Intellectual Disability

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    Community Voices

    intellectual disability,

    So people who have intellectual disability, Do you think have a mind of a child? Or people might think so and trat you like that? Sometimes i feel like that. That im just not smart has everybody else. Sometimes i think i act and appear to be how people think i people are with this dislitibaty. #LearningDisability #IntellectualDisability #TheMighty #MightyTogether #Depression

    3 people are talking about this

    How Older Mentors Can Help Families of Children With Disabilities

    Today my family’s friend Bill turns 92 years old. Bill and I have known each other for almost 20 years, but became closer friends starting in 2007. Bill had recently lost his wife of many years, and was a devoted father to his son with an intellectual disability. His son is in his 60s. My daughter Yassy, who has Down syndrome and autism, is 22. Here are just some of the things he and his family have taught me when it comes to the world of disabilities, advocacy, and parenting. Keep in mind these points apply to Hampton, Virginia. 1) Bill’s generation is the one who started to firmly stand up and say no to doctors who suggested placing infants and children with disabilities in institutions. While Bill and those who did so were still in the minority, there were enough to do things like start The Arc in each state, and band together for progress. 2) In the 1960s, parents were begging just to get their children with disabilities into any public school. Success, or failure, depended on each locality and each group of parents. Self-contained special education classes were the only choice. Reading and writing were not always expectations. 3) Success getting his son into school required the parents to work together to volunteer to drive the school buses. This was the only way one school district would say yes. 4) Back in the early 60s, physicians often gave a medical diagnosis of “idiot.” Bill’s son did not receive his diagnosis of autism and intellectual disability until he was in his 40s. 5) Sheltered workshops were considered progress in the early 1960s. They are becoming outlawed, rightly so, in 2022. Many people who worked in sheltered workshops were very capable of working in the community, even if they could not read or write. 6) Bill’s other son, who does not have any disabilities, is vitally important to their family’s success. An avid runner and biker, he has taught his younger brother to run and ride a bike over the past decades. They often run together in races. Attending sporting events and other passions keep the brothers close. As Bill ages, this bond has gotten stronger. Bill’s older son is so proud of his younger brother, and says that clearly to his friends often. His pride, deep love, and devotion for his brother warm my heart beyond measure. 7) As Bill has aged, his son with disabilities has become his primary daytime caregiver. He has retired from working and enjoys helping his father with day-to-day living. 8) Bill’s generation of parents who kept their children at home commonly placed their children in group homes as adults. Bill did not do this. He and his family did not want to. He has been a clear example of aging in place, in the community, and not always following the crowd. In 2022, group homes are no longer the automatic default for all. 9) Our transportation system needs an overhaul. Watching Bill and his older son drive his younger son to and from work until Bill was 90 was tough. It was a clear example of how poor public transportation impacts self-advocates and their families, and how little has changed in decades. 10) Parents of children with significant disabilities need to get to know families of children with disabilities in the generations ahead of them. Really get to know them. There is much wisdom and gratitude to learn. And during those times when we feel progress is too slow, the real history of the journey before us is just what we need to keep moving forward.

