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Why am I the one with the disability?

(143 Posts)
Jellybellybeans Mon 18-May-15 13:08:23

I went to a theme park yesterday for my birthday treat. It was quite busy but I put my brave face on and tried to enjoy it. The queue's were a nightmare. Not time wise, the waiting time wasn't so bad. But everyone squeezing on top of each other.

I can't deal with it. It doesn't get you on the ride any faster. I kept asking the people behind me to give me a bit of space. I told them I was autistic and can't cope with them breathing down my neck. Were they understanding? Were they fuck. Responses ranged from eye rolling, to tutting, to 'well if you don't like clear off'. The final straw was one bloke who kept bumping into me as he chatted to his mates. I feel myself heading for meltdown so push my way back out of the queue to get away. That didn't go down well either.

Then a kind member of staff advises me to go get an exit pass so I can avoid the queues. Great idea. Except now I have to deal with snarky comments because I'm 'jumping the queue'.

In the end it all gets too much so I call it a day and go home. I saw me occupational therapist today and she's talking about how it's common for people with autism to struggle with days out like this. It's part of the disability.

AIBU to be think, in which case my disability isn't me, it's other people and their failings?

ltk Mon 18-May-15 13:14:22

My middle ds is autistic. I often think this about other people: it's not you, my love, it is they who are socially challenged.

IcaMorgan Mon 18-May-15 13:16:43

I use a wheelchair and always say the worst thing about having a disability is other people

m0therofdragons Mon 18-May-15 13:18:16

I spent a weekend at disney acting like a teacher as I told people off for queue jumping and knocking dds over by standing too close etc.people behave appallingly at those places. I wish I had the answer but I seemed to be the only one standing up to them.

LittleMissRayofHope Mon 18-May-15 13:18:52

I think there is axel fish ignorance of the average person. And then for many it is coupled with a strange sense of power and self importance.
I myself have no first hand experience of autism but from general life and TV and books I have learned it is essentially a disability and therefore I give extra consideration to anyone suffering.

So I agree with you. Sorry you had a rotten day. Happy birthday thanks

MagentaVitus Mon 18-May-15 13:19:04

As much as I agree with you, you can't live your life expecting large, excited crowds to be comfortable experiences. Did the doctor help you with any coping strategies? How would you get on at a standing music gig, for example?

LittleMissRayofHope Mon 18-May-15 13:19:33

* a selfish ignorance. iPhone autocorrect fail

TheBoov Mon 18-May-15 13:21:04

I think it's true that you are disabled by other people's refusal to show empathy to you.
But you do just have to suck up the tuts for 'queue jumping'. Not easy, but the 'tutters' aren't worth listening to.

SycamoreMum Mon 18-May-15 13:21:37

Sorry you didn't get to enjoy your day out because of The Asses OP. Happy belated ��smile

TheBoov Mon 18-May-15 13:22:14

An axel fish is more interesting than selfish LittleMissRayOf Hope.

Pagwatch Mon 18-May-15 13:23:33

grin I like 'axel fish'

I sympathise. Ds2 loves theme parks and rides but people pressing up really close to him which is usually impatience and poor manners rather than anything else drives him to distraction.
Fortunately he has me or his dad and, unsurprisingly, these people tend to respond better if they don't think they are dealing with someone at a disadvantage so I can tell ask them to back up.

TheMummalo Mon 18-May-15 13:42:36

I use a wheelchair and always say the worst thing about having a disability is other people

Agreed.
I'm autistic too. As an autistic I feel it's up to me to try to fit in and compensate myself for being autistic.
The depression and anxiety I have had for most of my adult life is not primarily caused by being autistic but by being a ignorant and intolerant environment.

OP these days I know what I can and cannot do.

I know being bashed about in a queue would cause a meltdown...

last time I went to festival many years ago now my then bf wanted to stand at the front. When the main act came on people went crazy and started jumping on me. I just lost it, I had to get out. I bolted and despite being short I managed to shoulder barged from the stage area right to the back where I popped out covered in beer and lord knows what, where I collapsed on the grass.

I don't do crowds or queues or gigs any more.

I can't say whether YABU or not. I will say for me there would be a very good reason for putting myself in such a stressful environment.

