My Mom is still working on making connections with Eastern Health, trying to get services for me so that I can live independently. I’m working (somewhat – I seriously need help with motivation, depression has me in its grasp) on getting Income Support and Employment Insurance. I’ve filled out the forms and stuff, now it’s mostly waiting.
But for Mom… she keeps running into the same old problem. “If she has an IQ of higher than 70, we can’t help her.”
Where the frigging hell did this “IQ ≤ 70” come from? It’s the “mental retardation” number. In the “system”, it means that people with that IQ need support for independent living.
It’s a lie, or a stupid idea that’s been carried forward from a period when there wasn’t much awareness out there about the realities of various “developmental” disabilities.
Yes, I will admit that IQ has something to do with the ability to take care of oneself. But it isn’t the be all and end all of the matter. I have an IQ somewhere in the hundred-plus area – I wouldn’t call myself a genius, but I am highly intelligent – and taking care of myself… I have a lot of difficulties with it. I have survived (sort of) living on my own before, but with serious difficulties and a lot of stress involved, as well as an inability to clean up my living space. That’s a problem, especially when it involves a lot of paper and books (see: fire hazard).
In other words, there are other factors that have to be taken into account. It can’t all come down to IQ, because there are a lot of us who do have the high IQ (even among so-called “low functioning” ASDers), and so aren’t getting the supports and services that we need. And I’m getting semi-desperate about this. I can’t live with my parents forever – they’re retired, and need to have their own lives – but at the same time, I need the support.
I don’t know what to do about it. Write an article for the Telegram and / or the Globe and Mail? Get the Autism Society working on it (if they aren’t already)? This is something that affects people in both Canada and the US, I know. Are there other places where it affects people? Can anyone give me some suggestions about what I might do to help the issue? I really want this changed, but it’s a big thing that’s been in existence for a comparatively long time.