Tag Archives: neurodiversity

Citizen’s Vulnerabilities and the Rights of All in this Society

Autistic people have rights just the way everyone has rights to be a leader of their life; Autistic people are thinking the way they want to think and are also human beings too with our own mind. Autistic people have feelings often feeling for others and have feelings that often feel pain by many other people who do not understand us. Autistic people grow up at different paces while others may just grow at the same pace as their physical age. Because many Autistic people grow at different paces, we are often thought of as less than human, deviant from the norm, and due to our impairments many in society look down upon us thinking we do not have a mind of our own nor are we able to make logical decisions about the life we want.

Though, Autistic people are vulnerable, and depending on the impairments, depend on how vulnerable the individual will be. It does not matter if the person is less impaired, they can be more vulnerable. Just because Autistic people are vulnerable does not mean we are not our own person. May be so many do think that way because Autistic people feel so many emotions at once, that at times we either do not know how to use our emotions scaling back inward or use our emotions too much being considered to be over-emotional, rageful, and illogical. Whichever way Autistic people are, we are misunderstood by society as a whole, thus society is misguided in the way everyone should think of Autistic culture and human society in general.

From all of this misunderstandings and misguided ideas from years of a perception that someone with cognitive and sensory impairments is not capable, not competent, some in society are finally learning today. The tragedy of this kind of thinking has created this between Autistic people and the rest of society. There are a lot of people who need to take responsibility for these actions.

Many people before Autism Speaks have contributed to this between Autistic people and the rest of society. Unfortunately, the mainstream mass media has contributed to this as well by conforming to the ideas of this subjective interpretation. Many people are suffering from a society that lacks understanding. This war against Autistic people is really a war against humanity and human nature. The battle to fight for either correcting the genome from disability to embracing the genome and realizing cognitive disabilities like the way Autistic culture is, is something that needs to be accepted just as many other neurodivergences need to be accepted too.

How far do we go to changing the human genome? Is it our right to change the genome that mutates and changes randomly over time? Who gets to say which parts of the genome are bad or not? And, is the human genome really a bad thing as many medical researchers are trying to correct it to make a perfected flawless human being? Is eugenics or genetic counseling really needed?

My feelings as a person who is Neurodivergent from outside the norms of society and as an Autistic person leads me to believe that I often feel like pushing to be who I am while getting pull back from society to make me the same as how others are. The fine line between autonomy and being who we are versus depending on others to conform to the standards of society is enormously thick, yet we need to pull one way and push another to be included in the community. Autism Speaks as an organization has been through a rough war because many people feel their misguided thinking for almost 13 years has been too hurtful to many who feel they want to embrace who they are regardless. This makes me feel that everyone needs to re-think what we have done in the past.

Our society created the mindset of the perfect mind and body back when Francis Galton created the word ‘eugenics’ and the world decided that between Darwin’s evolutionary theory and his cousin, Galton and his creation of the word ‘eugenics’, that everyone became instantly obsessed with the human genome. To perfect the body and mind is to deny disability and separate from the imperfect human body to create a monster master race of the human genome that everyone will strive to be. This monster master race that everyone has been striving for since the late 19th Century, created the thinking that Hitler wanted to first exterminate people with varying degrees of impairments to eventually exterminating certain races, religions, and other peoples in the Holocaust who he thought society could do away with. I am sorry to say, but the world created the way Hitler would eventually think about how the human genome, race, and religion whether we like it or not. We couldn’t control how some people would interpret this thinking even today. However, this is not the only thing we need to take responsibility for, we also need to take responsibility for many other things throughout history both in our private lives and in the public.

Everyone seems to not understand that trying to perfect a human genome is trying to perfect something that is constantly mutating, constantly changing, and constantly moving around in our bodies just like the universe is constantly moving. We are human beings so I understand why many people are obsessed with perfecting (and perfected) bodies and minds. However, perfecting a body and mind, is a very fine line between what we think is autonomy and what we think we need to depend on others for help. As we are Human beings who live in this world, we are connected to each other regardless of the way we identify through race, religion, sexuality, gender, or disability cultures. The way we represent ourselves is independent of being human because being human really means that we need to support one another regardless since we all go through the same trials, tribulations, and rewards in life.

Supporting decisions and the way we as individuals experience life is important. The person centered approach most are beginning to learn now, is something that is a part of human nature since the beginning of time. Yet, we have in the past, and in some ways still do, only respect the decisions some people made, while others we felt could not make decisions at all and could not think on their own. We need to give everyone the tools to decide and think about what they want in their life on their own. This thinking presumed (and in some ways continues to presume) many people that their decisions are illogical and not right. Making decisions for our life depends on what kinds of decisions we are making. Some decisions we can decide on our own, but many other decisions we need support from people who can help us choose in making the best decision our life. In the end, the final decision is ours.

