Patreon members and YouTube channel members had access to this video on Feb 22, 2022. The video’s public release will be May 4, 2022 – several months early.
ID: Lyric, a pale skinned nonbinary person with short green and yellow hair with shaved sides and jet black roots is sitting behind a white microphone in an RV with dark wood panel walls. The words “academic exclusion and oppression ” floats in front of them in yellow and green letters.
Throughout history, the systems that oppress minorities often do so, because they are able to exclude members of those groups.
For Autistic People, many of us are excluded from the right to having a proper education, whether that is because we are put into these “special autism schools” that keep us out of general education, or because we are not given things like proper sex education, we are excluded from education in many ways.
In my case, I spent time in general education, special education, and even gifted and talented educator. None of my needs were accommodated in these classes, they were not tailored to my individual learning needs, and the school system was very traumatizing for me. I feel lucky I survived it.
By the time I got to the 12th grade, there was no way on earth I was going to plunge myself into extreme amounts of debt, I might not be able to pay off in my life-time, and pay for the continued abuse… so that I could get a degree, and people would take me seriously.
Unfortunately, those who are more privileged, are more likely to do well in education, and those who are more privileged, often will use those credentials in order to talk over those who are less privileged, and do not have access to that academic education, and to academia, and to those credentials.
If you would like to know more, please do stay tuned.
The education system is one of the first systems in which NeuroDivergence: Autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, hyperlexia, all of these things… is detected. It’s one of the first places we see these things being diagnosed in young children.
That is because we are entering a system that is tailored to one type of learner, and therefore the learners who do not learn in the ways that that system is set up to teach, are then excluded from that system, or diagnosed as “you are the problem, because you do not learn the way we teach”.
This was the first system which I struggled with. My needs were not met in the classroom. I was not properly supported. That manifested, outwardly, in things like me hiding under the desk, because I was overwhelmed, and not being able to sit still in my chair, because I needed more movement, to tolerate the busy, overwhelming environment of the classroom.
I needed to have things explained to me differently, because of my visual processing, and the way I understood words.
I needed someone to understand that I was anxious, and not refusing to do things, or being defiant, when I didn’t perform, as was expected, in the classroom.
I needed understanding, but instead I was met with a lot of disdain. I was treated as if I was the problem, and that my “behaviors” were just me acting up, when they were a young child that didn’t know how to explain their needs, whose needs weren’t being met.
That’s just my experience, as an undiagnosed NeuroDivergent student, going through the education system. Some NeuroDivergent people, especially with autism, and Autistic People, who are diagnosed younger in life, may be sidetracked away from school.
I know Autistic People who have been put into these “autism schools” – these, “therapy schools” where they, instead of going to school, they’re told that they need 40 hours a week or more of intensive therapy, before they can be ready for school.
Which, a bit like a prison system, once they get into these therapy schools, there’s no incentive for them to get you into an other option, because you’re making big money in some of these schools.
There are good schools out there, that are very neuro-diversity of forming. They exist, but there are also many schools that are doing horrible, horrible, things to young people, such as the JRC, that uses the electroshock on the disabled students, and the Autistic students. It’s something that you wouldn’t see happening. If these kids did not have a disability.
I did not know I was Autistic for the first 29 years of my life, so I went through the entire education system, all the way up to the 12th grade, not accommodated, and not understanding myself.
That entire experience, of being constantly treated like I was the problem, for struggling, and not- not being supported, really hurt my self-esteem, made me think I was a very incapable person. I am still recovering from the trauma of that education.
Even if I would have had financial means to go on to higher education, I’m not sure I would have. Many Autistic, and NeuroDivergent People, don’t have the financial means to go on to continuing education. We are more likely to be under, or unemployed, and living below the poverty line. When you’re just trying to survive day to day, it’s very hard to also put yourself through school.
Then the burnout, that many Autistic and NeuroDivergent People experience, from living in a world that is not designed for you, going through two systems at once, if you’re trying to support yourself through university.
The education system that’s not designed for you, and the organizational workplace system, that is most likely not designed for you either. Then just society, as a whole, and public spaces, and the world, that is not designed for you, and is often overwhelming, and not understanding, and is constantly pressuring you to be someone or something you’re not… telling you that who you are, naturally, isn’t good enough. It’s a lot.
There are many ways you can learn skills, and gain knowledge, on a topic. Formal, credentialed, education is not the only path to learning, and it is a very exclusionary path. It’s one that, those who are most privileged in many groups often will access, and one that those, who have brains that work differently, who have different NeuroTypes, will struggle to access even more, due to the differences and the way… Hi Dog! … we process information.
There are NeuroDivergent People, and Autistic People, who “make it”, who manage to go through academia, and managed to get these credentials, that a lot of us will never have. That’s fantastic, but that is a small minority of NeuroDivergent People, who are able to gain access to, and make their way all the way through those systems, without burning out, or breaking down.
We need to make these systems more accessible, but in the meantime, until we can do that, we need to understand, that many of us, who don’t have access to those systems, have had to find other ways to learn, and grow, outside of those systems… and that those ways of learning are also valid.
We need academics to make space for those who have lived experiences. Often the loudest voices on Autism and NeuroDiversity related issues, are those of NeuroTypical, allistic, non-Autistic People, who are observing, and talking about, those of us whose minds work differently.
They use their academic credentials to say that, even though they are, not themselves Autistic, or NeuroDivergent in any way, know more about what it is to be Autistic, or NeuroDivergent, than those who have lived experience… because they had the privilege of going through academia and aquiring those credentials.
I’m not going to name names today, but if you want to name some academics, who have used their credentials to harm Autistic or NeuroDivergent People; drop them. I’m thinking of at least three or four of them right now. Drop a comment. Let me know if you can think of some of them, I bet there’s at least two, you could think of pretty quickly.
All right, thank you so much for hanging out with me this week.
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Also on Patreon, there are little lens clips, that I show behind the scenes of our travels, and RV life, and not necessarily educational, but if you’re curious what I’m like teaching, subscribe on Patreon to find out.
All right, All, I will see you next Wednesday. Bye! .
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