Tuesday, August 9, 2011

This is not an invisible disability.

What's up there Y'all lovely NNT readers? Sorry these posts are all sporadic. You see. The internet here at the house is possessed.

Be Afraid

Sometimes I'll be all writing a blog about how much being NNT is awesome, and I'll be getting to the really profound part where I compare myself to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and then the internet will disappear.

There goes your internet...

So Then I'm all annoyed and can't remember what was so profound about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and sad that I don't remember what I was writing about.

And the internet is all
HAHAHA. We're running off with all your best ideas!

But I am going to finish this one. Promise.

I have an honest face

So I wanted to talk today about  invisibility. On my last post we talked a little about how I am not going to let this disability define me.

Today I want to talk a little bit about how weirded out by the term "invisible disability" I am.

So you see because I take these things literally I imagine that my disability is an actual entity, like an invisible person. No one else can see him but me.

But in reality, it's not like that at all. My disability is real. And it has a visible effect on my life. Most of the time it makes life harder.

It's harder for me to connect with people.

I don't always understand what they want me to do. Sometimes, people don't understand me.

I don't remember what someone wrote down on a piece of paper at work yesterday, but I can remember entire conversations that I had 3 years ago.

But my disability is very much visible. Most people just don't know to look for it.

It's true it doesn't change my appearance the same way that a broken leg, or blindness might. And it's not as obvious as Down syndrome. But the signs are still there.

After all, the doctors don't just pull a diagnosis out of thin air. (I hope)

Looks Legit

There have to be signs along the way

The main issue is that the Bubba's of the world don't really know what to look for. No one ever told them. No one ever told most people.

And that in my opinion is the fundamental problem. There isn't enough education around ASD. Most teachers and other educators don't know enough about the problem, at least they didn't when I was in elementary school. What is actually a manifestation of my disability was taken to be bad behavior, or bad parenting. In our rural town, there was no one who knew about ASD.

What is this 504 plan of which you speak?

When my parents went to get accommodations at the school for me, they were met with confusion and distrust. Administrators just wanted to dismiss the whole thing. Teachers were mistrusting of the diagnosis. You could tell that they were thinking
But she doesn't look disabled. Obviously her parents just want special treatment for her.

Other parent's just didn't get it either. They thought my Mom was just a bad Mom, you know, totally unable to discipline her child. They saw my parents as being lazy or incompetent. They saw me and my sister as being willful, or just ornery.

Like congress

I hope that now parents don't face that same discrimination, I hope that people are a little more understanding. I hope that children are a little bit more accepting.

Readers: it's been 15 years since I got my diagnosis, and at that time no one knew what the Autism Spectrum was, is it the same for you now? Do people have any idea about Autism Spectrum Disorders? What do they know about it?  I would love to know please leave me a comment!
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