Everyday I realize how much Latism 2016 really helped me. In my Latism vlog I mentioned someone named JP. JP and his mom Jessica are actually two people I had the pleasure of getting to know during the conference. JP Dominguez is an overall amazing person and has kind of became a role model for me, his work ethic is impeccable. But this post isn’t about him, instead it’s about his younger brother Josh. When I first met JP (from the first few minutes of meeting him) he couldn’t stop telling me about his brother. I knew right away Josh was JP’s hero and inspiration. Josh has something called central auditory processing disorder. “It deals with the way I hear and how I speak. The muscle that connects my hearing isn’t as strong as others.” Josh told me.
Below there is a chart that gives a visual representation of how information is processed for a person with central auditory processing disorder:
This makes it difficult to process information. Boys are actually diagnosed more often than girls and sometimes children are mistakenly diagnosed with ADHD and ADD. After JP told me so much about his brother I definitely wanted to meet him. If you’re disabled I’m sure most of you can understand the feeling of not having someone to relate to, talk to, or just have as a friend. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog I wanted to start a conversation about being disabled with the hope that others would join in and we would build a community that changed lives. When I learned about Josh I really wanted to meet him. Josh is also an ASL interpreter, how amazing is that? Some of you may know that my best friend Holly over at Staring in the Stars is also one, so I have a personal connection
So when I did finally met him towards the end of the conference I can reassure you all that I was completely myself. Awkward, shy, and anxious. This means I didn’t talk much and didn’t even ask any of the questions I planned on asking him, one of the questions being about this Q&A. Since Latism ended I’ve been figuring out a way to ask JP if Josh would be interested. My anxiety gets the best of me and I make simple things like this more difficult than needed. I finally just found Josh myself and asked, he was definitely interested and now I get to share his story with you all which is a very inspiring one.
1. How old are you?
2. Do you remember your early childhood? What experiences do you remember the most?
I barely remember all of it. What I do remember is that I had to go to a lot of speech therapy because of my disability, which is central auditory processing disorder. Which deal with my hearing and speaking.
3. Did you ever feel different from the other children?
At times yes because I was always pulled out for assessments and speech therapy.
4.How did you explain to your peers about your disability?
At this point of my life I explain that at times it’s difficult for me to hear someone speak if it’s too low or if they have their back towards me.
5. In what ways did your family support you?
They helped me with any homework that I needed help with in school and in speech therapy. They never let me to allow my disability to stop me from doing anything
6. What did you find the hardest to deal with growing up?
As a child not having a close friend.
7. How was it going through high school with a disability?
I went to a high school where they specialized with children who have a disability physically or with learning. So I didn’t have a different experience it was a safe environment where everyone could learn. We also had sports just like another school did.
8.In what ways do you currently support the disabled community?
(Even though they don’t make connections with the disable community) I do interpret for Deaf people.
9. Do you have personal and career goals for yourself, if so what are they?
Yes, personal goals are to keep playing basketball until I get old and to keep learning as much as possible. Career goals are to never stop growing as an interpreter.
10. A fun fact about yourself?
Even though I’m 26 I still love to long board. ( clarification not surfboard but the longer version of a skateboard)
It’s important for me to remember what I created this blog for. It was to start a conversation about something society wants to ignore: the disabled. Deep down I still feel like that is why I blog.
This blog is a safe place for everyone. That is exactly why I share my experiences. Maybe that’s me telling you all about my experience of being emotionally abused by an ex or how I deal with my anxiety and depression. However, I can’t only share my stories. I have to put the heroic stories of others.
Josh’s story is only the beginning, I plan on doing this more often.
I hope you enjoyed learning about Josh and I hope you enjoy reading this blog.
I love you all, have a great holiday season this year.