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Disablism - At the risk of sounding horribly patronising, I'd like to apologise.

(103 Posts)
Waltermittythesequel Tue 08-Nov-16 11:30:10

Firstly, I want to ask for forgiveness if I'm inadvertently insensitive here. I really, really don't mean any offence.

I know there have been a lot of threads on disablist behaviour and attitudes on here, particularly in the last few months (IMO).

The last time I posted on one, I upset people. I genuinely didn't mean to. I have a dn whom I love dearly who has, among other things, autism and LD.

I didn't mean to make it seem that, because I have peripheral experience, that I knew what I was talking about, though I do think, in hindsight, I came across that way.

I'll admit that sometimes I read threads that seem innocuous to me and posters will come on to say it's disablist and I've rolled my eyes and thought "here we go again." I fully admit to that, though I've never posted anything like that.

Well, I'm just here to say I'm sorry.

The more threads I read, the more I realise how bloody hard it is for people to see casual disablism all around them and have to fight just to not be insulted or discriminated against, or have their children suffer that same fate.

I saw something in a coffee shop this morning that literally had me in tears.

There's a special needs school near this coffee shop and the students often come in with their carers for a cuppa and a chat.

Today, one of the students was laughing and (forgive me if this is offensive) sort of shouting and squealing. She seemed to be thoroughly enjoying herself.

Some fucker complained loudly to the staff that he couldn't concentrate because of (and I'm not joking) "that lot" and pointed to the table where the students and carers sat.

I'm happy to report that the staff firmly told him if he didn't like it, he could leave. But my heart sank. And it got me thinking.

If I've been a part of that sort of isolation, even just on here, even just by my attitudes or misconceptions, then I'm truly sorry.

I felt sick to my stomach watching that horrible man and how he humiliated that girl and the people she was with.

I went over, and I hope I wasn't patronising, but I just said that he was an arsehole and that I hoped everyone was ok. I didn't want to sit and say nothing.

Anyway, I'm rambling.

PLEASE do not turn this into a bashing thread.

And please don't think I'm being goady.

But I'm genuinely upset at the thought of what people have to deal with and I just want to say, I will make every effort to be more sensitive. And I truly hope that people like that man disappear off the face of the planet.

flowers to all you wonderful people who have to deal with this bullshit every day. I hope I never add to it.

lilyboleyn Tue 08-Nov-16 12:19:24


GetOutMyCar Tue 08-Nov-16 12:50:31

I think the really sad thing is that people who don't live with disability don't realise the frequency of stuff like that. You were shocked having witnessed this one event. I'd bet my jaffa cakes that they witness it pretty much every time they go out. I'm disabled and get it every single time I go out alone. But never when I'm with 6'4 brick outhouse DH.

user1477282676 Tue 08-Nov-16 12:53:36

There's so much barely concealed disdain for people with things like ASD friend's son has ASD and she heard a woman who'd previously been nice and polite at the school gates, saying "Well of course kids like X shouldn't really be in mainstream....they RUIN it for the others and take all the attention"

angry That's a very common mindset too. My friend's son has ASD but he's very academic and deserves an education just as much as his neurotypical classmates.

Waltermittythesequel Tue 08-Nov-16 13:08:52

I suppose I've always read things on here and thought wow that's awful and just sort of gotten on with my day, whereas to have it happen right in front of me was just a real eye opener.

I've had funny looks and tuts with my nephew. And I've always been annoyed but gotten on with it.

But to see the smile die on that young girl's face and to see her cheeks burn...I actually feel sick remembering it. I just hate everyone right now!

I've never wanted to physically slap someone as much as that man!

And her carers looked so resigned to it...

Oh god! Have to stop. I'm actually welling up!

Waltermittythesequel Tue 08-Nov-16 13:09:33

Also spotted the bloody typo in my title! blush

NotHardUpNow Tue 08-Nov-16 13:16:25

Well I think it's wonderful that this incident has made you re-evaluate your previous views and actions. I'd like to see all the single mum blaming, benefit bashing posters having similar moments of enlightenment. It's very easy to judge.

Waltermittythesequel Tue 08-Nov-16 15:58:45

The thing is, my previous views weren't any different to how they are now, but I suppose I had my eyes opened a bit more...

I'm not really sure how to explain it...

