Intellectual Disabilities

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When I Was Called “Crippled” and “Vegetable” In The Hallway

I will never be fast enough. I will never be “able-bodied” enough. I’ve accepted that. It’s time the rest of the world did, too.

I was walking in the hallway at my high school in a long line of people waiting to get in the door. I was trying to go as fast as I could, but that is not a very impressive speed.

Two boys were behind me, and they were messing around while we were walking to the door. I didn’t want to be late to class, so I tried to increase my pace.

It wasn’t enough.

“Cripple,” I heard the boy behind me say.

“She’s like a vegetable,” the other boy laughed.

A vegetable is a person who is so severely impaired mentally or physically as to be largely incapable of conscious responses or activity.

I do not have any intellectual disabilities. I am ranked third in my class of almost five hundred students. I am enrolled in honors and college classes. I do have cerebral palsy, but it does not define me, or make me a “cripple” or “vegetable”.

I had tried to walk as fast as I possibly could. I’m just unable to pretend that I have no physical limitations.

And then I heard my friend’s voice. She inserted herself between me and the boys and told them off for what they had said.

“That was him!” one of the boys blamed the other one. It didn’t matter to me who had said what; it was incredibly cruel either way.

“You just keep walking, Ainsley,” my friend assured me. “I don’t see anyone ‘crippled’, do you?”

I shook my head, unsure what to say. My head was spinning, thinking of comebacks I would never utter, reasons why anyone would ever say these things to me.

The rest of the walk was a blur. My friend was beside me, which I was grateful for. “Thank you,” I told her. “Thank you so much.”

“No problem,” she said. “That was so incredibly rude.”

This experience taught me that for every hateful person in the world, there are so many kind people who do the right thing. My friends and family, and the people who love me, know my worth. They know that I am so much more than the way I walk.

The rest of the world doesn’t matter.

As I walked to my next class, I was reeling. But in the end, I won’t remember who called me a “cripple” or “vegetable”. I’ll remember how my friend was kind, instead of the people who were not. I’ll remember my friend, who stepped in and reminded me of what matters when I needed it most.

#MightyTogether #treatpeoplewithkindness #Disability #CerebralPalsy

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3 Benefits of Physical Disability/Chronic Illness Ministries

“My coworker said she was experiencing back pain…can you believe someone OUR age is having those kinds of pains? Are we really that old now? Do you have those kinds of pains?” A peer in my church’s young adults group asked.

“I mean, yeah,” I laughed awkwardly, “I have cerebral palsy.”

“Oh yeah…that’s right,” the peer said. “I guess it’s different for you.”

It is different for me. It’s different for me because I am different than the others in mainstream ministries. Or am at least made to feel different. As a young person with a physical disability, I don’t always fit in at church, just like I don’t always fit in at large. And while the church has made great strides in being more inclusive to those with intellectual disabilities, children, and their families through respite ministries, those ministries unfortunately don’t always meet my needs as an adult with a college degree, an apartment, and a full-time job. Enter physical disability/chronic illness ministries, which are opportunities for adults with physical disabilities and chronic illnesses to minister to each other. Here are three benefits to having physical disability/chronic illness ministries.

Provides Community In a physical disability/chronic illness ministry, no one acts shocked that I’m a 29-year-old with aches and pains. People understand the shame of being prayed over for miraculous healing and struggle with the stigma of being on government assistance. They understand each other in ways even friends and family members cannot. They address each other as peers and adults.
Provides Mentorship. Physical disability/chronic illness ministries are led by those with physical disabilities and chronic illnessThe Problem With 'Disability Ministry' Leaders with disabilities understand and empathize with those they are ministering to in a unique way. As a person with a disability, sometimes it’s easy to think, “that’s easy for an able-bodied person to say,” when being ministered to, but being led by a fellow person with a disability removes that barrier. People with disabilities feel safer being discipled by and opening up to others with disabilities, and feel empowered, encouraged, and challenged when they see someone like themselves in charge.
Provides Accessibility One of my main challenges to not being involved more in Bible studies at my church is finding reliable transportation. Many physical disability/chronic illness ministries meet on video conferencing platforms such as Zoom. Not only does meeting on Zoom make it accessible for those in a particular church or local community to attend, but it also opens groups up for others in the disability community to attend from across the country and around the world. This global community is most welcome, considering many times, people are the only disabled person or one of the only disabled people in their churches. Spirituality among People with Disabilities: A Nationally Re... Other accommodations that physical disability/chronic illness ministries can provide are close captioning on Zoom calls, audio versions of study materials, and more.

