Thursday, 6 August 2015

In Her Shoes

Yesterday , I was watching an old movie starring Cameron Diaz.  The role is that of a young rather wild girl, who goes slightly berserk because of her disability to conform. I am calling this a disability because that is what it is. Disabilities such as  alcoholism, not taking responsibility are behavior problems which some people suffer from.And they come in a spectrum. I am aware that all of us are familiar with terms such as these.

For the uninitiated I would like to clear things up a bit. Disability is the term we use when we know that the person who is so is not lazy, not irresponsible but simply cannot do it. Of course, there are obvious examples of disability. Physical handicap is one of them. we accept and sympathise with people with obvious handicaps readily. But those with behavioral problems or a learning disability may not have so much of sympathy.

The most obvious nightmare situations for such people is the school, the classroom and at home. The school teachers may be yelling at a bright middle-schooler calling her "sassy" or referring to his attempts at writing as "heroic". Apparently, nothing is obviously wrong with them.Intelligence tests,if taken, might even record an average or above average intelligence. So, why does this intelligent child who probably speaks well hesitate to read? or write? or have problems with numbers and directions?

As we keep conveying our frustrations with them, such people start showing behavioral problems.I always term such students as suffering from "behavioral distress". Yes, their behavior is distressed because of our inability to understand  their problem as pathogenic.They have an illness which is recognised as developmental delay and yes, it can show up in a variety of ways.Very similar to conditions which show a spectrum of disorders.

The movie shows Cameron Diaz as seeing herself from her sister's point of view. Her sister ,unable to understand her screams at her to get out of her life. The sister is a successful lawyer and sees her disability as an inability to conform to norms.especially when a drunk Cameron goes to bed with her boyfriend. Most of us would react with horror and so did hr sister.How do we cope with such relatives?

Another problem are the behavioral problems. Why are they so persistent? Well as a person learns his alphabets he also learns behavior.There is a definite link between the two as they are learning situations. The curriculum while addressing this needs to fully look in to the other.

 Cameron Diaz tells the blind professor who wanted her to read to him,"I am a slow reader" and he gently explains,"Well, I am a slow listener." That cinches the deal between them and he helps her to learn to read ,battling her dyslexia.To be in her shoes........... that's the best way to cope.

No comments:

Post a Comment