New to living with a disability? A guide

In the 3 years since I “became” disabled – (this is not as definitive an event as one might think given that I’ve been pushing through fatigue, injury and autonomic dysfunction since forever), since I started being unable to stand and walk without pain – I have often thought “if only there were a walk-through of advice on adapting to this existence that bears little resemblance to my “previous life”.

The reason for this absense of information is almost certainly that every person’s experiences of becoming disabled/unwell is different and will depend on factors as far ranging as geographical location, source of income and existing familial situation all the way through to specific symptoms, the training of the healthcare practitioners encountered and their biases (conscious, or unconscious). All of these things and many more will impact on an individual’s journey.

Of course, there are commonalities too. Humans often follow similar patterns when grieving a loss, or when socially isolated or hurt…

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Corn Chowder

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This simple, warming chowder is just what you need when the autumnal feels start creeping in. Birdseye chillies, cayenne and black pepper all give it a kick. It has a creamy, salty flavour from the stock, nutritional yeast and salt. The seasonal, root vegetables have plenty of time to absorb the flavours of the seasoning.

It’s also great on a budget and is freezable. It works great alongside cornbread or crusty tiger bread…

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Advieh Lettuce Bowls

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This is a relatively simple, iranian-inspired vegan dish I have adapted for disability-friendly cooking. The rose petals add fragrant flavour and the Advieh works exceptionally well with aubergine because it absorbs so beautifully. 

The attention to detail, the slow steaming of rice to infuse with the sweet, delicate spices really come through and the sour flavours all make Iranian cuisine special. Ingredients I can’t get enough of, such as pistachios, pomegranate, oranges and mint are native to Iran and the country has a long agricultural history.

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A late diagnosis of Asperger’s – Laurie’s Story

Autism is a neurological condition affecting a person’s ability to relate to wider society. People with Asperger syndrome are of average or above average intelligence. They do not usually have the learning disabilities that many autistic people have, but they may have specific learning difficulties. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.

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