why is it that i need to be told exactly what to do and it’s still not enough??? i’m so tired of asking for clarification several times, and then still getting things wrong because i somehow missed another important detail that other people just magically seemed to know?
it’s moments like this that remind me how i wasn’t made for this world :/
I am low to mid (on bad days) on the spec, but if medical professionals started actually listening to disabled folks, I could’ve had a diagnosis TEN YEARS AGO, which would’ve saved me a lot of heartbreak and suicidal ideation.
The field of psychology has such a long way to go still and it’s frustrating and infuriating and often debilitating.
“Oh you’re just more sensitive to sensory stimulation than your peers” GUESS WHAT THAT IS A SYMPTOM OF YOU BUFFOON
A Twitter Thread from David Bowles:
[Text transcript at the end of the screenshots]
I'll let you in on a secret. I have a doctorate in education, but the field’s basically just a 100 years old. We don’t really know what we’re doing. Our scholarly understanding of how learning happens is like astronomy 2000 years ago.
Most classroom practice is astrology.
Before the late 19th century, no human society had ever attempted to formally educate the entire populace. It was either aristocracy, meritocracy, or a blend. And always male.
We’re still smack-dab in the middle of the largest experiment on children ever done.
Most teachers perpetuate the “banking” model (Freire) used on them by their teachers, who likewise inherited it from theirs, etc.
Thus the elite “Lyceum” style of instruction continues even though it’s ineffectual with most kids.
What’s worse, the key strategies we’ve discovered, driven by cognitive science & child psychology, are quite regularly dismissed by pencil-pushing, test-driven administrators. Much like Trump ignores science, the majority of principals & superintendents I’ve known flout research.
Banking model --> kids are like piggy banks: empty till you fill them with knowledge that you're the expert in.
Lyceum --> originally Aristotle's school, where the sons of land-owning citizens learned through lectures and research.
Things we (scholars) DO know:
-Homework doesn't really help, especially younger kids.
-Students don't learn a thing from testing. Most teachers don't either (it's supposed to help them tweak instruction, but that rarely happens).
-Spending too much time on weak subjects HURTS.
Do you want kids to learn? Here's something we've discovered: kids learn things that matter to them, either because the knowledge and skills are "cool," or because .... they give the kids tools to liberate themselves and their communities.
Maintaining the status quo? Nope.
Kids are acutely aware of injustice and by nature rebellious against the systems of authority that keep autonomy away from them.
If you're perpetuating those systems, teachers, you've already freaking lost.
They won't be learning much from you. Except what not to become. Sure, you can wear them down. That's what happened to most of you, isn't it? You saw the hideous flaw in the world and wanted to heal it. But year after numbing year, they made you learn their dogma by rote.
And now many of you are breaking the souls of children, too.
It's all smoke and mirrors. All the carefully crafted objectives, units and exams.
WE. DON'T. KNOW. HOW. PEOPLE. LEARN.
We barely understand the physical mechanisms behind MEMORY. But we DO know kids aren't empty piggy banks. They are BRIMMING with thought.
The last and most disgusting reality? The thing I hear in classroom after freaking classroom?
Education is all about capitalism.
"You need to learn these skills to get a good job." To be a good laborer. To help the wealthy generate more wealth, while you get scraps.
THAT is why modern education is a failure.
Its basic premise is monstrous.
"Why should I learn to read, Dr. Bowles?"
Because reading is magical. It makes life worth living. And being able to read, you can decode the strategies of your oppressors & stop them w/ their own words.
any other neurodivergent teachers just have the urge to like,,, corral all the kids with ieps/504s/accommodations/who stand out/etc. and just tell them it’s okay to ‘actually’ be who they are? ik it would require violating hipaa but i can’t help but want to make sure as many kids as possible have the chance to grow up differently than i did
i used to want to run a boarding school for this reason but the logistics seem impossible 😭
also, it pains me to listen to my coworkers talk about their “problem” students and guessing that they might be neurodivergent. i keep thinking about how much i would have liked to have a teacher who openly stimmed while they were in the classroom or did literally anything else associated with neurodivergence bc even if the students were nt, the fact that they will spend years trying to unlearn the message that there’s something wrong with them is concerning???
why is it so hard to get people to be nice to each other :/
Some absolutely unhinged commentary going on after this latest decision.
im starting to think that so much of being autistic is just your whole experience of the world and things is just so different and when things hurt you no one understands and you don’t know why something so minor or insignificant bothers you and your entire frame of reference for what a level of discomfort worthy of needing care is gets skewed and you never really can figure out if you’re suffering or if it’s just you.
and what if it is just you? how do you prove that your pain is real? If no one else around you is saying “me too,” how do you confirm that you aren’t just exaggerating a feeling your Autistic Brain is fixating upon? What objective reality is there to pain, anyway?
and the world seems so hostile. Things that everyone else just accepts are unbearable to you, and you can’t understand why you are so much less strong than everyone else, or why no one else is so scared, or why you can’t just accept that this terror and pain is a part of life.
and you seem wildly irrational when you talk about it. you’ve always been writhing and burning with anxiety and fear and anger, you were always so sensitive. and you don’t know how to put it into words when you are feeling something that seems like it could annihilate you.
