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Don't look disabled?

(27 Posts)
PigInMuck86 Mon 03-Apr-17 07:47:15

I've been stewing over this all weekend! Took nephew and dd3 to a local museum and they had a pop up sensory space for people with disabilities. We wondered in to have a look - i have Aspergers, dd2 has dyslexia and dd1 is waiting a referal to CAHMs for either ADHD or autism (no 2 professionals we see agree!) - so i thought there might be some resources. There was also a sign by the door saying under 5s welcome so i was perfectly entitled to be there as both dd3 and dn are under 5. Lady bustled up to us with loads of flyers and info and said "oh i can see your family doesn't have any disabilities" and wondered off. Uhm since when can you see autism? I mean im use to judgemental comments but surely from someone running a disability awareness day? But as i didn't have dd1 or dd2 with me AIBU? I really want to write and complain but DH thinks im over sensitive.

HeyMacWey Mon 03-Apr-17 07:50:07

I'd drop them a quick email and suggest some training around invisible disabilities.

Babyroobs Mon 03-Apr-17 07:52:58

Do you have some kind of card you can show or something. I remember years ago when my dd was small and got DLA there was some kind of discount card that got me into the etc free as her carer ( although odd as most kids would need to be accompanied anyway).
It might make it easier of there was some kind of card or pass you could show to highlight a hidden disability.
I guess they are just trying to avoid abuse of the system , but Yanbu to be annoyed at their asumptions.
The problem with hidden disabilities is just that, they are hidden so anyone could pretend they have one.

HowToOffer Mon 03-Apr-17 07:52:58


Msqueen33 Mon 03-Apr-17 07:54:33

Yes I'd suggest training around disabilities such as autism. But to be fair on this occasion you did take two children who didn't have disabilities in.

I have two children with asd and ADHD and my middle one you wouldn't be able to tell really unless she didn't have her ADHD meds. Youngest it's obvious as although she's physically able she can't talk.

So do email as honestly people who are running things for people with disabilities should be aware that not all are visable.

HeyCat Mon 03-Apr-17 08:12:22

That's ridiculous, especially as it was a space for people with sensory disabilities which are usually invisible!

Yanbu at all - prob worth emailing the museum so they can do some more training.

Megatherium Mon 03-Apr-17 08:13:42

Don't complain, just suggest they do some training.

LouKout Mon 03-Apr-17 08:13:58

Oops..bit of a clanger there

WateryTart Mon 03-Apr-17 08:16:22

Hang on - the DCs with you don't have disabilities - isn't that what you said? A bit precious to complain if that's the case, the woman was right from what she could see.

BillSykesDog Mon 03-Apr-17 08:20:02

I suspect her job was to offer support to disabled users so it was a badly put question rather than a criticism.

LouKout Mon 03-Apr-17 08:21:22

She was right on this occasion but she should have known not to assume

SillySongsWithLarry Mon 03-Apr-17 08:21:51

I'm the parent of a child with invisible disabilities. The sensory space is just the place she would need to get peace and calm in a busy place. If someone took their NT children and implied they have an invisible disability when challenged, I'd be hacked off. It makes a mockery of invisible disability and takes away from the people who need the space and understanding.

BadToTheBone Mon 03-Apr-17 08:21:52

This really annoys me, especially from someone who should know better. You really can't tell by looking what people are dealing with. You should mention training.

BadToTheBone Mon 03-Apr-17 08:23:00

The sensory space is for 'people' not just children, op should've been welcomed there.

deadpool99 Mon 03-Apr-17 08:31:30

I would send them a message politely explaining what happened and suggesting that they train staff regarding invisible disabilty such as autism.

itsmine Mon 03-Apr-17 08:39:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HeyCat Mon 03-Apr-17 08:40:00

Op has a sensory disability herself, so has every right to go in! Obv she can't leave her 3 year old outside.

itsmine Mon 03-Apr-17 08:40:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadyPW Mon 03-Apr-17 09:44:11

Don't complain, just advise them & make suggestions. A complaint gets backs up needlessly, making suggestions is a positive thing & is more likely to get the desired result.

AliceKlar Mon 03-Apr-17 09:49:26

Everyone is so quick to write letters to complain rather than just address the issue at the time, if she didn't then help that's when you complain. The woman may be a pleasant helpful person who had a brief moment where she didn't think you're dc at home may be autistic.

I agree in theory but often it can be really hard to come up with appropriate response on the spot.

Spikeyball Mon 03-Apr-17 09:58:29

I think it is a bad idea to have 'under 5's' welcome' (unless they have a disability or are with someone with a disability) as that is the age group that a lot of people with sensory difficulties struggle with.
She should not have assumed that a need to use the facility would be visible.

melj1213 Mon 03-Apr-17 10:16:21

YANBU... you may not have been with your children who do have invisible disabilities but how does that woman know that? By its very definition, invisible disabilities are not ones you can see whether or not people have, and yet the woman walked over and without any kind of interaction with you, she made the assumption (wrongly) that you were NT because she couldn't "see" your invisible disability. Not to mention the fact that just because you may not have had your children with disabilities with you right there and then doesn't mean that they don't exist.

If I was there with my NT DD, I would also want to have checked out the installation, not for myself or her, but to see if it was something I could use if out with my nephew who has ASD. Or I could check it out in order to pass on the information to my SIL so she could look into using it with her son etc.

Personally I would write to the museum or the organization that provided the installation (if it is another company and you know who they are) not necessarily to complain but to make them aware of your experience. You can write to make them aware that you, as a patron with Asperger and the parent of children with disabilities (even if they weren't with you in that particular moment-perhaps because you couldn't be sure they could cope with a museum trip because of their disabilities!) , went into the pop up installation to see whether it was something you/ your children could benefit from (maybe you would bring your other two children if you knew there was a sensory safe space for them if it got too much) and to find out more information, whereupon the female attendant summarily dismissed you as "not looking like you had disabilities" and walking away.

Now, you're not wanting her to come up and start interrogating you as to your/the childrens' disabilities either but it would be nice for her to not make uninformed assumptions without at least giving you the opportunity to speak to her first, considering she is in charge of an installation that is geared towards people with sensory issues that may not be immediately obvious. Perhaps if she had given you the chance you would have volunteered the info that you had children with disabilities at home and had your own invisible disability and so we're interested in more information, but she didn't give you that chance and you didn't get chance to get any information/leaflet/flyer etc because her assumptionson meant she dismissed you and didn't allow you a chance to get them from her.

Asmoto Mon 03-Apr-17 10:23:03

Is it certain this woman worked for the museum - might she have been a volunteer for a charity (perhaps one dealing with a specific visible disability)? It was still a badly phrased remark.

UsedtobeFeckless Mon 03-Apr-17 11:07:53

I work in a museum and was on the other end of this yesterday ( I'm not the lady in question! )

We have free entry for under 16s, a student rate for young people and a disabled rate, and we also give carers free admission - so when a chap with three teenage lads asked for one adult and three concessions I asked him what kind of concessions they were ... He shouted at me for five minutes about "Not being able to recognise fucking autism when it's staring me in the face" and then stropped off.

Sorry for the derail - just saying it's hard to phrase things perfectly!

Jennsdiaries Mon 03-Apr-17 11:13:42

questions about disableds are mine fields. There is all types of problems what people have to face. If yours is in visible why not carry a photo of your blue badge with you. Show it and youll get entry to whereever

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