This Saturday is Temple Grandin’s birthday. Unfortunately, most people don’t have a clue who she is.
Temple Grandin is an autism activist. She is best known for her contributions to the agriculture industry by inventing a safer and more humane way to slaughter cattle without them getting injured in the process. While her views of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) aren’t approved of nowadays, Grandin was still one of the first autism advocates to break through to the mainstream, having a movie made about her in 2010 titled Temple Grandin.
Grandin’s life story is important and should be required learning for social workers preparing to work with autistics. Why? Because she is living proof that with the right support and services, without strings attached, we can be anything. She has a doctorate in Animal Science and a career as a proponent for the rights of autistics and animals.
(I met her once during a book signing at LaGuardia Community College in New York. Very nice lady).
Yet when it comes to both Autism Awareness Month or Women’s History Month, she is forgotten.
When Mamma Duke and I get on the phone with the OPWDDimwits and joint advocate, they act like we’re speaking a foreign language. “Who?” they ask when we bring up Grandin’s name. I am appalled that the training for both state-run and private social service organizations don’t acknowledge or even know who Grandin is. Right now, the people who are supposed to help and serve us, treat us like garbage. Maybe if they learned about Grandin, they would show us more respect and compassion.
For once, that would be nice…
I don’t mind progress but sometimes when progress comes too quickly it gets VERY overwhelming. It’s bad enough I have to deal with, and conform to, basic ableist rules, let alone all these new things. I feel like my manners and opinions are under attack. Now, I can’t say you’re “well spoken” anymore because it’s now considered “racist” by the crazy woke people. “Oh it’s racist because it’s a hidden assumption that they lack intelligence and you’re underestimating their abilities.” It’s not a compliment anymore! I wish those who are “woke” would take into account those on the Spectrum and how we process things. It really stresses not only the disabled community, but other people, like myself, who are still trying to figure things out. Please respect the opinions of those who are still half asleep like myself. I’m trying to be “woke” without sounding obnoxious towards other people. I still want to hear you opinions. I don’t shut people down unless either one, I’ve tried it already, or two, they’re being really rude. It’s very, very frustrating for me and my family. Thank you.
WHY?!? WHY?!? WHY ISN’T ANYTHING BEING DONE?!?!? HOW MANY MORE AUTISTIC KIDS AND ADULTS MUST DIE AN UNREASONABLE DEATH FROM ABUSE AND NEGLECT? WHERE IS OUR RESPECT?!?! HOW COME NOBODY PROTESTS WHEN WE ARE TREATED LIKE THIS! When an Able dies, you jump and get mad as a hornet. Why are we not given equal treatment? When an Autistic person dies, you don’t get mad or jump up and down in protest. You act like we don’t matter! You treat us like roadkill! THIS ISN’T ACCEPTABLE! Would you do this to your own? NO! We are not inferior! We are people too! Where is the respect and dignity we all deserve? #Autisticjustice #DISABLEDLIVESMATTER #REVISEADA #ENDABLEISM
When you are Autistic you need a lot of support — and not just the support you get from the OPWDimwits. But the outside sources important as well such as friends and most importantly family. As an Autistic person, getting support from your family isn’t always very easy. Nine times out of ten you’re the one Autistic person in a family of ables. Sometimes they get it, sometimes not so much. My biggest support — despite all the arguments we have, is my mom. She knows where I’m coming from and what I go through because she’s the one always calling people for me to get help from a lot of places which often end up being a dead end. She also has my bluntness, stubbornness, and ability to get angry very easily. Mixed bag for advocating, worse when you’re home and she doesn’t like the way you do things. But, that’s not our topic for today. In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that I had a younger sister. She is an able like the rest of my family. Today, I posted something on social media and my NT sister told me to take it down. I said, “why”? She felt I was being ‘disrespectful’ to the current civil rights issues and said they are two different things. I took it down in exchange for helping my #reviseADA