Archive for the ‘disability’ Tag

People saying their abusers faked a condition trend

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

I often notice a trend by people who were in abusive relationships about their partners faking an illness. I did ask a couple weeks ago about how do we know if they actually had a disorder or are we just assuming they were faking it because they were abusive and it didn’t turn out well. I did write here about No longer identifying my ex as an aspie because it’s taboo to be in a relationship with someone who had it and they were abusive. Mine was controlling and emotionally abusive. She has never hit me or broken anything and she has never threatened me or called me any names like stupid or bitch or telling me how worthless I am or telling me no one will ever want me. But abuse is also a spectrum so not everyone always knows they are being abused but y mom knew but didn’t say anything until long after we were split up. But at first she said while we were living apart that she was worried I was being abused and I said I was not and reassured her I wasn’t. This was before I knew about emotional abuse and knew about different forms of it and when I found out after reading an article about it in the Seventeen mag around December 2008 or January 2009 and she ticked a few boxes for it, I was in denial for a while because I was still making excuses for my ex which is pretty typical in lot of victims. But the main reason was I was worried I would be playing the victim if I admitted it and came out with it. But my mother has reminded me that anyone can be abusive, even people with Alzheimer’s can be abusive. We actually adopted a dog from an animal shelter when I was 14 and she was an abused animal and it turned out her abuser was an old woman who was senile and she would forget to feed her dog so the dog would dig in the trash and she would beat her with a newspaper. It was obvious she did more to her than beating her with a paper because our dog was scared of lot of things like our tone, rags, and it was very difficult having her for months and then she got over her truama and was no longer afraid and didn’t easily pee anymore and was no longer disobedient. We just had to earn her trust. My grandmother has acted abusive verbally so I was afraid of her as an adult because of stories my mom was telling about her. When her Alzheimer’s got worse, she had more wild mood swings and emotions and would mistreat her caregivers. My mom thinks she was Bipolar. Plus before her Alzheimer’s got worse, she just hid it more or unless my mom hid it from us kids but she has told me stories like when we were children, she referred her sister in law as the bitch and would tell her sons she wanted that bitch out of her house. She had issues with jealousy and would get jealous and she never treated her daughter in laws well. My mom kept this from me and my brothers because she wanted us to have a good relationship with her and not be afraid of her or have our opinions about her be influenced by her stories. Mom made sure to never tell anything bad about our grandmother in front of us. But I did get afraid of her when she started to tell them in front of me and tell them to me as if she thought I could handle that part about her but I didn’t because I became afraid of my own grandmother. I didn’t want to be her victim so I was afraid and didn’t want to be around her anymore because I was worried she would go off on me and I never take it well when people mistreat me. Then it doesn’t help when people give me excuses about them and expect me to be understanding and just accept the abuse because “Oh she is just old and probably doesn’t remember she did it.” I was actually told that when I was 15 and my grandfather sided with her than with me and I was the child and she was the adult. But my aunt and my dad told me she is old so old people do those things and she probably doesn’t even remember it. But when her Alzheimer’s got real bad, her abusive behavior went away due to her short term memory being wiped so I no longer feared her and I was able to see her again and not be afraid. But I was not able to have any conversations with her.

When someone has a mental illness or a disorder (excluding personality disorders) you are expected to be understanding and have compassion or else you are seen as being ignorant when you have been hurt by them and talk about what they have done to you and how they have treated you that was abusive or hurtful.

I can’t count how many times I have seen people on the autism spectrum say how ignorant and narcissist NTs are for being hurt and abused by their “AS” partner and being called un understanding and being called bigots and I can’t count how many times I have seen them also say how discriminating someone is for writing about being abused and neglected by their “AS” parent and I think it’s too much to ask for a child to be understanding. These are children, you can’t expect them to accommodate their parents and have them turn out fine when they are adults. I have noticed it seems to be politically incorrect to be abused by an autistic person so you are better off not identifying them as such or else you won’t get sympathy so it’s no surprising to see people say how their abusers faked an illness or a disorder to get away with their abuse. If people just pretend their partners were normal or just say they had a personality disorder or not mention any disorder at all, they will get sympathy and not be re triggered if anyone stands up for their abuser because of a disorder they had.

Now I am asking how do we know they faked it. I understand how it’s so taboo to be abused by someone with a mental illness or a disability because people then dismiss your feelings and treat you as the bad guy and that doesn’t help you at all. It’s invalidating and it’s like your feelings don’t matter.

There was a thread again on narcissisticabuse subreddit on Reddit about someone faking an illness. The thread was titled “NEX faking amnesia” and another person wrote in their reply theirs faked something to get a medical Marijuana card and another person wrote theirs faked suicide attempts and I wrote I am sure mine faked theirs. Then the OP told me her nex faked a head injury to make her feel sorry for him and use it as an excuse to be a horrible person.

