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Sam was reading my talk to the Lion's club (the rough draft is from just a few days ago on the blog) when he got to the part about it being a "disorder."

"I have a disorder?"  It was not a positive statement.  More like "Who the HELL said that?""

Thinking quickly I said "Many people say it is a difference.  A different way of brain organization and a different way of thinking.  Do you think that is a better way of saying it?"

Yes.  Yes it was.

And yes.  Yes it is.

In Sam's mind there is nothing wrong with him.  And I pretty much like the way he is too.  I've kind of come to the conclusion that he doesn't frustrate me more than most other teenagers do their parents.  It's a little hard to tell, since all of my experience raising teens has been as an autistic spectrum parent.

Sam has a hard time seeing his limitations.  (No, I don't really think he will be ready to drive next year.  And no matter how many times I tell him, Sam does not really understand why.)  But I think we are all blind to our shortcomings. 

His difference is that there are people paid to think about his shortcomings as a full time job.  When we justify the services he gets to the state, the papers list over and over what he is doing differently.  How he is weird.  Where he falls short of NORMAL

When I think about it that way, I realize that is pretty fucked up.

If I got every job review the way he gets his reviews, I would probably just go on disability.  Or shoot myself. 

But people are paid, and thus trained, to see him and Nathan as a series of short falls.  How they don't meet up to the normalized ideal.  Which is a crock of shit since none of us feel we are completely normal. 

How normal are you today?

If you were told on every review how awful you are, how would you respond?

You are not doing your best today.  Let me tell you how awful you really are.

But Sam is amazing.  He plays percussion on paint cans in Home Depot, because he's bored.  He's making 104% in history, even though he claims to not like the subject.  He's on the Honor Roll in Middle School.

Even though his 5th grade teacher said she shouldn't have to teach kids who are so disabled (something to that effect.)

Because she was adding up his disorders, rather than his differences.

That make him fucking brilliant.


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