Living With Disabilities/SUPERMAN

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QUESTION: I was wondering would you please tell me: is it a fact that people with disabilities have more seances then nomad people?

if the answer in "yes" would you explain why that is?

(P.S would you please try to give your answer in a easy way that I can understand)
Thanks

ANSWER: HI...

Sorry that it's taken me a bit to get an answer to you. I also live with disabilities, and sometimes that means I take a while to do things. I've recently been in Hospital, so I've not read many of my e-mails until a few days ago.

Anyway, you have asked me the following question...

"Is it a fact that people with disabilities have more seances than nomad people?"

I can only assume that there are a couple of "typos"... otherwise the question does not really seem to make sense. After all, "seances" are Paranormal experiences where attempts are made to communicate with the dead! "Nomad people" are people who do not live in one place, but who constantly travel about!

If you REALLY DID mean to ask THIS question... then I am truly not sure if travelling Nomads try to contact the dead more often than the rest of us!

I think you MEANT to ask the following question...

"Is it a fact that people with disabilities have more SENSES than NORMAL people?"

This is an interesting question, and actually it made me think hard for quite some time! I can ATTEMPT to answer it, but all I can give you is MY OPINION. I cannot say for a FACT that people with disabilities have more senses, but this is what I think...

People who have disabilities haven't developed "supersenses". I don't think they have any sort of magical, extra-special senses. I know that some people seem to think that disabled people, especially BLIND people, develop a sort of "sixth sense"... I'm not sure if that's really true.

People who have disabilities often lead lives that seem "different" to what others call "normal" people. This is because there are lots of people out there who DO NOT have disabilities, and who find it HARD to understand what it is like to live WITH a disability. Because they have no disabilities of their own, they call themselves "normal". I do not really like the word "normal" to be used to describe some people, and not others. Here's why...

EVERYBODY in the world is DIFFERENT. Not one of us is EXACTLY the same as another. There are even differences between TWINS (maybe only small differences, but differences no matter what). So; if we are faced with the fact that everybody is different; how can we possibly say what "normal" is? NORMAL for YOU, is different to NORMAL for ME. Simple! WE ARE WHO WE ARE.

People with disabilities live their own lives, in their own way. I think this is perhaps why non-disabled people find them hard to understand. Lots of people seem to think that living with disability is "bad", or "more difficult"... and many other negative things like that. Perhaps this is because they are ignorant, and do not take the time or trouble to find out about what it is actually like to be a person living with disability.

Remember, a person who lives every day with a disability does not see him/herself as "bad" or as "not coping" or as having a "really difficult" life. He or she may BE TOLD this all the time by other people; and might even start to BELIEVE it. The TRUTH is that people with disabilities ARE "able" in their own ways.

This gets me back to your question...

People with disabilities just learn how to use the SENSES that they HAVE got to a GREATER DEGREE, and maybe BETTER, than other people. For example, people who are BLIND are not able to use the sense of SIGHT. They learn because of this to rely on their other senses MORE. Human beings have several different senses, such as SIGHT, or HEARING, or SMELL, or TOUCH... If one of those senses is not there (for any reason), then we can still use any and all of the other ones. So, DEAF people, for example, may learn to use SIGHT more (or perhaps SMELL, or TOUCH). The MORE we use a SENSE, the MORE we get USED TO USING IT, and so the BETTER we get AT USING IT. This means that a DEAF person may experience ENHANCED SIGHT (or SMELL, or TOUCH). It is because they have learned to use their sense of SIGHT in ways that "normal" people do not.

Let me ask you to try this...

Put some cotton wool, or earplugs, in your ears, and then go to watch some TV. How is it? O.K. So it's NOT EXACTLY like being DEAF, but I bet it changed the way you watched telly! Did you find that you watched the screen more carefully? That you were trying to look at what the people on the screen were doing, or saying, much more carefully? Did you feel like you were paying more attention to what you were looking at?

What you were doing was trying to use your SIGHT more, because you could not use your HEARING. You could still SEE the picture on the TV screen, so you concentrated hard on this to try to make sense of what you were watching. If you did this every day, you would get better at it.

Human beings are able to ADAPT. That means that when they are given a particular situation, they learn to deal with it. People with disabilities adapt in just the same way...

So, a person who uses a wheelchair because they are unable to use their legs may end up with really strong arms (from wheeling themselves about). A person who cannot talk will learn to communicate in other ways, such as "signing", or writing things down, or via a computer. People WANT to be able to live their lives, and to be happy. They will do whatever it takes to ensure that this is the case.

Oh, one other thing...

You may have heard of people with mental health problems, or learning disabilities, who are called "Savants". These are people who seem to have exceptional gifts of intelligence when it comes to doing particular things. They may be brilliant at memory tasks, or at mathematical calculations, or at music... Usually, their exceptional skill lies in a specific area.

Again, I do not think that this means they have more senses than other people, or that they have "superhuman" abilities. I think simply that it means they "work" in their own particular way; that the way they live is unique to them. There is not yet a good understanding of "Savants", or what gives them their particular ability. Some people think it is because their brains work in unusual ways; that "Savants" are people who are very focused on details, and therefore LIKE to LEARN LOTS MORE about particular things than other people do.

I cannot give you ALL the answers. I may not even be able to give you the RIGHT answer. I can only tell you what I know, and what I believe. I HOPE THAT IT HELPS.

If you still want to know more, then you might like to try visiting the following websites. They may explain things to you better than I can:

1. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savant_syndrome
2. www.neotorama.com/2008/09/05/10-most-fascinating-savants-in-the-world/
3. io9.com/5807698/recent-study-shows-that-deaf-people-really-do-have-enhanced-sight

I really do hope that my answer may have helped at least a little, or that you found it interesting.

