Got No Time To Be Disabled

Scene:  Trevon, a young man going to school in the urban school district, has agreed to meet Smokelbg at an outside cafe for lunch.  Trevon talks about his life in the city. He tells how he views the educational system and what he thinks of being disabled.


Hey Trevon!  I’m glad you showed up. You had me worried. I thought you might have changed your mind.

Trevon: I’m always late. Three weeks ago I got fired from my job at Wendy’s. If I had been reading your blog, I could have told the old dude that I had a disability. Knowing him, he would fire me again. My mama says black folks are always late. They will be late for their own funeral. I would call it the haters-late disability.


Why would you call it that?


They’re mad and sitting there complaining about you being late. They didn’t get up and leave. That’s all they had to do.  All they want to do is run around and tell everybody you were late.  Hater!  Do you believe all that stuff you write?  Man, that’s a lot of stuff. I started not to go to your site.


Why? The deal was I tell your story and you read the blog.


It didn’t have nothing to do with the deal. The last time I got on a website it looked like a giant video game. I couldn’t follow what they wanted me to read. I started pushing buttons and then I couldn’t remember what the person wanted me to do. You think that is a disability too?  There is so much stuff written on your blog that sounds like what my friends, family, and my enemies all say.


Yes, it could have something to do with your attention span. You might get easily distracted.


It could have something to do with where I live. There is so much going on around me that I must have people watching my back. Yeah, you call them grand guardians. I like that name.


The purpose of the grand guardians is to make sure the person that is disabled doesn’t get taken advantage of.


Well, that wouldn’t be me. I will do them before they could do me. That is just the way it is done. Survival lady.


What about your enemies?


My enemies used to be my friends and now they are haters.


It doesn’t bother you to have these haters?


Too many people in your business can get you killed.


What are you doing that can cost you your life?


Who said you had to be doing anything?   Last month my friend was getting gas at a service station and he got shot at. I have gone to at least three to four funerals within two weeks time. You know where I stay? You can empty your garbage without thinking about it. I might be the one that is taken out for garbage.


What do you plan to do to after you graduate from school?


Hold up, who said I plan on graduating?  Back up for a minute. I got to find a job because my old girl( mom) is on my case about moving.  I will soon be turning 18 years old and she wants me up out of there.


What if you are not ready to be on your own? What if you needed added support?


It doesn’t matter, you gotta go.


Tell me how your day starts before you go to school?


Man, I got to listen to my old girl go off about the bills, how my daddy left her in a bind, and I was going to be just like my no-good daddy.  Aunt Martha, my dad’s sister, broke up the marriage between my dad and the old girl. How can somebody break up your marriage just because the sister doesn’t have anything to do with the old girl?   The old girl is a drama queen.  My dad was smart when he left. He got tired of hearing all that noise from the old girl. I will be glad to get up out of here. I can’t take too much more in this house.  All this takes place before I can even eat breakfast.


I take it that you and your mom don’t get along.


The old girl got some issues. Her whole family got some severe issues.   I would hate for something to happen to me. Just the thought of the old girl’s family getting any of my kids scares me to death.


Do you have any kids?


Noooo. I don’t want any.  I wouldn’t want to bring them up around here.


What’s your day like at school?

Trevon :

When I go to school,  it is social time. I mostly hang out. As soon as someone does something crazy, then it is black you are under attack time.


What does that mean?


The school rounds up everyone who was in the area and goes through their list. You know I’m on the list for BD (behavior disorder). The funny thing is everybody has got a problem in the city. You call it a diagnosis. Man those words are tight.

I know I’m going to act up at some point. It’s too crowded in the classroom and they got me sitting too far back. I get angry when it is cut up time and I’m out.


Have you told your mom the problems you are having in school?  I’m sure she would want to come and talk to the teachers and help fix the problem.


You really believe your own stories. The old girl is the problem.  We don’t connect like that. Why do you think I work?  It sure is not to help pay bills. Ole girl is on that end.


Can you explain that to me? I’m not quite sure….. There are several things that come to my mind when you say that.


Well, in this neighborhood there is only one answer. She’s whacked and on crack. This is her way out of the neighborhood. Yeah, my mom as you call her(getting really upset). You know what,  I’m not going out like that. When old girl gets low it ain’t pretty.


Let me know if you want to finish another day.


You are not getting out of this. I had to read all those crazy stories and that was the deal… (lifts his head and smiles). I’m good, it’s okay. Whenever I talk about old girl it …..


Hey, you want some dessert?


Sure, you know you are paying. True Dat.


Which one of the stories do you like?


I like the football stories. I’m really into sports.  I like the Darlene Dyslexia story because I  kind of feel I do some of those things as far as reading and pronouncing my words that way. The St. Patrick’s Day story is it.  This is the neighborhood I live in. Catrina Schizo ain’t nobody but Aunt Jackie.  I love me some Aunt Jackie. She is out there.