Why is it that when someone has a disorder, the victims are expected to be understanding and non affected by their abuse? Even people won’t label that person as an abuser if they have a disorder but ironically on Wrongplanet I have seen members there tell NT users that their “AS” partner is just abusive and that isn’t autism. So at least not all of them stick up for an “aspie.” Even in a aspie Facebook group, back when I still identified Jerry as an aspie, someone posted a question asking if anyone has ever been in a relationship with an aspie and what it was like so I answered and the response I got from someone was I had described an asshole and anyone can be one and it had nothing to do with AS. I was embarrassed and I felt bad and I wasn’t trying to bad talk AS and trying to say it was all aspie behavior. I was just answering a question about being in a relationship with an aspie and what it was like but that was just an example about how taboo it is to be in a toxic relationship with someone with it. It offends people. So when I stopped identifying her as one, I now don’t have to say what being with an aspie was like in a relationship. I now don’t have to say I dated an aspie one time and it was horrible. I don’t have to pretend by staying silent about it. Just as long as she didn’t have it, I am not pretending. I am not being silent. I don’t have to hide. I wouldn’t answer a question to someone if they asked if anyone has ever dated anyone with cerebral palsy because Jerry didn’t have it so I am not being silent about that because she didn’t have it so not answering a question about dating an aspie is the same thing. I solved my own problem. But looking on the bright side, at least I didn’t get accused of being ignorant or a bigot or a hateful person or non understanding. So not all autistic people think someone is non understanding for being in a bad relationship with an aspie.

I had AS and aspie in quotes in this post because usually they are not even diagnosed, just their partner putting that armchair label on them to explain their abusive or asshole or cold behavior.

I have seen a post on Reddit by an abused victim about their parent faking dementia but admitted it’s so hard to tell if it’s real or an act. The mother was in her early 60’s. So this is a trend I have been noticing about victims saying their abuser is faking a condition. So I tried asking on Reddit how can we tell if their condition is real or fake and if are we just saying they are faking it. How do I know Jerry wasn’t faking any of hers? My mom thought she was faking her PTSD and telling me she knew nothing about AS and doesn’t know what it is. I remember her telling me that back in 2007. But yet she didn’t think Jayden was faking anything when we were together and told me he might be a schizophrenic or might be mentally ill and I didn’t believe her then because it was just her opinion and she wasn’t a psychiatrist. But it turns out she was right and she told me “I told you he was ill” when I showed her the online court document about his parents divorce and it mentioned him being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and his mother helps him with daily assistance. But she still thinks he was an asshole and reminded me anyone can be an asshole. So at least my mom doesn’t undiagnose everyone if they are abusive because she didn’t say our former dog’s owner was faking being senile and reminded me anyone can be abusive. She also didn’t say Jayden was faking having ADHD because she told me he had more going on than ADHD.

Autistic people are “normal.”

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Someone posted an article online on a forum and I really want to post my opinion about it but I am afraid it will be controversial and offensive so I will say it here instead.

The link here:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150602164024.htm

My comment about it:

But then that means we are “normal” and we are only labeled because of people and the world not being made for us.

The Difficult Child really explains it and Stanley Turecki explained in his book that the difference between a difficult child and a kid with a disorder is with the difficult child, the symptoms are gone when the kid is in the right environment and being given the right parenting but with a kid who has a disorder, no matter what you change for them and if they are in the right environment, the symptoms would still be there. I checked his website and he believes someone can be eccentric and have poor social skills and not have AS so that makes me wonder how many people would he undiagnose with autism and say you are fine but you are just quirky or you are fine but just have a different brain wiring but you’re still “normal” just find the right environment and the right partner, etc. My mother read this book when I was a kid and I now understand her perspective and what she means by I am normal and there is nothing wrong with me and people with real Asperger’s are more limited and I am not autistic or Asperger’s. I’m me. She says I can do anything but I know she doesn’t mean it literally. No one can do anything or else we’ll all be going into space or be mathematicians. But the only thing that keeps me from “doing anything” is people who hire people and the restrictions they put down to qualify and who they hire and the roadblocks they put out there that keeps me from getting any job I can do that requires no college education. Plus people discriminate all the time and to say it doesn’t happen because it’s illegal is very naive to believe it doesn’t happen. There are loopholes and you would have to prove it. I think my mom is a little naive about life because she doesn’t have a disability aside from arthritis and cancer but she has never had any mental disorders or a learning disability so she wouldn’t know what getting a job is like with a disability.

What would Stanley Turecki say about children who are immature and struggling with social skills but yet it’s holding them back and it’s making them outcasts and making it hard for them to fit in and be accepted and it’s giving them low self esteem? Would he still dare to say they are normal but they are just difficult? How can they not have a disorder if it’s affecting them? The parents cannot force the schools to do things their kid’s way that suits their needs if they have no diagnoses and parents don’t have control over how other kids will treat their child and they can’t force kids to accept their child nor can they control how the schools will treat their child unless they have a diagnoses. Are there kids out there who get diagnosed when in fact they are just “normal” but just are very difficult or just have a different learning style? Yes because it does happen.

But I still find that confusing because how can it not be a disorder for some kids? Does that mean not all of us have real autism and we are only diagnosed as being autistic because of society? Some individuals with it feel autism is just a fancy way of saying someone is weird and awkward and processes the world differently as if they don’t think their condition is real but yet they will still admit to having autism.

This man sure feels this way about his autism:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/disability-37560841

“I’m autistic, which is a posh way of saying I have a different way of thinking and perceiving the world.”