Physical disability/chronic illness ministries can make a significant impact on the lives of Christians with a variety of medical conditions. If you are a Christian with a physical disability or chronic illness, consider using your challenges to encourage others. If you are a Christian without a physical disability or chronic illness, consult with those with physical disabilities or chronic illnesses about starting a ministry. Just like good missionaries focus their efforts on training locals to lead those in their community, churches should focus on training those with disabilities and chronic illnesses to minister to their own community.

The Problem With 'Disability Ministry'

Non-disabled individuals are making decisions and creating ministries based on good intentions and perceptions, but not actual lived experiences.
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When Families Affected by Profound Autism Feel Isolated in the Autism Community

When Ian was first diagnosed, I use to jump headfirst into any and all support groups and discussions. I used to look at it as, “It’s not a disability, it’s a different ability.” I would post supportive articles and quotes all over my profile, post all the happy and quirky aspects of autism that made us laugh and unique. As the years went on, there was a shift. I’m not exactly sure when that shift started to happen, but I found myself looking back and wondering when was the last time I posted a funny story or posted on an online autism support forum? When was the last time I felt like autism was a gift? What once used to make me feel welcomed and part of a community, made me feel anxiety, loneness, and frustration. Where were others like me? The moms with the kiddos who don’t talk, who will probably never utter a word. Where are the moms whose kids are still in pull-ups and may never be toilet trained? Where are the moms with kids who have intellectual disabilities? Where are the moms with kids that are aggressive? And so on. I saw more and more judgement against families who didn’t feel autism was a blessing. Why is that a requirement to fit into the autism community? When did I start feeling like autism wasn’t a blessing? Where does my family fit in? I felt a shift within the autism community, the community I was supposed to be a part of, feel support and understanding. I no longer searched for comfort and understanding from within the autism community, the kind often found in support groups, blogs, and even within our very own neighborhood communities. I became more isolated. I only looked for support from families like ourselves, who weren’t afraid to separate high functioning autism from profound autism, who were ok with the distinction and didn’t judge us for it. I was careful who I let into our world, especially those within the autism community. As the years went on, I began to carve out a space for families like ours, ones I hold close and I’m fiercely protective of. The profound autism community exists. Often times we don’t see our autism as a blessing. We hold dear our loved ones who are severe and profound but we do not judge those for being scared, frustrated, and wishing things were different, and dare to say: When we wish our loved ones didn’t have profound autism. Instead of judgement and contempt, we fill each other up with words of understanding and support. Why is there isolation within the autism community? How do we change this? What is the answer? I’m not sure, to be honest. Is there a way for the autism community as a whole to find support and understanding together? To stop judging and understand not everyone is going to feel and see their circumstances the same. We all have battles. My hope is, one day, the autism community can come together from high to low and everything in-between.

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Physically Disabled, but Not Intellectually Disabled

Think about what you do best. Are you creative, a musician? Do you cook well? Were you a star athlete in high school, and do you still try to stay in shape? Maybe you are very cerebral and well-studied. You are humble enough to know you have weaknesses, but see your strength as your contribution to the world. Something you can fall back on and say you are good at, even in the face of other challenges you may face in life.

