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People with disabilities, do you get offended when people ask? - June 17th 2012, 10:43 PM

This question comes to mind especially with curious children in my family. Well there is a story behind why I am asking.

Yesterday was my graduation party, and my godmother has lung cancer and is on oxygen. My little cousin, who is 10, had never seen anything like it. So she politely tapped my godmother on the arm and asked her why she needed "all those tubes"

Thankfully she has a kid that age so she understands and kindly explained it to her. but I've known other people with disabilities to get offended when asked.

So I'm asking all of you out there, how do you feel when a curious child has questions? does it offend you?
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Re: People with disabilities, do you get offended when people ask? - June 18th 2012, 04:37 AM

No one can see my disability. I have ADHD, so you'd have to know me to even know it exists since most people see me and don't usually notice... On the other hand, I have friends who are visibly disabled, one of my friends was bullied for having problems with his legs, so I think it depends.
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Re: People with disabilities, do you get offended when people ask? - June 19th 2012, 07:09 PM

To clarify the aunt I'm refering to is an aunt by marriage: Once when a lot of my family was at my aunt and uncle's house, my cousin asked my aunt's father why he walked funny. I overheard this and quickly corrected him because he was rather blunt and I found it rude. I basically said, you can't just blurt it out like that and he immediately apologized. He and his wife said it was okay, but they didn't explain it to him. He has some kind of genetic disorder that caused the problem so my aunt and all of her siblings are adopted.

I'm not classified as disabled which makes it kind of awkard when someone sees me struggling (I have numorous vision problems) Honestly, I'd rather they ask than not ask I'm happy to explain it to them as long as they're respectful about it. I would also take age into account when being asked by a child because sometimes they just don't know better, but if you're an adult and you ask in a rude way, I'm going to answer you in a less than polite tone.

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Re: People with disabilities, do you get offended when people ask? - June 19th 2012, 09:55 PM

I never react In any way when a little child ask me about my disability, "what is these things you have in your ears" is one of the more common thing a small child use to ask me. I'm just try to explain why I have "these things in my ears". Tell them that it's because I don't hear as good as them and that them are help me to hear a bit better.

I think that everyone should just give the children an easy explanation of why them use any kind of help, (such as hearing aids or extra oxygen). Because if we learn or children that people still is good people, even if they have a disorder. We can make the world a bit better for them.

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Re: People with disabilities, do you get offended when people ask? - June 22nd 2012, 01:58 PM

I often get asked about my 'funny limp' and about my 'dropping hand' by children but I've never really gotten offended by it. I feel that children need to learn about disabilities and conditions and if they are intrigued by it then I explain it to them and about my problems and how it affects me. A lot of the time they understand and it educates them a bit too.
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Re: People with disabilities, do you get offended when people ask? - June 25th 2012, 08:10 AM

Diagnosed with autism (high functioning) here. Here's my two cents.

I don't mind people asking as a curiosity. I think the issue is how it's asked.

To my understanding, people sometimes ask about disabilities with a tone similar to "why isn't he/she normal?" or "is something wrong with him/her?" These types of questions can easily offend, because more often NOTHING is wrong with the individual. These people are born the way they are. Some are actually quite happy with it. I am.

So when you ask about disabilities, ask about the disability itself. Don't ask the question as if you're implying the person is made the wrong way.
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Re: People with disabilities, do you get offended when people ask? - June 26th 2012, 12:20 AM

No I don't children often ask me at work why when I sit down one my feet touches the floor and why the other doesn't and I simply tell them 'its how I am just like you have two legs so do I just ones a little funny' the children I work with are aged 2-5 its more often the 4-5 year olds who question this not many people do question it as its only visible when I sit down. I have ADHD dyspraxia as perges and math dyslexia aswell most of my dissabilites are hidden the dyspraxia sometimes causes me to drop things or loose balance but no one really questions that. The only thing people notice is when I sit down on the floor and that one foot touches the floor and one doesn't it also depends on where I am like at karate I made my karate instructor aware of this by saying that I was born with a slighlty out of place hip ball on my left side which means my leg is abit funny some days worse than others and that flexibility in my left hip is limited to a certain extent. I don't mind people asking I would rather they did but like I said mine are not all that noticeable.