Something new I learned about bullying

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

I was reading a book at Barnes & Noble and it was about anxiety. It talks about anxiety disorders and I was reading the first chapter and he talks about teens and technology. He talks about bullying and he said something very interesting. He said when you are bullied often, you start to think there is something wrong with you, there is something about you that makes kids target you, you don’t see anyone else being bullied like you do, so you start to think something is wrong with you. It brings down your self esteem. He said what makes you a target for bullying is your reaction. REACTION.

Yes the bullying did make me think there was something wrong with me. I took the criticism kids thought of me and I tried to better myself. I started to study what was rude behavior and what exactly is showing off, I started to walk looking at the ground so I would stop bumping into people. I always felt bad for bumping into people because of my clumsiness so I learned to look at the ground when I walk and I will have more time to move my body when I see a kid in the way. I even started to copy “normal” behavior to be normal. I wanted to be liked, I wanted to be respected, I didn’t want to be this mean and rude girl and a show off. Kids thought I was weird so I tried to stop being weird. I didn’t accept being different anymore. I tried harder to care about others so I wouldn’t be selfish anymore and spoiled. Also the author wrote to not listen to what kids tell you about yourself and it’s just their opinion. I sure took their opinions seriously so I started to obsess about being normal and trying to be this good person. I couldn’t handle the criticism. But the truth is bullies do not care, you can never impress them. But where do you draw the line for when to listen to someone’s opinion about you and when to not listen? If we never listen to anyone, we will never better ourselves and also when does a comment count as bullying? My mom doesn’t think I was really bullied, she just thinks I was just teased and I was too sensitive and I took kids comments too personally. She says they were just mean kids but she didn’t see any of it as bullying. She says the others were just innocent and I took it too personal, too literal. That seems common in ASD kids to take it all personal so they continue seeing those kids as the same people, I sure did. I didn’t want to be around the kids that made fun of me in the third grade for how I spoke. I didn’t want to be around any kid that thought of me as a show off or selfish or spoiled or rude or crazy or weird. I had true social anxiety around those kids because I felt so self conscious about myself so I had to watch my facial expressions, my behavior, how I sat, my body language. I don’t feel that way anymore because I don’t care what people think and I don’t care about normal. Besides what is normal anyway?

I was also rejected but I didn’t know why I was rejected. My own friends would avoid me and tell me to go away. I had poor social skills.

But I think kids are bullied for many reasons, not because of how you react. Transgender kids get bullied because they do not follow the gender role  Homosexual kids get bullied because they are not following the “norm” and kids are taught that being gay is “wrong” by their religious families or because their parents find it “sick.” Autistic children are bullied because of their poor social skills and because they don’t understand jokes and of course how they react to teasing so it makes them even more of a target. I think one of the things that made me a target for bullying was my reaction to teasing, the way I talked, I was socially naive, I was pretty sensitive. Kids also thought I was stupid or retarded and I did take teasing seriously and I remember getting upset by it too. So when I got upset by it, I think that is what made me more of a target for teasing. Most kids would just ignore it and handle it better and then the kids move onto the other kid. That didn’t happen with me because I made myself the target. Children with autism make themselves the target because of the way they react to teasing so the kids do it more. Kids do like to pick on those who are different. Different can be normal kids or kids with disabilities.

So the author is right that being bullied doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you.

I think bullying attributes to anxiety. It can lead to PTSD, social anxiety, depression, and of course low self esteem. I think the bullying may have lead to my anxiety and the rejections and causing me to be depressed. By 6th grade I wanted to kill myself and was already talking about it because I couldn’t handle it anymore and I was sick and tired of not being able to be normal. I was so obsessed with the word normal and I didn’t accept myself. I did try to to up my low self esteem by doing work by myself and being proud of it no matter what grade I got. Even my mom getting upset with me about my grade didn’t change it because I did it all by myself without help so I felt normal and smart. C is average so why feel bad about it?

 

The time I thought my mom was closed minded

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

about guys I was dating.

Disclaimer: dislike and not like are not the same thing.

When I first met Jayden, my mom didn’t seem to take a lot of like to him. he was nice and sweet and he even organized the pantry above the oven where my parents kept their cookie sheets and pie pans. He did talk about his school life and how incompetent his school was with special ed kids. He also had troubles with school work too like me but he didn’t have an aide like me. I didn’t like how my mom was critical about it. She told me he wasn’t very smart and said it was because he barely graduated. I told her it was because he didn’t have an aide like I did and they didn’t give him the help he needed. I told her I also wouldn’t have graduated if I didn’t get the help I needed.

She had other criticism about him and I said kids also thought I was weird and other people might think the same of me because I am also different and parents also didn’t want their kids playing with me and I have been banned from homes as a child just because I didn’t know the rules in their home and didn’t know how to act. Also another reason for her not liking him is because he had a history of being violent. I had to remind her I was also violent too as a child so how would she like it if another parent told their son I could be violent with him in the future because of my past? Also another reason was his memory problem and I thought she was being closed minded about it. Memory problems, big deal, I will just deal with it and help him with it. My mother refused to believe Ritalin did this and said it doesn’t work that way. Also the fact he didn’t have a job but that was because he didn’t have anyone to help him so I was helping him.

