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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000976.txt from 2003/06

From: "Christy Erickson" <perickso@-----.net>
Subj: RE: [kl] Left, Right or mixed handed?
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2003 11:27:06 -0400

Wendy, There are many handicaps that are not visible. Below is a
dictionary definition of handicap.

Sports & Games.=20
1. A race or contest in which advantages or compensations are given
different contestants to equalize the chances of winning.=20
Such an advantage or penalty.=20

2. A physical or mental disability. See Synonyms at disadvantage.
=20
3. A hindrance.

You can call your Grandfather's left-handedness anything you want but by
definition it was definitely a handicap, since it forced him to drop out =
of
school. His teacher obviously viewed the left-handedness as a handicap =
and
a hindrance, as evidenced by her attempts to have your Grandfather =
conform
to her wishes. It sounds like he loved being a carpenter but who knows =
what
may have happened if he hadn't had some ignorant mean woman hitting him =
with
a hickory stick, prompting him to quit school? It's a prime example of =
the
"majority" forcing its will on the minority and we still have some doing
this in the form of conducting teachers who insist their students =
conduct
only one way. =20
Your note leaves one with the impression that anyone with a handicap
ought to be ashamed of it and that it is somehow shameful to accept
assistance or accommodations for that handicap. I guess it's OK to be =
"old"
and accept assistance, but certainly not "handicapped!" Horrors! It is
exactly this type of attitude that needs to be abolished. May I remind =
you
that anyone one of us could find ourselves in the position of being
handicapped at any time. =20
My father-in-law has one arm after having the other one blown off =
while
attempting to rescue friends from a plane crash during the Korean War. =
He
doesn't view it as a "handicap" either but others certainly do and have =
made
some rather rude and bizarre comments to him through the years. He =
also,
has always been too proud to accept accommodations for his handicap,
although he has had no trouble collecting the extra military benefits =
all
these years for his injury. (they haven't come even close to the =
millions
received by relatives of the 911 victims)
Thanks for the coffee cup offer but I don't hold a cup in my left =
hand
Wendy. I also definitely don't need financial assistance and I am not
ashamed of calling my left-handedness a hindrance at times. I do have =
ADD
but my IQ is still 128 and I sailed through school as child with honors. =
It
was not until I was older that I realized I had this condition and =
exactly
how hard I had been working all those years to compensate. A handicap =
that
is not visible to others is very difficult to people to understand and =
to
have any empathy for.=20
My daughter also has ADHD and my 10 year old son has early onset =
bipolar
disorder (now that's a handicap!). You would not believe the prejudices =
and
the lack of respect we received when trying to work with our school =
district
to get accommodations for his disorder. He is also very bright (also =
very
left-handed) and people seemed to think he could simply behave in a =
state of
mania just because he should have been "smart enough to know better." =
When
his first grade teacher tested his reading skills in first grade, she =
said
he was reading at the fifth grade level. People didn't seem to believe =
that
a child that bright could have such a severe handicap but he does. That
does not mean that he does not have bright future ahead of him but the =
first
step in creating that bright future was recognizing his disease and
accepting it so he could get the help he needs to learn to compensate =
for
his problems. =20

Christy=20

"All of us have gifts, but some of us open our packages later than =
others."

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