Whenever anyone makes a decision, it not only affects us, but it also affects everyone close to us in that decision, and in some ways can affect the rest of society as well. For example, when any one decides that they want to change the way their child is, they are making a conscious decision that will affect the way their child will feel about themselves and toward others as well. These decisions we make affect us individually in many different ways. If a child rebels against their parent’s decision to change who they are, then the child and parents must take responsibility for their actions. Deciding on changing the way a person is, also changes the way everyone feels about themselves. It is important to attribute every decision we make to the way we think about others and ourselves in our life. When we think about who we are as a person, we think about where we came from, and the people in our life that affect what we think. Sometimes what we think can hurt who we are and/or other people.

Autism Speaks may not have been thinking everything through in the past how they are helping Autistic people in society may not be actually helping Autistics in society, but they are learning over time slowly. Every organization has their own agenda to what they think they are doing is right. Yet, everyone and every organization, through medical charity or self-advocacy, cannot know exactly how everyone feels because we all have our thought process and experiences that are different than others.

When thinking about supported decision-making, everyone thinks about the way they want to live their life. For example, an individual may choose a different way of living than many other people do on an actual daily basis, but that does not mean that individual is not living a quality life. A quality life is subjective to what an individual actually feels they want in their life. No one can suggest a better quality of life or social skills to make others conform to a society that is not universally designed for everyone. We need to remember who the person is as an individual and how individuality really is what everyone wants as a single mind of their own.

This leads to too much frustration because of a social construction of conformity the mainstream media has used every day. Some people may be more frustrated with who they are than other people because their experiences with how society treated them or how individuals who treated them in the past made them feel particularly unjustified and unaccepted living their life. This responsibility is what everyone needs to fully grasp and think about how to create a unified world with justice.

Everyone has their own way of living while having their pride and joy that makes them feel good about who they are. Everyone does what is right for them, but no one has a right to tell a person that the way they are living is not quality of life. Many times some impairments create situations that make a person feel they cannot function enough and in fact need accessibility and universal design to help them get by or even thrive in society. So, why cannot we create universal design in everything we do in society so that everyone feels that they can live their life the way they know best? Our society has always conformed to the idea that its citizens are vulnerable and need to be corrected to fit in, not in their natural way of living.

The world is a tough place to live in. Autistic people can be vulnerable, everyone is different to the person next to them, and simultaneously we can all be vulnerable to what others are thinking. However, it does not mean as individuals that vulnerability is a weakness. Everyone is an individual who can think on their own. Human culture is defined; all of us think whoever is standing out in that moment yelling their voice the loudest, is the leader. This is not true, we are all leaders of our own life.

In order to think through how to create a less vulnerable society, we can help by providing to strive for universally designing a world that everyone can live in with dignity, respect, getting their voices heard, and able to function with everyone around them no matter what. Everyone can lead their own life whatever way they want to live. We need to do better and we need to ease the pains of so many people, including Autistic and non-autistic alike.

A Poem Called “Labels”

Labels,

by theamazinj

Labels are important,
they can be very powerful,
when one is called stupid
to when one is called crazy.
Labels are important,
they tell the kinds of things a person is.
Labels are powerful
when used
like when we are called Brilliant, Honest, or a Liar.
Labels can hurt or be very respectful
especially when using the words,
Racist, Ableist, Abuser, or even Loving.
Words can hurt, but they can also heal.
I love you. I hate you. I despise you. I am in awe of you.
Labels are NOT just for cans, they are for everything and everyone.
It’s why TAXONOMY exists, it’s why we always use them.
Labels are important.
I love you,
I hate you,
I filter you.
I am so in love.
I am so in anger.
I have anxiety for you.
Labels are important.
Labels are important.
Labels are important.
Labels help and can also hurt.
They hurt when we use the R word,
they hurt when we use the N word,
however, we spin a word around
and make it a different word with a different meaning
so easily.
Like for the R word, Rich,
and the N word, Neighborly.
When we think of words,
we need to think of the positive words
and the positive meanings
and when we want to criticize,
instead of saying,
Ableist or Racist or Misgyonist or Sexist or Heterosexist or even pervert,
we need to treat people with respect and positive their whole lives,
once we label a negative word to a person
it sticks with that person for life.
Life’s journey is saturated with labels,
it’s saturated with bigotry,
it’s saturated with misunderstandings and miscommunications,
So, does labels go on cans and people?
Of course they do, they do every day.
So, it’s labels important?
Yes, of course they are.
Labels were created because of TAXONOMY,
because of categorizing,
but we can label things giving people something to live up to,
or we can label things giving people a dark windy tunnel to run through
trying to find the light.
sometimes we have to realize,
Being disabled is a part of life and is not a bad word,
we have to realize being Autistic is a part of life too,
we have to remember being Neurodivergent is a part of life as well,
and that society’s so called ‘normal’ is derogatory
even when called ‘neurotypical’ now and even
the way everyone embraces that social construction of ‘normal’ or ‘neurotypical’.
TAXONOMY is important, and labels are so powerful,
Just think about the labels
and you can think about your life.
Labels that are given to and accepted by individual citizens
do in fact define a person,
so think about when you call a person crazy, stupid, insane, ugly, overemotional, or even irrational,
how much pain you may be causing someone,
and may be you may want to use more positive words about anyone,
like intelligent, creative, loving, caring, and even beautiful.
Words matter, labels matter, labels mean everything.
The social construction of ‘normal’ is important, but not very logical.
Just remember being disabled or being neurodivergent is a thing
everyone experiences.