I think maybe a lot of people are like me; we think we're supportive and tolerant and everything we should be, but because we don't see/experience it ourselves, we don't really get it and I think that's why threads descend into chaos.

Because even when you think you're being 100% supportive/understanding, you're not.

Mummyme1987 Tue 08-Nov-16 16:02:58

It's everywhere 😡

DonkeyOaty Tue 08-Nov-16 16:03:23

Walter. Thank you.

Waltermittythesequel Tue 08-Nov-16 16:04:36


Mummyme1987 Tue 08-Nov-16 16:05:25

But awareness is the key to beating it.

formerbabe Tue 08-Nov-16 16:06:30

Completely agree with you op.

Many years maybe a decade plus ago I was sitting on a bus. A lady got on. I'm not 100% sure but I think she maybe had cerebral palsy or some sort of brain injury. She was by on the bus and sat down. Meanwhile a dreadful woman sat near her, proceeded to glare at her, roll her eyes, tut at her. I don't think the woman noticed her doing it, but i did. It was absolutely disgusting to watch. God knows how some people have such little empathy.

Mummyme1987 Tue 08-Nov-16 16:06:56

It's something disabled people face everyday. Some is so subtle that it goes unnoticed by most.

Waltermittythesequel Tue 08-Nov-16 16:10:17

But awareness is the key to beating it

Here's the thing, though.

HOW is that man and his ilk not aware that his behaviour is fucked up?

I have honestly always looked at this issue from the POV that people are generally decent, and if they're offensive or disablist, then it's misguided as opposed to malicious.

But this man...there was no rhyme, reason or justification.

He was literally just a bastard to a disabled young girl. Not inadvertently. Just out there, doing it, not caring.

I've been incredibly naïve obviously, and because of that I've offended people. Parents of these poor, innocent people that have to suffer this shit daily. And I'm so shamefaced about that right now.

But that man; he'll go on home and bitch and moan about the staff in the coffee shop, and he'll probably complain and even rant about them on social media, and he either won't care about what he's done, or won't think he's done anything wrong!

How do you fight that? It must be soul destroying.

This was one incident that I saw one time and it's still affecting me. How do you deal with it daily??

Mummyme1987 Tue 08-Nov-16 16:10:24

I totally agree with you OP. As a wheelchair user I see it and have posted about it (grrr Thorntons). But my autistic daughter is discriminated against daily too. In jobs, in shops, in Drs everywhere. It's so tiring fighting it all the time.

Mummyme1987 Tue 08-Nov-16 16:11:46

Somepeople are just arse holes. But being confronted about the behaviour can help change but some people will never change and that's on them.

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Tue 08-Nov-16 16:11:58

And they say kids can be cruel! Some adults need to have a word with themselves and learn to show some bloody empathy.

DixieNormas Tue 08-Nov-16 16:13:31

I think its easy not to notice if you arnt living it day to day, its shit when you realise its so rife.

I don't think its patronising to go over and ask if everyone was ok. In that moment you felt what people with disabilities or their carers feel quite often after witnessing someone being a twat. upset, hurt. It's a horrible feeling flowers

Mummyme1987 Tue 08-Nov-16 16:13:46

How do disabled people deal with it daily? Well what choice do we have? Never leave the house? I have taken that choice and been to scared to leave the house.

AllThatGlistensIs Tue 08-Nov-16 16:13:51

Thank you Walter.

Sometimes posts like yours are desperately needed.

It's brightened my day somewhat flowers

Bloopbleep Tue 08-Nov-16 16:13:53

We live with this kind of behaviour daily and I can tell you it's humiliating. (Fwiw I have a blue badge and regularly get shouted at in car parks /streets for not looking disabled) - it's hard feeling like we have to justify our existence at every turn... but... the more people who have their eyes opened by witnessing these experiences and the more people speak out against discriminatory behaviour, maybe slowly it will go away. I can dream

Waltermittythesequel Tue 08-Nov-16 16:14:07

Mummy did they ever sort that bloody step??

Sirzy Tue 08-Nov-16 16:15:45

I think most cases of kids being cruel comes from learnt behaviour. If they see their parents or other adults around them being judgemental and unhelpful towards people then they will grow to think that's normal and acceptable.

Waltermittythesequel Tue 08-Nov-16 16:16:43

AllThatGlistens flowers to you.

Mummy sorry, when I say "how do you deal with it?" I mean, how do you not bloody murder people?!

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