But then at the end it turned out their judgments about him were correct. He really was a jerk (I thought then) and I realize now he truly did have too many problems and he wasn’t just someone who was lazy and mooching off me and messing with my head and being manipulative. He did apologize deeply for hurting me and he called himself a screw up. But back then I had a hard time accepting his apology because I was confused. He was contradicting himself and that left me confused. I didn’t understand what his apology meant. Now I know it was because he had a undiagnosed mental illness and my mom was right about him. She knew he had more going on that what I thought. I just assumed he lacked motivation and needed help to succeed just like me, I assumed he had a learning disability like me, I assumed he needed explicit instructions so I was giving them to him. You could say I saw him as “normal” who was just different and had a learning disability and ADHD. I saw him as functional. My mom still says he was a jerk because anyone can be one. I am sure he had some flaws that were bad that had nothing to do with his illness such as being too into being true to himself.

Then I met Jerry and my parents also didn’t take a like to him (she was a he then so I am referring to her as a he in this post) but they kept it hidden from me because I was defensive the first time about Jayden. I remember I kept correcting them about him. They kept insisting he was trying to not let me talk to them but I said he was no because he isn’t stopping me from calling them. I also told them he is just too worried about what people are going to think of him and me not presenting the situation correctly and he doesn’t want them to get the wrong idea. But they saw this as all controlling. They were also critical of him and my mom told me afterwards she was so worried I was being abused. Not understanding abuse at the time I told her he had never abused me. He had never hit me or called me names or broken anything. I also remember telling my mother about how poor my self help skills were and how low functioning I am and my mom told me the whole meaning of having good self help skills is acknowledging you need help and getting it than trying to do it yourself. She told me it was not very good self help skills to not ask for help and trying to do it all on your own and figure it out on your own. My mom also insisted he was after my money and they said other things about him I thought were untrue because they were reading it all wrong. I then thought no matter what guy I date, they will always find something wrong with them. Everyone had flaws and problems and I had my own so how would they have liked it if someone’s mother told their son to stay away from me. Now I realize my parents judgments were right about him.

I didn’t learn my lesson at all from these two because when I met my husband I was worried about what my parents would think of him. He was also in special ed, he was also a loner, he was ignored and then teased. He had been held back three times (his mother says two) and he had three different learning disabilities and brain damage. He didn’t drive. He didn’t have a college degree and he never finished high school because he got too old to attend. But he was a sweet and understanding guy and he worked hard to not be limited by his birth defect in his ankles. He didn’t let pain stop him. He took public transport despite having poor sense of direction and always getting lost easily and turned around. I was impressed. I always like people with disabilities who try to find a way to live a normal life and find their ways around their limitations. I have also always tried to live a normal life I can and work my way through my difficulties. I could never understand how others can’t do it or why they would refuse to learn or try. But after what happened to my husband in 2012, it has changed his perspective about people with disabilities. He had realized the reason why he was having so many seizures was because his body was going through a breakdown because he was making his body do stuff his body isn’t meant to do and it couldn’t handle it anymore so it started to break down. His body couldn’t handle the pain anymore so he got more anxiety from it and then it was giving him seizures because of the pain. It was all a domino affect. Now I had learned something too. If there were a job out there he can do, he would do it but he has all these limitations. Can’t get a job that involves counting or he will make too many mistakes, can’t get a job that involves writing because he has difficulty in spelling and reading, he can’t get a job that makes him work on his feet because his body can’t handle it and he isn’t supposed to be on them for no more than two hours a day. So what job out there can he do that doesn’t require reading, counting, math, and movement?

I realize now my parents were only looking out for me so they didn’t want me to date anyone who had too many problems and they could tell Jerry and Jayden had too many of them. They knew it would be too stressful for me and the fact I am sensitive and it would have destroyed me being with those guys. But yet they were fine with me dating my husband go figure. Maybe because he doesn’t have that many problems.

How can one tell if someone’s problems is due to problems than just personality? How can you tell if someone has a mental illness? Surely not every rude person out there has a disorder or a narrow minded person or someone who is extremely judgmental and critical of everything, same as if they do abuse. Plus plenty of people have strange thoughts so how can one tell if they have a mental illness or just have that weird opinion? And lot of people are paranoid so does that mean they have some mental illness? So how can you tell if someone had a condition or not based on these behaviors? Some people even have depression so how can one tell if it’s just depression or clinical depression or a illness stemming from a serious disorder?

I don’t know how much of Jerry’s thoughts were due to her illnesses, that is if she is telling the truth. But I can never tell because everything is normal to me. For years I just thought medical labels were created for a list of behaviors we all do and doctors like to give out a label for it to anyone. People had personality disorders because they did behaviors people found annoying and found them difficult to be with, people had Asperger’s because of too many narrow minded people who didn’t like someone who is different and strange and weird and because they didn’t know the social rules and didn’t know how to act in a situation and people refuse to tell them how to do it and because they did routines and didn’t like change and because they had special interests and did behaviors like fiddling with objects or playing with their fingers or doing rocking and because they didn’t look people in the eye and didn’t know about reading body language. I thought anything that wasn’t considered normal doctors made it into a condition. Want to get your way and don’t like not getting your way, just be an asshole by threatening your mother and breaking things and making her afraid of you so you get it, oh you have ODD so here is your label. People were psychopaths because they didn’t care about people and they did cruel things and killed people. I thought this way about mental illnesses until my twenties. This is all still very confusing for me.

