Have you ever devoted any thought to the origins of disabilities? No, you haven’t, and neither have I.
That’s why I am writing this important article without having done any research whatsoever,” says Attorney-humorist Aimee Gilman.
You want research, you have to pay for it. For free, I make it up as I go along. Even so, understanding history is critical not only to our future, but to our children’s future.
Don’t ask me why. I’m still working on that.
Aimee warns us…”If you are among those humor- challenged individuals who believe there is absolutely nothing funny about disabilities, then I urge you to stop now and go back to biting your nails down to your elbows.”
We enjoy Aimee’s perspective and think you will too.
We’ve copied excerpts from her “non-researched” article on the origins of disabilities in this blog post. You’ll find the entire article in the Humor section of Aimee’s website or on The Lighter Side at Wrightslaw.
Disabilities Through History
The ancient Greeks clearly suffered from some sort of sensory integration disorder, since they were unable to tolerate the feeling of any clothing on their bodies during exercise.
As a result, sporting events such as the Olympics were conducted entirely in the nude. This drew great crowds of spectators, as you might imagine.
Hence the current popularity of the Olympics, still largely conducted without clothing. (See beach volleyball image)
Probably the most famous disabled person in history is Albert Einstein.
At various times, he has been credited with having the following disabilities: autism, learning disability, cognitive disability, speech-language impairment, color blindness, musically challenged, and lousy bowler.
Despite these deficits, Einstein became the greatest scientific mind of our time. But his biggest handicap was the only one nobody talks about – the one experienced by his hair stylist, who was clearly blind.
In prehistoric times, there were no disabilities because there were, as yet, no related service providers.
The first evidence we have of the existence of disabilities come to us from ancient Egypt. While the Egyptians had the most advanced civilization of their time, we know that they suffered from serious pragmatic language deficits as evidenced in their pedantic, and somewhat hokey, language usage, as in the following exchange:
Queen: Ramses, let’s have Chinese tonight.
Ramses (who looks a lot like Yul Brynner): Yes my sweet. I am Pharoah. So let it be written, so let it be done. (Pounds fist on naked, sculpted chest.)
Queen: Honey, have you seen the speech therapist this week?
Ramses: No my queen. It is my will that the priests shall summon him.
Queen: Yeah. He needs to come here more often.
Unfortunately, most of the speech therapy needed to address this problem was not covered by insurance, and ultimately their empire went bankrupt.
Humor articles from Aimee Gilman at http://www.aimeegilman.com/articles.html
Read more on The Lighter Side of Special Education at http://www.fetaweb.com/humor.htm
“But his biggest handicap was the only one nobody talks about – the one experienced by his hair stylist, who was clearly blind” This had me in stitches. Thanks for posting, Aimee! It’s nice to see a twist on disabilities. Happy New Year!
This is terrific – perfect way to start the day – thanks, Aimee (and Wrightslaw)!