A Poem Called “Is it worth the frustration to be ‘nOrMAL'”

Is it Worth the Frustration to be nOrMAL,

by theamazinJ

Normal
nORMAl
NORmal
norMAL
NORMAL!
I feel the frustration,
is it normal?
Is it supposed to be passing for norMAL?
WHAT IS dammmit, NORMAL?
Normal is…
difficult,
NORMAL is…
frustrating,
NORmal is…
OMG!
NORMAL is…
OMG…I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS!
NORmal is…
Oh my goodness, OMG, Oh my GOD!
NORMAL, what can I say?
NORMAL, it is hard
It’s like very few can pass for it,
yet MANY embrace it.
It’s so very stimulating or in this case,
TRigGERRing to have to pass for norMAL!~~~

NORMAL IS…
hurtful,
especially when I am not NoRMAL,
including my friends who are not NORmal either,
or even whenever I walk down a street
I see MANY struggling to be NorMAl,
NORMAL is a social construction,
it is passing for…
what America wants,
it is passing for…
being non-disabled or NON-NEURODIVERGENT,
also, when EVERYONE is born NEURODIVERGENT,
but only PASS for NORMAL
and embrace NORMALITY
only to
ACCEPT NORMALITY
AND
Oppress The MANY citizens out there who CANNOT,
especially when
you are NEUROQUEER,
OR even when
you are not one of the BINARY genders
when gender is FLUID and is non-binary,
NOT saying I am non-binary, I AM JUST OPEN-MINDED
to everyone’s gender differences and EVERYONE’s iDeNTitiES,
and the self-determination of being WHO WE ARE INDIVIDUALLY,
and being the person we are MEANT TO BE and ARE in this world.
NOrMaL, what the heck is it,
when it’s all about when WHITE MaLE Christians who created the damn word many years ago,
who wanted EVERYONE to conform to THEM,
and who WANTED everyone to be non-disabled, non-neurodivergent, and labelled by IQ.
AND, who also wanted EVERYONE to look, feel, and think the SAME way,
How NORMAL is that when SO many are different races, of different religions,
of different thinking types, of different emotional types, of different FEeLIngs,
OF different concurrences acting at the SAME time,
OR of different lapses of time splitting in their heads,
and of different genders and differences in disability,
BECAUSE everyone can DO it,
NO one is IMMUNE to think differently, WE are CREATIVE which is WHY normal was made,
which is why things are DiFFerent.

