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    Community Voices

    Playing The Devil's Advocate When Talking About Able-Bodied People Dressing Up As Disabled People For Halloween

    In one of my previous opinion pieces I stated that people should not dress up as a disabled person during Halloween. Sometimes people dress up as disabled historical figures and don’t even realize it (and it isn’t even their own fault to some extent). That is because some famous people with invisible disabilities have done a good job of hiding their disabilities, thus giving the illusion that they are not disabled. This is where I think we shouldn’t criticize people for dressing up as historical figures that have a disability. One rule of thumb I go by is “If this person was able to get to where they are without support programs for those with their disability, would they still be successful?”. Another rule of thumb is asking,” When can you use person-first language to describe the person and also have no descriptors change”, that is the time when it is ok to not criticize others who dress up as a historical figure with a disability for Halloween. If at least 10% of all adults have an invisible disability, you are likely to find a handful of people dressed up as historical figures with learning disabilities at any Halloween event.

    Whenever people talk about Elton John, Edward Snowden, and Julius Caesar, all epileptics, their disability is almost never mentioned in the conversations about them. One could call Greta Thunberg an activist instead of an autistic activist: since anyone can memorize the amount of CO2 a sweatshop produces. One thing people in the United States don't talk about when mentioning Greta’s rise to fame and success is that she is a “nepotism baby”, even though she attributes her success to her autism. Also Elton John’s, Edward Snowden's, and Julius Caesar's epilepsy didn't get in the way of them doing their work at the height of their careers. Almost all the people dressing up as Greta Thunberg, Julius Caesar, Elton John and Edward Snowden aren't doing so to mock disabilities. In their context, those people are dressing up as famous influencers whose achievements define them more than their disability.

    However, unlike the celebrities above, you cannot separate Helen Keller from her disability while having a conversation about her. If Helen Keller didn't have a disability she would just be known as a woman with a university degree. You also cannot separate Temple Grandin from her autism when talking about her, as her autism has played a huge role in her inventions. If Temple Grandin didn't have autism, she might have just been a veterinarian instead of someone who revolutionized the way livestock are treated and cared for.

    Another problem within the Halloween costume debate is when able-bodied people treat adaptive equipment like accessories. I've heard of stories of “emotional support peacocks” and “emotional support pigs” pooping on planes, which can lead to people questioning the legitimacy of actual guide dogs. People who need adaptive equipment to do regular tasks is another situation when a person can't separate themselves from their disability, even if they are able to hold a regular job. An example is Walter White Jr from Breaking Bad. Despite the fact that his personality has a bigger influence than his physical disability in terms of his relationships with other people, he couldn't do every day tasks without his adaptive equipment.











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    Community Voices

    Come to the Table

    <p>Come to the Table</p>
    Community Voices

    August Come To the Table

    <p>August Come To the Table</p>
    Community Voices

    When the Family Scapegoat Is Dying

    My family is treating me like a vulnerable narcissist with Munchausen Syndrome...even those who are Emergency Medical Technicians. To be clear, I have been on Social Security Disability Insurance since 2002. My family assumes this is because of mental illness; although, no one ever asked.

    My disability was based upon both physical and mental health issues...a chronic pain disorder; which, causes mental distress. Since being granted SSDI, I have had one or more diagnoses added to my chart after every single one of my Medicare annual exams. Most of these diagnoses are considered disabling according to the Social Security Administration.

    Over the years, unlike family members, no one ever saw me posting on Social Media every time I received a new diagnosis, when I had a medical procedure, when I had surgery, every ER visit, etc. I was never posting pleas for prayers pending outcomes of labs, imaging, or having a high risk surgery. I never posted how many times I almost died.

    The only time I made a FB post about my health, until now, was when I was rigged up for outpatient EEG monitoring. I posted it with pictures because I looked hilariously pathetic. The photos went along with the story of riding the bus in this condition and the shocked reactions of the passengers. I posted this comical story in an attempt to make light of the situation and put a positive spin on it.

    The only reason I'm posting about this current life-threatening illness is: !) The pathogen I am infected with is resistant to all known remedies and I'm scared 2) I am angry at the utter lack of compassion by my entire family--family of origin, adult children, and extended family.

    There are many articles about when a Narcissist is aging and has failing health. Where are the articles about when the family Scapegoat is dying?

    #narcissisticfamily #FamilyScapegoat #invisibledisabilities #elderabuse #lifethreateningillness

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    Community Voices

    Come to the Table

    <p>Come to the Table</p>
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    Everyone is different & the smart ones are the ones getting help. Maybe we aren’t the ones with the disabilities. We just talk about it & get help.

    <p>Everyone is different & the smart ones are the ones getting help. Maybe we aren’t the ones with the disabilities. We just talk about it & get help.</p>
    1 person is talking about this
    Community Voices

    In this day and age it's unbelieveable

    <p>In this day and age it's unbelieveable</p>
    5 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    What you need to know

    <p>What you need to know</p>
    Community Voices

    This happened to someone close to me 🤦‍♀️

    <p>This happened to someone close to me 🤦‍♀️</p>