From 2014…a must read!!
Nattily from Notes on Crazy
My identity is not your enemy. #StopCombatingMe
When I was seven or eight, a friend told me that some people have “photographic memories” and explained what that meant. She dove into the pond. I sat on the dock and thought to myself, “That’s what I have. I have a photographic memory.”
When I was in high school I read a webcomic mentioning “super-tasters.” I looked it up, thought about it for a while, and thought to myself, “That’s what I am. I’m a super-taster.”
When I was in thirteen, people in my middle school started calling each other “gay” as an insult. I still hadn’t had the sex talk, and I spent most of my free time thinking about what exactly sex was, since I knew I was supposed to know about it and it wasn’t ok to ask. I didn’t know what gay…
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I had the opportunity this evening to enter into a discussion with a colleague: a fellow teacher who is also the parent of a five-year-old Autistic son.
So as we talked this man commented, “It is great that you are a teacher – I’ll bet you’ve been able to be a great advocate for your son within the school system. Our kids are fortunate.”
And I suppose this is true in many respects: my understanding of the system has supported us in navigating it in varying degrees and I recognize that it has been an advantage.
But… the thing is… that is not actually how I responded.
I might have caught him off-guard when I said, “No… my son has benefitted much more from my being a Social Justice Activist. Teacher-smeacher! It is ACTIVISM that has made the difference. Our Autistic, Neurodivergent, and otherwise disabled children need us to show…
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All of this!! I need to know i have freedom of choice. Just because we are disabled, does not mean we don’t have the same rights to autonomy as able-bodied people do.
The weird thing was it wasn’t throughout my whole house. On a Saturday morning a few months ago, I noticed something strange soon after I woke up. There was no electricity in my bedroom or my office, but the rest of the house was fine. At first, I thought it would be a simple fix. Fuses have certainly blown before. The problem is, the box is in my storage shed outside and it is too high for me to reach. Complicating the issue was that I didn’t have any caregivers scheduled for the day and that a caregiver had inadvertently broken my phone a few days beforehand, losing my contact list in the process. The phone numbers of my handyman and friends who might have been able to come over quickly were not etched in my memory. I had a new phone on that day, but not really any way…
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