[NOTE: I have removed some things from the Entry below after my father found this and expressed his discomfort with some of the way I took some things. I appologize.]
I am visiting my father this week. My biological father. A man who ideologically I have nothing in common with. A man who gave me a good portion of my genetics, for better or for worse.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my father, and his wife Rose. Their actions and ideology is suited to their position in their culture and among their peers. They care about me, even if their way of showing it irritates me, and my way of demonstrating affection towards them is not as they expect. (Apparently Rose was for years under the impression that I disliked her as I didn’t demonstrate affection in a way she expected- until my Dad reminded me when her birthday was and I sent her a picture of a muffin. She cried to know I cared, and I was shocked to know she didn’t know.)
My father is terribly of a conservative mind. Don’t get me wrong, he’s okay with homosexuality and he’s pro-decriminalization of Marijuana. But is personal ideology is inherently conservative. It is based on the idea that it is weak and wrong to rely on society or any one other than one’s self for anything- that in fact it is a foolish move to do anything that does not benefit yourself.
Under the umbrella of his ideology is a complete and utter rejection of the social model of disability. For those unfamiliar with the social model (and are too lazy to click the link),
“The social model of disability proposes that systemic barriers, negative attitudes and exclusion by society (purposely or inadvertently) are the ultimate factors defining who is disabled and who is not in a particular society.”
The first time I heard my father reject this thought was not in a disability context in particular. I was listening to music and mentioned that I loved the message of the song. His response was to ask if is was “one of those songs that blames society for problems” and that he thought that such a message was idiotic. It wasn’t, but then on I have heard him say further things in the past 7 or 8 years since.
In a more general sense, it’s rough for me. I’m a liberal, I suppose, though perhaps progressive is more acurate. While I recognize that there are a lot of parts of my ideal world that aren’t possible due to human nature, I still think it’s worth fighting for. And I am an advocate for “invisible” disabilities- many of whom are primarily disabled under the social rather than medical models.
While the individual has the responsibility to do what they can to get into a position that they are capable of and comfortable with, that does not exculpate society. And it doesn’t mean that conformity is ideal, particularly in a disability context. There are members of the disability community that would like to conform. For them, they have an entire system designed to suit that need. But that doesn’t mean that that is the only right answer, or that it is even a posibility for everyone desirable or not.
More particular to my situation of the moment has a more immediate effect that a worry about political issues and having to creep about when discussing work as though the topic is a mine field. My father does not accept Diagnosis. At all.
This has been a thing that has been consistent most of my life. My mother has always sought various services for me, even before she left my father. [content has been exized for privacy reasons.]
[Content about my father's reaction to my sister's TBI has been exized for privacy reasons.]
Fast forward to within the past 6 months. I was discussing a (now) ex-boyfriend and mentioned his OCD. My father went off about how OCD was made up to stigmatize people and several other things that I decline to repeat as they degraded into offensiveness.
I came out as on Spectrum last year. Most people I know know. My sister recently accepted it after a year of being convinced that you had to be non-verbal- She met some more people on spectrum and learned a few things. I’ve been living my life fairly openly- stimming in my own home and able to speak about what it is like publically.
I’m still not out to my father. I had him pick me up from Autreat last year, and I conveiniently left out that I was there as a person on spectrum. He knows I work with and advocate for us, but to tell him that I am a part of that us seems impossible.
While I have been up here, I have been unable to engage in activities that had become routine. I’m not talking about in public, I’m talking about around the house. I’m not allowed to be upset here by sudden changes in plans, and when I don’t respond as expected there are issues and a number of misunderstandings. And I can’t give a reason why.
It’s harder than coming out as bisexual was, by far.
A moment of Zen: The Imagine video.
Today was the House Committee Hearing on “Examining the Abusive and Deadly Use of Seclusion and Restraint in Schools”. (An archive of the Hearing can be found here, with select clips on the Labor and Education Committee’s Youtube, and C-Span has it here.)
The GAO Report (PDF) Was given to the Representatives on the Committee ahead of time. These included* chairman Miller (D-CA), Andrews (D-NJ), McKeon (R-CA), Woolsey (D-CA), McCarthy (D-NY), Scott (D-VA), Hare (D-IL), Biggert (R-IL), & Payne (D-NJ), who were in attendance (though several arrived late due to other bussiness).
Miller’s Initial statement can be found here.
