Did you see the news story last week about the students union that wanted to ban clapping because it might cause distress to sensitive souls like myself. It was the cause of much hilarity on various topical comedy shows. But I thought it was a thoughtful and well-meaning attempt to be a bit more inclusive and maybe a hopeful sign for the future.
I thought it was sad.
Yet another bit of social-engineering telling everyone that one more piece of normal behaviour for thousands of years is now wrong because it might offend 0.00001% - who might not be present and probably wouldn't care if they were.
Just more Frankfurt School.
I don't like continual clapping, the loudness certainly does not gel well with me. But it is a natural thing for people to do, so I certainly would not wish to ban it.
On a personal level, I may not have learned the technique properly as it hurts my hands and I find it very uncomfortable, sometimes giving lasting pain in my wrists. I never really join in with it.
However, when I have given a talk on something (and I am not very comfortable at all speaking to an audience), it is very gratifying when people do show their appreciation with a round of applause. As an aside, I was once at a talk and the mc at the end in his thankyou speech said 'and can we all show our appreciation with a round of clap!'
It is not only autistic people who forget words!
Wasn't Jazz Hands the distress signal in Team America?
Like Trainspotter I don't like continual clapping - I realise that it's a sign of appreciation but after a moment or so start wishing it would stop! I'm not sure about banning it though. If I'm in a situation where a round of applause is likely, I'm usually aware of that in advance - it's rare that I'm taken by surprise by clapping. So it doesn't bother me that much as I can prepare myself. (Also, I find "jazz hands" quite sinister - it would be weird being in a roomful of people doing that, albeit quieter!)
saw that too. although they got a all together different type of hand signal flashed at the TV...
I thought this was an interesting article on the topic:
As for clapping itself, I cope with it fine when done in moderation at appropriate times. What I cannot stand however is people that clap continuously for no apparent reason or those paper clapper things which are incredibly loud and wholly unnecessary in my opinion. Those two become unbearable rather quickly.
Agree that an outright ban might be counterproductive. Finding ways to accommodate everyone should be the goal and maybe asking that jazz hands happens in a designated noisy area or at pre designated times might be better.
Your final comment made me laugh :-) Thanks Trainspotter! Enjoy your day, Anna
As funny as this thread is, on a more serious note it is items such as these can that can lead to genuine needed changes being overlooked or being tossed into the same category as absurd. We live in times where everyone has an opinion and everyone must be heard and although that is great in someways, it can cause a lot of damage in others.
I have recently just had an occupational therapist at work do an assessment of my sensory needs and the report is a little damning if I am honest. I do have the sensory challenges that are stated in my report, but I also think it is a bit much to ask my employer to try and accommodate them all. If anything some may have a detrimental affect on others in the office. I won't go into detail as they are quite personal to me, but I can see the eyebrows being raised now by my employers as they read the report. This could in fact lead my employer to believe I am just too much of a risk to remain an employee as I am potentially a ticking time bomb where I could flip out or shutdown at any moment due to my needs not being met and they could sue them as a result. This in itself could lead to both direct and indirect discrimination when looking to employ someone with a disability in the future.
I am not saying that people's needs should be ignored though - instead we need to ensure that workplaces and public venues are accessible to all and take a wide range of needs into consideration as much as possible. So having a quiet place to work in the office could benefit everyone as well as me. Therefore the benefits are much more widespread and rewarding.
Banning clapping is just ridiculous as this is a human expression of appreciation. Yes it is noisy and can be a bit much, but I would rather wear ear plugs if it bothered me that much rather than reshape how we behave as humans. Little changes can benefit us all and make us more inclusive as a society and I am all for that, but as soon as we start demanding changes that negatively affect others, then it is a slippery slope to a point where people will start to have hard feelings toward those that have certain needs.
Making everything 100% perfect for everyone is unrealistic as we are all individuals, but looking at what can benefit us all is a great place to start, and then those that have additional needs, what can they employ to help them in that environment and not get judged as a result. So for example, not getting stared at because you are wearing ear defenders or stimming. Sometimes, the biggest impact can be from the smallest changes.
Great post, Starbuck; that sums up my feelings about it very well.
I think that it's important to remember, too, that this isn't necessarily a case of Autistic People vs. "The NTs". Needs can clash between people with different disabilities and even between any two autistic people.
For example; my most recent employer made great efforts to be inclusive of a member of staff with severely impaired hearing. Part of this was to instruct other employees to try to face him directly and enunciate clearly, to enable him to lip-read more easily. As an inveterate mumbler who's attention wanders very easily, finds direct face-to-face gaze very uncomfortable, and habitually uses an idiosyncratic choice of rather unusual words, I found this very difficult, and he had noticeably more difficulty communicating with me than with other staff.
At the same time, he needed such high-gain on his hearing aid that it would often feed back, making a piercing squeal which drove my sound sensitivity crazy, but which he was often unable to hear himself due to its high pitch.
Should I have been accommodated at his expense by having him turn his hearing aid down? Could he have complained that I wasn't making sufficient accommodations for him due to my autistic style of face-to-face communication? I don't believe so; but our compassion for each others' difficulties allowed us to find workable compromises which considering either disability in isolation might not have indicated.