Recommended Reading for March 31, 2010

A wheelchair symbol lit up in florescent light

Having an Answer:

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.

I hate to write another letter. I am tired of writing letters

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.

Trans Lit – searching for our reflections

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.

When all you have is a hammer

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:

Abilities & Burnout

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.*

Misconceptions about Autistic Abilities & Intelligence

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:

USA: Disabled Immigration Detainees Face Deportation

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 launches YouTube Channel

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.

By 31 March, 2010.    recommended reading   



7 Comments

  1. You’ve got a code problem with the link to the Matlin article– which is excellent. Great list today!

  2. The first “in the news” link is missing its “http://”.

  3. Ah! Thank you, Persia! 🙂
    And also Codeman! 🙂

  4. This is a couple days old, but I was wondering what people thought of it.

    I think it’s funny because the joke is not on the wheelchair user in the picture, he’s not passive.

    http://friendsofirony.com/2010/03/29/ironic-photo-such-a-cheery-threat/

    A man in a wheelchair with loose pant legs below the seat, implying amputation, holds up a sign saying “Gime some money or I’ll kick you in the face!” He’s got a big smile on his face – someone took this picture with what I assume was his permission.

    Also, I wrote another letter to my school paper about how we don’t take care of our PWD and the school is an ADA nightmare waiting to happen. Two buildings have broken elevator. Each building is old and only has the one (broken) elevator. Many other buildings on campus have just one elevator.

    http://ohmonkeytrumpets.blogspot.com/2010/03/another-letter-to-school-paper.html

    No e-mail from the people last time when they insulted “crazy” people (your concerns are invalid, we didn’t mean to hurt your feelings so it doesn’t matter) so maybe it will be published as part of an ongoing “letter to the editor” about the misuse of the measly money we have.

  5. The Marlee Matlin thing is so great! I’ll be signal-boosting in the hopes that popularity will spread. 🙂

  6. I got a call on my current MIA phone today. The letter won’t be published.

    Because they’re doing an article on the subject. Parts of my letter will be used in the article, along with the short phone conversation.

    Exciting!

  7. It’s like ridiculous late and I need to be sleeping and I might come back to this again. What the fuck does post-transition even mean? (I expect it means The Surgery and the writer was trying to avoid saying post-operative out of a vague awareness it’s not exactly a good thing to talk about with trans* folk.)

    We don’t stop, say “okay I’ve transitioned now it’s all done!” There are some aspects to some transsexual people’s transitions that are discrete events — there is, of course, The Surgery. But it’s awful ciscentric and genital-essentialist (and classist — it means people who can’t access The Surgery don’t get to talk about transition) — it’s the cis gatekeepers’ definitions of what being trans* is and what transition is — to focus on the physical aspects. Which. Sigh. Fuck off about The Surgery already okay? It’s a thing. It’s not The Defining Experience. And it evinces an entirely too-prurient interest in genitalia.

    Transition for me is being trans*. I will stop when I die.
    .-= kaninchenzero´s last blog ..On Deadly Force =-.