Quickies: Invisible Disabilities, Exploring the Gut Microbiome, and the Cost of College

  • People With ‘Invisible Disabilities’ Fight For Understanding – “Some disabilities are more obvious than others. Many are immediately apparent, especially if someone relies on a wheelchair or cane. But others — known as “invisible” disabilities — are not. People who live with them face particular challenges in the workplace and in their communities.”
  • Planet Fitness cancels woman’s membership after her complaints of transgender woman in locker room – “After taking her complaints to Planet Fitness’ corporate office, Cormier said she was told that the gym was a ‘no judgement zone’ and they would not tell the individual in question to stay out of the women’s locker room. The person has not been identified.” Oh snap, looks like she just got told. From Courtney.
  • ?Beyond Probiotics: Can You “Hack” Your Microbiome? – “To sort through what’s real and what’s hype, I spoke to microbiology researcher Jonathan Eisen, who believes that microbes are key to human health, but isn’t afraid to call out the hucksters and overeager reporters with ‘Overselling the Microbiome’ awards.”
  • Education May Be Priceless, But A College Degree Isn’t – “Leighton and Taylor both have full scholarships. Ariel is paying for her education exclusively through loans, and she says it’s ‘very disheartening to watch the debt just accumulate …. it’s like you’re slowly walking yourself into prison.’ Kevin is paying for his schooling through a combination of scholarships, grants and loans.”
  • They Don’t Want an Autism Cure – “Neurodiversity advocates argue that people with autism shouldn’t be forced to fit into society, but that society should change to include and accept them.”
  • A ‘Black Tax’ At Charlotte’s Ritz-Carlton? – “A Charlotte news station reported on Monday that the Ritz-Carlton, one of prosperous uptown Charlotte’s swankiest hotels, added what looks suspiciously like a black tax to the lobby bar tabs of patrons in town last week for the CIAA, the popular mega-tournament for basketball teams at historically black colleges and universities from Pennsylvania to North Carolina.”

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Mary Brock works as an Immunology scientist by day and takes care of a pink-loving princess child by night. She likes cloudy days, crafting, cooking, and Fall weather in New England.

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  1. “She continued, “If I can’t talk, does it make sense to look for a pill for that, or should my speech therapist help me learn how to type or sign instead? Is flapping my hands or intensely and obsessively loving something ‘weird’ or wanting to be by myself the psychological equivalent of diabetes, or is it a natural and beautiful part of human diversity?””

    I think there’s a rather broad gap between shaming people and wanting to help people seek treatment if they desire it.
    I will guarantee there’s people out there who can’t speak but want to, who flap their hands intensely and want to stop, who intensely and obsessively love something and want to stop. Not just because they find it “weird”, but because it disrupts them.
    And if someone wants to keep those traits? Well, sure, more power to them – society shouldn’t shame them. The people who lose their jobs because of autism are a horrific tragedy – I’ve seen first-hand how judgemental bullshit can destroy people’s lives in a job setting, for no better reason than the boss was an ass who thought nothing of dashing a person’s livelihood if he didn’t like them.

    I worry stuff like this conflates the issue, and, worse, may shame people who DO want to seek treatment. What about people like my little brother, who has a light form of autism and wants to be treated? I assume that if a “cure” does manifest no one here will object if he embraces it? You can talk about how society conditioned him to dislike his status, perhaps, but he’s an adult with his own choices to make.

    Also, referring to a serious illness like diabetes like it’s just some quirk is mildly offensive. I know people whose lives have been destroyed by aggressive cases of diabetes – comparing it to something like hand-flapping is a little insensitive.

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