    Larissa Martin

    When Caregivers Comment on My Weight as Someone With Cerebral Palsy

    I am a person with a disability. I have cerebral palsy and am an amputee as well as being a wheelchair user. I also have an intellectual disability. I cannot transfer, so I must be lifted in and out of cars, restrooms, etc. So, this being the case, I have had to rely on aides and family to lift me. Over the years, my weight has fluctuated. I have gone on diets twice; once I was successful, but the last time I wasn’t. Eventually, I changed my lifestyle and have been vegetarian for the past three years. I love to eat healthy most days. I do enjoy some junk every now and then. I have had issues with body image and how I see myself. However, I am in a good place with that at this point in my life. That’s not to say I don’t still struggle; it’s a work in progress and it always will be. I have had two different personal care aides over the years, one for 10 years. My most recent aide has been my aide for about four years now. The one thing they have both said to me at one time or another is, “Either I am getting weaker, or you’re getting heavier.” Recently, my current aide said this — and mind you, she knows my history with my other aide and how I felt about myself for years. I don’t think she said it to be malicious; it was more of an off-handed comment. I said, “I am sorry,” because that has been my go-to response whenever an aide or family member makes a comment about my weight. I immediately go to that because I feel like it’s my fault, even though I know it’s not. This time, when I apologized to my aide, she replied, “What does it have to do with you?” My mind was blown! In my mind, it has everything to do with me! How could it not? If not, why say that knowing how sensitive I am about this topic? When people do this, they’re pretty much saying I am fat and need to lose weight. If you were in my position, wouldn’t you feel offended and hurt by comments like this? I would rather have a conversation instead of this constantly being said to me for years. It makes me question myself and my self-worth. Another comment I heard from my dad when we got my first accessible van was, “I am so glad we have this now.” I interpreted that as, “Thank goodness I don’t have to lift you anymore.” That might not be what he intended, but that’s where my mind went. In society people with disabilities, visible or invisible, have enough to worry about, whether that be accessibility, employment, or their own struggles with their disability. We don’t need caregivers or family members making comments to make us question our self-worth as individuals. We are enough just as we are. I think people do this because they don’t want to have hard conversations. They don’t know how, and they think this is a good way to approach this subject. Or possibly they’re just trying to be hurtful. Either way, it’s not OK for something like this to ever happen to you. Everyone’s weight fluctuates, disabled or not. I think if able-bodied people had this done to them, they would understand how upsetting it can be. We don’t need to change — society needs to accept us as we are. I may or may not be getting heavier, but your words hold more weight.

    Community Voices

    I am much smarter than I think I am

    I thought I have Intellectual Disability, but I am much more intelligent than I give myself credit for. I just only learn things based on my restricted interests.

    Forensics is my restricted interest.

    Community Voices

    Hi aĺl

    So I have bi polar 2 anxiety depression cpsd ptsd and teleplis and autism and a mild intellectual disability scoliosis #bi polar sucks #misunderstood

    So only a few years been diagnosed with autism being female you know it is what happens

    I find it so hard in the community
    Who else does
    Where do I fit
    I function like a so called norm
    But don't understand conversation enough or social....
    Why is it that if you are not fully unfunctional that people lump everyone together oh it's disability not being able to see each person and putting people who have high behaviours above others....

    Community Voices

    My explanation why some criminals are part of the ASD community.

    Most studies say that people with ASD are more likely to be victims than being perpetrators. While that is true, that statement is too broad, people with co-morbid diagnosis of Intellectual Disability and Autism are actually 20 times more likely to be victims than being perpetrators, compared to people who are on the higher functioning end of the autistic spectrum. Another problem why that statement from most studies is too broad, it is because the diagnostic criteria for Pervasive Developmental Disorders became more broad for the last decade and it was lumped as Autism Spectrum Disorder, and it's broad to the point where even some people with Antisocial Personality Disorder can be considered to have Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    A lot of you guys wonder why more criminals happen to have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder than a decade earlier, it is because the diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder is a lot more broad than it was a decade ago. It was thought that only people with Intellectual Disabilities have Pervasive Developmental Disorder, but after few years, they made the diagnostic criteria for ASD more broad to include people who have symptoms of PDD but without Intellectual Disability, and after few more years, the diagnostic criteria became more broad to include Asperger Syndrome. And In 2013, it was lumped as Autism Spectrum Disorder, and recently it was lumped as Autism Spectrum Disorder in ICD-11.

    It's true that most people with ASD are more likely to be victims than perpetrators, but if we get more technical, people who have ASD without Intellectual Disability are more likely to commit crimes than people who are Intellectually Disabled. There are some people with Intellectual Disability that commit crimes, but it's so rare, because the diagnostic criteria for Intellectual Disability includes problems with Intellectual and adaptive functioning. People with ASD without Intellectual Disability are able to do neurotypical tasks and some people with ASD without Intellectual Disability are able to defend themselves than people with Intellectual Disability.

