Archive for the ‘discrimination’ Tag

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.”

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.

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.