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What do you think/think of when you hear 'disability'?


DancingtoDance
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Thanks taxi4ballet for your post; finger crossed for the mentioned child to compete in the Paralympics! :-)  :)

 

I was just talking about any context and curious to what people envision, but I guess here are some contexts:

 

1. Hearing a friend, colleague or more distanced person say 'disability':

 

referring to them

 

or their child, or a child, or someone else

 

2. Looking at the word 'disability' for the first time in a book or document or Internet

 

3. Hearing that a lecturer is going to give a talk on disability

 

4. Learning from a child or parent that the child has a disability or the parent has a disability

 

Any context, or generally is fine. I was talking more about what disabilities you most likely or most often attach the word 'disability'

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I'm probably not typical, as my best friend at school has two deaf brothers, our close friends have a young adult son with a progressive live-limiting physical condition (he is now in a wheelchair), other various friends have children with Type 1 diabetes, cerebral palsy, dyspraxia and two who are on the autistic spectrum. Another has behavioural difficulties. The Olympic one has a hip/spine condition which you would never know about day-to-day but affects them in their chosen sport. Another friend has only one eye.

 

They all have a disability of one kind or another, and they are all very different. 

 

Oh yes, and years ago I used to belong to PHAB (a club - don't know whether it is still going - Physically Handicapped and Able Bodied) and there were many members of that who had a 'hidden' disability so to speak. 

 

It would be impossible for me to generalise!

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I consider a disability something being it a physical, emotional, cognitive etc problem that impacts on that individual living what they would consider a 'normal' life. I think it is very individual and in my work I come across those those that consider themselves to have a disability due to a certain problem that others with the same condition don't even consider an issue.

I work with someone who is wheelchair bound and does not consider herself disabled and anyone that tries to make any allowances by passing her something or opening a door gets a look that could kill. She is brilliant at her job but the look on the faces of some of the services users when they first meet her takes some beating.

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I don`t have an actual disability,but a phobia. But it is such a severe phobia that it affects every aspect of my life and relationships. A psychiatrist diagnosed me with Social Phobic Disorder back in 2004,although I have probably had it since I was about 15 [would have been 1982 ]. He told me it should have been dealt with and treated when I was still a teenager while my brain was still developing. He said there was nothing that can be done for me and I will have this condition for the rest of my life.It`s just horrible. I find socialising with people,even people I know really well,or family members very traumatic. The mere thought of it makes me sweat from head to toe,my hands tremble and I break out in hives all over my face,neck and chest. This of course,makes people look at me and wonder what is "wrong" with me,which just exacerbates the situation and makes it even worse. Funnily I was always OK while on the stage. It`s like I was a different person and this alter ego emerged.

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I'm stunned that severe migraines would be classed as a disability. I've suffered from severe migraines for over 25 years. I've had every test, medication & scan going but maybe I have a high pain threshold because despite suffering about 12 a month, I think there's only been 2 or 3 times when I've had to admit defeat and not go to work. As long as my Dr allows me to continue with my current medication without further intervention I shall carry on as normal and never consider them a disability.

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Suddenly developing frequent migraines might be a problem for people in certain occupations though, especially if combined with visual disturbances. Perhaps it could be rather an issue for those who have to pass stringent medical examinations, such as airline pilots, for instance.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I  am wondering what people may make of the following. I was at my local garage this afternoon, had just put some fuel in the car and was about to pay for it. As I crossed the forecourt, another car pulled in. There was a small girl - 7 years ish - in the back seat. The window was partially open and she was banging her hand on the inside, crying Help me, help me, let me out! She seemed distressed but I didn't approach. 

I went in to the till and mentioned it to a woman who came up behind me in the queue. I said something along the lines of there's a child in a car out there calling for help, she's either being abducted or she's just having a paddy. The driver of this vehicle was putting fuel in by now, so an abduction was unlikely but who knows?

Anyway, it turned out the screaming child was this woman's daughter. The woman works in the shop and they were just coming to collect her after her shift.The woman told me the child has ADHD and regularly behaves like this in public. I apologised in case I had offended her with the paddy comment but had felt it best to say something, in case it was an abduction. I'd rather risk offence than stand by while a child disappears.

