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Old 03-02-2019, 03:18 PM   #1
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Confused Is it unreasonable to use someone else's diagnosis for financial gain?

Hi all!

Sorry to bother you guys but I can't seem to understand the conveniences versus the negative impacts behind such initiatives and quite frankly I am appalled that members of my family (let alone anyone) would even lay a thought on using my diagnosis for their benefit.

To give you a detailed description of the situation, my mum was talking to my Aunty (in-law) over the phone. My Aunty informed my mum that there is a particular service available for people with disabilities where a carer/companion can help out within the house as well as doing shopping (and probably other activities) with the client. I wasn't given much of a description as to what the service involves as my sister only just informed me and she said "it's hard to describe". My sister happened to be present throughout the phone call, hence she got to voice her opinion on the idea.

My sister told my Aunty, "I don't think Ruby will like it", to which she responded "Stuff Ruby. This is for your mum". After the phone call, my mum and sister had a talk about it and my mum concluded that it wouldn't be fair on me. Recently, as my mum and I were arguing about Centrelink and finances she told me that my Aunty informed her of some package that would help her out financially but she didn't go into detail about it and I wasn't sure if I wanted to know (I wish I didn't know now). She said "This could have really helped me out, but I didn't go through with it because I didn't want you thinking I was betraying your trust". She seemed rather bitter about it, as she would have been paid for me to have this carer/companion.

Now, I am very thankful that my mum didn't take this opportunity despite the fact that she would benefit from it. I am also grateful that my sister understands my distraught for the idea and stood up for me.

I think my major areas of concern are;
- the idea of using a label (that is very often stigmatised, misunderstood and underestimated) for ones' financial gain regardless of the impact towards the person in question
- the belief that an individual with high functioning autism is incompetent or does not possess the right to be independent, competent and free of making their own decisions
- the assumption that an individual with high functioning autism doesn't hold strong opinions/feelings against being infantilised and will at least be fine with such arrangements being made without their consent
- the fact that my family know (or should know) that I am very competent and
- A young adult should be be developing more independence (which I am doing) and my mental health seems to be increasing, hence the idea of going the opposite direction has no logic at all, from my perspective
- My mum is totally aware of the fact that I want as much independence as one can have, living with their parents (I plan to avoid renting a property as I feel it will be more expensive in the long run and I may not cope financially, hence my goal is to grow a deposit in order to purchase a property, eventually)

Just thought some background information might help you guys form an opinion!

My mum is in her fifties and is a single parent and my sister and I are both adults. She works 22 hrs a week as a Preschool Assistant and she has chosen to have Wednesdays off as she needs the break. She often smokes throughout the day and evening, which is highly expensive but she claims that she is depressed, and that smoking is her only option until she sorts out her mental health. She has very often complained about her financial situation and how hard parenting is without support in general since her and my dad split up when we were 9 & 7 years old.

As much as my mum validates my intelligence and independence, I feel that she always doubts me and talks me into taking the easy route, rather than the option that is consistent with my abilities and values. I very often won't accept help from my mum as I highly value my independence, the idea that she may think I'm incompetent hurts and I don't want to be a burden on her by giving her more workload. As it turns out, me wanting to be independent is also burden on her as she wants to be my parent and she is saddened by the fact that neither of us need her or go to her for advice. She feels that I don't want her to be involved in my life and is very hurt and depressed by this. I have since been trying to improve our relationship and talk to her more and it's going okay.

My mum believes that I go to such drastic lengths to be independent (eg. not accepting lifts, purchasing my own groceries ect.) and that I need to let people help sometimes. I on the other hand believe that assistance, for the most part needs to be consented to and that I have no obligation to accept help if I don't want it/ don't feel that it is within my best interest. Assistance is a last resort for me (not just for the sake of an easier lifestyle/situation) and I feel that people should be encouraged to or at least have the right to spread their wings and fly.

I will struggle/suffer if I have to for my independence, but that is something else I'm trying to work on. Throughout school I had assistants who specifically worked with me and I found that very challenging to deal with (the aide would sit next to me in the classroom and tell me what to do much of the time). I feel that it was unnecessary for the most part as I was able to get high grades (just with extra time for tests and exams) in high school but I do admit that the very early stages of schooling would have been difficult without one as I hadn't developed the foundations and behavioural skills. I have been informed that public schools consistently get paid by the government every time a child with a diagnosis gets funded for an aide and that staff often make out that the student is less capable than they actually are in order to give the child as many hours with an aide as possible. That, to me is very deceiving to the child.

