Self-Respect Is Not Denial
Another reader posted a comment immediately after mine, addressed to the blog owner, in which she characterized his post as follows:
As someone who has been within the disability "field of discourse" for ten years, I find it raises red flags and could cause unnecessary emotional distress to people who may already be in pain...
...broadcasting it across the blogosphere, to those who may come across it in varying stages of grief and/or acceptance, is likely to be hurtful to someone.
I was left wondering whether she intended anything in her comment to refer to mine. It's possible she meant to suggest that parents of recently diagnosed children might be upset, or something along those lines. I really don't know, and I wouldn't want to make an assumption one way or the other.
But I've noticed—in general—that there seems to be a certain patronizing attitude among some people in disability-related professions, to the effect that a challenge to a stereotype (especially one created by psychologists or other professionals) reflects a denial of one's limitations and a need to grieve and accept the reality of one's unfortunate situation.
This is what I have to say to anyone who has that attitude: You're the one in denial. You are denying that stereotypes of disability are cultural constructs. You are denying that certain kinds of people are capable of rationally evaluating their own strengths and limitations. You are denying that there are many healthy and productive responses to human differences, other than grieving. You are denying that much of what we call reality consists of our subjective, culturally conditioned perceptions. You are denying that there are as many ways of looking upon one's existence, or one's way of being, as there are stars in the sky.
And I think it's about time for you to grieve and accept the reality of human diversity and the fact that you're not divinely entitled to occupy a superior position in the universe by virtue of not having a disability label.