The disability model weakens our status

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AgentPalpatine
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10 Dec 2016, 12:05 pm

One of the biggest problems with the DSM 5 Disability model is that by treating "Neurodiversity" gene expression as a medical disability, the model makes social and cultural organization almost futile, and with it our perceived social status.

If Neurodiversity is some sort of externally-defined medical condition that somehow precludes us from having social interaction with everyone, then it's almost a self-fulfilling prophecy. If, as research and a realistic view of human social interaction suggests, it's an issue of inter-personal neurological processing and communication differences, then it's not a medical condition, it's an outreach issue. Neurodiverse individuals have limited social status.

In our current socially excluded position, one of the worst things that can happen to an individual with Neurodiverse gene expression is to be identified as somehow "different", but not having any social status from it. Especially in the pre-selected age-segregated educational environment, the fate of a socially excluded Neurodiverse individual can be brutally painful.

Moving towards a positive Neurodiversity identity removes the restrictions imposed by the belief that it's somehow a limiting medical condition.


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IstominFan
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10 Dec 2016, 12:10 pm

I agree. By treating it as a "disease," we consign people to a lifetime of care and dependency. I wouldn't want that kind of outcome for myself.



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10 Dec 2016, 1:06 pm

My husband agrees with you.

He said the worse part of being diagnosed, is now all his actions are judge based on his "disability". If he acts like a "grouch as*hole", before people would call him on it. Now, people ask if it's "a sensory issue", is there something wrong, or if he's overwhelmed. Aspies are human and can have jerk days. Not all behavior is driven by the disorder.

When my husband was first diagnosed, I treated all his crap behavior coming from his ASD. It was me who was making him grouchy, snark or moody.
I wasn't going the extra mile to smooth things out.

One day my husband full bore shoved me from behind to the floor. No explanation. I'm came up and ask are you okay? What is wrong? The previous month, I'm would have yelled, "You are such an as*hole." and shoved him threw the wall.

My husband burst into tears saying I'm was treating him like a special needs adult and not a partner. He felt totally emasculated by everyone. Everyone was nice. Everyone treated him with velvet gloves. He could act as horrible as he wanted, and everyone smiled and asked if he was okay, and what was wrong. People were beyond polite and attentive. He said it was absolutely horrible. He had went from an adult with problems to this less than human fragile flower. No one treated him as an equal with problems.

My husband did not go through the SPED system growing up. No one was nice or understanding or went the extra mile. He said he was glad to have that. People treated him as an adult with issues, not a person where every action was match up to his disorder and excused.

He told me he would much rather have a mental illness diagnosis. People with mental illness are people with problems. You can sort of "fix" mental illness. There are therapies and drugs, and most people do not define your essence as a human against your bipolar disorder (or whatever). You can be an asshat and still have OCD...bipolar disorder...anxiety. Autism zapped away any personhood he had as an adult.

I've heard people with TBI complain about the same thing.



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10 Dec 2016, 1:14 pm

AgentPalpatine wrote:
One of the biggest problems with the DSM 5 Disability model is that by treating "Neurodiversity" gene expression as a medical disability, the model makes social and cultural organization almost futile, and with it our perceived social status.


I thought one of the main reasons for the neurodiversity movement (which is itself a type of social and cultural organization) was the fact that various neurodivergent conditions were pathologized. Rather than the disability model making social and cultural organization futile, it has provided one of the reasons for that organization.

I don't know what you mean by saying that our social status is made futile.


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10 Dec 2016, 1:20 pm

I don't really understand...conditions like aspergers do cause significant difficulties, its not like all the problems come simply from it being viewed as a disability. I would think getting rid of the idea its any kind of medical condition would just cause people to expect us to just get over and ignore all the issues our condition causes...rather than adressing those difficulties and trying to find solutions or ways to allieviate some of it.

I mean sure it would be cool if having aspergers was all positive and didn't cause impairments, but that is not the case.



starkid
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10 Dec 2016, 1:21 pm

IstominFan wrote:
I agree. By treating it as a "disease," we consign people to a lifetime of care and dependency. I wouldn't want that kind of outcome for myself.


That doesn't seem true. According to what I've heard, care and dependency (SSI, group homes, carers, etc.) are difficult to get. Merely treating something as a "disease" surely isn't enough to get those things in the vast majority of cases.


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Sweetleaf
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10 Dec 2016, 1:33 pm

Tawaki wrote:
My husband agrees with you.

He said the worse part of being diagnosed, is now all his actions are judge based on his "disability". If he acts like a "grouch as*hole", before people would call him on it. Now, people ask if it's "a sensory issue", is there something wrong, or if he's overwhelmed. Aspies are human and can have jerk days. Not all behavior is driven by the disorder.