Imagine a world in which not only are you not recognized for your strengths, but your strengths are actually seen as weaknesses. Ever since you were a kid, people assumed your strength was a weakness, and you know that there will always be people who make that assumption until the day that you die, no matter how hard you work at your strength or how many accolades you receive.

There is a widespread misconception that most people with physical disabilities also have intellectual disabilities. Statistics show that this is not the case. Common physical disabilities include cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and muscular dystrophy. Around 50-70% of people with cerebral palsy do not have any intellectual or learning disabilities, according to the and Cognitive Impairment Estimates show that around 70% of people with muscular dystrophy do not have any intellectual or learning disabilities, according to the Quest - Article - When Neuromuscular Disease Affects the Bra.... According to the, 80% of people with spina bifida do not have any intellectual or learning disabilities. These statistics do not include many other forms of physical disability, including, but not limited to, physical disability as a result of chronic illness or injury.

The truth is that not only do most people with physical disabilities not have intellectual disabilities, but many of us have above-average intelligence. Like a blind person with strong hearing or a deaf person who can see well, people with physical disabilities often use their intelligence to compensate for their weaknesses.

As a child, I was not playing on sports teams or dancing in recitals. I was reading, working on homework, and trying to win academic awards. It’s what I knew I could do well, and gosh darn, I was going to excel at it. For most of my academic career, I was not in special education classrooms. I was in Honors classrooms.

This is not to say people with physical disabilities are better than those with intellectual disabilities or that intellectual disability is a valid reason to treat someone poorly. Every person-whether physically disabled, intellectually disabled, or both, deserves to be recognized for their strengths and accommodated for their weaknesses. (According to the, 85% of those with intellectual disabilities only have a mild intellectual disability. Also, even those with severe intellectual disabilities have value as human beings.)

This is about the many times I’ve overheard people whisper in shock, “Jen’s actually smart.” This is about people speaking more slowly or over-explaining things to my friends and me. This is about employers making pre-judgements about candidates with visible disabilities. This is about how many accessible recreational activities, social activities, and even church programs for people with disabilities are geared toward those with intellectual disabilities or even children. (At times, the leaders of such programs assume grown adults with physical disabilities need their parent’s permission to participate.)

This is about the strengths of people with physical disabilities being mistaken for our weaknesses.

Quest - Article - When Neuromuscular Disease Affects the Brain | Muscular Dystrophy Association

If you’re the parent of a child with a neuromuscular disease, you’ve probably heard something about learning disabilities, mental retardation or emotional problems that accompany some of the muscular dystrophies and related diseases. But this information is often expressed in vague, general terms, leaving a parent wondering what specifically has gone wrong, whether the child’s school problem is directly related to his neuromuscular disease or not, and — perhaps most important — what can be done to help. Several neuromuscular diseases can involve cognitive problems.
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Do you find people don’t believe, respect or honor your disability? Have you lost friends because of this?

The problem with having severe mental illness and trauma, or really any disability for that matter...

If you don't act "disabled enough" in public, people assume you're fine and should be functioning just like everyone else... If you're able to hold a conversation, or go to a social event, or work a job, or go to the grocery store, or clean your house, even part of the time, people assume you're absolutely fine and faking/exaggerating your symptoms. Even if I can do the task once and fail the next ten times, people think because I did it once I'm 100% fine.

But if you act "too disabled" people think you're "crazy" and a burden and want nothing to do with you. If you're suicidal, out of control, crying, self-harming, having flashbacks, getting angry for "no reason", canceling plans, unable to work, can't keep up with responsibilities, can't go out in public, can't clean, or can't socialize, people get tired of you, ignore you, get mad at you, blame you for your symptoms, and don't want to be around you.

