Author Topic: Awkward Encounter - Hand Shake Dilemma  (Read 3480 times)

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snowdragon

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Re: Awkward Encounter - Hand Shake Dilemma
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2013, 06:40:30 PM »
It bothers me when we (as a population) have to just accept that, even though a person has developmental issues, that certain behaviors are acceptable. 

 I used to work for a sheltered workshop as staff. The "rights" this agency taught their participants they had was nothing short of delusional. For instance - if they wanted to touch staff, staff HAD to submit, if they stole - it was their "right" to keep what they stole and "abuse" to take it away and give it back to the rightful owner. They even had the "right" never to be spoken to in a harsh tone of voice, even if they were doing something dangerous to self or others.  The agency even believes that they can write up non- employees for "abuse" for such things as not moving out of a seat in a restaurant that the Developmentally Disabled wants or refusing to "share" whatever dodad, the DD person wants. 
  It is, therefor, no surprise to me that people in general society are expect to put up with unwanted touching and worse, because the staff has no real options for teaching ( at least at the agency I worked at). If people living with disabilities are not taught better by the staff that is paid to care for , they really don't have an opportunity to learn otherwise.
  And in my agency, the families were also taught their family member had more "rights" than the rest of us. Some of the stories I could tell....

Gosh I bet that agency had a high turnover, not to mention lawsuits.

  They would not have told us about lawsuits, but we had a 60% turn over in the 2.5 years I was there.

Quote
You mean they would go on an outing and write up strangers at a restraint for not moving? did they give people "tickets"?

 Not tickets, but they fill out these forms, that they tell us go to the state with as much info as they can get..so at a restaurant they would get the name of the place, time,  what happened, a description of the stranger,and if possible the name of the stranger or license plate number and so forth. 
 

stargazer

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Re: Awkward Encounter - Hand Shake Dilemma
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2013, 06:48:21 PM »
It bothers me when we (as a population) have to just accept that, even though a person has developmental issues, that certain behaviors are acceptable. 

 I used to work for a sheltered workshop as staff. The "rights" this agency taught their participants they had was nothing short of delusional. For instance - if they wanted to touch staff, staff HAD to submit, if they stole - it was their "right" to keep what they stole and "abuse" to take it away and give it back to the rightful owner. They even had the "right" never to be spoken to in a harsh tone of voice, even if they were doing something dangerous to self or others.  The agency even believes that they can write up non- employees for "abuse" for such things as not moving out of a seat in a restaurant that the Developmentally Disabled wants or refusing to "share" whatever dodad, the DD person wants. 
  It is, therefor, no surprise to me that people in general society are expect to put up with unwanted touching and worse, because the staff has no real options for teaching ( at least at the agency I worked at). If people living with disabilities are not taught better by the staff that is paid to care for , they really don't have an opportunity to learn otherwise.
  And in my agency, the families were also taught their family member had more "rights" than the rest of us. Some of the stories I could tell....

Gosh I bet that agency had a high turnover, not to mention lawsuits.

  They would not have told us about lawsuits, but we had a 60% turn over in the 2.5 years I was there.

Quote
You mean they would go on an outing and write up strangers at a restraint for not moving? did they give people "tickets"?

 Not tickets, but they fill out these forms, that they tell us go to the state with as much info as they can get..so at a restaurant they would get the name of the place, time,  what happened, a description of the stranger,and if possible the name of the stranger or license plate number and so forth. 
 

What did they think the state was going to do?  The stranger wasn't breaking any laws.  That is also very creepy.

SlitherHiss

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Re: Awkward Encounter - Hand Shake Dilemma
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2013, 06:48:41 PM »
It bothers me when we (as a population) have to just accept that, even though a person has developmental issues, that certain behaviors are acceptable. 

 I used to work for a sheltered workshop as staff. The "rights" this agency taught their participants they had was nothing short of delusional. For instance - if they wanted to touch staff, staff HAD to submit, if they stole - it was their "right" to keep what they stole and "abuse" to take it away and give it back to the rightful owner. They even had the "right" never to be spoken to in a harsh tone of voice, even if they were doing something dangerous to self or others.  The agency even believes that they can write up non- employees for "abuse" for such things as not moving out of a seat in a restaurant that the Developmentally Disabled wants or refusing to "share" whatever dodad, the DD person wants. 
  It is, therefor, no surprise to me that people in general society are expect to put up with unwanted touching and worse, because the staff has no real options for teaching ( at least at the agency I worked at). If people living with disabilities are not taught better by the staff that is paid to care for , they really don't have an opportunity to learn otherwise.
  And in my agency, the families were also taught their family member had more "rights" than the rest of us. Some of the stories I could tell....

Gosh I bet that agency had a high turnover, not to mention lawsuits.

  They would not have told us about lawsuits, but we had a 60% turn over in the 2.5 years I was there.