Pseudo341 Mon 18-May-15 13:47:08

Get the exit pass and tell everyone else to go fuck themselves. You're absolutely right that it is the world that is disabling, if everyone was on wheels the whole world would be set up for it and it wouldn't be the problem it is (I'm daydreaming about something out of Wall-E here).

I've had to develop a thick skin about people giving me dirty looks for daring to park in disabled bays. I know telling someone with autism to develop a thick skin isn't exactly helpful but you need to find a way to get on with your life as best you can and minimise the impact your condition has on you. You're entitled to use the exit pass to use it. Life's already hard enough without worrying about what other people think.

BeyondDoesBootcamp Mon 18-May-15 13:50:20

Yanbu, people can be shit.

OneWaySystemBlues Mon 18-May-15 14:01:03

I always think it is ironic that the people with the least empathy for people with autism are neurotypical people!

MagelanicClouds Mon 18-May-15 14:02:33

I don't have autism but I do have a strong sense of my own personal space. I find queues like that hard to cope with - or any place where I feel crowded in. You're right, acting impatient like that won't get you your turn any quicker. Yanbu at all, but sadly people will not really change.

AuntyMag10 Mon 18-May-15 14:03:36

OneWay why do you think it's ironic?

MarvellousMarbles Mon 18-May-15 14:06:45

AuntyMag, presumably it is ironic because neurotypical people are supposed to have more empathy skills than people with autism. Yet, as OneWay says, they are frequently unable to empathise with how an autistic person feels in a situation.

Jackieharris Mon 18-May-15 14:10:57

Ins most of the general public and a fair proportion of professionals know sweet fa about autism.

For most people unless you are obviously disabled ie in a wheelchair or look like you have DS they just won't think you are disabled and will just think you are 'at it'.

Imo we need a lot more disability education in schools.

Jellybellybeans Mon 18-May-15 14:12:40

I get that people are excited. I was excited too. What I'm starting to realise though is that disability seems to be dictated by being in the minority. Even if it's the majority who don't have the ability to control their behaviour so it doesn't infringe on others.

Another example I've been thinking of today: Once a week I have a disability support worker come round who helps me lay out all my clothes for the upcoming week, going through my diary to make sure everything is appropriate. Apparantly my disability impairs my ability to do this myself. But now I'm questioning this. I am perfectly capable of getting out clean clothes and dressing myself. The reason I need help is because of other people's disability when it comes to tolerating my choices. They are incapable of stopping themselves from abusing me if I don't dress the way they want, but I'm the one with the disability. confused

TheMummalo Mon 18-May-15 14:13:01

I always think it is ironic that the people with the least empathy for people with autism are neurotypical people!

Indeed! smile

BTW We tend to have high emotional empathy but poor cognitive empathy.

Damnautocorrect Mon 18-May-15 14:16:12

I have to say days out like you've described always leave me having had at least one argument because of someone's rudeness.

I think you do need to have the 'stuff them' attitude, a lot easier said than done I know!

Jellybellybeans Mon 18-May-15 14:28:51

I've just discovered that you can buy jackets called 'defensive jackets' which deliver electric shocks to people who make unwanted physical contact.

CheapSunglasses Mon 18-May-15 14:44:09

Those sorts of places are always a grim experience IMO. I'm NT but can't stand crowds of queues like you describe. Seems to bring out the absolute worst in people.

Although I've no doubt it's a whole lot grimmer for someone with a disability.

I thought what you said about your clothes and appropriateness was really interesting OP. Assuming you're not proposing you pop into Teaco in full S&M fetish gear (I did actually see this once!), why shouldn't you be left to dress yourself as you see fit?

Charlotte3333 Mon 18-May-15 14:53:59

DS1 has Aspergers and generally copes very well but can struggle hugely in crowds and queues. We still go on day trips to places but try our best to navigate ways around the worst of it; at Legoland you can book QBots which are extortionate but worth every penny, and if the worst comes to the worst we get an exit pass.

We try and queue, to see how far we can go because he's getting better at calming himself as he gets older, and we tend to avoid madly busy places at peak times, more for self-preservation. But yeah, get the exit passes and let the smart-mouthed ignorant folk shove their opinions. I'd die of shame if DH or anyone we were out with thought it appropriate to tut or eye-roll at someone with an exit pass. What utter rude swines.

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