movement get underway. She didn’t realize, like all the other ignorant ables I speak to, that the ADA doesn’t protect those with developmental disabilities. She thought all the accommodations I couldn’t get, especially tutoring were ‘just mine’. It just felt like any other previous talks about my problems finishing college — lost in translation leading to a lot of ‘hidden ableism’. She, like many other people don’t realize that if your disability involves a difference in communication, tutoring is very necessary and being able to live on campus despite being a part time student is too. Because if your school is in a town with a lack of public transportation, it shouldn’t mean you have to sacrifice your academic and mental well being just to have a place to live. Not right! Not every Autistic person can handle a full course load! It can be EXTREMELY overwhelming. If everything in your textbook is in some fancy jargon that you have to read three times to understand you DEFINITELY need the extra time to calm down before switching between that one subject and another. Getting confused about the material can be VERY draining on an Autistic student’s mind. So yes we learn slower, but it’s not our fault. — It’s just that you silly ables like to let that fancy title, that you’ve graduated with on your sheepskin, get to your head and like to show off your knowledge by using big words and fancy sounding sentences! Ugh! Simplese please! If college materials were very straight forward without being vague at the same time it would be SO much easier! But, you know the ables and their weird minds. They like to make it much harder for everyone and if you fail, too bad! They’re going to take your money like the whammy on Press Your Luck. These are the issues most ables like my sister don’t see causing the constant struggle of being heard and getting accommodations for our academic needs. The most we get is either a note taker or extended time on tests in a room without distractions. Nobody sticks up for us when our test is on a day the disability office is closed and can’t be accommodated. Nobody sticks up for us if a professor says an Ableist remark to our moms, on the phone behind our backs or to our face during a private orientation. (Yes, I’m talking about you Mr. Chairman of SUNY Delhi’s Vet tech department. Saying “If you go part time you won’t remember it all.” That’s ableism and you got away with it!) So since my sister’s perspective is a put up or shut up attitude like everyone else I’ve dealt with on this already difficult journey, how can she help me out? There’s no support. It’s just my friends, Mamma Duke, and me.
This is my response to T.K.’s post on recent events. (Despite already making one, I just felt I should tell my viewpoint on racism too so don’t PC me)!
Amongst the protests of #blacklivesmatter there’s a lot of lectures on social media to white people about being so called “privileged” or to “check your privilege.” I was confused for at least a week. I had no idea what they were talking about except that for that one instance, when a bunch of people at the CVS I go to after work for an occasional snack sometimes decided yell it at me one day just because I was called up from the back of the line when the other register opened up. Really? What does that prove? How does yelling “white privilege” solve the issue? It doesn’t. It caused me to retaliate saying that I wish I had more because as a disabled person, I had barely any privilege at all due to the lack of protection from ADA. I found it very offensive!
However, this phrase has been turning up a lot lately because of the protests. This is supposedly the definition. “White privilege” as it is defined, is having a “societal advantage” due to your race being the “majority” or “the norm.” So, you’re telling me, that if I’m a white Jewish girl who moves to let’s say, India and because I’m not like them, because they’re the majority and I’m the minority they’re privileged and I’m not because of their cultural beliefs being the most dominant? Doesn’t that seem a little ridiculous? But this is the white person’s definition. Minorities have a different definition which is “All the times you didn’t get arrested for stupid things just because your skin tone is different.” I know, it sounds rude, but I saw a lot of social media posts like that all over Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Most people don’t realize that there is no such thing as “White Privilege” and it’s just as racist as everything else said at other people. But that’s just my opinion.