    Since the diagnostic criteria for Autism became more broad in the last decade, I wonder if I am correct that there are some crimes that with ASD without Intellectual Disabilities are more likely to commit, but due to lack of social skills and repetitive behaviors.

    You guys are wondering why more criminals happened to have ASD than a decade ago, it's because the diagnostic criteria for Pervasive Developmental Disorders became more broad in the last decade and lumped it as Autism Spectrum Disorder in recent years.

    There are a lot of people that say it's impossible to have Antisocial Personality Disorder and ASD, but the problem is that the diagnostic criteria for ASD is much more broad than a decade ago, that it's is considered possible to have comorbid diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder and ASD.

    Now, you know why more criminals happened to have ASD than a decade ago.

    Community Voices

    Going back to my childhood.

    I asked here what Unspecified Intellectual Disability means. At first, I thought I am only bad at academics and had severe communication delays, but as an adult, I found out that I have severe problems with learning from experience, problem solving and milder problems with adaptive functioning, and especially from looking through my IEP and medical records.

    My symptoms of Intellectual Disability is so mild, that it took 20 years for me to find out about my symptoms of Intellectual Disability. I am 21 years old now.

    My IQ can very, but historically, it was very low for my age.

    I only meet 6 out of 9 symptoms of Intellectual Disability.

    I can reason most of the time, and I can make logical arguments.

    2 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    What is Unspecified Intellectual Disability?

    When I got older, I looked through my very old and outdated document that is mostly written in Hebrew, and at the bottom of the page, they wrote in English that they suspected that I have PDD-NOS and Mental Retardation Unspecified.

    I know that I have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, but I don't know if I have a diagnosis of Mental Retardation Unspecified.

    What is Mental Retardation Unspecified?

    Updated question, what is Unspecified Intellectual Disability?

    I really don't like the word "Unspecified", because it doesn't really explain what is wrong with me.

    3 people are talking about this
    Jodi Grubb

    Seeing Beyond Tests and Supporting All Students as Special Educator

    “I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.”– John Steinbeck In high school, I drew the picture on the below during art class. I worked as hard as I could. I remember determinedly trying to use shading techniques like I was shown. It took a lot longer than it looks. It was one of my best pieces. Renowned artist, Phillip Philbeck, painted this picture below. I have three of his landscapes hanging in my house. He graduated a year before I did. We had the very same art teacher, Doug Pruett. I remember Mr. Pruett’s teasing grin as he tapped his fingers on his desk saying, “I just don’t have the talent in here I had last year.” If Mr. Pruett’s teaching abilities were judged solely on the artwork we produced, Phillip would be making him look pretty dang good. Me? Eh. I mean really, is that the best he could do with me? I should be pretty ticked in comparison. Except that I remember Mr. Pruett as one of my greatest teachers — someone who had an impact on my life, a true artist who shaped my mind and spirit. I’m sure it took way more skill and creativity and a whole lot more patience to teach me, than it did to teach Phillip. The truth is, I could take art classes until my last breath, and I would never have landscapes hanging in anybody’s house. But you know, since I still remember the term cross hatch and dipping a pencil eraser in ink to give my football texture, I must’ve been proud of my work. Although there’s no way to measure it on any standardized test, that’s what makes Mr. Pruett a great teacher. He recognized my individual potential and weaknesses, and yet I left his class with a lifelong confidence in my creativity and a desire to always find a way to express myself. Mr. Pruett inspired me to be my personal best and to realize there is no one standard of beauty or one single measure of success. He could’ve crushed my spirit by holding me to Phillip’s standards (or pretty much any other kid in the class), but he chose to focus on my strengths instead. As I recently administered standardized testing myself as a special education teacher, I thought about this a lot. I thought about it every time a student significantly affected by autism spoke one of the three words he is beginning to use to ask for something rather than take it by force. I thought about it when I was required to ask him to “solve for x” on a 7th grade math test. I thought about it when I watched tears well up in a teacher’s eyes who just gave an 8th grade reading test to many students who came to her barely reading at a 3rd grade level. I thought about it when she whispered, “What can I possibly say to convince them how much they’ve grown, when they make another Level 1 on another standardized test?” I thought about it as I tried to find words to convince her of the infinite ways she helped them grow, when they made another Level 1 on another standardized test in her class. Not to take anything away from teachers and students who performed well—I love my Phillip Philbeck paintings. They need to be admired and gazed upon. But so do the best attempts at footballs and tennis shoes. There are some teachers whose hard work and passion and insight will never pay off in excellent test scores, but their impact will be manifested in countless other ways. To the true artist teachers who wonder how those kids who struggle academically will know how much they’ve grown, I just wanted to tell you about Doug Pruett. If you spent every single day for nine months focusing on a child’s strengths and pouring your heart into working with the most precious of mediums, you can’t help but have positively shaped minds and spirits. I am certain that you’ve helped instill in your students a lifelong confidence in their personal worth that will stay with them long after test scores are forgotten.

