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I have been talking about Ableism for a while, and society has just not been ready to hear it...

I am going to take it as a nod from the Universe that since the incredible NeuroWild has created an amazing info graphic on it today that it's time to shed a few extra spoons today and talk about it here.

Firstly, Ableism is a form of conditioning. Just like when I realised as an adult the conditioned racial micro-aggressions I made with zero negative intent and started to recognise my white privilege, my life unravelled a bit because once you know you know. There may be a denial period for a while as you finally allow yourself to know, as most of us are good people that want the best for others. But, OYKYK.

Hang on for some potentially big triggers here. Please know I share this with love and I have made my own Ableism journey. There is no judgement here, I just know you don't want to be this person because of unrecognised unconscious conditioning, so here we go.

Deep breath Tan.

We are ableist when we don't put supports in place for our neurodivergent loved ones - children and adults. When we want them to be "treated / act like everyone else".

My friends, we are all DIFFERENT and require different SUPPORTS. But my friends we are all EQUAL and that is where I believe people get confused. To achieve the same outcome as EQUALS we need very different supports to get there. We are DIFFERENT but we are EQUAL.

Early on I have been ableist with my child with an indignant, "he will be treated like everyone else"... and I failed him at this time friends. I set him up for failure. Ah fark the tears as my whole body responds with pain from these memories. I got better and fast but there was a time I was failing him. My goodness that feels shit.

I was ableist with my neurodivergent business partner. Fast way to bring out your ableism? You be the one that has to pick up the slack for the things they CAN'T do. Not won't , can't. And friends being an adult does not negate the fact that you need supports. If anything you need more as there are a lot more elements that come into consideration as an adult. So as much as I have played THE pivotal role in getting him the supports he needs, I failed him at times with neurotypical expectations I have had as a Business Partner, nearly always when my spoons are depleted.

I have been Ableist in past relationships with neurodivergent men because "I will fight for your rights elsewhere but you don't get to negatively impact me with your executive functioning challenges". Oh that feels shit... but it's real. Fark more spoons in this share than I thought... because "if he really loved me he would... " insert any of the many ableist things we expect in a romantic relationship.

And finally still to this day I experience internal ableism. To my credit, not as much now as I redesigned my life to be neurodivergent-affirming, but when I was younger I was really terrible at internal ableism which resulted in a lot of mental health issues including anxiety and depression.

So if even I, a gung-ho, intelligent Disability Advocate can still have conditioning where I unconsciously get this wrong at times, I know that many, many people out there are as well.

So let's move forward together, friends. We cannot change the past, but we can start from now and walk forward together. My arm is outstretched if you are willing to take it.

Sending big love,

- T ♡

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