While everyone is talking about the riots and violent protests that have happened this week because of police brutality to Mr. Floyd I want to bring up something that happened in our community that most Ables who aren’t on social media ignored and overlooked as usual. Last month an Autistic boy was killed by his mother and framed two African American men for kidnapping him. How come there aren’t any violent riots in the streets when this happened? It was combination of abuse, Racism, and Ableism. Yet, this story as usual ends up being a flash in the pan because it’s not an issue of judgment due to race. We ALL matter because disability doesn’t discriminate. Discrimination and bigotry of any form is NEVER right and yet we see the Ables AKA the Neurotypicals make the same stupid mistakes. So much for having fully developed mind what a fucking joke! They act like stupid children having a temper tantrum! There’s a time, place, and way to protest. DAMAGING PUBLIC OR POLICE PROPERTY ISN’T ONE OF THEM AND LOOTING BUSINESSES ISN’T EITHER. IT DOESN’T SOLVE ANYTHING! As much as I would like to blow up OPWDimwits I know it won’t help because instead of getting my point across I’d get arrested and not get anything accomplished at all. It doesn’t solve my problems it makes them worse. So if I’m gonna protest I’m gonna do it the right way. #Everyonematters #Pleaseprotestpeacefully
Tk talked about this already tough time but it’s worse for all of us in the disabled community the fact that we are not treated equally by the healthcare system regardless of whether we are in crisis or not is extremely concerning. It is unethical and wrong to take a disabled person’s ventilator away to give it away to an ill Neurotypical affecting a person’s quality of life leading to even more hospitalizations and deaths. It is inhumane whether it is peacetime or in a time of crisis to deny help of any sort to people with disabilities. #Nobodyisdisposable
WHY DO I ALWAYS HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THESE STUPID LONG ISLAND BUSES?!?!?!? I had wait in the Pennzoil for an hour so I don’t get cold. Thanks for making me late to work again not so NICE bus! They obviously don’t believe in late morning shifts and I’m not wasting money for Able ride unless I need to because it’s almost $8.00 round trip. I’m so fucking annoyed!
This is your Bluntly Speaking Breaking news! On Wednesday, February 19th, 2020, I, Artemis Levina and my loyal (but shrewdly bossy and picky) assistant correspondent Mamma Duke went all the way to the streets of Manhattan to get you this crucial update and how this affects the future of the services of Autistics of all levels everywhere in the New York area. The rumors about cuts to Medicaid funds are true. This will affect a lot of people who use title 16 clinics for healthcare. Title 16 clinics, for those uneducated Ables out there, are Medicaid based clinics who serve we disabled folk on Medicaid who can’t afford typical doctor appointments. Also, OPWDimwits has been spending a lot of money for helping people — doesn’t seem like it the way Scudderbutt behaves. They were also talking about how Commissioner lazy himself couldn’t even produce an answer about the funding to these folks trying to advocate for the prevention of these cuts. FIGURES! The way he acted when I asked him about my needs, that’s nothing new. Didn’t even care about the the Bernard Fineson land being condemned either. Well, here’s the deal, they were supposed to get two 2% increases in funding and now it’s going to be taken away affecting many people who need the help. It might not sound like a lot, but 2% is a lot especially when it comes to our community. Now I know why I haven’t been getting help for nine years they’ve been abusing the funds and not using them to create new programs. So yes, we level one Autistics over 21 are still doomed to be denied the right services for yet another year. Hopefully, this new proposition of three for five will help. What this is exactly is a gradual increase in funding for OPWDimwits to finally reorganize themselves and help people better(and hopefully not decide to pretend to be a half-wit on me again because I don’t tolerate being treated like political ploy instead of a person). Then again, what else do we expect from Governor McIdiot? He’s going to continue his corrupt and Ableist behavior because we the disabled community are not well united. If we stop segregating ourselves into our disability groups and help each other out to crowd the steps of Albany and stick to him we won’t get anywhere or get anything out of it.
For any one living in the Queens NYC area Mamma Duke and I got a flyer in the mail from our local elected official about a “Queens Bus Redesign.” It’s really not an improvement at all. Who wants to take three buses to the Queens Center Mall? Not only that those who are going to St. John’s University from my area aren’t going to able to take the 46 there anymore because the stop will no longer exist!
Go on to mta.info to find out how your typical routes are being changed and file a complaint if it denies you access to wherever you typically roam.