 

Imposter Syndrome

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

I had been thinking just now. In the movie Dumbo, he was singled out and made fun of because of his big ears. Did that mean he had something wrong with him and he was abnormal? He just had oversized ears. The other elephants just didn’t tolerate it and kids laughed at him about it and his mother tried to protect him only to be mistaken as a mad elephant. I am sure many people with disabilities can relate to this movie.

In Beauty and the Beast, Belle liked to read and the whole town made fun of her. Did that mean she is abnormal and had something wrong with her? She just had a different interest than other people, she liked to read and be in her own world and be somewhere else. Her own father liked to invent things, did that mean he had something wrong with him? The whole village thought he was crazy too but yet they all liked Gaston. I am sure people with disabilities, especially those with autism could relate to her and her dad because of their interests.

Then there is Ariel, she had an obsession with humans and liked collecting human things. Did that make her abnormal and mean she had something wrong with her? She didn’t conform to her kingdom norms and she kept on disobeying her father. She had her own ideas and kept following her dream and even sacrificed her voice to be with a human she was in love with. She was also in her own world because she didn’t seem to interact with her sisters. She was just too into her human interest. I am sure autistic people and introverts could relate to her.

I have noticed Disney had already made movies about differences and how some people are just different than others and making other characters make fun of them and single them out and I never thought there was something wrong with Dumbo, Belle, and Ariel. They also did it again with Finding Dory but I have yet to see the movie. I heard they had other birds make fun of this one bird and that caused a controversy. To me this was nothing new and they had already done it in their other movies which is what I had already listed.

I on the other hand communicate different, approach people different, see things differently, learn differently, I function differently and I care about people differently. What if my mother was right all along and there is nothing wrong with me? What if I don’t have a disorder and it was just other kids that were the problem and the school staff? They just didn’t understand me because I wasn’t like them so they treated me as if I were abnormal. What if it’s other people that are the problem so they ignore me? I don’t mind really because I don’t like to be bothered and I prefer to read or play my game than chit chat and being interrupted. What if that part of me is just a difference than a disability? What if I don’t have anxiety and I am just mistaken as having it because of my differences? What if I don’t have a learning disability? What if I don’t have a true disability and I am just normal? What if my mother was right and it was actually other people who are the problem? It’s a shame how intolerant people are of differences so they treat you like you have something wrong with you. Then you are dealing with “impairments” because of ignorant people who are acting like a bunch of narcissists.

I am sure there are people out there who get diagnosed with a disorder when they clearly don’t have one and their problem is just with people who don’t understand. I often see autistic people arguing that autism isn’t a disability, it’s just a difference, what if those people don’t have autism either and they are just different? They are not disabled, they do not have a disorder, they are just different but they are diagnosed because of people so a label gets placed on them? I believe the high functioning ones, especially the ones who are close to normal think like this. The ones who are truly handicapped by it wouldn’t be saying this.

Just where do we draw the line for differences and disability? Just when does difference become a disability? What if their differences was holding them back and giving them road blocks because of the way life is set up and it’s not made for their difference and what if too many people around them were just ignorant of differences so it impacted their life, is that when a doctor diagnoses them?

I am on SSDI and I often wonder if I truly belong on it and I just need to try harder or is it just my difference because of the way life is set up and ignorant people so I am seen as disabled by society?

I am reading The Difficult Child and I am puzzled about how can these children not have anything wrong with them, how can they be normal? Their differences is putting a strain on their families and affecting their learning environment and their peers and it’s also impacting their lives so how is this not a disorder they have? It’s giving them an impairment. Stanley Turecki could be one of those doctors who don’t like to label kids and he sees everyone as normal. Of course he doesn’t deny disorders don’t exist. What I learned in his book that was revised in 1989 is even kids back in the 80’s were being diagnosed when they isn’t anything wrong with them and they are just difficult so it’s not anything new that kids today are being diagnosed with disorders now just because they are different. This book gives me a different perspective and helps me understand where my mom comes from when she says I am normal and have nothing wrong with me. She read this book when I was a kid because I remember seeing her reading it and back when I saw the front cover, I felt bad because I knew I was a difficult child or else she wouldn’t be reading it. She never wanted to take me to any developmental specialists, she only took me to clinical psychologists who work with kids who have problems. That includes anxiety, depression, anger, ADHD, learning disabilities, OCD, etc but not developmental disorders or language disorders. I can also see why now she didn’t tell me about ADD or sensory processing disorder or dyspraxia when I was in 4th and 5th grade and 6th grade when I would ask what was wrong with me. She said she didn’t know what was wrong with me either and she might not have agreed with those diagnoses even though she did tell me when I was 15 I did have dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder but I had grown out of them. I asked her about ADD and she said I truly had it. But then imposter syndrome still kicks in again because I am thinking again “but what if I didn’t have any of these?” Turecki mentioned sensory issues in his book and he implied these things were normal in difficult children and he wrote difficult children are normal. But then again how can they be considered normal if they put a strain on their siblings and parents and if their issues impact their life and affecting their learning environment? When does it become a disorder?