Normalizing what?,

by theamazinJ

MORE importantly why WE all make MISTAKES especially with TRY(ING) to NORMALIZE America,
and in many CASES NORMALIZE the WHOLE WORLD, but many CANNOT be NORMAL,
MANY cANNOt think NORMAL, many CANnot feel norMAL
because NORMAL is painful especially when someone is disabled,
especially painful when someone is NEURODIVERGENT
when being NeuroDiVERgent is not VERY embraced
and people want to accept NORMAL as the ‘in’ thing as the BRAINS and the one with IQ,
and neurodivergent as OUT, as the ‘OTHER’, and the one that is WEIRD or FREAK or INCOMPETENT or
STUPID or even the re2379427d,
eVERyone is really neurOdivergent, but many seem to discount it, seem to disregard it, or even THINK SAMENESS is the ‘in’ thing,
when EVERYONE is really different,
everyone is really …
CREATIVE, emoTIONal, lEarnING all the time, brainy, INTELLIGENT, gaining WISDOM everyday, has their own WaY of doing things.
while everyone can …
BREAKDOwn, everyone can..
meltdown,
everyone can…
hit rockbottom to only rise to the TOP,
EVERYONE can…
MAKE a MASTERPIECE OR Make an invention OR make a discovery from within themselves that CREATES connection
and CREATES something with their MINDS even when it is just very small BECAUSE it really is VERY BIG for the world,
just like NORMAL was and just the way NORMAL was created
ESPECIALLY when normal is destructive to a human being’s personhood and just when normal can also construct certain elements of life,
because normal is paining and hurting MANY in this world
our peers who are not of the binary genders like you or I,
our peers who are NEUROQUEER
our peers who are a(sexual) or even sexual,
OUR peers who are mixed race, or not of the same race as you or I,
OR the way me and my peers who believe in different religious or spiritual thinkings,
or how many citizens who are disabled, neurodivergent seem to experience the world differently
even when the disability and neurodivergence is autism,
or even when it is cerebral palsy, down syndrome, or many other different developmental disabilities
because having developmental disability is NOT considered normal and is not considered intelligent and
seems to always associate with judgement, always associates with stupidity and incompetence and not knowing what is right or what is wrong,
because in the end, it’s normal, it’s abnormal, it’s just living, it’s just life.

Normalizing Why?

by theamazinJ

Being developmentally disabled is
being more INTELLIGENT than peers who embrace normality can even fathom,
its’s being more FUN and comical than one can even think about,
AND, is being more empathic and CREATIVE at the same time than any other citizens can even feel and think,
Being developmentally disabled or even have psychiatric disability is a thing, but it does not have to mean the person has to be this normal…
or has to abide by the rules that the leaders of normal created years ago,
Being developmentally disabled and having psychiatric disability is part of being human,
It’s a way that life sets us off, it’s a way to experience the world, and it’s a way of being intelligent differently,
since anyone of us can have psychiatric disability because it’s part of human experiences,
and developmental disability is a thing that happens to many, but not all, as a way to know being human is IMPERFECT,
and being human is MORTAL, and being human, everyone will have different ways to express the genes of the human race,
EVERYONE is GREAT, everyone is GOOD, and EVERYONE thinks different, and MOST importantly NORMAL was just a story or concept created but does not have to be embraced by anyone.
I am male, I am neurodivergent, I am autistiC, I am Jewish, I am spiritual, I am a artist, I am a beginning filmmaker, I am a scholar, I read many books and articles, I am a poet,
I am a person of science, I am many identities, I always have my own mind,
and most importantly,
I am J.

A Poem Called “Institution and De-Institution of Life”

Institution and De-Institution of Life,

by theamazinJ

My knowledge is useful,
my life is pure,
my feelings are genuine,
‘normal’ is my misery,
my own normal is a companion,
my trope is believable,
I am a Human being,
I am sanctioned,
i am golden,
I am not your inspiration,
I lead by my own life,
by the way I am,
by the way I am,
even after surgeries,
even after medicines,
even after accommodations
for accessibility in this world,
I am blind,
I am sightworthy,
I feel difficult
in a marginalizing life,
I am refutable,
I am open,
to all open things and bodies,
I close at the open,
I open at the close,
I am a vibrant movable body
moving up and down
through the door,
through my seclusion,
through living through isolation,
though it doesn’t have to be that way,
It does not have to be isolating,
it does not have to be that mind-set,
It’s something I have to furiously open
on my own with or without leaving doors closed,
without or with closing on me,
with or without closing on you,
Life is like that!
so, it is time for a bunch of tears,
so, it is time for a craving of me,
and time to show that
regardless what or who the person is,
it’s about what humanity really is,
and it’s about being the ideals of what we are,
because in the end,
we have to accommodate others and be accommodated for who we are,
and finally,
if we don’t do that
we are nothing and wind up with nothing,
so it’s all about what we want,
and it’s all about who we are,
to generate everything
in the institution of life
and the de-institution of what we want society to be for life
as a whole,
do we work on being who we are?
or, do we have to work on what society wants instead?
and, do we work on what we believe?
or, do we work on how to work with other people’s beliefs instead?
so it’s all that we have
and all that we need to work on
to live the life we get
and the life we hope for.