She seemed ok about it, may be used to people commenting. But it made me think, as ADHD is as far as I know, considered a disability although there is a school of thought that thinks it doesn't actually exist and is just an excuse for bad behaviour. I don't know either way but I would be interested to know what people on here think. Also, would you have said something in the first place? One always risks getting an earful of abuse after all.

Edited by Jacqueline
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I have a friend who has two sons. The eldest was diagnosed with Asperger`s when he was about eleven, eight years ago. Her youngest was diagnosed with ADHD when he was around the same age as his older brother. My son was in the same class as the older boy. TBH neither me or my son ever thought there was anything different about him. But the youngest one,wow. Me and his mum were talking in Sainsbury`s one day. He must have been about ten at the time. He could not keep still. But much more than that,he was literally trying to climb up the supermarket shelves. I tried my best to ignore him but not knowing at the time,I just thought he was incredibly naughty and had far too much energy than he knew what to do with. When my friend told me later on about his diagnosis it made a lot of sense. Both boys [one 19 and the other 16] are on medication I understand,but I haven`t seen either in years,so have no idea what they are like now. As far as the screaming child is concerned,then yes,if I had seen the child screaming in the back seat of a car I probably would have been very worried and would have definately said something/gone over nearer to the car to check he/she was alright. Just to set my own mind at ease. To hell with offending the parent !

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  • 5 years later...
On 21/04/2016 at 11:16, Jacqueline said:

I  am wondering what people may make of the following. I was at my local garage this afternoon, had just put some fuel in the car and was about to pay for it. As I crossed the forecourt, another car pulled in. There was a small girl - 7 years ish - in the back seat. The window was partially open and she was banging her hand on the inside, crying Help me, help me, let me out! She seemed distressed but I didn't approach. 

I went in to the till and mentioned it to a woman who came up behind me in the queue. I said something along the lines of there's a child in a car out there calling for help, she's either being abducted or she's just having a paddy. The driver of this vehicle was putting fuel in by now, so an abduction was unlikely but who knows?

Anyway, it turned out the screaming child was this woman's daughter. The woman works in the shop and they were just coming to collect her after her shift.The woman told me the child has ADHD and regularly behaves like this in public. I apologised in case I had offended her with the paddy comment but had felt it best to say something, in case it was an abduction. I'd rather risk offence than stand by while a child disappears.

She seemed ok about it, may be used to people commenting. But it made me think, as ADHD is as far as I know, considered a disability although there is a school of thought that thinks it doesn't actually exist and is just an excuse for bad behaviour. I don't know either way but I would be interested to know what people on here think. Also, would you have said something in the first place? One always risks getting an earful of abuse after all.

I think that if you have a concern that a child may have been in danger, you should do something to ensure the child is safe if you can. Better to do something to ensure the child's safety when it turns out that the child was safe than to not do anything to ensure the child's safety and the child's safety be further put in danger.

 

I think what is diagnosed as ADHD is not necessarily bad behavior as it is not necessarily willful and is also not necessarily a behavioral difficulty. Unfortunately sometimes children's characteristics or challenges get misinterpreted as misbehavior when it is not. For example, people who find eye contact uncomfortable do not need to be forced to make eye contact, people should be allowed to stim, people experiencing absence seizures where they temporarily lose consciousness may be misinterpreted to be willfully not paying attention when they temporarily lose consciousness. I also think that self-injury such as head-banging can be a sign of distress, and sometimes not being understanding towards people with ADHD or other conditions contribute to those people's distress (though that is not the only thing that can contribute to distress). I also think unfortunately sometimes parents may use their children's diagnoses to disguise abuse or neglect (I am not saying that is the case in the situation you mentioned, because I don't know what was the situation), so they may for example say this is part of the child's diagnosis when it is actually an indication of abuse or neglect.

 

Sometimes things can be misinterpreted as wilfull or misbehavior when it is part of a diagnosis or condition. For example, some autistic people and people with other conditions that make them have sensory processing differences may noisy or bright environments overwhelming and have a sensory sensory meltdown where they may make noises, scream or do other things which indicate they are overwhelmed, and some people may experience vocal tics which they can't control and may be misinterpreted as willful or deliberately disruptive.

Edited by DancingtoDance
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