The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #57244   Message #1454289
Posted By: Muttley
07-Apr-05 - 08:14 AM
Thread Name: songs about disabilities
Subject: RE: songs about disabilities
A reply to "CapriUni" and "Abbey Sale"

I'm sorry, Abby that you're so hostile regarding not considering a 'disabled' person to be as good as an 'able-bodied' one. Moreover, you got it wrong!

A legless person CAN climb a mountain: One chap did it here in Australia about 7 yeras or so ago. It wasn't a really big one, but it was bloody rugged and has defeated a great many 'able-bodied, fit climbers/adventurers and is right slap-bang in the middle of Tasmania's wilderness. And he did it alone.

I consider 'disabled' people who achieve to be about a rung higher than their able counterparts (no slight intended) as they have had to do more just to stay even.

We ARE disabled, but it DOESN'T mean we're LESS - I certainly will not accept it that I am lessened by my capabilities.

CapriUni - you are one of the more gracious persons I think I have 'met'. You handle yourself with dignity and pride: Damn good show! The teacher you spoke of was WRONG - a poor example of the breed and a coward to boot; how DARE she 'attack' you for being wrong herself - I agree she did have the authority (poor application of it) but YOU had the power.

In my case, I have two examples:

My dear wife Patricia is a true inspiration. At 13yo she was taken to a "Careers Guidance Consellor" this moron assessed her and informed her parents "Your daughter is below average intelligence. I'd suggest not wasting good money on educating her - but when she is old enough, take her out of school, find her a good job suiting her personality and then marry her off so she can become a good mother and wife - it's the best she can hope for"

What this idiot failed to notice was that Trish is severely dyslexic. Add to that the fact that, though born in Australia she lived in France until she was about 6 or 7 and returned not speaking a word of English and had to learn a new language while in Prep.
Fortunately, as her grades stayed OK, her parents kept her at school and she finished high school and got into University. She missed out on her degree after being scared off after being failed by two separate lecturers because she refused to sleep with them - and left Uni two units short of a degree.
HOWEVER: in her late 30's she went back and completed her degree and (a Bachelor of Arts) and then added a Diploma of Education and a Bachelor of Social Work to it. So now with 3 degrees under her belt and working in a great career, she can now turn to that so-called "Careers Guidance" bloke and give him the two-fingered salute.

In my case, I am an Asperger and growing up was hard 'cause I just didn't fit in. Awkward, obnoxious, unfeeling/unthinking/uncaring - all these labels were used. Stupid/ careless/lazy/brain-dead: these were as well. One teacher went as far as to tell me that "one day You'll be digging holes at the side of the road when xxxxxxxxx will drive by in his new car, because he's smart and you're an idiot"

A high school teacher (the only one) was puzzled as to why I could appear to be not paying attention in class while everyone else was (and he'd give me the strap for it) but months later, in revision time, I was the ONLY one who could recite virtually word-for-word what was said and no-one else could even recall the salient facts without going through their notes - I didn't even have to open a book!
I passed my final year in high school purely on memory alone!

I, too went to Uni (Teacher's College), got my diploma which i then converted to a degree; have gained other academic diplomas and such (Diploma of Applied Science: paramedic Studies), Have worked as a Teacher, Paramedic and Youth Worker among others: The problem was that I was picking up their info TOO quick and was BORED at school; no-one catered for a kid with an IQ of 155 in the early 60's and 70's - unless you were good at Maths - - - and I wasn't. I tbored me because no=one would explain WHY certain things happened when you used a certain algorithm or equation. Allthey'd say is "It Just IS!!!!" - Do IT!"; Only my Prep teacher, who promoted me to Grade Two (skipping Grade One) because despite being only 4 1/2 when I started school; I had already taught myself to read and write to a grade Six standard; ONLY she ever saw any potential and she stayed in contact all through my school years encouraging me when I was falling flat: She was prouder than my parents when I came home with a teaching degree and she was there at my wedding in 1979: Sadly she has passed on but now, as a teacher again, I give my all and try to be like her - No-One CANNOT learn and everyone has value irrespective of their physical/ social / emotional "defects". As a result of a near-fatal motorcycle accident I am also, now a multiple-injury, officially "disabled" person. But I refuse to let this stop me. I challenge my fine-motor defects by building 1:48 scale models and carving celtic designs into crosses made of Australian hardwoods. I challenge my physical disabilities (destroyed shoulders/back&knee) by umpiring cricket - I can no longer play despite having played at very high level before my accident: BUT I am going to further challenge the 'disabilities' by attempting to play Veterans Cricket next season. I can no longer play Soccer properly (despite having played for Victoria as a younger man); Next year I plan to try to find a "disabled comp" or Veterans Comp" that will accept a "Veggie" and try to once again 'Keep Goal" - who knows, I may yet represent Australia at the disabled games sometime!!!

Reality; especialy Abbey; we ARE disabled but it doesn't mean I am less. I do not rail against those who are insensitive around me (about others as I hide my disabilities well); I politely question their attitude and explain a few home truths. I have even threatened to report one captain who referred to his players as "Spastics" he was affronted at first, but we became firm friends after. Quiet dignity achieves far more than open hostility and I REFUSE to accept that someone is better than me because they are NOT disabled. Abby - you say being disabled is bad - IT IS NOT: It's not good either, it's just DIFFERENT and has unique challenges which, for one, I am willing to overcome - even in the face of fellow Disable'ds!!!

John W