Recommended Reading for March 31, 2010
Yes ladies and gentleman there are people in the world of rehab and fitness who actually give a hoot about you the person not just you the underlying diagnosis. You just have to find the right people.
And when you do, life just rocks a little bit more.
If one were a wheelchair user who regularly interacted with a bus drive that demonstrated a lot of irritation at having to work with wheelchair users to get them strapped in to a wheelchair spot, one could likely tell. People are never as subtle as they think they are, especially not in their irritation.
And I think the thing that does bind different trans* identities together – somehow feeling outside one’s assigned gender roles – could allow those interested in trans fiction to enjoy a wide variety of trans protagonists, even if not every protagonist matches every reader’s lived experience.
Let’s get two really simple things straight.
Overload is not anxiety.
Shutdown is not dissociation.
Overload may cause anxiety sometimes for some people. But it is an experience that is at the heart of things… sensory, perceptual, cognitive, whatever you want to call it. But while emotions can be involved, it really isn’t at the core an emotional experience. Get rid of the emotions and overload and shutdown will still happen for most people.
I think there are two main things at the root of this confusion:
Besides the basic fluctuation–and serious differences in ability between different areas, including what gets described as dyscalculia–I kept running into problems from this. Especially when I hit adolescence, then later when I hit college. (Then I burned out. Repeatedly. Which made things that much better.) Heck, the gaps and difficulties were obvious enough by the time I was 8 or 9 that one great-aunt, an educator whom I rarely even saw, brought me a huge stack of books on coping while “gifted”. I appreciate this gesture much more now–especially since she was the main person not pretending that I was not having problems coping–but the books didn’t help.
In my particular case, the unexpected skills/ability to show skills pattern got some really nasty interpretations–especially in school–because I was good at testing. (Less so, these days.) The lowest my IQ tested out was 185. I am not mentioning this out of some weird sense of supremacy, but to point out the serious disconnect between some other people’s expectations and what I was ever able to do. It’s apparently easy to project like mad, and build a mental construct of “someone that smart” based on assumptions that you, personally, would never run into a problem that you couldn’t think your way around if sufficiently motivated to do so, were you “that smart”. It’s not much of a leap to then substitute that mental construct for the real human being in front of you, and make up all kinds of weird explanations for why the two do not match. At all.*
Another misconception involves the idea that a high test score always indicates across-the-board ability. In truth, a single skill might enable a person to do well on a broad range of tasks at a certain age, when that same skill will not help a person as they get older. Amanda mentions in the comments that her IQ score dropped by half between the ages of five and 22. She attributes this to her hyperlexia, which enabled her to score in the 160s at age five, but wasn’t helping her anymore as an adult. Interest in and, hence, familiarity with the test items would also have an effect. For instance, I’m not sure I would still score as high on calculus as I did in childhood, because I had a special interest with it back then and haven’t in many years.
In the news:
The detainees, mostly apprehended in New York and other Northeastern cities, some right from mental hospitals, have often been moved to Texas without medication or medical records, far from relatives and mental health workers who know their histories. Their mental incompetence is routinely ignored by immigration judges and deportation officers, who are under pressure to handle rising caseloads and meet government quotas.
Marlee Matlin had an idea for a reality show that she hoped would bring some insight into the lives and struggles of deaf people and how they cope. But while reality TV has brought us wife swappers, party girls, aging rock stars and dieting divas, apparently no one was ready for something that real.
So instead, the hearing-impaired actress who won an Academy Award as lead actress for her role in “Children of a Lesser God,” took her show “My Deaf Family” to Google’s YouTube. You can watch it here.
“Deaf and hard of hearing people make up one of the largest minority groups,” she said in an interview through her interpreter, Jack Jason, “and yet there has never been a show, a reality documentary series that features what life is like for them.” Matlin financed the show, which tells the story of a family in Fremont, Calif. All the family members are deaf, except for the oldest son, Jared, and the youngest, Elijah. It is narrated by Jared.
Matlin shopped her pilot to network executives, who purported to “love it.” But none would take the plunge.