Everybody in this neighborhood has got some kind of label.  Where did you get all those fancy doctors?  I’m lucky if I go to the dentist and get my teeth pulled. I never heard of no neuro…..whatever.  Stuff like that must cost a fortune.  See people in this neighborhood got to be on guard all the time. Those doctors don’t understand that we ain’t got no time to be disabled. As soon as we get disabled then we get taken out of the box. We look crazy to them because the people in this neighborhood know this is the only way of surviving. This is our way of keeping others out and protecting ourselves. We know who belongs and who don’t. It is time for  Trevon to shed this label because I want more.

I just wanted to tell you that you were not going to get any better education in the burbs than in the city. Remember, you are black and under attack and that’s whacked.


Trevon, I appreciate you for all of your time. This has been a true eye opener for me and I really learned a lot today. I sincerely want to see you make it and fulfill your dreams.


This ain’t no dream. This is Trevon coming at you live and raising the hell up out of here.


I was really concerned about Trevon and how he viewed being disabled, his school, and life.  Here is something that I found very interesting to help validate Trevons theories on labeling people.

Advisory Alert: Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General

Chapter 4 Adults and Mental Health: Schizophrenia

Overview:  Cultural Variation in this section 2nd paragraph it discusses clinicians misinterpretation and misdiagnosis of patients of diverse backgrounds. This is due to the norm of emotional expressions, social behavior, and cognitive style is address by professionals who are truly qualified to do so. See Chapter 2 and Center for Mental Health Services[CMHS], 1997. One finding is that African-American patients are more likely than whites to be diagnosed with severe psychotic disorders in clinical settings (Snowden & Cheung, 1990; Hu et al., 1991; Lawson et al., 1994, Strakowski et al., 1995)

The interpretation of the overdiagnosis of psychotic disorders among African-Americans is reviewed as clinician bias. Find out about other cultures. Go to

Who In The World Is NLD

It is time to go in search of specific characteristics or traits that sets me apart from others.   These characteristics will help identify NLD

>  I can talk it out better than simply doing the task

> My speech and language develop early

>  I learn information by habit or rote memory

>  I use Fancy footwork to express myself eloquently

>  Dancing is out, tying my shoes and typing is difficult, I will not be on a balance beam, or riding a bike due to coordination problems

> My nervous system is compromised which causes me to have severe balance problems

> No cutting the turkey, or cutting any objects for that matter – fine motor skills

> It’s hard to identify faces, to judge people, It is hard to understand others viewpoints,   and I have a problem with the perception of time.

> I can’t read people’s body language (posture, gesture, facial expression, social cues)

> I find it difficult adapting to change and transitioning

> I take abstract concepts literal, hidden residual rules

> I have poor social judgment and trouble interacting with people

There are three areas that include NLD and surround me.

> motoric

> visual-spatial-organizational

> social

Motoric – impairment causing difficulty to typing and writing (computers, iMac, iPods, iTouch, iPad, iPhone).

Thank you to Steve Jobs, Bill Gates of Microsoft and Michael Dell of Dell Computers, Sony and for Mac Scribe;

NLD has difficulty buttoning, fastening,(Thank you, Robert Kiyosaki, for velcro); manipulating small objects, tasks that require dexterity(Thank you for your “As Seen On TV”, Grabber, your One Touch can opener, Slicer Dicer, and Magic Bullet ).

NLD talks their way through a motor task (verbally)(Thank you for Bluetooth);

NLD resist eating with a fork or spoon, (Thank you for food product like Cup of Soup with a spout) laying on the floor, NLD finds it hard to sit in a chair(Thank You for video rocking chairs, ottomans, platform beds, and bean bags) due to coordination it will be difficult to master simple athletic skills,

NLD find their gross motor skills are impaired (running, jumping, climbing)

NLD presses too hard with the pencil.(Thank you for stylus)

Visual-spatial/visual perception-organizational-

For NLD it is difficult to tell who is in charge (difficulty with authority figures) hard to judge how heavy or large an object (doesn’t explore the world around him/her), hard to gather information, can’t envision or no imagination, can’t think creatively or abstractly not sure where his body is in space (space invader)

NLD can’t read maps, graphs or charts (Thank You for Garmin, TomTom, Apple, Verizon, T-Mobile, Net 10, Sprint, Nextel, AT&T, Straight Talk, Cricket for your navigational devices);

NLD  verbally labels everything, difficulty with shapes, sequence, prioritizing, binds through dialogue (use Bluetooth), difficulty with left and right,   and concept formation organizing and planning.

Social-expressive and receptive language –

NLD has difficulty with pragmatic and semantic skills (linguistic and how one express oneself) or linguistic syntax, abstract language (figurative, idioms, multiple meaning) very literal, monotone voice,

NLD has lots of social blunders, cannot decipher posture, facial expression, very black and white, cannot read between the lines,

NLD makes very precise remarks, people think they are jerks,

NLD has cocktail party speech(Captain Jack Sparrow), labeled as a pest or annoying, rude, not courteous

NLD may appear to others as disrespectful, naively trusting (needs trusted adults or grand guardians) rigid in thoughts…

In addition, NLD has difficulty with attention deficits, overstimulating environments, trouble with staying focus, and distractions need to be limited. Multitasking is counterproductive and step by step procedures work best with limited directions.