A different normal

Having and dealing with a disability takes a different kind of normal from us, not something others cope with.

It’s obviously easier for those with the disability to function with what they deal with because they’re the ones dealing with the disability. They adjust, they get on with it, but it can make any type of normal difficult, particularly for the people they share their lives with.

The problem with disability, however large or small, is that the social model of how that person tries to deal with their disability may be overlooked by society and family, potentially by anyone that person is in contact with. Sadly, not everyone who deals with a disability is included.

The social model is important, because it allows the person with the disability to live their lives with others’ understanding their needs, why they may present a certain way and what they may deal with physically. Social barriers tend to be the main cause of problems for people with disabilities.

These barriers tend to include other people’s prejudices based on physical and emotional attitudes mainly. An important principle of the social model is that the person with the disability is the expert on their requirements and this should be respected, regardless of whether their disability is obvious or not.

Sadly, and it’s a sad indictment of society today, that most people aren’t willing to adopt the social model so they adjust around those who live with a disability. Whether a disability is visible or not is immaterial, in society and around the social model, it’s not for others to comment or judge.

Those living with a disability that isn’t obvious or is not understood by others, may come to struggle without other people understanding. Sadly, not everyone knows how to deal with someone with a disability and is often the reason why exclusion often occurs.

6 Jul, 2017

4 thoughts on “A different normal

  1. Wow so true!! You hit the nail with my life and I believe so many others.

    For people that are able bodied, they tend to see us as an inconvenience on a daily basis. I always hear the scoff from people, even my own family. Where they sigh heavily, because we’re annoying them. It’s hurtful.

    1. Thanks Bonnie. Yes, I think so too, but others including family, will never admit how badly they deal with us. I also believe when it comes to family, they’re not only irritable with us, but they’re irritable with themselves.

      Sadly, with any disability, whether their disability is visible or not, there is little tolerance and you’re right we are an inconvenience. It’s common around disability, but if the shoe were on the other foot, our family or spouses would want us to take a different tack with them.

      Growing up, my disability was completely invisible (in the way it was never talked about) like the problem didn’t exist, or would go away, or I would just go away with the problem.

      Because I am more emotionally disabled than physically, it’s easy to forget that I am disabled. Sadly, I am tied to my neurological impairments, particularly when it comes to how I think and not how I would like to think. That’s definitely an inconvenience to others.

      Over the years, I have had to find a different way to communicate so that I at least get to understand what’s being said and live my life and that doesn’t fit in with the way others expect me to be, or behave.

      They think I’m the awkward one, that there’s nothing wrong with them, that they’re just fine.

  2. Ironically, I believe there is no “normal.” We are all unique and just because we might not fit into other people’s little boxes, that’s their problem.

    But too often it leads to prejudice and hate. It’s shameful really.

    1. Thanks. Yes, it may be their problem, but they don’t see it as they’re problem, but ours. It’s a sad indictment on society and the way disabled people are treat.

      Although we are unique and I agree with you that we all are, attitudes and how we treat people need to change. Putting being disabled aside, perhaps we need to go back to basics on how we treat and communicate with people. That’s sadly lacking.

      I think if we were more tolerant and compassionate, which meant we were more caring, we would automatically want to treat and perceive disabled people better.We have little to no tolerance for ourselves, therefore have no tolerance for others, even less for disabled people.

      Society as a whole has gone like that, although there are a few exceptions to that rule.

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