Quote
You mean they would go on an outing and write up strangers at a restraint for not moving? did they give people "tickets"?

 Not tickets, but they fill out these forms, that they tell us go to the state with as much info as they can get..so at a restaurant they would get the name of the place, time,  what happened, a description of the stranger,and if possible the name of the stranger or license plate number and so forth. 
 

Go to the state for what? I'm sorry, but I have worked with various reporting agencies for years through my work with hospitals, rehab centers, etc., and I've never heard of forms for such a thing. "On August 12th, at 4:16pm, a caucasian male with red hair refused to allow my client to displace him at his table." Such a complaint would be laughed out!

snowdragon

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Re: Awkward Encounter - Hand Shake Dilemma
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2013, 07:05:10 PM »
It bothers me when we (as a population) have to just accept that, even though a person has developmental issues, that certain behaviors are acceptable. 

 I used to work for a sheltered workshop as staff. The "rights" this agency taught their participants they had was nothing short of delusional. For instance - if they wanted to touch staff, staff HAD to submit, if they stole - it was their "right" to keep what they stole and "abuse" to take it away and give it back to the rightful owner. They even had the "right" never to be spoken to in a harsh tone of voice, even if they were doing something dangerous to self or others.  The agency even believes that they can write up non- employees for "abuse" for such things as not moving out of a seat in a restaurant that the Developmentally Disabled wants or refusing to "share" whatever dodad, the DD person wants. 
  It is, therefor, no surprise to me that people in general society are expect to put up with unwanted touching and worse, because the staff has no real options for teaching ( at least at the agency I worked at). If people living with disabilities are not taught better by the staff that is paid to care for , they really don't have an opportunity to learn otherwise.
  And in my agency, the families were also taught their family member had more "rights" than the rest of us. Some of the stories I could tell....

Gosh I bet that agency had a high turnover, not to mention lawsuits.

  They would not have told us about lawsuits, but we had a 60% turn over in the 2.5 years I was there.

Quote
You mean they would go on an outing and write up strangers at a restraint for not moving? did they give people "tickets"?

 Not tickets, but they fill out these forms, that they tell us go to the state with as much info as they can get..so at a restaurant they would get the name of the place, time,  what happened, a description of the stranger,and if possible the name of the stranger or license plate number and so forth. 
 

Go to the state for what? I'm sorry, but I have worked with various reporting agencies for years through my work with hospitals, rehab centers, etc., and I've never heard of forms for such a thing. "On August 12th, at 4:16pm, a caucasian male with red hair refused to allow my client to displace him at his table." Such a complaint would be laughed out!

  Like I said, this is what we were told by the higher ups.  The files we kept and had to turn over to the state were incredible....and a lot of it very intrusive - things I would not tell my own mother were routinely recorded and turned over to the Medicaid oversight folks and to the agency that over sees care of the those in nursing/group homes as the agency ran both along with the workshop.  I can only report what I was told, if you have not run across it - be glad.

Micah

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Re: Awkward Encounter - Hand Shake Dilemma
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2013, 07:13:34 PM »
I acknowledge that non neurotypical and developmentally delayed people need to be taught the basics of societal norms, please and thank you, no inappropriate touching, etc. At the same time, expecting them to fit into a rigid 'box' of 'normal' is not practical or fair.

I've volunteered for a therapeutic riding centre for over five years. In that time I've met some amazing people. Some of the most touching moments have come from some fairly out of the 'norm' situations. One of our kids is severely autistic. He's fairly non verbal, very sensitive to sounds and sensations and doesn't like to be touched (which can make getting him on a horse problematic!). I worked with this kid one on one for years, never once getting an indication that he even knew I existed. Then one day, after a riding session, I was standing talking to someone and he just came up and gave me a hug. I froze. Not because I was 'creeped out' or thinking, "how inappropriate!". I didn't want to scare him off. This kid barely acknowledged his own parents. He'd never said my name. Teaching him to ride was incredibly frustrating, but something I'd done had sunk enough for him to touch me and acknowledge my presence completely of his own accord.

He stood there hugging me for nearly five minutes before he wandered off again, completely in his own little world. I had to go around the corner, because I was in tears. If I'd pulled away, or told him off for interrupting a conversation, I would have missed one of the most magical moments of my life. He never did it again.
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rigs32

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Re: Awkward Encounter - Hand Shake Dilemma
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2013, 08:59:55 PM »
I acknowledge that non neurotypical and developmentally delayed people need to be taught the basics of societal norms, please and thank you, no inappropriate touching, etc. At the same time, expecting them to fit into a rigid 'box' of 'normal' is not practical or fair.

