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I have to defend myself again,

I may have some impairments relative to what is held to be socially
desirable but I also have superior abilities too. Are these to be regarded
as impairments ? I really think it is important to use a neutral term.

What is disabling me, is the poor fit that I have in relation to society. My
differences, are being considered as impairments. Maybe this is a different
issue to the kinds of restriction that people with physical "impairments"
have and I feel perhaps that within a general consencus movement we need our
cultural diversity within that, in order to define ourselves in less
negative ways.

It is hard to explain really but when ones "impairments" affect ones whole
mode of thinking and cognition, one realises that one is the sum of ones
cognitive processes and as I state on my NG sig L'autisme, c'est moi. I am
my autism, in a way that another person is whatever there personality shows
them to be. If what I am is considered to be an impairment, and I collude in
a concencus that it is, I am re-configuring my own identity with a funtional
overlay of what people would have me believe about myself by virtue of what
they pervieve me to be in relation to themselves.

It is actualy of great importance for the pysco/medical fraternity to
understand the validity of some of our alternative thinking modes and
behavior. Because a lot of treatment has been predicated upon changing us
from what we are, which can have devastating consequences. It really does
make a difference

One form of compliance is to outwardly conform, another and more devastating
one, is to convert and believe that which one is being pressured to conform
to.

You see me as impaired, but I see myself only as I know myself to be.

This does not mean however that I cannot take a more pragmatic view of
things when it comes to making common cause with others. I have some
physical differences to, which leave me as relatively less funtional than
that which is held to be desirable by a socially normed desideratum.

I know I am not speaking simple English here, but I really can't think of
any other way to explain, what I am trying to get across.

Democracy has its weak points, because it punishes non conformity and
difference, how do we call ourselves if we look to the majority, because in
a democracy we are all outnumbered. Is the choice of what we call ourselves
really our own, or is it socially influenced from outside, by more powerful
socio-political actors. Are we not then to be called cripples idiots and the
insane ?

I can assure you that there is a growing number of autistic people who are
happy to be called autistic but to define this in positive terms of our own
choosing and from our own culture.

I dare say that there are other alternative perspectives from mental health
survivors too, which should inform the social model, which should be
evolutionary and adaptive.

Remember that in a society of apartheid, being black is a disability and in
an atmosphere of homophobia, being gay is a disability. They are not
impairments, but we do share much which these other socially devalued and
opressed gruops. and there is much cause for cross cultural exchange of
ideas and tactics.

Larry


> -----Original Message-----
> From: The Disability-Research Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of big-hi2u
> Sent: 07 June 2001 22:40
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [danmail] Sack Low
>
>
>  I believe all organisations should be opened to criticism and they should
> examine themselves regularly to ensure they are not abusing their
> position.
>
> Some weeks ago I sent this forum a message about discrimination
> with census
> form.  I also E-mail that message as a letter to many other
> bodies including
> the DRC, BCODP and Radar.  The DRC responded very quickly and
> accepted that
> there was discrimination on this issue.  Where as BCODP and Radar still
> hasn't responded at all, "now that's something that concerns me".  I also
> highlighted that people with hidden impairments were not being represented
> by many organisations.
>
> Sorry Larry until I see and alternative way of making reference to people
> with hidden impairments than I'm using that.  I think there needs to be a
> democratic process for choosing appropriate terminology for the
> people that
> are not getting there needs recognised.  As the "social model" is the
> present vehicle we have I think "people with hidden impairments" would fit
> into this easily.  And when/if the "social model" vehicle is going to be
> traded in for something different I hope the choice of new vehicle will be
> from grass roots with a democratic process towards choosing!  Sorry folks
> for breaking away on different subject.
>
> Bye for now, Andy
> www.hi2u.org
>
>
>

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