I’m suffering from writing block

I did notice recently that I get more and more confident with my posting – I can even write a blog post during a meltdown (which is a great exercise btw), but writing scripts for the radio feels like a totally different thing, I’m still in the uptight mode there! I wonder whether I will be able to make the same improvement that I did with blogging and if I don’t, it’s going to be bloody difficult!

So basically there will be disability at work event in the radio next week and I was asked to write a little piece about people with disabilities, not just autistics but all disabilities, and something positive, as Shirley said. That was obvious for me, obviously – I wouldn’t include my Home Group drama there! This is really not what people want to hear during similar events and I’m clearly aware of that. However, in an attempt to be more specific I think, Shirley explained that I shouldn’t focus on what people can’t do but what they can do. She said that at least twice on two different occasions and I am now obsessing over it.

Because what does that actually mean?

Let’s take an engineer with Crohn disease. They should be able to do the job to the same specification as their non disabled colleagues, otherwise what they designed won’t be safe enough, and we can’t allow that. Their adjustments may include working from home during the time of a flare up or time off for medical appointments but the systems designed by them need to meet all the same requirements. If, however, that engineer is better in certain areas than their colleagues, it will be a result of more experience, extra training or just general quick thinking – it will have nothing to do with their Crohn disease so it’s not what I should be focusing on.

What should I focus on then?

I really need to write something, you know? At least that’s how I feel. If I don’t, it will mean to me that I’m not fit for the radio. But how is this possible that I can blog like mad at times, but writing 3 minutes scrip for the radio is a struggle? I don’t understand.

Anyway, the above is a good indication that current advice on how to communicate with autistics: ‘be as specific as you can’ is not really working for us – you may think you’re specific, and maybe you even are, but we can still interpret it not how it was intended.

7 responses to “I’m suffering from writing block”

  1. Try Googling “focus on abilities not disabilities”. I get the sense that it’s kind of like person-first language in that it’s considered the proper way of talking about disabilities by those who care about political correctness.

    So if an engineer has Crohn’s disease, what matters isn’t the fact that they have Crohn’s disease, but rather their ability to do the job.

    Like

    • Oh, I wasn’t notified about that comment, sorry!

      Yes, I kind of know what you are saying but then that engineer’s colleague without Crohn’s can also do the job and that approach creates a situation where there’s nothing to talk about because they both can do the job so there’s nothing to talk about here as they’re both equal; one has Crohn’s but as I’m not supposed to focus on that so there’s also nothing to say here so my mind is totally blank!

      Liked by 1 person

      • But maybe that’s the point – they’re both equal, and one having a disability doesn’t stop the from being equal. Yet some employers would want to treat them as if they’re not equal, because they get too focused on the disability.

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      • Yes, I do understand that but I’m supposed to say something positive, and that isn’t, from the employer point of view!

        The only thing that comes to my mind is: ‘We need to remember that people with disabilities can do the job to the same standards as the people who aren’t disabled and we need to focus on that.’

        But this is just too short!

        Liked by 1 person

      • maybe I’ll manage to add a short story to it, to make that sentence easier to remember 🙂 thank you for your help Ashley, I really appreciate 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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