I've volunteered for a therapeutic riding centre for over five years. In that time I've met some amazing people. Some of the most touching moments have come from some fairly out of the 'norm' situations. One of our kids is severely autistic. He's fairly non verbal, very sensitive to sounds and sensations and doesn't like to be touched (which can make getting him on a horse problematic!). I worked with this kid one on one for years, never once getting an indication that he even knew I existed. Then one day, after a riding session, I was standing talking to someone and he just came up and gave me a hug. I froze. Not because I was 'creeped out' or thinking, "how inappropriate!". I didn't want to scare him off. This kid barely acknowledged his own parents. He'd never said my name. Teaching him to ride was incredibly frustrating, but something I'd done had sunk enough for him to touch me and acknowledge my presence completely of his own accord.

He stood there hugging me for nearly five minutes before he wandered off again, completely in his own little world. I had to go around the corner, because I was in tears. If I'd pulled away, or told him off for interrupting a conversation, I would have missed one of the most magical moments of my life. He never did it again.

But you knew this person.  You chose to interact with them.  That is worlds away from the OP's situation.

Minmom3

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Re: Awkward Encounter - Hand Shake Dilemma
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2013, 10:21:23 PM »
I work in an animal hospital inside a nationwide pet store.  Our store has both pet hotel and grooming and doggie day care, and a cat adoption corner.  The  (late teens, early 20's) son of one of the cat volunteers is mentally handicapped in some way - I'm going to guess and say some degree of autism.  When his mom comes and works in the cat room, he comes and bugs our front desk.  By bugs, I mean he hangs out when they try and make the morning phone calls, he tries to talk to customers at our counter and our counter people and he won't go away when we're busy.  He's not harmful in any way, but he is a pest, and Mom ignores this.

I found all this out after the fact, when I walked out our front door to go use the toilet on the other side of the store, and he jumped up from his seat on our bench and tried to shake my hand and got thisclose to me.  I don't react terribly well to being startled like that (I've gotten molested more than once by just that exact tactic - not that I think HE was attempting that) and I held both hands out in the palm vertical position of 'stop" and told him "not now, I have to go to the bathroom!"  Not one of my smoother moments, but it did do the trick, and on my way back I asked what the heck was up.  And got an earful.
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camlan

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Re: Awkward Encounter - Hand Shake Dilemma
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2013, 12:08:41 AM »

And when some kid with martial arts skills breaks his nose because he refuses to back away, somehow the school's administration is going to blame it on the kid who was defending herself...

Seriously, this.

If some person I don't know grabs me, and I consider *any* grabbing inappropriate, I'm not going to pause and figure out if that person is developmentally delayed or otherwise non-neurotypical.

I'm going to react. And since most grabbing is not a friendly act, and since I've had more than a little martial arts training, my reaction is probably going to hurt the other guy. At work several years ago, someone snuck up behind me while I was intent on something else, and grabbed me. Without thinking, I stomped on his foot, elbowed him in the gut and was turning around to smash his face with my elbow, when I realized it was just a co-worker attempting to sexually harass me.

While I firmly believe that people who have disabilities should be educated to the extent their disability allows, and that they should be helped to have as normal a life as possible, if you are the guardian of a person with a disability, you either teach them basic manners, or you don't let them out alone. They could hurt someone unintentionally, or startle someone enough that they accidentally hurt themselves, or they could be hurt by someone simply reacting to an unwanted, unexpected, unwelcome touch. Yes, they have rights. Those rights stop where my body begins. 
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daen

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Re: Awkward Encounter - Hand Shake Dilemma
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2013, 06:03:17 PM »

And when some kid with martial arts skills breaks his nose because he refuses to back away, somehow the school's administration is going to blame it on the kid who was defending herself...

Seriously, this.

If some person I don't know grabs me, and I consider *any* grabbing inappropriate, I'm not going to pause and figure out if that person is developmentally delayed or otherwise non-neurotypical.

I'm going to react. And since most grabbing is not a friendly act, and since I've had more than a little martial arts training, my reaction is probably going to hurt the other guy. At work several years ago, someone snuck up behind me while I was intent on something else, and grabbed me. Without thinking, I stomped on his foot, elbowed him in the gut and was turning around to smash his face with my elbow, when I realized it was just a co-worker attempting to sexually harass me.

While I firmly believe that people who have disabilities should be educated to the extent their disability allows, and that they should be helped to have as normal a life as possible, if you are the guardian of a person with a disability, you either teach them basic manners, or you don't let them out alone. They could hurt someone unintentionally, or startle someone enough that they accidentally hurt themselves, or they could be hurt by someone simply reacting to an unwanted, unexpected, unwelcome touch. Yes, they have rights. Those rights stop where my body begins. 

"Just a co-worker attempting to sexually harass me."   :o

Some days I want to abandon half of humanity on a deserted planet and tell 'em all to evolve into a more responsible life-form. (Thank you, Douglas Adams.)