When my husband was first diagnosed, I treated all his crap behavior coming from his ASD. It was me who was making him grouchy, snark or moody.
I wasn't going the extra mile to smooth things out.

One day my husband full bore shoved me from behind to the floor. No explanation. I'm came up and ask are you okay? What is wrong? The previous month, I'm would have yelled, "You are such an as*hole." and shoved him threw the wall.

My husband burst into tears saying I'm was treating him like a special needs adult and not a partner. He felt totally emasculated by everyone. Everyone was nice. Everyone treated him with velvet gloves. He could act as horrible as he wanted, and everyone smiled and asked if he was okay, and what was wrong. People were beyond polite and attentive. He said it was absolutely horrible. He had went from an adult with problems to this less than human fragile flower. No one treated him as an equal with problems.

My husband did not go through the SPED system growing up. No one was nice or understanding or went the extra mile. He said he was glad to have that. People treated him as an adult with issues, not a person where every action was match up to his disorder and excused.

He told me he would much rather have a mental illness diagnosis. People with mental illness are people with problems. You can sort of "fix" mental illness. There are therapies and drugs, and most people do not define your essence as a human against your bipolar disorder (or whatever). You can be an asshat and still have OCD...bipolar disorder...anxiety. Autism zapped away any personhood he had as an adult.

I've heard people with TBI complain about the same thing.


I don't think that is caused simply because it is seen as an impairing condition, seems that is more an issue of people misunderstanding what having the condition means. Why would you suddenly stop treating him as an equal with problems just because he got a diagnoses, like what was the mental process? I mean I am sure I'd have been frusterated with my boyfriend if he started acting like a care-taker/babysitter towards me once I mentioned my aspergers.

Now the shoving thing isn't right, I'd hope that is not a common thing....I could see it being forgivable if that was the only time and it was really out of complete and utter frustration. But yeah even if he was frustrated its more appropriate to use words not randomly shove people on the floor to get their attention. But yeah if these kind of incidents are at all frequent I'd be careful and reconsider the relationship, even as is It would probably be a good idea to confirm he knows he shouldn't have done that and wont do it again.



Campin_Cat
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10 Dec 2016, 3:06 pm

I'm having great difficulty understanding this post----GREAT difficulty.

AgentPalpatine and Campin_Cat wrote:
One of the biggest problems with the DSM 5 Disability model is that by treating "Neurodiversity" gene expression as a medical disability, the model makes social and cultural organization almost futile, and with it our perceived social status.

I don't think of the DSM as treating Neurodiversity as a "medical disability"----that seems to imply a physical disability (like breaking a vertebra), and it says right on the book "Manual of Mental Disorders".

As for using the word "model"----again, it says right in the DSM that it's a GUIDELINE. Using the word "model", seems to be saying that all that come-after, needs to be the SAME; whereas "guideline", IMO, seems to indicate, "here's something for you to go-by, but it might not be exactly the same"----if ALL clinicians interpreted it as "EXACTLY the same", then, seemingly, there would never be a misdiagnosis.

As for, "social and cultural organization almost futile": It's not futile unless we ALLOW it to be----and, I don't know what "our perceived social status", means (who's doing the perceiving----us, or professionals, or NTs?).


If Neurodiversity is some sort of externally-defined medical condition that somehow precludes us from having social interaction with everyone, then it's almost a self-fulfilling prophecy. If, as research and a realistic view of human social interaction suggests, it's an issue of inter-personal neurological processing and communication differences, then it's not a medical condition, it's an outreach issue. Neurodiverse individuals have limited social status.

It's NOT a "self-fulfilling prophecy", unless we ALLOW it to be----and NO ONE can prevent us from having "social interaction with everyone" unless that's what we WANT / CHOOSE.

Again, I don't know what you're meaning by "social status"----we can create our OWN social status (meaning, "social acceptance"----as an individual, or GROUP); if you mean social status that OTHERS "give" us, that seems, IMO, to be like expecting someone else to "give" us "self-esteem", and it has to come from WITHIN.


In our current socially excluded position, one of the worst things that can happen to an individual with Neurodiverse gene expression is to be identified as somehow "different", but not having any social status from it. Especially in the pre-selected age-segregated educational environment, the fate of a socially excluded Neurodiverse individual can be brutally painful.

We ARE different----and, we're NOT gonna have any "social status", if we don't work to get it. Again, I'm not understanding your use of "social status"----are you saying we should be treated as "special", because we have an ASD diagnosis? I don't agree with that, AT ALL, then!

Moving towards a positive Neurodiversity identity removes the restrictions imposed by the belief that it's somehow a limiting medical condition.

