Thursday, August 30, 2007

Say what?

We humans are an interesting lot. We form opinions about things, and even if we think we don't express our beliefs, they come through when we're not paying attention. It happens to everybody.

This afternoon I had a one-on-one meeting with a colleague. We got into a discussion about adults with learning disabilities and special needs. I mentioned a student who had endured gran mal seizures as a child and teen and had incurred brain damage as a result. She has made remarkable progress at school, and although she was almost unresponsive to us a year ago, she's perfroming better than the other students in her class now.

My colleague mentioned that her class tutor has Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism. She said he's learning a new job at the supermarket where he works and as long he stays on his medication (for what, I don't know) and lives with a lot of structure, he's "highly functional."

She went to say, "Treatment and therapy can really do wonders. My sister-in-law is bipolar and she's working as a cashier now. She started as a grocery bagger, but she's been able to handle the new job very well."

I kept my mouth shut, but I thought, "A cashier? Is this all that people with bipolar disorder are believed to be capable of? Cashiering as an accomplishment?"

I was tempted to blurt out that I had bipolar disorder and I had left cashiering for even harder things more than 25 years ago. It's really amazing what we bipolars are capable of. Must be the drugs.

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