PRESENTATIE DOE NORMAAL

Uitgesproken bij de presentatie van het boek Doe Normaal, Dagboek van een Dino, 18 oktober in Amsterdam
Dear friends.
Nice of you to come to the launching of my book. I am so glad to be here. This is a very special day for me.
For years I have looked upon everything in silence and I felt very frightened. I was afraid because I did not felt known. i felt afraid because I did not control my life and many considered me as incapable of thinking. That is very frightening because in the Netherlands that leads inevitably to a life in institutions or early death.
I was angry with people who did not understand me. I was angry because many people advised my mothers to send me to institutions.  I was saved by my mothers who continually wanted me to develop and to communicate. At last they succeeded and now I want to show what I can do.
People can be afraid of me too or rather uncomfortable with me because they do not understand me, and because I don’t act normally. I cannot control my body to function in a way that is accepted by the majoriy. That is why i decided to write about my life.
I have written this book because I wanted to show everybody that I am a normal human being. I write about ordinary things I experience. I have ordinary feelings and I want to show that. I have ordinary needs like everybody else. Since my body is not normal, I cannot be normal like everyone else.
My book will be a success if a lot of people realise that I am normal inside. I now realise that my life will not really change as a result of that. I will always have my strange body and that predestines a lot.  It is hopelessly uncontrolled and I cannot replace it. I wish I could. This means I have to compromise and have to survive between fear on one side and hope on the other side. Hope that I will have enough people around me who know me and accept me. I hope I can be normal and abnormal at the same time.
I cannot change myself. I can change people around me in their understanding of curious behaviour.  With my book I want to create a better understanding of people like me and of people who are different from the expected norm.
I think I have succeeded already.  I am not the only one working on that. Things can change. AUC creates an atmosphere in which people are accepted by the staff   as they are. They welcomed me from the very beginning.  Our first conversation was very warm and understanding. They have a policy and practice to welcome diversity and in the curriculum they teach what the value is of diversity.
But is it enough to change the discours of the majority? The majority in the Netherlands never puts attention to disabled people, because we are not visible and excluded from the society. How to manage the process of changing this discours?  Well the first thing is visibility. I am visible as an abnormality and am contributing as such by just being here. But I also contribute as  a student working in groups with other students. I am also one of a larger group in which other diversities are apparent.
The second step is realising that inclusion means that you have to create universal accessibility and solving problems in this area.  As I walk on my toes to control my body so it doesn’t hinder others and myself, I don’t have the energy for this step. I really want friends, because friends give me energy to go on with this.
I’m very grateful to the staff of Amsterdam University College and my assistants that they accept me as I am and help me where they can.   I wish every student such great tutors. They help us very good in becoming good and well learned contributing citizens. They should teach more people in this way. it would help our troublesome world to become more peaceful. My friend Judith Snow also teaches that inclusion brings peace.
It is still difficult for me to find friends and to live a life as other students have. i am often tired. My body hinders me and others too. It is most of the time uncontrollable. I should be able to control it more but I hope other people can understand that they can help me by accepting my bodily unrest.
I hope that my situation helps other people to understand that no individual should be forced to adapt to majority views and that minority members should not have to adapt. There are so many curious strange individuals. Look around you. Look at my friends Niek and Vassilis but look also at yourself. You are not that normal are you?
It is not wise to think society can prosper and develop only if white old men make decisions like in our government. Diversity as in normal/abnormal should be valued to make society a pleasant place even more pleasurable for white old men.

Uitgesproken bij de presentatie van het boek Doe Normaal, Dagboek van een Dino, 18 oktober in Amsterdam
Dear friends.
Nice of you to come to the launching of my book. I am so glad to be here. This is a very special day for me.
For years I have looked upon everything in silence and I felt very frightened. I was afraid because I did not felt known. i felt afraid because I did not control my life and many considered me as incapable of thinking. That is very frightening because in the Netherlands that leads inevitably to a life in institutions or early death.
I was angry with people who did not understand me. I was angry because many people advised my mothers to send me to institutions.  I was saved by my mothers who continually wanted me to develop and to communicate. At last they succeeded and now I want to show what I can do.
People can be afraid of me too or rather uncomfortable with me because they do not understand me, and because I don’t act normally. I cannot control my body to function in a way that is accepted by the majoriy. That is why i decided to write about my life.
I have written this book because I wanted to show everybody that I am a normal human being. I write about ordinary things I experience. I have ordinary feelings and I want to show that. I have ordinary needs like everybody else. Since my body is not normal, I cannot be normal like everyone else.
My book will be a success if a lot of people realise that I am normal inside. I now realise that my life will not really change as a result of that. I will always have my strange body and that predestines a lot.  It is hopelessly uncontrolled and I cannot replace it. I wish I could. This means I have to compromise and have to survive between fear on one side and hope on the other side. Hope that I will have enough people around me who know me and accept me. I hope I can be normal and abnormal at the same time.
I cannot change myself. I can change people around me in their understanding of curious behaviour.  With my book I want to create a better understanding of people like me and of people who are different from the expected norm.
I think I have succeeded already.  I am not the only one working on that. Things can change. AUC creates an atmosphere in which people are accepted by the staff   as they are. They welcomed me from the very beginning.  Our first conversation was very warm and understanding. They have a policy and practice to welcome diversity and in the curriculum they teach what the value is of diversity.
But is it enough to change the discours of the majority? The majority in the Netherlands never puts attention to disabled people, because we are not visible and excluded from the society. How to manage the process of changing this discours?  Well the first thing is visibility. I am visible as an abnormality and am contributing as such by just being here. But I also contribute as  a student working in groups with other students. I am also one of a larger group in which other diversities are apparent.
The second step is realising that inclusion means that you have to create universal accessibility and solving problems in this area.  As I walk on my toes to control my body so it doesn’t hinder others and myself, I don’t have the energy for this step. I really want friends, because friends give me energy to go on with this.
I’m very grateful to the staff of Amsterdam University College and my assistants that they accept me as I am and help me where they can.   I wish every student such great tutors. They help us very good in becoming good and well learned contributing citizens. They should teach more people in this way. it would help our troublesome world to become more peaceful. My friend Judith Snow also teaches that inclusion brings peace.
It is still difficult for me to find friends and to live a life as other students have. i am often tired. My body hinders me and others too. It is most of the time uncontrollable. I should be able to control it more but I hope other people can understand that they can help me by accepting my bodily unrest.
I hope that my situation helps other people to understand that no individual should be forced to adapt to majority views and that minority members should not have to adapt. There are so many curious strange individuals. Look around you. Look at my friends Niek and Vassilis but look also at yourself. You are not that normal are you?
It is not wise to think society can prosper and develop only if white old men make decisions like in our government. Diversity as in normal/abnormal should be valued to make society a pleasant place even more pleasurable for white old men.

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