckily the caregiver lived, a six year old boy was shot in the car, a 12 year old boy was shot because he was playing with a toy gun so someone called them so when he reached in his pocket he got shot and his sister was in the park with him when it happened but she wasn’t with him but she was in the same location, now this man’s car had broken down so he called for help and he was in the middle of the intersection. A cop pulls up and gets out and the man realized he wasn’t there to help him so he backs away slowly with his hand up and the officer lady is shouting “show me your hand” and the guy keeps backing away with his hand up. She shot him and there were already a bunch of police cars around by then so she had no reason to shoot and the man was unarmed.

The majority of these people were black and the deaf person was white. My mom told me most people who are shot are black. I told her about the statistic I saw online about who is shot by officers and it showed most of them were white. She told me statistics can be scewed and if that were true, it would be all over the news. She told me yes more white people have been shot but most of them were doing a crime and most of these black people who have been shot have been all innocent and not committing any crime. So she gives me an example, 500 whites have been shot while not committing a crime, how many blacks that have been shot who were not commuting a crime, 1,000. How many whites have been shot while committing a crime, 1,000. How many blacks have been shot while committing a crime, 500. So I realized people can do statistics and scew them and show it to make you change your argument and your opinion. I had started to think people were being paranoid about this being a racist issue. Then I asked her how can you tell what statistics are scewed and she told me it would be all over the news. I told her the news tends to be bias like every time they show about terrorist attacks, it’s always done by a Muslim working with ISIS. My mom told me that part is true but not all Muslims work for them and join them. I told her but they are only showing Muslims working with them, not any whites. She told me it is true that ISIS is doing all these things but it doesn’t mean all Muslims are joining ISIS and doing this stuff. I told her people use that to justify their racism on Muslims and she said people will always do that. While a fact may be true, it’s what people do with that fact. She used an example about Las Vegas. There are women there who are prostitutes. Does that mean all women are prostitutes? No. I told my mother how that is called a confirmation bias because because will use it to say everyone is that way. Then somehow the topic moves onto religion because my mom uses Christianity as an example. How the bible is being rewritten and how some people can’t make their own choices and decision. I told her I never want to be told how to live my life, I like to be free.

Mom tells me not everyone can do that. People may get up and go to work and come home and eat but they want more than that, they need guidance so they use religion. Not everyone is capable of making their own choices. They need a leader. I told her that sounded like a disability because it sounded like an impairment. Mom told me it wasn’t one. I told her they can’t even make their own choices and she told me they can still function on day to day life.

Okay to me not being able to make your own choices and be your own leader doesn’t sound functional to me. Mom told me everyone has a leader, that is why we have leaders of the pack, bosses, teachers, the government or else it would all be chaos. I am starting to understand why religion is accommodated and treated as a disability. Mom told me an impairment is when you can’t function day to day basis.

But here is the confusing part. People with dyslexia can function day to day, people with specific learning disorders can function day to day but it’s still an impairment. What about Temple Grandin and John Robison? They all function day to day basis.

I remember being told as a kid how normal I am. I didn’t think I was normal because I was different. I wasn’t like the other kids. But one day when I was 15, I was in the resource room and we were shown photos of kids working for the Vocational Rehab for teens with disabilities to help them train to be independent and have a job. These all looked like normal kids so I made the remark, “They look normal” and the teacher said “that is because they are normal people.”

I learned that day that you can have a disability and still be considered normal. It wasn’t just me that is normal, everyone else with disabilities were normal too. That would mean the kids in the resource room were also normal. I even started to see this one girl with Down’s syndrome as normal. She didn’t like the sea food joke because she thought it was gross and didn’t like me opening my mouth after asking kids at the table if they like sea food. Yes she had normal feelings because she is a human duh. Having DS doesn’t make them not have normal feelings and she had a mind of a small child under age five. I started to see myself as normal and when I would say “I feel normal” my mom would go “you are normal.”

So I learn after a while my mom views everyone as normal because what is normal? She used to tell me if normal meant not having any problems and not having any medical conditions or any disabilities, there wouldn’t be any normal people in the world. But then she contradicts herself, she said Frankie wasn’t normal, she said Jayden wasn’t normal. Okay whatever happened to “what’s normal” and “everybody’s got problems”? Frankie had behavior and Jayden according to my mother couldn’t even function because he couldn’t interact with people. But he interacted with me just fine and he interacted with his friends fine. I saw him and Frankie as normal. It was drilled into my head about the word normal. Was Ted Bundy normal? Was he functional? He could function day to day life but he liked killing people. To me that is not normal and that doesn’t make him normal. Someone can act normal but it doesn’t mean they are normal. But I saw he could be a normal person because of the way he acted and functioned but just don’t kill people. But where do we draw the line for normal and impairment? People in wheelchairs can function day to day life but yet they would still have a disability, they would still have an impairment.

This is all confusing. From my understanding, a diagnoses is only made if there is an impairment and the person has troubles functioning day to day life. But yet there are people out there who have a diagnoses, I have a diagnoses. We’re functional. My husband is functional and also has several diagnoses. People out there who do have symptoms but don’t get a diagnoses but were told they have symptoms. It could mean yes they do have symptoms of a disorder but they can still function day to day life so no diagnoses is given. What about days when a person can’t function and they can function day to day but there are days they can’t function? Then what? What would this mean then for an impairment? What about when someone is stressed out and just as long as they are not stressed and they are calm and relaxed, they’re fine but when they are under stress or anxious or nervous, or have anxiety, they have an impairment? My mom still calls me normal for this but she doesn’t see Frankie or Jayden as normal. I am thinking this is mostly because I am her daughter and parents tend to be bias about their kids. She even called my son normal despite thinking he has ADHD. ADHD is a disability, it’s an impairment so hence the label. But I still see him as functional.

This post does not mean I am downplaying anyone’s experience or their struggles. I just realized this is a politically incorrect subject here regarding impairments and labels and doctors giving out a diagnoses to people just to give them the help and support they need so they can be functional because of the way society is and because of what kind of people some people are but yet they are still seen as normal. Look at the book The Difficult Child. There are other books out there like that such as Back To Normal, and Einstein syndrome Bright children who Talk late. I am sure these books would be hard to read and controversial to people who feel insecured about themselves regarding their disability. These books could be interpreted for these books are written for parents who are in denial. But it’s been clear in The Difficult Child by the author that if everything has been changed and tried for the kid and they are in the right environment and their symptoms are still there, they deserve a diagnoses. He also wrote how to tell because if your kid has a disorder or is just difficult is looking at if they had reached all their milestones, if so, you have a difficult child, of not, your kid isn’t difficult. But he also mentioned language disorders in difficult kids.  It would be interesting to read the latest version of the book to see what information he’s changed in there. I saw on his website that he believes one can be eccentric and have poor social skills and still not have Asperger’s. That makes me wonder how many people on the spectrum he would undiagnose. I am sure he would say I don’t have it.

According to comments I have read about the book, this book gets recommended to parents by pediatricians and social workers and therapists to parents who thinks their kid isn’t normal and have something wrong with them. I am sure this book was recommended to my mother by someone because she always knew I had something. But she still says she knew I had something so that implies she still thinks I am different than just normal or else she would have said “I thought you had something” and “I thought you had more going on than ADD.” I would say this book is used for to rule out disorders before you start deciding your kid has something wrong with them, it’s not about being in denial. But yet my mom still says I’m normal. :/

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