Thank you for your wonderful post, Hilary. It feels very sane and healing to recognise my own sorrow. I’ve been stuck for too long thinking it is up to me to ensure that my son reaches his potential, despite a lack of external supports and the difficulty he has in asking for or even accepting any kind of help or attention. I can see I need to pause and just feel what is, for a while.
This is my first post here too.
(B) I'll answer B first. My son is on the autism spectrum. At age 12, he currently says he sees this as being a (prefereable) difference more than a disability. And as his parent I have used both 'difference' and 'disability' to describe him, depending on the settings. I think this term conveys different things depending on who you talk to.
(A) I have many of the same traits as my son, so place myself also somewhere on the wider autism spectrum. I am unsure if I that places me in the disabled category, although sometimes I think the world is stacked up against people like me. So I guess I see disability more in the social model of disability sense.
(C) I have friends in the same fuzzy category as me. and know various other people dealing with impairments and difficulties functioning in the world as it currently manifests.
(E) I would like to do disability-related work.
(F) I have studied disability informally, but fairly extensively. As a parent initially, but mostly for my own interest and desire that the world be more disability-friendly.
(G) There is always more to learn. Am particularly interested in the social aspect, as in how other people respond or fail to respond to disability.