Unit 1 – Portrait of a Word
Discourse communities… writing for the public huh? What exactly is “the public?” From my understanding everyone has a discourse over many things. Whether it’s a TV show or music taste, what makes them normal? For sure, being normal could be jumping on a trampoline in the scorching sun or sleeping in on a sunny day sweating buckets, there is no “right” way of being normal. The word “normal” is so vague too, that I can’t even wrap my head around it. I don’t mind discourse but some people tend to go above their heads about something, like thinking too much about an anime’s finale if the plot was simple. The word “normal” shouldn’t be used to characterize someone either because that is not a very good adjective and rids inclusivity. Let’s delve deeper into the word and analyze it that way we can get a clear understanding going forward.
I don’t remember my first experience of this word but I have plenty of experiences with the word itself. One experience I had with “normal” is when I was in middle school I was in science class and we were learning about thumbs and genes and to my surprise every student in the class have a hitchhiker’s thumb and I have a straight thumb. For no reason, I felt out of place but was reassured that it’s normal to have whichever type of thumb because the discourse was talking about thumbs and understanding the terms hitchhiker and straight in that context. My first impression of it’s meaning was kind of off-putting. Out of one billion, four hundred million results on Google, the first result gives me a definition that is, “conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.” You see in the year 2021 not that many people are “that.” The meaning has changed for me over time.
Age plays a big role in normality. The typical saying, “Age is just a number.” Correct, it is, but there’s more depth to that then “just a number.” Imagine you ‘re talking to someone on the internet and you’re having discourse over an anime you both watch, but you pop the question, “how old are you?” Sometimes, messages don’t translate well over text, so you don’t know what the person’s expressions are like over screen. They could reply with their actual age or a fake age, just to keep contact with you. To me, that’s not normal and morally wrong. In my case, I’m the adult I might as well be forward and say my real age, but if a minor told me their’s they might be a child and I wouldn’t contact them further, solely because of the gap. That to me is normal to cut contact with younger people not in your age group. Speaking from experience, I have done that!
Going back to the idea of writing for the public, I feel like Neurotypicals aren’t allowed to use the word “normal” towards Neurodivergents. To keep it concise, it’s offensive and ableist. According to the Salon article which touches on topics of news & politics, culture, food, science & health, and life stories Rozsa tells us a story about Terra Vance, other colleagues noticed a teacher’s atypical behavior, and she had no idea she was autistic, during a full-day meeting in a small conference room. Prior to the meeting the principal told her “to stop rocking and folding my arms” because she looked like a crackhead. “During that meeting in the cramped quarters, however, “several times people kept asking me what was wrong. I didn’t know why they kept asking that. Someone then asked me if I hated being there. I asked them why everyone was asking me, and they said it was because I seemed impatient. I told them that I was ADHD, and they acted like it was an excuse.” Having Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder is not an excuse and it is very rude of someone (most likely Neurotypical) to say that to a Neurodivergent. Being Neurodivergent is having your brain wired differently and shouldn’t be labeled as disabilities rather differences and that is normal. Society should be accepting of Neurodivergents as equal counterparts to Neurotypicals, regardless of how they are.
Source cited in MLA format: Rozsa, Matthew. “‘Why Can’t You Be Normal?”: How the Neurodivergent Are Mocked for Being Different.” Salon, Salon.com, 16 Feb. 2021, www.salon.com/2021/02/15/why-cant-you-be-normal-how-the-neurodivergent-are-mocked-for-being-different/.
It’d be very vague to say “everyone” needs to know about the word “normal” but if I am going in to talk about demographics, older people who are traditional fail to see things modernly. I think they need to know because a lot of ideologies have changed over years and there seems to be a social construct to everything now which is saddening. An example could be of a child coming out to their parents. Keep in mind, sexual orientation is a very private matter and one should be comfortable with themselves expressing themself that way, at the end of the day it’s their choice. As for the mom and dad, they have to listen to what the child is saying and accept them for who they are. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case and god forbid the child get ousted. It’s not normal for parents to be unaccepting because how is the child going to cope? They just lost reassurance and gained trauma. Obviously, this is not normal and parents just play in the roles of social construct and they are probably heteronormative.
From all these scenarios stated above, what have you learned about the word “normal?” Use the word, respectfully. If you are Neurotypical it’s highly suggested to not say it to a Neurodivergent. Expressing yourself the way you want to is normal, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks rather than what you think! If you got a straight thumb over a hitchhiker’s thumb give yourself a thumbs up because that’s normal too. Overall, being normal falls on both sides of the spectrum being good and bad.
Unit 2 – Inquiry-Based Research
Research Question: How can we get society to understand Neurodiversity?
Your brain is the most complex part of the human body. This very organ seats of intelligence, interprets senses, initiates body movement, and controls behavior. You’re constantly thinking about things that seem uncertain or weird. The foundation of your behavior, the origin of the word Neurodiversity, how technology is useful for Neurodivergents, and the limitations that come with it. That’s why I want to get society to understand Neurodiversity.
What do Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder have in common? More than you might think. ASD and ADHD are neurodevelopment disorders which means in some way, the brain has been affected. Conditions/disorders like these made an affect on the central nervous system which is responsible for things like movement, language, memory, and social and focusing skills. Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are also part of something bigger called Neurodiversity. Many people are more familiar with the umbrella term called Neurodivergent. We are going to decipher learning disabilities (LD) and ADHD because of a relationship between them. According to Sinfield who wrote the article and medically reviewed by Dr. Janssen, “Many people with ADHD can struggle with learning and schoolwork because of the executive function problems related to their ADHD, yet they do not have enough of an impairment to be diagnosed with an LD.” In short, cognitive skills that are needed for self-control and managing behavior are termed executive function but those people who have ADHD struggle in school have problems with executive function but not enough to diagnose them with a learning disability. I want the reader to know about this quote is that people who have ASD and ADHD have difficulty in school as far as their behavior goes, but if there is not an impairment of learning disability they shouldn’t be worried as much.
Let’s talk about the origin of the word “Neurodiversity.” The term is coined in the late 1990s by Judy Singer who came up with it despite being on the spectrum of autism refuted that people with autism are disabled. Some conditions like ADHD and autism are not “abnormal” but differences in the brain which people often misconstrue. There are kids with learning and thinking differences, so this concept can benefit them. This can help kids frame their challenges as differences and not be thought of as deficits. Neurodiversity is based around science and brain study that kids with learning and thinking differences apart from their peers, those differences appear based on how the brain is “wired.” The view on Neurodiversity should be that brain differences are normal. Activists in the autism community were embraced by this term, and since then advocates have been fighting the stigma and promote inclusions in schools and workplaces. To rid the thought that something is “wrong” with people who are Neurodiverse, communities should engage with those people for not be stigmatic. By doing this communities are building up those with Neurodiverse conditions confidence, self-esteem, and motivation.
For the most part we use technology throughout our day. As the hbr.org would say, “Neurodiverse people frequently need workplace accommodations, such as headphones to prevent auditory overstimulation, to activate or maximally leverage their abilities. Sometimes they exhibit challenging eccentricities. In many cases the accommodations and challenges are manageable and the potential returns are great. But to realize the benefits, most companies would have to adjust their recruitment, selection, and career development policies to reflect a broader definition of talent.” Technology plays a huge role in school and work environment. To communicate with individuals there’s a phone at their hand or sending an E-Mail through a computer because it is doubtful that people nowadays write letters. Speaking of traditional to modern times it was very true that reading and writing are essential for school and jobs, but there are people who just can’t do that and that shouldn’t be anything to be ashamed of because in school there are teachers to help the student out by using different method, so the student can understand what is going on and the same thing applies in the work environment.
However, Neurodivergency is complicated which shows limitations. As stated in the hbr.org article, “Especially in large companies, HR processes are developed with an eye toward wide application across the organization. But there is a conflict between scalability and the goal of acquiring neurodiverse talent. “SAP focuses on having scalable HR processes; however, if we were to use the same processes for everyone, we would miss people with autism,” says Anka Wittenberg, the company’s chief diversity and inclusion officer. In addition, the behaviors of many neurodiverse people run counter to common notions of what makes a good employee—solid communication skills, being a team player, emotional intelligence, persuasiveness, salesperson-type personalities, the ability to network, the ability to conform to standard practices without special accommodations, and so on. These criteria systematically screen out neurodiverse people.” This is very harmful and neglatory because it shows me that Neurodiverse people can be excluded. Being talented can happen to anyone whether it you’re Neurodivergent or Neurotypical, but media implies that ND’s are outcasts. An example of exclusion was the artist Sia, she made a movie called ‘Music’ and it was about the a girl named Music who’s navigating through life as well as being on the autism spectrum. Then again, many people who are Neurodivergent expressed their thoughts especially on Twitter targeting Sia for being exclusive with the casting, because she casted Maddie Ziegler who is able-bodied and Neurotypical as star of the lead role. Neurodivergent folks were infuriated on how many ticks or simulations were stereotypical portrayals of autism. All the more, Neurodivergent people deserve a chance to shine as many Neurotypical’s and shouldn’t be limited despite being talented.
In addition to all this talk about autism we are going to discuss on a neurological disorder that is ADHD. Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is one of the common neurological and mental disorders affects children as well as many adults. Some symptoms include inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Here is Tammy’s story on psychiatry.org, “Tammy, an 8-year-old third grader, was halfway through the second grading period when her parents asked for another conference with her teacher. Her grades were very low with failure to complete class assignments and inconsistent performance on homework… A decision was made for treatment with stimulant medication. Tammy had an expected response. She was especially pleased when she was moved to a higher reading group and she was picked for her school basketball team. Her medication was tailored for school time since her evening and weekend behaviors were not a problem.” By reading this story I can infer that many folks who “suffer” with this mental disorder makes people inpatient with them will make the person who has Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder feel worse about themselves and that’s something you don’t want to do. People who have ADHD don’t want to be declined by anyone. Already they feel like a burden to their family, friends, and peers. It’s important for everyone to be equal because we all fight for equality in society, so why are people with ADHD or other mental disorders unintentionally considered less? The root of my research question is getting society to realize that people who are Neurodiversity can still be in the workforce, can go to school, can do things a “normal” person can, etc.
Work Cited Page:
Source: Team, The Understood. “Neurodiversity: What You Need to Know.” Understood, Understood, 23 Feb. 2021, www.understood.org/en/friends-feelings/empowering-your-child/building-on-strengths/neurodiversity-what-you-need-to-know.
Source: “Understanding Neurodiversity and Its Impact on Disability Perceptions.” All Belong, 26 Aug. 2015, allbelong.org/understanding-neurodiversity-and-its-impact-on-disability-perceptions/.
Source: “Neurodiversity Is a Competitive Advantage.” Harvard Business Review, 18 July 2017, hbr.org/2017/05/neurodiversity-as-a-competitive-advantage.
Source: Sinfield, Jacqueline. “Is ADHD a Learning Disability?” Verywell Mind, 21 Jan. 2021, www.verywellmind.com/is-adhd-a-learning-disability-4116126.
Source: “Tammy’s Story.” Patient Story: ADHD, www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/adhd/patient-story.
Source: What Is ADHD?, www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/adhd/what-is-adhd.
Cited in MLA Format
Unit 3: Documenting Your Life
What have you learned about yourself as a reader, writer and scholar this semester?
– I learned about myself as a reader, writer, and scholar this semester is that the tasks were so hard and I was, still am unmotivated. I don’t know what to blame it on; is it my lack of understanding? Poor writing skills? Maybe procrastination as a whole. Firstly I’d like to quote a piece of work from the first unit that is, “Let’s paint a picture, shall we? I don’t know what “normal” means or what it’s like to feel that way. Maybe I’m confused? Lost? I don’t know, but what I do know is that it’s okay to not be normal. A dictionary definition of normal is “customary, boring, and typical.” If I was this way I would be a part of any discourse community possible. I couldn’t be anymore wrong because that’s not true. I am not normal no matter how hard I try to be, but if the opposite word is “abnormal” then the qualities of a normal person are the opposite, kind of like the yin and yang to each other. The unfortunate truth about being normal is that it’s the highest tier of social construct that I want to be, but I am not.” Looking back on this I can say this introduction is weak and doesn’t grab the attention of the reader at all. I felt really tense and lost, to say the least. As a matter of fact this paper does not have a grade at all! If anything at all I deserved an F on it solely for how unacceptable and self-deprecating it is. My second paper wasn’t god-awful but I wouldn’t put on the top tier of “improvement” either, it’s a pitiful B-minus. However, it was something that I was graded on! I did an adequate amount of research and it was a topic I was interested in exploring. I believe the strongest part of my Unit 2 paper is, “However, Neurodivergency is complicated which shows limitations. As stated in the hbr.org article, “Especially in large companies, HR processes are developed with an eye toward wide application across the organization. But there is a conflict between scalability and the goal of acquiring neurodiverse talent. “SAP focuses on having scalable HR processes; however, if we were to use the same processes for everyone, we would miss people with autism,” says Anka Wittenberg, the company’s chief diversity and inclusion officer. In addition, the behaviors of many neurodiverse people run counter to common notions of what makes a good employee—solid communication skills, being a team player, emotional intelligence, persuasiveness, salesperson-type personalities, the ability to network, the ability to conform to standard practices without special accommodations, and so on. These criteria systematically screen out neurodiverse people.” This is very harmful and neglatory because it shows me that Neurodiverse people can be excluded. Being talented can happen to anyone whether it you’re Neurodivergent or Neurotypical, but media implies that ND’s are outcasts. An example of exclusion was the artist Sia, she made a movie called ‘Music’ and it was about the a girl named Music who’s navigating through life as well as being on the autism spectrum. Then again, many people who are Neurodivergent expressed their thoughts especially on Twitter targeting Sia for being exclusive with the casting, because she casted Maddie Ziegler who is able-bodied and Neurotypical as star of the lead role. Neurodivergent folks were infuriated on how many ticks or simulations were stereotypical portrayals of autism. All the more, Neurodivergent people deserve a chance to shine as many Neurotypicals and shouldn’t be limited despite being talented.” It was an idea of some sort and very controversial to discuss, but I am glad I did because that movie was very dehumanizing and traumatic not only for the actress but for the Neurodivergents.
How will you be able to use what you have learned this semester and transfer that knowledge to other writing situations—either in college or in your community?
I will able to used what I have learned this semester and transfer that knowledge to other writing situations-either in college or in my community is to not slack as much and start by deciphering situations little by little to so I can process the knowledge.