- Ann Gaydos » Mother of a victim Monument, Colorado (Youtube)
- Elizabeth Hanselman » Assistant Superintendant for Special Education and Support Services Springfield, Illinois (Youtube)
- Mary V. Kealy, EdD » Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Services Loudoun County Public Schools Virginia (was unable to attend- letter of explaination on the website)
- Greg Kutz » Managing Director
Forensic Audits and Special Investigations U.S. Government Accountability Office Washington, D.C. (Youtube)
- Reece L. Peterson, Ph.D. » Professor of Special Education University of Nebraska Lincoln, Nebraska (Youtube)
- Toni Price » Mother of a victim who died Killeen, Texas (Youtube)
As the Education and Labor Dems youtube has the testimonies divided up, I have put a link to each next to the appropriate person. Otherwise the above formatting is from the Education and Labor’s Website on the issue. Also, these do not include the Q&A portion. see further down in the entry for those portions.
Gaydos brought her daughter, Page (Dx: Aspergers, formerly bipolar) as well. While I was disappointed that page didn’t speak, I can understand why she didn’t. She’s still a minor (16?), speaking in front of people is nerve wracking, and the incident happened around 2001. Also, many people still discriminate against Those with “invisible” disabilities, especially if they attempt to advocate for themselves (usually saying that they obviously aren’t that disabled). Her mother recounted her story, and How there were other families who had similar instances happen. She elaborated that the only reason why they were able to pursue it was financial stability, and that she has talked to many families that did not because they didn’t have that amount of financial resources.
On a side note, I loved Page’s outfit-though I wouldn’t have worn that shirt. Well, I would have at 16, but that is beside the point.
Toni Price Was both witty and heartbreaking in her testimony. Her foster son was killed durring a restraint, and because she was “Only” a foster parent, she was told she could not pursue charges. This happened while she was in Texas. The teacher that even the representitives refered to as havin murdered her son is teaching today in Virginia**. There were several points where I thought she would break down crying. However she didn’t, and when It came time for Q&A, she was sharper than a tack and extremely witty. She even talked back to McKeon (who I will get to in a moment)
I applaud Rep Hare, BTW, for his comment that It was shameful to have the attitude that Foster Children don’t matter.
Here’s Miller’s Q&A:
Note worthy moment: look at 4:00-5:40. Here Miller compares some of the restraints to water boarding.
Throughout the Q&A sessions, various representatives compare this to toture, and I think it’s of note that many of the
Here’s Andrew’s Q&A:
He starts right out questioning how useful the in place things are while pointing out WHY they are faulty and thereby suggesting how they can be fixed. This is mainly to do with why teachers who were put on a register for this in Texas’s state registry don’t automatically loose teaching certification in Texas, and how the Virginia Board of Ed didn’t even KNOW that the teacher was involved in a restraint related homicide.
Also of note: He refers to Cedric’s homicide as “murder”, Refuted McKeon’s points, and was very goal specific. (And now my first non-jewish political crush in ages. ♥)
Quotes: 6:36-7:00 “To those that imply that these cases are isolated and infrequent, that One is enough. And two, there are a lot of people who probably are not reporting these claims because – at least their trying- because no one listens to them because they are so voiceless.” He also said that the fact that schools are blowing off concerns as just being “annoying parents”- that there was something wrong with that.
Unfortunately, these are the only two Q&As that the Ed and Labor Dems put up on their youtube account. There were other Dems who answered, but their Q&As seem only available if you watch the full hearing, as is McKeon’s. However, since I’m so Disappointed in McKeon’s Approach (also, what was I expecting, really?), I’m cutting it and posting it for your viewing pleasure.
McKeon (R)’s Q&A
Sorry for the poor sound quality, had to record the screen. *frowns*
McKeon’s comments start with blaming Unions, and then going “but privacy!”
Toni Then is incredibly witty. She asks if Pedophiles are on a list that they have to report to. And then asks how it is that they are on a list, but teachers who murder students aren’t, and McKeon laughs and agrees on the point.
I definitely don’t like McKeon. At all.
The others that testified were professionals and they played in professional speak.
I have to wonder, though. We still have these things are going on in our schools, mostly to disabled students, and no one is talkign about it. And yet the Torture memos are BIG NEWS OMG. How is it any less worse that this is happening in our High, Elementary, and Pre-schools? Is it that tyhey are disabled that keeps people from outrage, is America really that callous? I expected more outrage, and instead I hear only a dull rawr.
*If I missed somebody, my appologies, I was going off my notes on Twitter, which were not complete. Corrections can be posted in the comments.
** I have been informed by a friend in VA that the teacher has been put on administrative leave.