What is normal to you?

This is a forum dedicated to the discussion of issues for and about the handicapped or disabled, and related issues.

Moderator: Brian

What is normal to you?

Postby Kimber767 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:29 am

I am writing an article for our newsletter. The subject is to discuss a word we do not like as it relates to people with disabilities. I have chosen the word "normal" because so often people will compare me to what they think a "normal" person is....meaning a person without a handicap. They see themselves as normal and me as not normal..because I have a disablity and use this chair. My feeling is that Normal should be considered on an individual basis. This is MY normal....this is all I know, so therefore, to me I am normal.
We are all different..handicapped or not...and who is to say what is normal? What do you think? Are you normal?
User avatar
Kimber767
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:00 am
Location: Spencerport, NY

Re: What is normal to you?

Postby Brian » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:39 am

I'm not normal. Personally, I embrace that. Normal is boring. :)

Normal doesn't really have an individual meaning. It really is a comparative word meaning (roughly) someone or something that doesn't deviate from the standard attributes of that class.

I think where people go awry is when they classify an entire person as not normal, rather than just an attribute of that person. You're probably normal in most ways, but your physical abilities, when compared to most people, are not. My lack of physical abilities isn't something I normally (no pun intended) lose sleep over, but the connotation that some people attach to "abnormal" is equivalent to "strange". I wouldn't deny being a bit strange, but people who just met me shouldn't be able to assume that already. :rofl2:
"I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things you could not show her."

-- Counting Crows, "A Long December"
User avatar
Brian
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1913
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:02 pm

Re: What is normal to you?

Postby Boba » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:02 pm

Kimber, I understand your thoughts. There is a member of my family that falls into that catagory. When we have talked to doctors, we often hesitate to use the word "Normal". It just doesn't seem right. However, it is used by many people (including Doctors) as a generic term. We once had a a complete genetic make-up done, and the Geneticist (Who btw was supposed to be the best in the state) said that "with all the variables in the human genome, it's a wonder that any of us are 'normal'." I have dealt heavely with handicapped kids over the last decade (both physically and mentally handicapped) and I can tell you that these are generally some of the best people I know. They are non-pretentious, and if we all could learn their perseverance, determination and generally great spirit, the world would be a much better place. In my opnion, being abnormal is a good thing as a whole lot of "Normal" people really suck!.
Last edited by Boba on Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Boba
Contributor
 
Posts: 653
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:29 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: What is normal to you?

Postby 23hourfruitcake » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:03 pm

Kimber767 wrote:I am writing an article for our newsletter. The subject is to discuss a word we do not like as it relates to people with disabilities. I have chosen the word "normal" because so often people will compare me to what they think a "normal" person is....meaning a person without a handicap. They see themselves as normal and me as not normal..because I have a disablity and use this chair. My feeling is that Normal should be considered on an individual basis. This is MY normal....this is all I know, so therefore, to me I am normal.
We are all different..handicapped or not...and who is to say what is normal? What do you think? Are you normal?
It never fails to amaze me that of which the moronic 'normal' feels is the difference. I don't believe there is a norm in anything, just variations of the theme. I'd define 'normal' as being the majority who happen to be blessed with full able bodies and minds. We don't class an Iraq war vet as abnormal because he lost his legs while fighting for Country so why do we do it with disbaled such as yourself? It's down to the mindset of the people who think you are different because you're disabled, making them the abnormal for for believing they're superior in some way. 'Normal' people see no difference in able or disabled people, only we see their arrogance.
23hourfruitcake
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:38 pm

Re: What is normal to you?

Postby Kimber767 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:01 pm

Good answers. The thing is this, why should "nornal" only mean able bodied and not disabled? I am still of the belief that, as Brian said, normal is just a median...and not a defenition of a person. I use a wheelchair..so does the fact I cannot walk make me less of a person?
What bugs me, though is when people look at me, they just see my outward appearance...and not the person. Some will assume that I am mentally challenged because of the way I look and act...I am very spastic and do not have a lot of control of my arms. Also, my speech is difficult for some to understand. Therefore, there myst be something "mentally" wrong with me. Since I do not talk clearly, I must not be very smart.

Don't think that I don't think!!!
User avatar
Kimber767
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:00 am
Location: Spencerport, NY

Re: What is normal to you?

Postby Boba » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:25 pm

Kimber767 wrote:Good answers. The thing is this, why should "nornal" only mean able bodied and not disabled? I am still of the belief that, as Brian said, normal is just a median...and not a defenition of a person. I use a wheelchair..so does the fact I cannot walk make me less of a person?
What bugs me, though is when people look at me, they just see my outward appearance...and not the person. Some will assume that I am mentally challenged because of the way I look and act...I am very spastic and do not have a lot of control of my arms. Also, my speech is difficult for some to understand. Therefore, there myst be something "mentally" wrong with me. Since I do not talk clearly, I must not be very smart.

Don't think that I don't think!!!

Stephen Hawking could claim the same things, yet no one in their "right" mind would say he didn't think. It is only the ignorant, fearful, and people that just don't know any better that would feel that way. I understand your problem (probably better then most), but all I can say is just blow them off. If they don't take the time to get to know you, then are they worth worrying about?

BTW, is that a service dog with you in your avatar? (I can't see him too good in the Picture, however, Since reaching 40, I can't see much of anything too good!)
User avatar
Boba
Contributor
 
Posts: 653
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:29 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: What is normal to you?

Postby 23hourfruitcake » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:21 pm

Kimber767 wrote:Good answers. The thing is this, why should "nornal" only mean able bodied and not disabled? I am still of the belief that, as Brian said, normal is just a median...and not a defenition of a person. I use a wheelchair..so does the fact I cannot walk make me less of a person?
What bugs me, though is when people look at me, they just see my outward appearance...and not the person. Some will assume that I am mentally challenged because of the way I look and act...I am very spastic and do not have a lot of control of my arms. Also, my speech is difficult for some to understand. Therefore, there myst be something "mentally" wrong with me. Since I do not talk clearly, I must not be very smart.

Don't think that I don't think!!!
I regually see people talking to the person with someone in a wheelchair instead of directly to that person. It happened when my sister in law was exhausted from chemotherpy and apart from that there was nothing wrong with her legs, just that it was far less tiring for her to use a wheelchair while out. People would ignore her imagining she was mentally challenged and speak to the member of family with her. It's downright insulting.
23hourfruitcake
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:38 pm

Re: What is normal to you?

Postby Marie5656 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:39 pm

[quote="23hourfruitcake]

Don't think that I don't think!!![/b][/quote] I regually see people talking to the person with someone in a wheelchair instead of directly to that person. It happened when my sister in law was exhausted from chemotherpy and apart from that there was nothing wrong with her legs, just that it was far less tiring for her to use a wheelchair while out. People would ignore her imagining she was mentally challenged and speak to the member of family with her. It's downright insulting.[/quote]


That happens a lot when Kim and I are out..be it shopping or even at a medical appointment..if it is a new medical person for her. I mean, there are times because of Kim's speach difficulty, I will interpret for her, but that is totally different than someone ignoring her completly.
Image
User avatar
Marie5656
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 662
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:02 pm
Location: Rochester, NY

Re: What is normal to you?

Postby Librtyhead » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:44 pm

I'm normal ...........everyone else is strange. Hiya Kim! :toast:
User avatar
Librtyhead
 
Posts: 558
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:23 pm
Location: Swingset sitting new hampster


Return to The Handicapped Parking Space

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron