Disability or ‘diff’ ability
I have been hearing lots in the news over the last couple of days about disability and benefits, but thought I would challenge that word ‘disability’. I prefer the word ‘diff-ability’ or differently abled. For some people I could be classed as disabled due to my diagnosis of autism; however I never think of myself like this. I just think of myself as differently abled – my brain is just wired differently from the majority, that’s all. Like most ‘minority’ groups or so called disabled people I have learnt a lifetime of coping strategies.
Of course it brings its own unique set of challenges – usually on a daily basis – especially when dealing with people. However, I also feel I am blessed in seeing, feeling, hearing and experiencing the world in a complete and whole-hearted way – whereas others do not appear to have this gift. I’m not a great talker – as anyone who knows me will agree. It is not that I do not have lots to say however; it’s just that I don’t DO talking and conversation very well. I can write things down that I cannot say. Not because I’m embarrassed or bothered what others will say – I’m really not; but, because I just don’t always know how to break into conversation or when it is appropriate to say things.
Think of all those with physical disabilities – no arms, or in a wheelchair, maybe blind or deaf – they will have all developed and adapted a whole range of skills and abilities that are beyond our comprehension – just to function on a basic, normal level on a day to day basis.
Nothing ‘disabled’ about that – pretty extra-ordinary I reckon!