Saturday Report: Not All Disabilities Are Visible to the Naked Human Eye

Seeing the Hidden Disability
Not All Disabilities Are Visible to the Naked Human Eye

Have you seen that advert on TV lately? The one with Author and TV Personality Katie Piper on ITV? In it, she and three other celebrities; The Chase star Paul Sinha, Loose Woman Kelle Bryan, and Real Housewives of Cheshire star Tanya Bardsley talk about themselves.

 They discuss their bad (and somewhat embarrassing) habits, their life choice aspirations, and so on and so forth. However, what they also revealed was that they all suffer from various disabilities such as ADHD, Lupus, Parkinson’s, and as we all know Katie is blind in one eye. Apart from that did you happen to notice the conditions with the other three?

Oh, you didn’t! Don’t worry then but please continue reading. But if you did then you might have a very good idea as to what it is I am talking about.

Well, you wouldn’t have because first and foremost their issues are not visible to the naked eye, and as someone who also lives with a similar sort of predicament I know and understand all too well what that’s like.

If you have read any of my columns in other issues you will have learnt about me talking openly about my condition. I live with a disability know as Asperger Syndrome, also known as A.S which is also a mild form of Autism.

Now me whilst growing up, a lot of people thought that I was a naughty child that did not know how to behave, communicate with anyone or pay very much attention. However, something that was picked up on was that I had various interests, which to some people seem to be viewed more like obsessions. It wasn’t until around my pre-teens/early teens that I was finally diagnosed. Now had it have been something like Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, or Epilepsy then pretty much straight away both my family and professionals would have seen and understood what my condition was.

Ironically, I have also known people who are either deaf or have some form of hearing problem. This was another disability that wasn’t mentioned in the advert. But then again when you’re making a TV advert that’s about a minute to a minute and a half long, and where the people involved also talk about themselves. Though at the end of the day I suppose you cannot cover every problem under the sun.

And as with Katie Piper, it is something that cannot be seen by the naked human eye as there are no visible characteristics. Only behavioural characteristics can range from specific routines, behavioural-type rituals, tasks, hobbies and chores etc but all performed in a certain way, at a certain time and in a certain drift. Even speech issues such as verbal communication impediments such as stuttering, fast and stammering are linked to it as well.

Autism is often referred to as The Invisible Disability, mainly as there is no physical attributed meaning that there are certain behavioral aspects that you would need to look out for. Basically, unless you knew what it was that you were specifically looking for you wouldn’t know that someone had Autism just by looking at them.

Going back to the advert though, the main message was that not all disabilities are visibilities in that their main characteristics do not physically present themselves.

LUPUS is a condition that affects you internally in that it affects your immune system. ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as it is also known, affects the persons’ behavior as well as their ability to pay attention. Parkinson’s is a condition that can have an effect on an individual’s own mobility in that their movements can be wobbly. And we all know what blindness is, how it can affect you as well as the many types of blindness that there are.

Now for many of these, there are no physical traits that are immediately visible to our eyes whenever we look at them, hence why not all health conditions and disabilities can be seen with our eyes. As someone has been living with one all their lives this is something I can understand all too well.