Post by Mel Baggs. I’m reblogging because, as a person with attention deficit disorder, I often relate to some of the experiences that autistic people have with executive functioning issues (which can be a part of autism as well as a major part of AD(H)D). Mel suggests expanding the concept of “cousins” from autism to other disabilities. In this spirit, you could argue that auditory processing disorder is a kind of “cousin” of deafness in that many aspects of the experience for both disabilities are very similar to each other in that both communities have difficulties understanding what people say when they talk with their mouths. Of course it gets complicated because deafness, aside from being a disability, is ALSO a cultural identification, particularly when used by the signing community and capitalized (“big D” “Deaf”, as opposed to “little d” “deaf”), and for cultural or linguistic identification not every aspect of your experience necessarily has to be perfectly identical.
It is worth following the link to read Mel’s full blog post.
Someone decided this was going to be Autistic History Month. I had another contribution I was going to write. In fact, it’s already almost written. But I ended up writing this instead. At first glance, it seems to be specific to autistic people. But while it applies to autistic people, it also applies equally well to a lot of other disabled people, so it’s not necessary to ignore it because you’re not autistic.
There’s something the autistic community1 has lost. And I think it’s high time we got it back, possibly in an improved form. It’s the concept of cousins.
It started with a man who had hydrocephalus. I met him once, after the events I’m going to recount were already in the distant past. But I’m leaving his name out in the interests of privacy, given that when he wrote about these events in Our Voice
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