Despite the fact that this isn't happening, the knowledge that my family were considering it and that my Aunty didn't care about my feelings was enough to make me cry (which I don't do often). I also feel threatened and extremely hurt in instances where I feel people may see me as stupid or incompetent. I am consistently trying to prove people that I am as competent as others my age despite my diagnosis but when I feel that my levels of competency/intelligence are being dismissed, it's like an arrow has been shot into my heart (at the worst). I start having negative thoughts about me being infantilised in primary school (which I am generally at peace with now, except for these setbacks)


I'm sure all of you have differing opinions, but I feel that the idea of me having a carer for my mum's financial gain is too extreme, and should not even be a consideration. I don't get why my mum and Aunty didn't care more about how this could benefit or hinder me, but instead they were focusing on the financial gain. Money can be gained/preserved in more reasonable ways that aren't traumatic and that don't diminish my self-worth and values.

So, do you guys have any idea as to how I can make it up to mum and how we can come up with a reasonable compromise?
Should I just pay more board whether she wants me to or not in order to better the situation?
I'm sure nothing can be nearly as bad as being infantilised again!

Thank you guys so much
Sorry it's so long!
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Old 03-23-2019, 03:17 PM   #2
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Smile Re: Is it unreasonable to use someone else's diagnosis for financial gain?

Hello Baby_Gurl: I believe this was the second of your 2 posts here on PC. I'm sorry you are only now receiving your first reply to it. I don't know if you're still with us. But, if so, please forgive us. We're generally better than this.

Unfortunately I don't know as I have much of anything in the way of advice to offer you with regard to the situation you describe. (Perhaps, at this point, the situation has been resolved anyway?) I certainly agree that any assistance you might receive should be based on what you believe you might need or want in order to progress in life, not on what might be of financial benefit to someone else.

You asked about paying more board whether your mom wants you to or not. Personally I think how much you pay should simply be based on what you can afford & how much additional cost in incurred as a result of you living with your mom. Here's a link to an article, from Psych Central's archives, on the subject of compromise. Perhaps something in it can be of some help:

A People-Pleaser's Guide to Compromise | Happily Imperfect

My best wishes to you.
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Is it unreasonable to use someone else's diagnosis for financial gain?

Would any of those services really help your mom out though? Like are fiances tight to where the benefits would help her? Or do you think its entirely a fake thing and that she was just trying to get something she was not entitled to?
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Old 03-24-2019, 11:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: Is it unreasonable to use someone else's diagnosis for financial gain?

I'm so sorry you're hurting so much, Baby_Gurl I'm so sorry for my late reply. I hope you're doing ok at the moment and that you'll come back and read this thread if you want. I completely understand what you mean. It must be very hard to deal with all of this. I agree that it was pretty inconsiderate of your Aunt to talk like that and to refer to you like that. You are an adult and you have every right to be indipendent and to have your voice heard and listened, especially since it is somethign that you're involved with directly! I'd suggest to talk to your mom, and perhaps the rest of your family as well, about this and see how it goes from there, if you haven't already. Maybe that could help. Make them understand that you want to be treated like a person above everything else and that you want your opinion and your voice to be heard from everyone else. Hopefully they'll listen to you and understand you. I agree with what all the others have already wisely said better than I ever could. You've been given some great advice on this thread. I'd suggest to follow it if you can. You don't have any obligation to pay her. I do believe it's important to talk to her if there are any economic struggles she's going through. Perhaps there IS some other way you can help her if she's going through something or if she's struggling with money! Most importantly, like you've already wrote, there are certainly many other ways to make some money that don't involve bringing yourself and your self-esteem down. That's the most important thing in the world. It's your own well-being we're talking about, after all! Always remember that you need to take care of yourself as well, not just the others! You're the most important person that you need to take care of. Of course the others and the people you love are very important as well, there's no doubt about that, and sometimes we have to make some sacrifices for the others and the people we love, but you are VERY important as well and things shouldn't come at the expense of your own well-being! Helping out other people is admirable and wonderful, and everyone should try to do it, but we don't have to neglect ourselves when we're doing it! Please try to be kind to yourself as much as you can, although I'm sure you're already doing it. After all, we can't fully take care of others if we're not taking care of ourselves first as well. I'm sure you'll be able to get through all of this. Just try to talk things through with them and see how it goes from there. I'm sure they'll listen to what you have to say and understand you. Remember that we're here for you if you need it. Feel free to PM me anytime. Let me know if I can do something to help you. Wish you good luck! Let us know how it goes. I'm sos orry you have to deal with all of this, Baby_Gurl. You're a strong, wonderful person. You don't deserve to suffer at all. Please don't give up. Try to hang on. You're awesome! You're strong! You're a warrior! I believe in you! We all believe in you! We're all rooting for you! Please don't give up! Try to hang on! You're a strong, wonderful person! Keep fighting! You're a warrior! I'm so sorry you're going through all of this! Please don't give up! Try to hang on!
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Old 04-01-2019, 02:54 PM   #5
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