In my “About Me” bio, I explained what I “have”. So, if you haven’t read that, then go back and do so, RIGHT NOW, before continuing to read.
For someone struggling with these many documented and diagnosed proabilities, I am doing extremely well. Here is a list of my some of my accomplishments:
1) I wrote a nearly 300-page novel, which I then self-published and sold 50 copies of
2) I taught myself American Sign Language to combat stigma against people who use it as an aid and bring two-or-more cultures/groups of people together
3) I’ve passed all my courses since the end of grade 9 with flying colors. (This is my 3rd year on Honor Roll!!!)
Now, that you’ve seen this, it’s time to get into the reason why I’m posting this. The truth is, is that I enjoy discussing my proabilities with people and raising awareness for others like me. However, whenever I tell someone I have special needs, they often come up with some really sh*tty response. This happened a few days ago. So, here’s a list of what not to say, written by someone who has heard all of these:
1) Minimizing Said Exceptionalities: “At least you’re high-functioning and not ‘brain-dead.’” The thing about this one is that no matter if you’re high-functioning or low-functioning, your brain is still able to work and function, just in different ways. So, try not to be that thick-skulled.
2) The Intelligence Route: “You don’t seem stupid.” Yeah, that’s because I’m not! And neither is anyone with special needs, for that matter. Like I said before, we all function in different ways.
3) The Uneducated Response: “Is depression contagious?” No, you dimwitted homo-sapien. For those who don’t know, depression is not contagious. It is either in one’s genetics or triggered by a change in hormone level, stress, grief, difficult life circumstance, etc. Sometimes it could be an onset of a medical condition.
4) The Free-To-Ask-Any-&-All-Questions Response: “So, is your Tourette’s acute or mild? Do you have vocal tics??” Surprisingly, people every once in a while ask this. They think that just because I tell them what I have, they can ask me all the questions they want about my exceptionalities. Trust me, I understand that there is a blurred, gray line here, but at the end of the day, my conditions are still incredibly personal. You wouldn’t ask a person how much they make, now would you? However, if I am close with the person, I will most certainly explain more in-depth to them about myself and how I work.
5) Lastly, The Normalizing: “Wow, I had no clue. You look and act so normal!” Now, the prior is fine to say, but the latter…mmm, not so much. After all, who is normal? What is normal? I’m not normal and neither is the next person.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my list here.