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Ys
ysabel
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May 2011
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Ys [userpic]
ADD/ADHD, Autism...and gender.

I've been struggling some with (not against!) the concept that some of understanding and coping with my ADD/ADHD is understanding that it's a different way of functioning, one that isn't well supported by current society/workplaces/educational systems/etc. That my focus for all of my life has been how to function in a world that expected things of me that I am not at all good at, and didn't care about many of the things I am particularly good at. Now, I have some really good coping mechanisms. I have a lot of crutches and I function reasonably well in the "real world". I also have a tendency to come home and collapse in exhaustion, and to be completely incapable of significant organization unless it's absolutely required for my existance.

One of the reasons I'm as good as I am at what I do is because I learned some tricks early on that allow me to take advantage of places where I'm really good (abstract, large-scale thought and the ability to make those large-scale structures concrete) to shore up the places where I, frankly, suck (like tracking details). Writing code is an exercise in tracking details...unless you can design the software in such a way that it's very simple in any particular, but the structure still solves the problem.

Some of what I'm trying to do at the moment, and part of why I'm trying to treat the ADD/ADHD with drugs (stimulants, and they're helping a lot, but I could wish for a LOT more) is that I desperately want to find a way to apply some of the same creativity to other things in my life. I'd like to be able to keep a house at least nominally clean. I'd like to be able to cook dinner for my spouses on a regular basis without it being a huge nightmarish emotional mess. (Long story. But I like to cook! It's issues around it that cause problems.) And so on.

As part of understanding and trying to figure out what's important to me and what's not, I stumbled across some autism information and have been reading it. I have more thoughts on that subject, though I think the quick summary so far is something like, "Hrm. I feel like I have very similar problems, only reversed." That, of course, completely fails to capture it, but.

And then I found this in part of a discussion about people claiming to "cure" autism:

Loving the child but not loving the autism is, as Michelle Dawson wrote, like claiming to love the child but not her femaleness. If someone is female, it is something that she is; something very much intrinsic to who she is, and who she will be. Her gender will color every thought she has, every experience she has. You can train her to act like a boy, but she will still be female. Imagine that you, as a parent, really wanted a boy, but you got a girl instead. Now imagine that, because of that, you thought that the only thing wrong with this child was her femaleness. Imagine that you decided to hire someone that, for forty hours a week, would use ABA techniques to condition the girl to think she was a boy; to reject all femaleness.

Now, referencing that example, do you think that this would be an abusive thing to do to a girl? Or would it just be helping her to "overcome" her femaleness, and be the male child that the parents think she really should be?
As some set of folks on my friends list probably know, this is almost exactly the sort of wording, the way you'd hear it described, by many MtF TS folks when they described what it was like growing up. When their parents tried to cure them of their gender dysphoria, of their delusion that they were female.

So...yeah.

Wow.

Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Comments

Sounds like "hate the sin, love the sinner" and it makes my skin crawl just typing that.

The article is a good one. Lots of deep thought there and well-made points.

On the OTHER hand...how about "love the sinner, but would give left foot if the sinner would refrain from harming its siblings and screeching in the grocery store"?

Not at all on topic, but I showed my Anime-expert daughter your icon and she informed me it was Utena, and promised to bring me manga/DVDs from her friends. Said it was really interesting, so I am looking forward to it.

add/adhd/autism

Wow.

Reading this, I kept thinking, "Someone could have gotten inside my mind and written this about me."

I'll tell you more later. Actually, I'm about to be housebound and mostly flat on my back for 3 weeks. Maybe I'll get Jay to show me how to use whatever MUD y'all typically use.

Carole

Just playing devil's advocate here...as a parent sometimes it's damn hard to know what is best and what is not. I don't know that any parent starts out wanting to control, define, design, whatever, their child's personality. But, just as an example...my child likes to twist up paper objects. Books, pamphlets, whatever, he likes to twist them and make them into something that, from our point of view, is a ruination of what that object was supposed to be. Am I going to hear, years from now, that my kid needed therapy because he could have had a future in art but I discouraged him from destroying books?

This may sound like an extreme example, but my point is that when a parent sees a boy (say based on genitalia) and is confronted with someone who says she's a girl, there may be a similar reaction -- oh no, don't do that, you're hurting {yourself, me, others}. I'm not defending the raction of those parents...but you know, for a parent, it's not always easy to know how to handle the situation.

Which you probably do know, but still.

Definitely not trying to suggest it's easy.

And...this gets to the core of something that's been percolating in my brain since yesterday. Which I definitely don't want to elaborate here just yet, but. Maybe I'll IM you. *grin*

Coincidentally you did! *snugs*

cured delusion

When I was 11 I had this conversation with my room mates in a sanitarium:

Them: "Be honest now, you are a girl who wants to be a boy!"

Me: "No, I AM a boy!"

Well, neither this useless conversation nor my daydreams about ending up in Nazi concentration camp where the Germans would make experiments on me and make me a man outside,too (I had read a newspaper story about Nazi crimes, before that I did not know ...) ended up in anything at all.

I guess the only point this post has is that there are some things a child should not tell her parents.