why didn't anyone else seem to care about this?

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scmnz
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08 Apr 2012, 1:25 pm

(sorry if this is wrong section, i dont really know where to put this...)

i am not asking for advice on what to do now in this situation, or what i should have done then. I have already begun a course of action i think is appropriate to the situation. My question is not how to deal with these other people but what was going through their minds.

I have Aspergers syndrome, and for years my special interests have been other conditions such as cerebral palsy, ocd etc. that tend to isolate the people who have them from society. A school counselor who knows this decided to see if i could help out in a room for those at the school more severely effected by their conditions (im not sure how to politically correct state that)...
There was one boy who had severe cerebral palsy named brian. I was told that they had tried many different means of communicating with him, but none had worked. They believed he basically had the mental capacity of an infant, for various reasons after many tests over the years.
time moved on while i was there and brian accidentally (i think) ended up touching one of the female aids breasts. She in a light hearted tone (as far as i could tell) and jokingly said that he didn't need brains to know the important things in life, women and food. Brian screamed the moment this was said, and he didn't stop screaming until the aid told him that he was a smart boy.
No one but me in the room didn't seem to think this was important... I would have thought this would be a huge warning sign to everyone that the boy is aware of whats going on, especially considering that 1/3 of people with cerebral palsy have average or above thinking, and 1/3 only have minor issues. Why didn't they think this was important, why was i the only one who reacted to this. I am missing something other people would find obvious in this situation.



diniesaur
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08 Apr 2012, 2:31 pm

I don't think you're missing anything. I think they're missing something. They're probably so used to thinking of him as unintellegent that they dismiss any signs of intellegence from him. It reminds me of this video called "Being an Unperson"...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c5_3wqZ3Lk

It was made by a low-functioning Autistic person. Person!

I think you have the right idea, and they're confused. You probably are more likely to understand more severely disabled people since you're disabled yourself. (right?)



questor
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08 Apr 2012, 5:03 pm

Yes, the staff were the ones missing something. You didn't miss this. Although he is probably not up to normal intelligence levels, based on his reactions, Brian is definitely not down at infantile level. He definitely understood the insulting comment made to him, and naturally freaked over it.

I am wondering, has anyone tried using sign language with him? Or what about a tablet PC with communications and learning programs installed? There are a number of such programs available on tablet PCs and iPads now, including some for people on the spectrum, but I am sure there are some for other disorders as well. Perhaps this should be looked into, and not just for Brian, but for the others in the class, too.


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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away.--Henry David Thoreau


scmnz
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09 Apr 2012, 5:32 pm

Cerebral palsy is mainly a physical disability, although it often is combined with other conditions as well. In Brian's case, cerebral palsy causes extreme lack of control of muscil movement, in the form of slow writhing motions and sudden jerky movements, or combinations of the two. Spastisity of some degree is common in CP. This makes evaluating the actual inteligence levels of those who have it very hard, as those who have CP may have no control over thier own motions, or control that no one notices. Brian is one of these cases in my opinion, they can't find any way to speak with him, he doens't have the control to use any device acording to tests they've done, or so i've been told... ipads and such have been tried on him and the other students there, its helped a boy who has both cerebral palsy and autism greatly named tyler in the vlass, but these methods are proving ineffective on brian. However i don't believe them when they say that their lack of success communicating with him shows he doesn't understand their attempts.