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I Can't Stand Stereotypes!


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Joined: Jan 16, 2004
Posts: 74
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Posted Jan 13, 2006 at 10:39:46 AM
Subject: I Can't Stand Stereotypes!

Recently while talking to a friend she told me that her family has this notion that I'm "mentally disabled". She knows the difference between mental disability and learning disabled people but her family( as they are from another country) think learning disability and mental disability are the same. She has told me that her brother has called me her "retarded friend" though he himself has many personal problems ( drug addiction especially) which could lead to brain injury. last week she tried to convince him that if I were "retarded" I wouldn't have a 3.50 G.P.A. , but he said "Well she's probably taking easy retarded classes if she's getting such high grades!" Yeah right! I took two semesters of Japanese in college a while back, and this school year I had all A's in art, dance, history ( ancient Asian and Egyptian), and algebra ( with much help from my teacher and the disabled center in algebra).

I've faced this problem many times before and I just get sick of this. On top of my friend's brother's mocking of me I've graduated from community college and am now looking for a job ( I'll be going to university probably next year but I need to work to pay off loans), and I'm worried I might find the same stereotypes in the workplace. My fear is if I mention my learning disabilities ( CAPD and processing speed disorder with math) I might be passed up for a good paying job. I don't want to be at a job that is below my potential because of people's hair brained ideas of learning disabilities mean you are mentally handicapped. So does anyone have an idea of how I should explain this to my employers and other uniformed people?

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A person
Joined Apr 22, 2005
Posts: 119

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Posted:Jan 13, 2006 10:46:57 AM

You can't be passed up for a job because or your disability, it's against the law. Read the americans with disabilites so you know the system, and get a new set of friends who will treat you with the respect you deserve better.

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Amber
Joined Jan 16, 2004
Posts: 74

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Posted:Jan 13, 2006 11:25:18 AM

My friend knows the difference and anyway I've only talked to her brother once when I went to visit her after she came home from the hospital a few years ago. He is judging me though he's only met me once and that time he was strung out on drugs. This friend of mine has some brain injury from a stroke caused by hydrocephalus so I understand how she feels when it comes to having difficulty learning. She was born prematurely ( almost three months and has many disabilities as a result) as her mother was stressed from coming here to the U.S. from South America. I have no idea if her brother's stereotypes are from their country or something he picked up from American culture over the years. Still it's irritating to me when people think I'm "retarded" though I'm quite gifted dispite my learning problems. Now I'm praying I can get a good paying job without anyone else's stereotypes holding me back.

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A person
Joined Apr 22, 2005
Posts: 119

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Posted:Jan 13, 2006 11:32:31 AM

I'm only 20 points away from actually being legally retarded so imagine how I feel. Some people actually mistake me for being smart when there's documentation that proves otherwise, but when someone makes a remark about me being slow it makes my heart beat violently with rage and sorrow. Just be proud that you are gifted and not "low average".

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Sue
Joined Jun 14, 2003
Posts: 1845

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Posted:Jan 13, 2006 2:53:57 PM

That's not stereotyping, it's abuse.
20 points, by the way, is more than a *full* 'standard deviation.'
If you were "only" 20 points above normal, that would get you "superior" (it's the cutoff for many gifted programs).
So... you're nowhere near retarded if it's "only" 20 points.

That doesn't change other people's attitudes, though!

But really, that kind of treatment is trying to be cruel to you and put you down, I guess so he doesn't feel like such a loser himself for a little while. So, putting him down won't help the attitude... btu putting up with his garbage won't either. It might surprise him if you laid a bunch of compliments on him ("You really think that? Well, I really think you did a nice job on...") He won't knwo what to say. Frankly, I'm surprised you're calling him a friend.

What are your strengths? Think about how you can make sure they show in an interview or application (and, of course, think about what jobs you want to apply for!)

Sue J, webmastress www.resourceroom.net

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Amber
Joined Jan 16, 2004
Posts: 74

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Posted:Jan 14, 2006 9:30:47 PM

The guy I'm talking about is my friend's older brother and I have only met him once, but he's got these crazy ideas about me. This guy has tons of problems himself and likes to put down people for his pleasure, especially his younger disabled sister ( my friend). Poor Samantha has to put up with his verbal abuse of her, and he makes fun of her friends too as many of us have LD's and/or other disabilities. He thinks anyone who has to go to the disability center at the college must be very mentally deficient. A day ago I was told by my friend he's got a lot of prejudices against people who are different in some way or another. She says he's got problems even with homosexuals and some ethnic groups so I shouldn't take his nasty stereotype too harshly as he's an "unenlightened person" as my friend calls him.

Still I did have another friend a while back who did think I had a mental disability, but I forgave her as she was someone who was not educated about LD's. It was because of the many people who thought I was "mentally handicapped" that pressured me to get tested for LD's three years ago as I ( and my family) knew I was very intelligent but other uninformed people saw someone who seems absentminded and "slow". This friend who thought I was mentally handicapped was surprised when I told her of my LD diagnosis and was thankfull that I explained to her about LD's because it turned out some of her kids had LD's too. :)

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Sue
Joined Jun 14, 2003
Posts: 1845

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Posted:Jan 14, 2006 11:47:37 PM

Good to hear you've got better taste in friends :-) But you're right, people do tend to come to conclusions until they've gotten to *know* somebody who breaks their stereotype "rules." It's the ones to don't grow when they learn that are especially aggravating... but you don't want to work for them. You might want to just be up front and say "in an interview you might get the wrong impression of me; people are often surprised at how intelligent I am when they get to know me" or something liek that.

Sue J, webmastress www.resourceroom.net

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wetmores
Joined Mar 11, 2004
Posts: 32

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Posted:Jan 15, 2006 12:16:34 AM

I think the more important question is: why is what he thinks of any import to you?

peace,
marge
http://www.net-haven.net

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