    Larissa Martin

    Treat Me as an Adult With Cerebral Palsy, Not the Child I Used to Be

    I am a person with a disability (I have cerebral palsy, am an amputee, a wheelchair user and I also have an intellectual disability). I am 32 years old and have accomplished many things in my life, personally and career-wise. Whether it be the philanthropic work I have done throughout my life or changing careers in my late 20s to become a writer, one thing has always remained true — my mom has always been very overprotective of me. I get that honestly, I do. A parent will always see their children as their babies, no matter how old they are, disabled or not. I have faced infantilization for years by my mom and other family members because of my disabilities. First off, what does this mean? Infantilization is when an adult is being treated like a child, even though nothing about their mental, physical, social, or intellectual wellbeing requires such treatment. Oftentimes, parents are guilty of this to some degree as their children are growing up, particularly when they are teenagers and trying to forge their path. For me, this includes having things done when I didn’t ask for them myself. Let’s say I have a plate of food and I am struggling to put it in a pile. I will be working on doing that myself and even though my mom knows I am very capable of doing it, she will just take the spoon or fork out of my hand and do it anyway. My mom also wants me to do things that she thinks I want rather than actually asking me or giving me other options. I feel that some of my family don’t want to see my growth. Recently, I was on the phone with my uncle who was telling me I need change, how good it can be, and how I need it to grow. If my uncle got a chance to really know me now and see how much I have grown, maybe he would better understand me. He said I was just comfortable where I was, which is true, but he tried to convince me that my mom and I should move closer to him in light of a recent tragic loss for my family. I get his concern and I heard him out but when I tried to voice my opinion, he kept repeating what he had said earlier. I ended up just “yessing” him. I didn’t know what else to do at the time. I just wanted our phone conversation to be over. I felt so invalidated at that moment. I feel like no matter what I accomplish or no matter how independent I try to become, for certain members of my family and in society, I will forever be a child instead of a grown woman who has her wants and needs. I won’t be seen as someone who has grown so much from the 26-week-old baby fighting for her life. When people chose not to see that as a problem that they need to address, not me, I used to feel the need to people please. I felt like I had to do things to make others happy, and I have done that for far too long. It’s time I do things that make me happy. I feel like oftentimes parents, caregivers, family members, etc. of those with disabilities see those people they love not as grown people with their own lives and needs, etc. but as they wish to see them — as children. It’s easier for them to baby them and still feel wanted and needed than encourage them to be independent. I feel like I am not the only one that can relate to this. I wish families of those with disabilities and society would see us as we are, capable of so much. We deserve so much better — to see us as we are, not as you wish for us to be.