Hello world, yours truly is back with another epic blog post but in order for you guys to truly understand this blog post I’ll need you all to watch a short little video. I know what you’re thinking, “ugh why is he making us do so much work just to understand a simple post, why can’t he quit being lazy and explain it to us”? How about y’all quit being lazy and watch this damn video which I will kindly post the link for right here at the bottom of the paragraph. I promise I’m not attempting to rickroll my readership because that would be so wrong.
CLICK TO WATCH THIS AWESOME VIDEO
I hope y’all enjoyed that video and for those who were too lazy to watch the damn video or feared getting rickrolled I’ll describe it but I guarantee you this video will drive the point home better than I ever could. So the video starts with what appears to be a very unfortunate kid with tattered clothes and really crappy shoes, he sits next to another kid his age with really nice clothes and looks as if he comes from a really wealth family. This less fortunate kid is rather fixated on the shoes of the other kid. The less fortunate kid has really crappy shoes that practically look like they’re trying to say hello. After a while the kid with the crappy clothes and shoes wishes he could switch places with the other kid so that he could have the nicer clothes. In just a few moments the kid gets his wish in the worse way possible. While in the place of the other kid, the grandmother appears with a wheelchair and apologizes for being gone for long. Meanwhile, the kid who was in nice clothes now occupying the body of the kid with the crappy clothes is running around screaming with joy and practically doesn’t care that he wearing horrible clothes because for once in his life he can actually use his legs and be like every other kid.
Now the reason for this video is because often time people with disabilities of various types get what others basically see as perks but sadly this is far from the truth. One perfect example would be my experiences with obtaining assistive technology. Now assistive technology is exactly what it implies, it’s technology that assists those with various disabilities whether it be physical, or cognitive, its there to make our lives easier. For us students with disabilities it can be anything that can help us get through school such as a smart pen (I sucked at taking notes so having one helped immensely). Anyways, during my senior year I was in dire need for a new and more powerful computer to do my course work. Those who know me will know that I went to school for Computer Game Design so I had to use some pretty powerful software in order to build games and complete various assignments. After being recommended to Easter Seal’s Assistive Technology program I had to go through a very lengthy process which amounted to me basically proving that one, I was actually Autistic, two, proving that I did not have the financial backing to afford what I was basically asking these people to spend tons of government money on, three, basically proving to them that I indeed needed this expensive computer for college and beyond and that cheap upgrades on my ailing laptop simply wouldn’t suffice. This process took at least a month and then another month to actually process the order and get everything delivered. In short I started the process in the beginning of September and didn’t get it until the end of November.
Now when I actually got the giant monster of a computer (seriously, this thing is huge, I still have trouble carrying the thing) it was like Christmas came early. I got an iPod Touch to use as a planner and a Smartpen with special note book paper which I would like to thank for an easy A in my Social Problems class. Now when someone found out I got all of this stuff due to having a learning disability they said something that I wish they hadn’t. The response was “geez look at all that free stuff you got, I wish I was Autistic”. Now knowing this person I knew they were being sarcastic and meant no harm but still, I wish I had said something about it earlier. I wasn’t mad or angry, I just hopped they realized that they’d be asking for more than they could handle. In high school I used to excel at a lot of things that people didn’t pick up easily on and that also garnered similar responses. “Oh you’re so smart, I wish I could be like you”. In an earlier blog post I titled it “You Borrow My Brain For Five Minutes and Be Like Dude Unplug this Bastard, Can’t Handle It”. I guarantee you none of you could last five seconds being me because with the speed at which my mind works it only takes one second for you to feel it’s effects.
I write this because I need to reiterate that half the stuff you see as perks don’t come easily. I have to jump through tons of hurtles to get any of this stuff because as much as Mass Rehab and Easter Seals want the best for their clients, the State is rather stingy and you have to make a compelling case to them to be worthy of them spending other people’s tax dollars on you. I don’t want people to get this false misconception that being in a chair or not being able live, work, learn and play like everyone else means that all of a sudden the state will shower you with their money. The simple day to day can be tough as it is and to have to jump through hurdles to to get the state to fund things we clearly can’t afford is just another cross we have to carry with pride. I’ll end simply how I began, Be careful what you wish for because you might just get it in the worse way possible. When you’re asking to be in someone’s shoes you can’t just choose the good parts, that’s not how it works. In asking for such a request you’re agreeing to take up what ever cross they were carrying and let me tell you, mine is the last cross you’ll ever want to carry. Stay classy people.