To my mother normal means functional in society so that would mean Temple Grandin is normal and Bones. They both function well in society and get along with people even though Grandin prefers isolation. But she is still functional because she has appropriate behavior and social skills and she has a job and lives on her own and takes care of herself well. I have seen some episodes of Bones and she is also functional in that despite her poor social skills. She lives on her own, can talk to people, have conversations, gets along with everyone. I am sure my mother would consider Helen Keller as normal. Yeah she was blind and deaf but she was still functional. I wonder if she would consider my husband as normal. He isolates himself in the basement playing his computer game all day long and he doesn’t like to be around people he isn’t familiar with. He shuts down in them and he also has bad feet so it limits his daily life. The more he uses his feet, the more pain he is in and the more he has to rest them so he ends up not being able to do much because he has to rest them. They hurt too much for him to use them. When they are not hurting as bad, he can stand on them and do more until he sits down again and then he can barely walk. So using wheelchairs on our Wisconsin trip was a life saver because it allowed him to enjoy the trip because he didn’t have to use his feet and we used a wheelchair whenever they were available and we used one at the airports for him.

Has society created more disabilities

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

I have been reading stuff by Enrico Gnaulati. He speaks uncomfortable truths about ADHD, Bipolar, and autism spectrum disorders being over diagnosed. It’s true that school systems have changed, education has changed, work places have changed and so has getting a job. Even back in the days it seemed like more people who were mentally handicapped were employed and now today they are on social security and living in group homes or at home unemployed and less of them have jobs but yet more of them are employed than people are with autism spectrum disorders.

Enrico writes how autism diagnoses have increased over the years. In 1991, it was 1 in 500 and by 2002 it was 1 in 150 and now today it’s 1 in 68 and he has written several times already how it’s 1 in 42 boys who have autism. But he has also written that toddlers who met the criteria at two no longer fit it at age four and so on. He also wrote about how kids who are in early intervention are more likely to be mislabeled by Kindergarten. Also he has written how slow to mature kids are more likely to be diagnosed. Also he has written how kids can mimic symptoms of Bipolar or autism or ADHD when in fact the kid is going through stress factors, the kid has learned they have to act up to get attention because their parents don’t pay them any attention so if acting up is the only way to get it, they will do it, and also to have ADHD, symptoms have to happen in school and at home, not in school only. If a kid is fine at home but is having symptoms at school, then it’s the classroom that is the problem. Kids are expected to sit still for longer periods of time, recess is less given to kids, recess is taken away, some kids are more active than others, some kids have a different learning style, some are just gifted, some are just introverted.

Enrico also wrote a book called Back to Normal and it’s about when ordinary kids get diagnosed with ADHD, Bipolar, and autism spectrum disorder. You can peek inside the book and read some of it and it goes into detail about how this happens. He is not denying that these conditions exist, some kids do truly have ADHD or autism.

He also wrote somewhere that autism is more diagnosed in the states than it is in the UK because eccentric is more accepted there while in the states, people are placed into square pegs and if you are not in that box, they pathologize your personality.

I had been thinking about what if people are disabled because of society. There are people out there who have true disabilities so no matter what changes, their disability will always be there but for people like me, we are only disabled because of the way the system is. Teachers teach subjects a certain way and you are forced to do them a certain way but if you have a different learning style and it’s not taught in your style, you have a learning disability. Back in my parents’ childhood days, people with poor social skills were just weird and eccentric. Now today they are considered disabled because you now need good social skills for employment. It is no longer acceptable to be different. It used to be so easy to just get a job then but people have gotten less trusting and now you need work experience, cover letters, recommendations and that creates roadblocks for people like me so that makes me disabled. Plus they now have personality tests to screen out people and I think that is a loophole to not hire people who have social disabilities so you would have to lie and you better be good at “faking it.”

Also Enrico wrote about kids who are slow to mature, what if their slow to mature caused them an impairment in school and with their peers? Also what if your differences caused you to be singled out and bullied in school? What if your slow to mature caused you to be misunderstood by your parents so you were in trouble more? Then you graduate and then all of a sudden all your social problems disappear because you are able to find people who accept you and are not intolerant  of differences and plus adults are too busy with their lives to even bother harassing someone who is a little different just because they do not conform to social norms like fashion, interests, socializing.

But I wonder something, can one be autistic in the states but not be autistic in the UK because of different standards? What about people who move to foreign countries but do not speak their language as their primary language? It will not come natural to them so they will always need to translate and I am sure they will find social situations exhausting when talking to people and listening and they might always need an interpreter but yet that wouldn’t be an impairment or a disability?  If they took away their accommodations, they would be disabled in that country until they go back to their fluent speaking country where their language is primary.

Imagine if we took away all the ramps and elevators, then people in wheelchairs and who have problems with going up and down the stairs and who use crutches would be even more disabled. That is how I feel about people who are a bit different. In one country they might have a disability but go to another culture, they don’t have one because of their standards and their social rules that fit with their condition.

I do believe they have stretched autism. It could be because times have changed so now people who were just quirky, eccentric are now struggling so they get labeled as being autistic.

I talked to my husband yesterday saying what if our son is just normal and it’s just the school that is the problem and it doesn’t fit with his personality and what if it’s just us parents with the problem and our standards are just too high. My husband reassured me he does have ADHD and he has been with lots of kids and they don’t act that way and he knows his nephew and he acted the same as our son does. He also told me his symptoms are still there when he is still around him but he is just controlling them better but they are still there so he is trying. I can imagine how much energy he must be using to sit still, not act up, not get into trouble more than an average child who doesn’t have it. But he just controls it less around me because I shut down because I get overwhelmed so I leave.

Only time our son is ever still is when he is playing video games or watching youtube. Of course because it’s a stimulant. That is what I read online about ADHD. They may be fidgety and always on the move but yet they are able to sit still when playing a computer game or when doing something they enjoy because it’s a stimulant for them. But make them sit still during a lecture or when you are talking or during a movie or a game, too hard for them to sit still. But even as a parent I have no idea what behavior is normal for a five year old and what behavior is ADHD. All I can do is compare him to other five year olds but I don’t know any others all the time I can see to know what is normal and what isn’t. But I do know for certain his behavior isn’t normal in school or else other kids there would be having the same trouble as him and I was already having troubles with him at home and in public so I was sure he would be having trouble in school and I was right but with support in place, he has been doing much better. Take it away, he will be back to having behavior issues again and acting worse because he would be having anxiety because he is always in trouble and he would hate school and resent it.

I was even worried what if my behavior was just pathologized when I was a kid and what if my impairments were just bigoted kids and lack of tolerance and there really was nothing wrong with me? What if I was just picked on by school staff? I also had problems at home too but what if I was just slow to develop and mature as Enrico said? What if the only thing I have “wrong” with me is I am just different than having a true impairment? Sure I had a language delay. What if my slow maturity is what gave me problems because of lack of understanding and I am sure all kids get from time to time “How old are you?” “Start acting your age” Quit being a baby” but I heard it a lot as a child so that was a normal thing for me to hear and I never knew how to act my age. I wouldn’t even know I was being immature but I did notice there were rules for how to act and react and each age group had their own rules and it seemed like kids automatically knew those rules and I didn’t. Just imagine being new to a university but no one bothers to hand you their handbook about their campus and that has their policies in it and none of the teachers don’t bother telling you the rules in their classroom like about late work assignments, redoing them, making up for them you missed, and if you are tardy or miss a class, etc. Wouldn’t you be anxious? Wouldn’t you always have to be learning things the hard way and you would probably be asking a bunch of questions because you want to understand and know the rules. When you are a child, you will react differently. You will test your limits and see what you can and can’t do, you will keep on making mistakes and learning that isn’t allowed. You will keep on getting into trouble and it will seem like to the adult you never learn and don’t follow the rules. You can’t expect a child to ask a bunch of questions to learn the rules.

My mother has told me she always knew I had something and she knew I had more going on than just a language delay but then she turns around and says to me a month ago that I am very normal and the only thing I had was a language delay. What? Whatever happened to she knew I had something and what about all these diagnoses I have had before Asperger’s? Was I a victim of labels as Enrico described? Am I just disabled by society because of the way life is set up, the education, work, school? Is this what my mother meant by I am normal, it’s just society that is the problem? Sure I can do anything but the thing is people have to let me do it if they will just hire me instead of requiring experience and cover letters and so on. But my husband has a true disability because he will always have a disability no matter what changes in life. He has severe dyslexia, brain damage so it keeps him from memorizing numbers and letters so it makes him mess up in math so he would be a terrible cashier, he also can’t write due to dyslexia and he would write too slow, he had bad birth defects in his ankles so that also limits him.

I can understand now why so called people who have autism say they are not disabled an they don’t see autism as a disability. I tend to think these ones are on the high end of the spectrum and just quirky and eccentric and I bet they wouldn’t have anything wrong with them if they lived in my parents childhood days, they would just be very smart and eccentric and absent minded. Now today it’s a disability. Their impairment would be society because of their standards they have at work and for education.

I can understand why my mother would say I am not broken, there is nothing wrong with me and big fucking deal if I have Asperger’s and anxiety. There are people with it who are truly disabled by it and more limited because autism is a disabling condition. It is not a quirk or a personality. It’s a shame that people have to get a label thrown at them just so they can get the help they need and so they can function but yet people who are slow learners are fucked because they slip through the cracks. That I don’t understand. It also impairs them too unless they also have a true disability or some other “impairment” that impairs them, then they are not fucked.