A Poem Called “Autistic Rage”

Autistic Rage,

(Written after reading the article Blind Rage, in response to Helen Keller, by Georgina Kleege)
(This poem is something that is in the works for a poetry anthology I am doing for class for my masters program at CUNY. I am working on doing annotations for each part of this poem that requires an annotation which is why there is numbers associated with certain lines as well as 4 other poems I chose to annotate as well. I also used gender neutral pronouns so as to not identify. Since my natural tendency in writing is short bursts of words rather than longer sentences from my own Autistic language which is my own Autistic Poetics and my professor likes that. And, I will be filming this poem this week for my non-credit film class.)

by theamazinJ

My feelings of disability 1
come from the distinction of an honor,
but to many a tragedy,
from the way we see people generally,
to the way we converse,
from Kanner’s views of autism,2
to Asperger’s views of psychopathology, 3
to the beauty of movement
from the ideas of Tourette’s4
spilling out my gut,
without my insincere moment,
from the way Elephant Man5
physically felt stigmatized
and ostracized to the
way my moment of
my life lives.
To the way I fill the moment
of my influence,
to the moment of
how the intersection of
autism and Tourette’s
go hand in hand
even with dyslexia6
with the acts of disability
in American culture.7
My life is good,
stop and wonder,
my life is good,
I don’t care what you say,
I hurt,
I pain,
from your misunderstandings,
from your lack of empathy,
of your arrogance,
of your immaturity,
of your future of me one day,
when I surpass you.
I hurt,
I pain, I forgive,
I forget,
I argue,
I say,
Get Out,
Get Real,
Get images,
Get going,
I am me,
So get the hell out.

My disability of autism
is interesting.
My disability of anxiety 8
is a swirl of energy and rage
to be controlled.
My disability of movement
makes me move differently
than I am and you are.
I move with ease.
I move with fluttering hands and feet.
I fly my hands in the sky with flapping,
I shadow my feeling in the darkness.
I crawl into a hole.
My disability is discomforting.
My disability is not accepted.
I feel over anxious from
the already anxiety I feel
from society.
I feel I don’t love who I am
because I am not accepted
under this social standard, 9
this social construction society created, 10
and under every one telling me without
supporting me.
And, if I don’t want to be told,
that I am not supported by anything.
It’s control.
It’s life giving me serene beauty without
touching the beauty.
I love things, I love animals,
I always and sometimes love people.
I feel conglomerated
by society by the people
around me.
I need to be forgiven for I am,
yet, everyone wants
to change me for who I am right now.
I am, right now.
I cannot just be
I cannot just do
I cannot just say
I want to say
I want to do,
but in reality
i am unforgiven.
I am forgettable,
i am not working
like the way
They is worthy, 11
or
They thinks is worthy,12
or
They thinks they is the Queen,13
or
They
notes them and with pride,14
or
Them
exacerbates who they is
in a low key manner,15
or
They seems better
but really is not,16
or
They moves in to build peace
but cannot really17
or
They talks about sex
but takes it too far18
or
They passes with ease
causing more pain,19
or
the way Them projects who they are,20
or
Them uses their anger to shell out to others,21
or
They thinks the world revolves around them,22
or
how they thinks they can speak with AAC
even saying how proud they are of autism,23
or
even the way they takes on
how others feel and does not know their own,24
or even the way they attempts to
say Autistic men are more likely to be pedophiles
from an article from 2013,25
or how they thinks they can find causes
which they thinks can take away the pain
and cure autism even though that just
causes more pain in order to pass
and not be real,26
or even the way the anti-vaccine movement
thinks they knows everything, but knows nothing.27
or how every Autistic leaders feel,28
or autism researchers think about Autistics,29
because Autistic or not, I feel
humanity is real,
but humanity sucks
from the way we are all judged,
but humanity is not normal,30
and normal is done,
normal is succinct,
normal is seemingly joyous but
with eagerness to feel pain,
to feel suffering, to feel like less than,
but most importantly
feeling jerky,
feeling like a marshmallow,
feeling geeky,
feeling like I don’t belong
and everyone can move me
in the direction they want,
and my anxiety soars everyday,
every night,
and cannot stop
because everyone tells me and
no one wants to be told
and no one supports, but support is
good is better and helps a person
achieve self-determination,
achieving identity of largeness in my hands,
my long legs ache, my arms are in pain,
and I just feel like embarking on something special
as every other human being
is special, is unique,
and not more, not less,
and a part of the life
we live today.
It’s the way Neurotribes was written31
and even with In A Different Key,32
because Autistic history is real33
when it is really
the history of the Human race.34

(Happy Autism Acceptance Month 2017!)

The poems in order will be :

1) Autistic Rage poem
2) I am not retarded poem
3) I open at the close poem
4) Tyrant and Martyr poem
5) Poem of Apologies

(Now each poem will have annotations based on the readings I read this semester with other readings (books, articles) I have too.)