There’s no such thing as a stupid question

There is no such thing as a stupid question when you live with neurodiversity.

I read an email from my son’s school this morning about registering him for classes for the next term.

It listed the instructions on how to do it, but guess what happened?

I began reading it and it made sense for the first few sentences then turned into a jumble of nonsense in my brain.

I experience dyslexia along with my ADHD.

On any given day I can’t be sure which executive functions are firing and which aren’t.

Today, my language translators and sequencers are glitchy.

Now I could blow this off and not ask for help because I’m afraid his teachers will think I’m stupid.

I could assume that everyone else finds these instructions simple to follow. That I “should” be able to follow them too and there’s something wrong with the fact that I can’t.

That’s the voice of comparison, not the voice of compassion.

You must allow yourself some flexibility. Especially when it comes to rules established without taking your challenges into consideration.

Rules like:

✔️ Follow the instructions. There clear as day.

✔️ Listen, because I’m only going to say this once

✔️ If you can’t follow simple instructions, you aren’t smart enough to trust with this responsibility (I’ve been told that before).

Self-advocacy may need you to go beyond asking for what you need. You may need to educate others on how intelligence and learning style have little to do with each other.

People without our challenges are like people with 20/20 vision. They don’t appreciate what it’s like to see the world without glasses in all its blurriness.

When you don’t have the tool you need to see clearly. It isn’t because you’re lazy, unmotivated or not trying hard enough. It’s because you don’t have what you need to be successful.

Well to be successful in registering my son for classes I was going to need a little hand holding.

So I told comparison to take a seat. My focus is on getting a result that allows my son to keep moving forward in school.

I measure success in this regard on the result I achieve. Not one of those criteria includes the opinion of others on whether I needed help to do it.

It took work to unlearn comparing myself to others. I can avoid it more often than not, which has allowed me a great deal of freedom.

As well as increased my creativity.

In any case, I emailed and asked for what I needed. I’ll be meeting with a member of my son’s team to go through the process.

Not every instance of self-advocacy will go smoothly, of course.

But let’s make sure the reason isn’t because of all the booby traps you set up between your own ears. 

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