Friday, April 20, 2012

Capability and contribution


People with CP who are assumed to be "retarded" but who are then discovered to be able to communicate with their eyes and write dissertations. People who are "severely retarded" but who could make progress if somebody reached them early enough and with enough wholehearted dedication.

If you do not look for a possibility, all you will find is a disability. 

Everyone has hope if you pursue it. Our problem is not enough treatments, not enough early assistance and not enough confidence in the human mind's ability to expand. You know what part of the schools get the most budget cuts in many states? You guessed it, the group of us who need the most assistance.



Temple Grandin: she smeared poop, she didn't talk, she screamed. But she was helped. She is the leading person in her career.

Carly Fleischmann: She hit herself, she had frequent meltdowns, they talked about her like she wasn't even there. Now she speaks with a computer, takes advanced placement classes, and wants to go to UCLA and become a journalist. She doesn't even talk with her mouth.

Stephen Hawking: because of his ALS, he can only move his head to type. He is one of the world's most renowned physicists.


Helen Keller: she flew into rages and was violent, she had no speech... her parents didn't know what to do with her. She went on to become a writer, a public speaker, and a legend.


I believe that capability is not stressed enough and that is why there are not jobs for some, because we don't make them available. Can you only communicate by twitching? Be a public speaker, a writer, a physicist, something that lets you use what you have in your head: words and brainpower. Plenty of people make plenty of money just because they can use their brains. Are you really a very intellectually challenged person? First, someone should have helped you better. You could have made at least some progress if you had intense help from a thoroughly dedicated person. But you can still be an artist or work with animals or with human beings who need love. Just think of the amazing therapies we could have if we let people with severe challenges spend time with people who needed compassion. That's what many therapists get paid for. My counselor mostly just had to listen to me and be kind. At this point my problem is pretty much with the whole world's view of the matter. I believe that if we were more integrated, people would see what we are capable of.



An anecdote from my dear uncle Pat: 


"A wonderful experience; some time back I was at a neighbor’s house along with some other folks; six all together. This one lady there; (not to sound harsh) is somewhat slow; some may say she has a very low IQ. That being painfully said, no one was talking to her; she was cut off a few times when trying to speak.


I started to talk with her and found out her interest were the local animals in the woods. She feeds them and observes them. She told me more about the animals than I may have ever known. She knew how many cubbies of quail are around here. She has named many of the animals and knows their habits and even some of their individual personalities. Want to know when the humming birds will show up, just ask.

I had a question for her because It seems like every day I would have a new gofer hole spring up in my back yard and I mentioned it; she said their gone now so no more new holes will show up and she was very correct, no more have.

It was fascinating and soon the others listened in and before long the entire group was almost mesmerized by what they were hearing. Everyone learned a great deal about whom our animal neighbors are and it made me feel like the animals are family; they are family to this lady and that’s for certain.

It goes to show that a little respect can go a long way and no matter whom it is they have a gift for you. It seems that offerings don’t hide from us; we hide them.
That lady made some friends during this gathering; friends she should have already had. Everyone has a deserving place on our little blue planet, everyone."













Great thanks to Kao for starting up my brain and making me make sense!


-Kitt