Hmmmmm

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Re: Awkward Encounter - Hand Shake Dilemma
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2013, 06:43:34 PM »
What surprises me most about the OPs encounter is that the friend didnt intervene when she realized her friend was being made uncomfortable by someone she is sort of acquainted with. If the friend, I would have intervened with a "Hi John, remember me? I'm Jen. Are you having fun tonight? Good. Well, we will see you later."

Giraffe, Esq

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Re: Awkward Encounter - Hand Shake Dilemma
« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2013, 10:36:37 PM »
Thanks, everyone.  I'm reassured to hear that you don't think I was totally out of line in my response.   :D

Just to clarify -- a couple people mentioned stepping backwards so he wasn't in my personal space.  Unfortunately, the way things were set up and how close we were to the wall already, there was nowhere to step back.  But I will keep that in mind for the future.

Also, re:
I'm picturing your personal bubble to be a little bigger then normal because you were conversing, that he was within normal handshake distance.  IF he was closer I would have moved until he was at normal handshake distance.

I don't think my personal bubble is all that much larger than normal -- I live in a BigCity and am crowded into public transportation all the time with no problems.  And I'm a pretty touchy-feely person with my friends most of the time -- the difference being, of course, that they're my friends.  Also, he was not in normal handshake distance but much closer -- picture the hand held out for a handshake with the elbow bent and held right next to the side of the torso.  Plus leaning in with the upper body.

About other people's disabilities and my personal space: Maybe I'm just more lenient because I work with young kids, who invade my space all the time. I don't mind a "spectrum" kid touching me - I've had them (we are talking 5 year olds) run their hands down my front, including right over my breasts. It's a kid. Doesn't bother me.

I've worked with kids before in multiple contexts, including teaching tiny ones ballet for years.  They cross all sorts of physical boundaries and invade my space and it doesn't bother me -- but I think that's largely in part because (a) they're kids and (b) I have a relationship with them.  Even in the very first class, when I just meet them, we have a relationship from the get-go.

I went to a local dance club one night.  During lessons, we're expected to change partners around the circle.  When I got to one particular young man, he, first, insisted on talking non-stop during the lesson so I had to shush him and tell him that the instructor was teaching and we needed to pay attention, and second, he grabbed me several times in a very inappropriate place. 

That's interesting because Jen's convention was a partner dancing one -- they have competition, showcases, and lessons throughout the weekend.  Which might also be why everyone was so tolerant of John's ideosyncracies, because dancers often have no concept of personal space after getting super close to each other all the time when dancing?  (Even in ballet, I've had teachers get up close and personal when making corrections.)

While I firmly believe that people who have disabilities should be educated to the extent their disability allows, and that they should be helped to have as normal a life as possible, if you are the guardian of a person with a disability, you either teach them basic manners, or you don't let them out alone.

I totally agree with this, but unfortunately, not everyone does which is how we run into situations such as the one with John in the first place.

What surprises me most about the OPs encounter is that the friend didnt intervene when she realized her friend was being made uncomfortable by someone she is sort of acquainted with. If the friend, I would have intervened with a "Hi John, remember me? I'm Jen. Are you having fun tonight? Good. Well, we will see you later."

To be fair to Jen, I think that she was just as uncomfortable as I was -- both in that particular instance and with John's forwardness throughout the convention.  She had no more idea of how to deal with it politely and effectively than I did.  I've also been reading e-hell and developing my shine spine a lot longer than she has.  :D

Anyway, thanks again!  I feel much more confident about handling this kind of awkwardness in the future.  (Of course, next I'll run into something totally different and freeze... ;))

shhh its me

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Re: Awkward Encounter - Hand Shake Dilemma
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2013, 10:45:42 PM »
Thanks, everyone.  I'm reassured to hear that you don't think I was totally out of line in my response.   :D

Just to clarify -- a couple people mentioned stepping backwards so he wasn't in my personal space.  Unfortunately, the way things were set up and how close we were to the wall already, there was nowhere to step back.  But I will keep that in mind for the future.

Also, re:
I'm picturing your personal bubble to be a little bigger then normal because you were conversing, that he was within normal handshake distance.  IF he was closer I would have moved until he was at normal handshake distance.

I don't think my personal bubble is all that much larger than normal -- I live in a BigCity and am crowded into public transportation all the time with no problems.  And I'm a pretty touchy-feely person with my friends most of the time -- the difference being, of course, that they're my friends.  Also, he was not in normal handshake distance but much closer -- picture the hand held out for a handshake with the elbow bent and held right next to the side of the torso.  Plus leaning in with the upper body.


I said that badly (thank you for clarifying anyway though)  I was thinking conversation bubble is it  just a bigger bubble for everyone since the total space between you becomes the bubble.

I'm not sure this would have worked but could you have guided him to turn and back up during the handshake?