All the best,
Elaine.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Wot I ment about the question was, like do the seances that disabled people have are more acute the people without a disability?

for e.g small, taste, hair and see

Answer
Hi again Cameron,

Sorry about the time it's taken me to think about your latest question... You ask some really quite complex stuff - probably way beyond my level of intelligence!

When I read your new question, it really intrigued me. It's not often that people ask something that truly makes you stop and wonder! It's a VERY GOOD question...

I suppose all I can offer is MY THOUGHTS on the subject. They may be right, they may not.

I think perhaps that there could be some truth in the belief that the senses that disabled people have are more acute than those of people without a disability. It's all about PERCEPTION.

When a person loses the use of one of their sense, they have to use the others MORE. This means that they get used to using these senses in ways that people who do not have disabilities are not capable of. The more thy use these senses, the more developed these senses become.

I imagine it to be a bit like weight training (for your senses). You start out at a "basic" level, and you keep building up. This is what people do when training. They get better and better each time they do the same thing - until they are so good, that they have to move on to the next exercise, or heavier weights. Whilst they do this, their muscles get more and more use, and so they get bigger.

I reckon it's bit like this for disabled people who have to use senses in a way that people who are not disabled don't(I don't mean weight training literally - just as a metaphor). They might not be able to use one sense, but that does not stop them using the others. In fact, they use the other senses so much, and get so used to doing it, that it becomes "natural" for them. They also become very good at using their remaining senses in ways that non-disabled people do not.

Because of this, I would say that maybe disabled people do seem to have more acute senses. It is because they have used them, and developed them in ways that people who are not disabled do not. I think, perhaps, that people who can use ALL their senses sometimes take this for granted. So they become a bit lazy, and do not use these senses to the full. I guess it's sort of like, if something is easy to do, then why try to do it different, or any better. So, if you can use ALL your senses, you just get used to it. You don't really try very hard to use them - they are just there.

If somebody loses the ability to use one, or more, of their senses, then they must try really hard to use the other ones FULLY. I think that perhaps they become MORE AWARE of the other senses, and how much potential for use they have. They don't just think, "Oh, it's easy, I can see, and hear, and taste, and smell." I think maybe they realize that they do not have all of the usual senses. Rather than miss out on things, or feeling bad and unable to do things because they have a sense "missing" - they use their other senses.

So, yes, I do think that perhaps disabled people have senses that become more acute, in a way,  because they have to use them more. Like I said, it's about perception. Their senses are NOT more acute in respect of how they are born - we all have senses that we can use, or not use, to whatever degree we choose. Rather, I would say their perception of the senses becomes more acute because they use their remaining senses more, and more fully, than people who are not disabled.

I hope this helps explain how I understand things. Mind you... I'm no brain-box Einstein, so I might be mistaken.

If you're really into intelligent stuff like this, you might do well to read about it. Try typing your question into Google to see what it brings up.

Best wishes,
Elaine.  

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Elaine Ellis

Expertise

I am happy to respond to a wide variety of questions. I understand that everyone's experience of disability is very personal in nature - dependent upon such factors as circumstances, life experiences, personality, support networks... Therefore, I would expect questions to be highly variable in nature. In the main, I would be happy to respond to questions which ask about the nature of disabilities (conditions), about diagnosis and treatment, about living with disability (its effect upon social and working life), and about means of support. I am also happy to answer questions that many consider to be sensitive, or personal, in nature; I will do so with as much empathy, and sensitivity, as I can. These include questions about the effects of disability upon relationships, or questions relating to the emotional aspect of disability (for example, disability leading to depression). Obviously, I will be unable to respond to questions concerning subjects with which I am unfamiliar, or which require a level of detail in the response that I am simply unable to provide. However, I will generally point out where I am "out of my depth", and will either state this, or will ask permission to research my response a little longer before committing to it.

Experience

My experience in the field of disability is both personal, and professional. I have a B.A. Honours Degree in Social Work (with professional Dip. S.W.) from Lancaster University. I have spent several years working as a Social Worker; initially within Mental Health Services (a medium secure facility), then in a Hospital Discharge Team, and finally in Adult Community Services. I am currently undertaking further "career development", and am part way through postgraduate studies in Psychology. Professionally, I have worked with mentally disordered offenders, with people returning home from hospital, and with elderly and disabled adults living in the community. I have knowledge of the mental health system; of treatments, diagnoses and of side-effects. I also have knowledge of the home care system, and of arranging residential care. Personally, I class myself as a disabled person - although, I must admit that the realisation of this was slow to dawn! I can empathise with many who have for years attempted to cope with as minimal aid as possible, either through lack of knowledge concerning disability rights, or through lack of available assistance. I have long-term health problems that include Endometriosis (a gynaecological condition), chronic respiratory (sinus) problems, Asthma, chronic low Iron levels, and M.E. (chronic fatigue/ fibromyalgia). My Endometriosis was finally diagnosed, after YEARS of suffering, in 2011. I have since had THREE surgeries. I have also had sinus surgery, and am awaiting intensive treatment for my M.E. I trust this qualifies me adequately to assist others with queries concerning disability!

Education/Credentials
O-Levels (with grades): (1987) English Literature (A) English Language (A) Art (A) French (A) German (B) Mathematics (C) Biology (C) Physics (C) Chemistry (C) A-Levels (with grades): (1990) General Studies (B) French (C) English Literature (C) German (C) R.S.A. level one Computer Literacy and Information Technology (1995) Certificate: Teaching English As A Foreign Language (1998) B.A. Honours Degree in European Studies with German (1994) 2:1 B.A. Honours Degree in Social Work with Dip.S.W. (2003) Currently undertaking postgraduate study in Psychology.

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