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Re: People with disabilities, do you get offended when people ask? - June 26th 2012, 10:39 PM

No asking me is better than them staring at me and giving me funny looks

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Re: People with disabilities, do you get offended when people ask? - June 27th 2012, 05:34 AM

I actually love the curiosity of children and do not get offended when they ask about my disability.
My disability is pretty noticeable because I use a white cane because I am blind.
If people see me somewhere without my cane (because it is closed or not right with me because I know a place really well) it usually takes them a bit to realize I have a disability because I do my best to fit in with other people around me and I don't really like talking about my disability all of the time.
I will mention it if people ask me a question or are curious about something, or if I am having trouble understanding something but usually I do not talk about it unless I have to or want to.
Back to the topic of children and disabilities:
It is not the children asking questions like "Mommy, why does she have that stick?" or "Mommy, why do her eyes move like that?" or "Why are your eyes different colored?" that bother me because children are just not educated and most who ask those questions have never seen people with a disability, or with certain disabilities.
What really annoys the heck out of me are the parents that are like "Shhhh, don't ask questions like that." or "Be quiet, you shouldn't ask things like that." or the parents that yell at their children as if they did something wrong.
It is not the child's fault that they do not know about the differences of people and it is not their fault they want to learn, that is how children are and no one should tell them that they are wrong and that they shouldn't be curious. Parents need to understand that teaching their children at a young age about the differences in people and what abilities, not inabilities people with disabilities have will help out a lot with how their children respect other people and treat their classmates through school.
If it were up to me, all students would have to take a class in elementary, middle and high school to teach them about people with disabilities because you can learn something when young but by the time you enter middle school you can forget things and by the time you get to high school the same could happen. Also education for children in schools by people with various disabilities would help lessen the amount of bullying that goes on in school and may help in them being less hesitant to approaching other students that have disabilities.
I think it comes down to an extreme lack of education among the whole population and the unwillingness, or capabilities of those in power to do something to help increase awareness and decrease the many divides that having a disability can cause.

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Re: People with disabilities, do you get offended when people ask? - June 27th 2012, 08:07 PM

If I may point something out, I have known disabled people who get extremely defensive when others ask about their disability. That frustrates me.

When someone is asking about your diability they are simply doing so to get a better understanding of how your life works. Leaving others ignorant about it is a great way to encourage descrimination against people with your disability.

I'm impressed with how the disabled Teenhelpers (is that what we call ourselves?) answered this question.

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Re: People with disabilities, do you get offended when people ask? - June 29th 2012, 02:16 AM

My disability is seizures, so people have seen them, but not often. My younger cousins, ages 10 and 8, didn't understand what they were and were frightened, so their parents explained that I just have "a disease that makes me fall down sometimes." Some of my friends have seen me have them and a few have asked exactly what they are, how they work, do I feel anything, etc. I don't really get offended; it's just curiosity. A lot of people don't know many details of exactly what seizures do and what exactly they are, so it's nothing I really find offensive. I usually just answer their questions, no problem.

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Re: People with disabilities, do you get offended when people ask? - June 30th 2012, 02:22 AM

No I don't get offended when people ask. I tell them the truth and if they have something bad to say about it then I just ignore them and walk away.

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Re: People with disabilities, do you get offended when people ask? - July 1st 2012, 01:25 PM

I have Aspergers, meaning obviously no one can see my disability as it's a mental one, apparently. Occasionally people may notice I'm a bit odd, but they never seem to ask me 'ARE YOU IN ANY WAY AUTISTIC' because that'd be rude (I kinda agree). When I tell people they do act quite shocked and surprised; but occasionally get the 'OH I SEE' kind of reaction, haha. Most people do notice my oddness sooner or later, they just don't question it, I guess.

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Re: People with disabilities, do you get offended when people ask? - July 1st 2012, 09:28 PM

I have dyspraxic, it doesnt make me look any different, but I walk a bit awkwardly and can be extremely clumsy. At school, I just got called names and pointed at because of the way I walked. I was just kinda labelled "weird" I would have much preferred it if people had just asked!

I was camping as a Girl Scout leader a few years ago and I heard another leader say something nasty about me behind my back, because I was struggling putting up tents. I addressed the issue the next day when we were all sitting around talking about disabilities; "I have dyspraxia hence why I find putting up tents and things that require co-ordination a bit difficult." The look on her face was unreal!
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