It IS a limiting condition; but, WE make for OURSELVES, a positive identity----and, THAT'S what removes restrictions; nobody can restrict us, but US (generally speaking).






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Campin_Cat
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10 Dec 2016, 3:13 pm

IstominFan wrote:
I agree. By treating it as a "disease," we consign people to a lifetime of care and dependency.

I don't know of anyone treating ASD as a disease----the DSM certainly is NOT, IMO. Also, even if it WERE a disease, that doesn't mean someone is necessarily "consigned to a lifetime of care and dependency"----often people with cancer or diabetes, for instance, get to the point where they no longer need drugs, treatment(s), special diets, etc.






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BirdInFlight
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10 Dec 2016, 3:31 pm

I too am having problems understanding the OP. The language reads like scientific thesis gobbledeegook rather than plain English.

I also agree with Sweetleaf calling the OP out on the premises I did manage to get the gist of. It DOES cause impairment and as I far as I see, actually there isn't enough allowance made for those impairments, rather than too much.

I grew up without anyone taking into consideration that my issues were real -- and yes, some severe sensory ones -- and not just "jerkism" and rather than be glad of that, it fcking scarred me as I was surrounded by a family who hated me.

How was THAT better for me than an enlightened situation where it was realized my difficulties were real and had a name and that a little accommodation would in fact help me thrive and improve and find ways to deal, rather than leaving me floundering?

I'm sorry but as a late diagnosed person who has struggled greatly and labored under the harshness and ridicule of others including my own blood kin, I speculate and believe quite strongly that "the disability model" applied to MY particular life actually would have opened me up to help, compassion and in fact thriving far better because I was understood, not vilified.



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10 Dec 2016, 4:06 pm

The problem is that Autism is both a disability and a disadvantage of being a minority.

Another problem is the so-called comorbid's which most agree are disabling and should fit under the medical model. It is nice to say the difficulties from Aspergers is about society not understanding our differences and the true disabilities are not from Aspergers but the comorbid's but this will be perceived as a hypocritical run around. Maybe the DSM should make the most common comorbid's Asperger traits as they did with sensory sensitivities.

This leaves the ND advocacy organizations with a catch 22 situation. Go with the medical model and continue with stigmatization, low expectations and labeling for difficulties that are a result of being different, or go with the social model which leaves no logical reason for any benefits and accommodations beyond the normal given by individual people being kind and leaves Aspies vulnerable to the Trump era backlash against "identity politics" and the splitting of people into "winners" and "losers".


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10 Dec 2016, 4:57 pm

I'm sorry if I didn't get the purpose of this topic, but —

While I would not call autism a disease (since autism itself doesn't usually cause health impariments), I think it is very much a disability/medical condition/disorder. It DOES cause impairments. It's not just a gene variation. Would a simple variation cause developmental delays? I have a disorder. I'm different. I take longer to do things. I'm weird and abnormal. And I'm proud of that.

Nevertheless, people with impairments should not have lower status than everyone else, nor have expectations lowered automatically.

Hope I didn't offend anybody.


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10 Dec 2016, 5:36 pm

I'm not really big on the SJW-type. We should stop lumping people into the "minority group" label. I feel that the label is disempowering, like it sort of means something like "sub-human".

But I had a hard time processing the OP's premise.



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10 Dec 2016, 6:01 pm

I was diagnosed as an adult. I spent most my life trying to live in a world that does not fit and generally did not want to have to deal with me.

I have struggled keeping a job, being homeless at times and struggled socially.

Decades of not meeting the expectations of my bosses, coworkers, family, friends and girlfriends.

With the diagnosis, it has given me a framework to understand how I am different and for those close to me to understand why I struggle with things that they take for granted.


It is a disability when trying to live in the world of the NTs. I am grateful for the diagnosis.



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10 Dec 2016, 6:11 pm

AgentPalpatine wrote:
One of the biggest problems with the DSM 5 Disability model is that by treating "Neurodiversity" gene expression as a medical disability, the model makes social and cultural organization almost futile, and with it our perceived social status.


The medical model of disability has a role to play, many conditions have treatable ailments (such as epilepsy), which enable the person to function more fully in society. This perspective was the only one until the 1960s as I understand, and though I agree with the social model of disability, it will take time (and a lot of money) for first world cultures to alter the dominant way of perceiving difference, and moving towards inclusion. I don't think its progressive to exclude one model over the other.



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10 Dec 2016, 6:15 pm

K_Kelly wrote:
We should stop lumping people into the "minority group" label. I feel that the label is disempowering, like it sort of means something like "sub-human".

Maybe you should familiarize yourself with the definition of the word "minority" rather than projecting meaning onto it.


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