Spoon Theory and Me (It’s all about me)
I’ve been reading about the Spoon Theory and kinda going, yeah, that doesn’t apply to me. (Basically, we all have a number of spoons that represent what we can do that day. Healthy, temporarily able bodied people (age will get us all!! Run!!) have an unlimited amount. Those not so able-bodied do not.)
Thinking about the Spoon Theory and applying it to my life is scary because dammit, if I write down that it hurts, then it really happened and it just won’t go away. If I don’t classify it, it’s not there. Denial is awesome unless WILL YOU STOP STABBING ME. See?
But I do use it, I realized today.
It brings up some interesting thoughts for me about “what actually is disability?” That’s medical vs social model stuff, but its not just that. Its about the labels we as people with impairments use to define and describe ourselves. What boxes we put ourselves in and how easily or not we communicate with those in the other boxes of disability.
You know you a monster when almost all the depictions of your condition in the media show you as either a joke or a jerkass. It gets to you. You begin to wonder if those you call your friends see you the same way. Are they keeping you around for the crazy antics? Do they like the real you, who ever that may be?
Positive Experiences with Disability Activism
I had some really positive experiences today with some disability activism that I would really like to share. The first two were at work and the third at an after-work conference for language development in the Middle Swan area.
In the news:
Student files suit against U. [Princeton]
Metcalf-Leggette’s complaint asserted that she has four learning disabilities, which were diagnosed in 2003: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mixed-receptive-expressive language disorder, disorder of written expression and developmental coordination disorder. The conditions, according to the complaint, hinder her ability to focus, process information and communicate in writing.
The suit comes after a series of meetings with school officials during which Metcalf-Leggette sought accommodation for her disabilities. The University currently accommodates Metcalf-Leggette’s disabilities by offering her a “reduced distraction testing environment,” a limit of one exam per day and a 10-minute break each hour, the law journal reported.
7 thoughts on “Recommended Reading for November 9”
So many of the comments in response to Metcalf-Leggette’s complaint are absolutely disgusting. The lack of awareness and understanding is beyond disheartening.
I don’t see why her being granted extra time (which is a request that has been supported by a medical professional, and not at all an unreasonable request, IMO) is such a terrible thing – my university does it. And those who are granted extra time? Get to finish their exams (except when they don’t), sure, but they don’t get As on all of them just because they had extra time. If they get As, it’s because they put in the hours and hours of studying needed to earn the As.
I didn’t dare read the comments. I suppose the commenters feel it’s a given that, in a regulated society, a person must be able to finish a task within set parameters and, if that person cannot, then that person cannot perform the task.
All I can think is, what a wasteful, wasted society.
I will never cease to be amazed about how many (generally neurotypical) people react with such unwarranted rage towards PWD for getting extra time on exams. It reeks of able-bodied/neurotypical privilege in ways I can’t entirely articulate. Somehow I’d guess that the people who whine about PWD getting accommodations would not have to want to deal with all of the issues which come along with having a neurological/mental disability: worrying about disclosure and whether it might cause you to be discriminated against or viewed differently, having one’s accomplishments impugned in this manner, etc.
I also will never get why some people think getting extra time is somehow gaming the system. No amount of time in the world can make people understand material which they don’t know. Extra time simply helps people to better communicate their knowledge.
Having said that, I do support implementing more exams which are accommodating of all students regardless of paperwork. (Take-home exams, more or unlimited time for everyone, etc.) I think it helps PWD and TABs alike, and can also help people who think differently but who may not have a diagnosis, or who may not have all the requisite paperwork filled out. This should not, however, be an excuse for denying PWD who do have paperwork legitimate accommodations.
.-= Sarah´s last blog ..An Autistic By Any Other Name Part II =-.
Sarah – “No amount of time in the world can make people understand material which they don’t know.”
Very true. I don’t need extra time on exams, but I have had many quizzes/tests in French/various sciences/etc where I just don’t know the information. (This semester, it’s been French vocab. “Je ne sais pas!!!” is my answer.) Of course, there are tests where you walk out, go do something else, and then wham! “Oh, the answer was that.”
Those comments hit all the spots – “What will she do in the “real world”?” “Why is she an athlete?”
When I got accommodations for a test, it was actually the opposite of her issues – I couldn’t sit there waiting for everyone to finish. I took one test in a closet, since no one is allowed to leave early. So I was a class of one.
Also, I’m blushing. Be careful, I’m sure my blog is littered with ableist language.
.-= Kaitlyn´s last blog ..It’s so nice when one pic sums up your day =-.
Marley – I knew before I clicked to read them that I’d end up frothing and angry, but it was like… trainwreck syndrome (is that what it’s called? I don’t know if I’m remembering correctly). I didn’t read them all, though. I couldn’t stomach that many.
I agree with you about society.
Thanks for the link and sorry about the typos.
The comments on that last article make me inarticulate with rage. I know learning disabilities and ADD/ADHD often aren’t seen are real disabilities, but they are real and I hate to see this student being treated this way.
.-= thetroubleis´s last blog ..What It Is To Be A Monster =-.
Argh, NOT READING THE COMMENTS. I can only imagine.
It occurred to me just the other day that it’s no wonder I found university difficult—it is shaped to a very narrow, particular way of learning, and if that isn’t how you learn, too bad. You go and sit in a fluorescent-lit, poorly-ventilated room while someone talks at you for three hours. And coursework consists of essays you work on individually, or else exams you work on individually with a very short time limit.
It’s an environment that is not even conducive to learning for many “normal” people, let alone people with disabilities.
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