But what would Enrico suggest to parents of kids who have different learning styles, are not accepted by their peers due to difference and who are slower to develop but it’s causing them a significant impairment in occupational settings? Not all parents can home school or find a private school to suit their needs. There are people out there who do grow up different and then they become adults and they grow out of their social issues and problems because they learn how to manage them and they can also pick their environment that suits them. Kids don’t get this choice so they have behavior issues in school and get labeled and get special education. Then they become normal when they leave high school, go figure. But then there are people out there who never stop being different. I used to think I would grow out of my learning problems and being different but that never happened. But I did grow out of being treated different and that still happens occasionally. I also grew out of being bullied and harassed. Some people never leave that so is it society that is the problem? Are those people living in the wrong area where everyone is closed minded? Then professionals have to put a label on them and declare them disabled and they end up on Social Security. Then I see people online complain about “moochers” and people “abusing” the system. My argument is if they will start hiring people who are different and stop discriminating based on body language and what clothes they wear and how they live their lives, and get rid of the road blocks, less people would be on Social Security.

So my mom is right, I am not disabled, I am only disabled by society.

Sources:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/04/1-in-68-children-now-has-a-diagnosis-of-autism-spectrum-disorder-why/360482/

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/09/adhd-or-childhood-narcissism/279660/

http://www.salon.com/2013/09/21/thats_not_autism_its_simply_a_brainy_introverted_boy/

Ways my school was ableist

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

4 Ways Ableism in My Elementary School Left Me Completely Traumatized

I came across this article and some of it reminded me of what my school did. Here are the things they did:

In 4th-6th grade they refused to understand me and punished me for trying to be normal because I didn’t know how I was supposed to act because the rules were inconsistent and they only enforced them on me

They tried to put me in a behavior class in 6th grade and tried to say I had a behavior disorder

When I was eight, the school I attended for my special program tried to say I didn’t need special ed when they found out I was not slow as they thought and I could read ignoring the fact I was still language delayed. Like hello a kid can learn in class like normal with a language disorder and also the fact they were way behind in education because they didn’t give them any normal school work other kids their age were learning in mainstream because they thought they were slow.

My school principal thought I had to toughen up when kids were picking on me

I was having seizures in 6th grade and they went un noticed until I had a grand mal one and my teacher suspected I was having them and only told the nurse instead of calling my mother to tell her her concerns

I was always punished for fighting with my bullies and I would be the only one in trouble and one time they said I had to apologize to my bullies but I had refused

At the end of 6th grade they said I didn’t need an aide so I wouldn’t have had one for 7th grade

In 4th and 6th grade I was video taped in class and all the staff did was pathologized me and made a big deal out of things I did  ignoring the fact that all the other students in the video had done goofy things.

In middle school I was excluded from activities like the spelling bee because they wouldn’t tell me about it and they also didn’t tell me about the honor roll trip

In high school the teachers including my aide tried to limit my career and classroom choices. My aide thought I couldn’t do driver’s ed, my teachers thought I couldn’t do drama when I was 17, they tried to tell me working at a McDonalds would be too fast paced for me and to noisy, they tried to limit my jobs to peopleless. Whatever happened to letting students with disabilities try and explore their careers and see what they are good at and what they can do instead of looking at the label?

When I was 17 I got cut from the softball team by the new coach and the other girls who had made the team I played better than they did

When I was 16 my school counselor saw I was selling my Game Boy and asked me what if a middle school student wanted to buy it but he would give me the money tomorrow. I told him I would wait until he had the money before giving it to him. The school counselor kept asking me the same question and I kept my answer the same. It was as if he wanted me to say I would give it to the kid and the school counselor said anyway “If you gave it to him, you might never see that kid again.” Also he would give me excuses for my problems and blamed everything on Asperger’s and told me my whole family had traits but not enough to have the diagnoses when I argued with him about how my brothers do the same things all the time, watching TV and always on the computer and they always download music. Also he was telling me what careers choices I could have all based on my diagnoses instead of looking at my skills and saying I could marry Frankie when he turns eighteen but luckily I was not into marrying younger guys and still isn’t. I do not want to date anyone five and half years younger than me.

Oh the numbering system they did in 6th grade. The school counselor in my elementary school thought it would be a great idea to rate my behavior. I always got a four or a three or lower, never a five. I was a perfectionist and wanted a perfect grade but I could never do good for them to get that perfect score. I had to be perfect.

And my mother told me she always had to fight with my elementary school to follow my IEP and I was illegally suspended once and they waited three days to tell my mother and the school counselor had went to my mom’s work and told her right there in front of her student that I had been suspended and as the result of my mom taking her attention off her student, she got bit because it was his way to get her attention because he was non verbal. Then as a result for him he had to get a time out.

My elementary school saw me as a behavior problem and wanted to do things their way instead of working with me but instead I worked against their system because it was ineffective

And I am not sure if this should count as ableism but I would advise if you want to do this with a student, let them know about it before you set them up with a buddy and make sure they are okay with it or else it can backfire. In 8th grade these girls would come in the recourse room to do projects with me and we got along well and I always talked about my interests like favorite movie, favorite video game, telling blonde jokes. Then it turned out it was all a set up and those girls were volunteers to help me get along with kids and to build my social and relationship skills. They turned out to not be my real friends because it was all a set up. No wonder we got along. I was not happy. Then things were not the same after that and when I started high school, our “friendship” drifted. They moved on but the two girls remained close to each other as always.

But luckily I didn’t get any trauma from my schools.