This also applies to physical and intellectual disabilities and chronic illness. For example, being able to walk. If a person in a wheelchair walks once in a while, they aren't "cured" or faking it or not trying hard enough, they're still disabled! Disabilities don't present in the same way every day. Some days I can go to an appointment and then clean for six hours and be absolutely fine, and some days, like today, simply opening an incorrect bill will trigger a severe and disabling meltdown for several hours. We have good days and bad days. We are trying harder than you can imagine. Please understand and be patient with us.

Nobody is faking their trauma or disability. Nobody is exaggerating their symptoms. Nobody is pretending as an excuse to avoid responsibility. We are doing the best we can. We need compassion and understanding from those around us. We're trying so hard. Every day is hard for us and we're doing our best. Please try to understand.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and/or experiences with us. We are here to support one another and lift each other up.

Thank you all!

#MultipleHealthChallenges #invisableillness #Depression #Anxiety #youarenotalone #mighty contributor #warriors #Fybromyalgia #Gastroparesis @moshe222mhc

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I’m new here!

Hi, my name is InaFog. I'm here because I recently started taking xywav for idiopathic hypersomnia and looking to connect with others who have similar experiences.

#MightyTogether #Anxiety #Depression #ADHD #Hypersomnia #sleep-WakeDisorders #RapidEyeMovementSleepBehaviorDisorder #IntellectualDisabilities #polycysticovarysyndrome(PCOS)

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I’m new here!

Hi, my name is msathish. I'm looking for help regarding how to get into the workplace and find the correct type of roles where the provide support/ accommodations as I have been discriminated against twice .

#MightyTogether #LearningDisabilities #IntellectualDisabilities

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I'm new here!

Hello, Im Henrik_the_Dane
Im here to meet others at the distance and be inspired to live with higher quality of life and thrive better even Im unstable as a person.
Im intellectual high function, but cant make my day work because of cPTSD, dissociation, burnout, depression, bodily distress syndrome... That kind of things. And lots of loneliness of course.
Ima father to grown up boys and its difficult to be a parent and being unstable, not happy, not proud...
Even I have showed them Im a Father with a big heart and I love them very much...

#MightyTogether #Anxiety #Depression
#MentalIllness #IntellectualDisabilities #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder

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Today's Multi-Step Security Requirements are a Barrier for Some People with Learning Impairments

I’m a very smart person. I have a nice job teaching at a college program for people with intellectual disabilities. However, I have problems processing sudden multi step directions and tasks, and I always have. Because of a mild brain injury I acquired at birth, I have slow processing speed. So, I’ve always needed to establish a fewer set of steps for important tasks, since I was little.

Hence, the decision by the powers that be to require everyone to go through multiple steps to access a website, email account or bank account is a real issue for me. Although I do not wish to have my identity stolen, I think a simple password of my choosing should be sufficient. One of the techniques that I try to use to cope with my learning impairment is to use the same password for everything. Requiring me to add a number, a character, or whatever else a particular program has decided to require, and then demanding that I check my phone for an additional security prompt, and then making me identify all the pictures with cars, etc, means that I struggle to access information that I need to do my job and connect with other people.

Therefore, I should be able to choose my own level of account security. If I don’t want to add a bunch of extra characters to my password to make a particular account more secure, the powers that be should allow me to make that choice.

The technocrats with increasing power in our society need to give consumers the autonomy to decide our own risk level. They need to recognize and consider the needs of people with different learning styles, intellectual disabilities and emotional disorders when they design their software. For some people, a simple password that we create ourselves is a critical accommodation for an impairment.


Facts About Autism in Adults

Autism manifests before age 3, so most new diagnoses of autism are in children.

Most people who actively read about autism are worried-but-hopeful parents or guardians of children who are or may be autistic.

By the time autistic children are adults, many parents or guardians feel they're as expert as anyone who might be writing about it.

Because of the changes in how autism is defined, many adults now considered autistic never received an autism diagnosis.

High-functioning adults with autism are often uninterested in reading about non-autistic perspectives on autism.

Some adults with autism have intellectual disabilities that make it extremely difficult to read about autism. #ASD #Autism