So, here’s the thing.
People with disabilities are taught that we’re just lazy. That eventually, if we care enough, we’ll be cured. That we can shame our way out of being disabled.
This is counterproductive.
If you can accept the way you are, the way your mind works, the way your body works –
You can figure out how to do things in the way that *actually works for you*.
And you can do a lot more, than if you’re stuck in the mindset of thinking that shame will cure you.
Shame doesn’t create abilities. Self-hatred doesn’t create abilities.
Acceptance creates abilities. Understanding and working with your real configuration rather than against it can greatly expand what you can actually do. Even though there are abilities you will never have. There’s a lot you can do, if you understand and accept yourself as you are.
A good percentage of people who need therapy only get it after repeatedly failing at things everyone around them can do. (Especially developmentally disabled children). This is often humiliating.
This means that therapy can be triggering. Therapy involves focusing on difficulties that someone has learned to regard as humiliating flaws. It’s important to keep this in mind when you give therapy.
Don’t expect someone to trust you right away. You have to demonstrate that you are trustworthy. You have to show them that you can be relied on to treat them respectfully. You have to demonstrate that you won’t ever regard them as broken, or make respecting them contingent on them progressing toward a cure.
And it needs to be true. You can’t just affect safety and kindness. You have to actually be trustworthy in a deep way, and let that show through your action.
You don’t get to decide when you have established trust; you don’t get to decide when someone receiving therapy should feel safe. It’s up to the person getting the therapy. (Even if they are a child.)
And if you understand this, you’ll be much more able to help people.