You don’t know how to let the people around you know when something is serious because the people who know you best have seen you in hysterical tears over things that seem insignificant to them and fixate on upsetting things and it’s all old to them. By the time you’re an adult you’re just out of words that adequately express your pain because you spent your entire childhood and teen years reaching for the most vast and terrible language to describe what was going on inside you and you’ve cemented your emotional reactions in their minds as overreach.
How do I describe what I feel? How do I describe what it is doing inside my body? If I begin to describe it, how do I know I’m not making things up? How do I know that the symptoms I’m having aren’t interpretations imposed upon my body by my over-dramatic brain?
Trauma is externalized. It’s made objective in many people’s minds. This Bad Thing happened, therefore this person is traumatized. But what if you can’t point to a Bad Thing? What makes your fear, your feelings of being unsafe, your anger and panic attacks, what makes those worthy of being addressed? What makes them real? Are they real? How can you tell?
I’m noticing more and more how what’s an “allowed” trauma is so heavily culturally bound. Or just what’s a trauma. Certain things are allowed to be traumatizing, and certain things are “normal” and not traumatizing, and it’s incredibly difficult, from my point of view, to understand on any level where the line is. Some things are “trauma,” and some things are “a phobia you got because of a bad experience” and are expected to be “overcome,” or downplayed in self deprecating jokes, and are supposed to be funny, they’re comedic or quirky or amusingly weird. I don’t understand how we draw the line. I don’t understand why it is where it is.
I’m permanently ensconced in the assumption that my feelings are irrational and that they’re a product of “obsessive thoughts” or a phobia or anxiety, all of which I must be doing an insignificant job of controlling. It’s all on me. It’s my responsibility to control my anxiety and the worse my fear gets the worse of a job I’m doing.
I don’t know where the line is between a thing that’s allowed to hurt you or frighten you and a thing that’s an “irrational” fear and that places the burden on you to “overcome” it. Maybe I could learn to accept literally anything that happened to me. It’s blurry. Some types of pain elicit sympathy, some force you to shoulder responsibility. I don’t know. I don’t know how to find out what kind I’m experiencing. I don’t know how to Prove that I’m experiencing something real.
FUN FACT OF THE DAY
YOU HAVE TO ALREADY BE ABLE TO DO IT
BEFORE YOU CAN BE LAZY FOR NOT DOING IT
SO IF YOU CANT DO IT
GUESS WHAT HECKER
ITS NOT LAZINESS
Every person need to be taught disability history
Not the “oh Einstein was probably autistic” or the sanitized Helen Keller story. but this history disabled people have made and has been made for us.
Teach them about Carrie Buck, who was sterilized against her will, sued in 1927, and lost because “Three generations of imbeciles [were] enough.”
Teach them about Judith Heumann and her associates, who in 1977, held the longest sit in a government building for the enactment of 504 protection passed three years earlier.
Teach them about all the Baby Does, newborns in 1980s who were born disabled and who doctors left to die without treatment, who’s deaths lead to the passing of The Baby Doe amendment to the child abuse law in 1984.
Teach them about the deaf students at Gallaudet University, a liberal arts school for the deaf, who in 1988, protested the appointment of yet another hearing president and successfully elected I. King Jordan as their first deaf president.
Teach them about Jim Sinclair, who at the 1993 international Autism Conference stood and said “don’t mourn for us. We are alive. We are real. And we’re here waiting for you.”
Teach about the disability activists who laid down in front of buses for accessible transit in 1978, crawled up the steps of congress in 1990 for the ADA, and fight against police brutality, poverty, restricted access to medical care, and abuse today.
Teach about us.
having special interests is so funny. yes I spend hours and hours looking at shit about this. no I do not retain any information. I just make noises. and I will just make noises if u ask me about them
People like to talk about all the different struggles that come with being autistic, but one that people never really touch upon, but I think is probably one of the biggest struggles that autistic people face, is the sheer loneliness.
I've heard people mention many times that writing something on the internet and then erasing it because you think no one wants to hear what you have to say is an ND experience. I never really considered it, but I thought about it some, and it makes sense. Autistic people - as well as some other ND people such as those with ADHD - are often fed the message that nobody fucking cares.
Infodumping as well as the autistic tendency to share personal experiences as a way to show compassion are love languages. Especially in the case of infodumping. Our special interests are something that are often intrinsic to our worldview and identity. It can sometimes even feel vulnerable because you're letting someone else in on something that's sacred to you. We try to communicate but other people don't understand our language. So we're seen as annoying or self-centered when we're just trying to show love. That's heartbreaking.
There's a quote from the famous psychologist Carl Jung, "Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible."
something i've been thinking a lot lately is how people who aren't autistic tend to think that they're meeting autistic people in the middle when they're really just taking one step.
it's this quote, from "quiet hands,"
until I move 97% of the way in your direction you can’t even see that’s there’s a 3% for you to move towards me.
people often legitimately think they're making a fair compromise. they don't understand that you're moving so much further than them, because their perspective is so fundamentally different.
it's exhausting and painful and humiliating to talk about. people accuse you of demanding too much unfairly because they can't see that you're moving so far to meet them.