Confronting a person about his disabilities

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AapoAlas
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Confronting a person about his disabilities

Post by AapoAlas » Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:34 pm

Since the forums have, lately, been rather substanceless and since I find myself in quite a pickle of a situation I thought I'd try to good old way of dealing with a problem: ask the Internet!

Let me give you a quick base to build the following question on:
I am a tutor at my university, so basically I have a group of new students "attached" to me and I'm supposed to guide them into the uni world and also into our students' association.
However, I happened to get a new student with celebral palsy, or that's what I'm guessing he has. Basically he has severe physical defects and has to work quite hard to talk at least somewhat properly. He can walk, somewhat, but normally goes around in a wheelchair with a personal assistant.
The problem I now originally faced was how to get him involved into our group and into our students' association, basically how to make sure he didn't get shut out. Quickly, however, it started to seem like I need not worry; he seemed to shut himself out by himself. He hasn't really taken part in our activities (I admit quite a lot of them would be hard to come into, being in a wheelchair and all that.) nor does he really seem like he wants to get to know the crowd or anything like that.

So the real problem I now have is as follows: If he really doesn't care about getting to know the people he'll spend the next 5 years or so studying with, I have to let him do just that. But if he's just "being polite" and staying out to not be a "nuisance" (as I could imagine someone with CP might easily feel) to the others, I simply cannot let that stand and must take action to bring him to hang with us. He's one of "my kids" so to say and to me he is none the less important than any other kid of mine.
So I want to know, is he just being polite or is he doing as he wants to do. How on earth should I face him with the question? I feel like I can't really just go to him and say: "If you're trying to be polite and not be a 'nuisance' because you have CP, then cut it out and come hang with us, you're not a nuisance. If you're, however, staying outside because you want to, then okay." now can I?

Discuss! *grin*
Nothing to be seen here. Do check out my little dabbling in the art of words, though.

Worthington

Re: Confronting a person about his disabilities

Post by Worthington » Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:34 pm

I think you've answered this question for yourself via Topic name.
i.e. "Confronting a person about his disabilities." A person, not a "disabled" person.
So the only way to go about this is how you would any of your other "kids". Whether you feel like just going up or asking him or something else.
They're people, they do the same things as us. Sure, he might overreact, but that's a risk you run with talking to any stranger about anything.

Palas with a hacked email where the password was

Re: Confronting a person about his disabilities

Post by Palas with a hacked email where the password was » Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:19 am

is he just being polite or is he doing as he wants to do
Probably both. Interacting extensively with people must be a nuisance to him and he not so unlikely feels like he would stand in people's way. If it helps at all, try to think of him as... Hanako. I mean, the person who shuts him/herself out out of choice, but the situation could be different. You definetely should talk to him and as objectively as politeness allows. There are different approaches, of course. Like, say, pointing out you've noticed he's not been hanging with people since he arrived and would like to know why. The thing here is not to judge him.

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Confronting a person about his disabilities

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:40 am

You said he has a personal assistant. I guess that person probably knows him quite well, so you could ask him for his opinion first.
It's hard to give advie on a person you only read a few lines of text about.
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Aelexe
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Re: Confronting a person about his disabilities

Post by Aelexe » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:42 am

Why not just meet up with him and mention how you haven't seen him at all in the group activities? Hopefully he'll make a reason why, and then you can adapt the conversation from there on about how you'd like to see him there.

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NoOne3
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Re: Confronting a person about his disabilities

Post by NoOne3 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:39 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:You said he has a personal assistant. I guess that person probably knows him quite well, so you could ask him for his opinion first.
Might not neccesarily be a good idea. Assistant's opinion might be helpful, but asking him behind the person's back might not be found well, if not straight hurting person's feeling. Easy way for him to feel objectified.

You didn't exactly said anything about the age of your students, but since it's university I guess they are (and should act most of the time as :) ) adults and should be treated this way. I guess it's not a bad idea just to talk to the person, and ask his opinion in the matter. Assistant could be present, and probably should, but remember who You're talking to, and whose opinion You're trying to sound.

Try to tackle the problem as You would in the case of some other student shunning from those mysterious activities You're talking about.

The above is the point of view of the person not acquainted with a disabled person, taking all his views in the matter from internet and common sense.
Last edited by NoOne3 on Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Confronting a person about his disabilities

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:18 am

NoOne3 wrote:
Mirage_GSM wrote:You said he has a personal assistant. I guess that person probably knows him quite well, so you could ask him for his opinion first.
Might not neccesarily be a good idea. Assistant's opinion might be helpful, but asking him behind the person's back might not be found well, if not straight hurting person's feeling.
Well, if this assistant a) knows the person well and b) does not wish him ill - both of which I assume to be true - he probably won't tell him if he thinks it might hurt his feelings. (too many third person pronouns^^° )
Besides, any approach might end up hurting his feelings - even doing nothing at all.
Basically it's imposible to decide the best course after only reading a forum post on the internet, even if one had a degree in psychology. Use your judgement.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

scrantinax
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Re: Confronting a person about his disabilities

Post by scrantinax » Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:15 am

Ok, I work for an organisation that provides support and services for disabled people. I have spent many years around people with disabilities, as clients, friends and co-workers, so here is my take on this.

1. Remove the disability from the equation. It doesn't matter, and shouldn't affect how you deal with this situation. If you want to confront him about him not interacting with others, say that. He may be using his disability as an excuse to withdraw or not react, but you can't help with that. He may be trying to be polite and not a nuisance, but remember, he is not a disability. He is a person with a disability.

2. Don't make him a special case. If others are also withdrawing or not interacting, talk to them as well. Maybe even bring everyone together and talk to them all at the same time. Treating him differently just because he has a disability is very bad, and he will pick up on it.

3. Do not talk to the "assistant", as you call them. Your making a huge assumption that they are friends, or even know each other. Most of these "assistants" are paid to help, and the way people with disabilities treat these people can differ greatly. Some like to keep it professional and business like, some like to become friendly, some think of them as family, others think of them as physical extensions of themselves. Talking to them about him might just make things worse, as it's essentially, and literally, going behind his back.


There is a lot of specific information i could try and give but i said it best in the first statement. Remove the disability from the equation, and then think of what you should do.

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stateside
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Re: Confronting a person about his disabilities

Post by stateside » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:00 pm

treat him like you would any other student and don't make allowances for any 'so called disability'

if that is what he wanted he would have taken the study coursed from his home.

he wanted to get out and be part of the world and be one of the guys so let him be a student and treat him like anyone else.

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Wrench Wench
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Re: Confronting a person about his disabilities

Post by Wrench Wench » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:02 pm

Just take the direct route. Saves time, effort and treats the guy with some modicum of respect.

purple haired Katawa Shoujo character

Re: Confronting a person about his disabilities

Post by purple haired Katawa Shoujo character » Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:17 pm

Make sure you're as loud and as obnoxious about it as possible. Point out all the obvious flaws of his disability and make him feel as uncomfortable as possible. You should also make sure it seems as if it is his fault he's disabled.

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WoopSlim
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Re: Confronting a person about his disabilities

Post by WoopSlim » Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:05 pm

Мудак что-ли? Not cool, bro not cool.
derp

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