relating to severely disabled people:

Total posts: [12]
OK, imagine two hypothetical severely disabled people, both exactly the same in appearance and behavior, except one has total locked in syndrome and the other is in a minimally conscious state You are expected to spend 15 minutes interacting with each one of them. You know that one of them has normal or near-normal cognitive abilities but is completely incapable of voluntary movement, while the other reacts to stimuli but with minimal cognitive abilities.

How do you think you'd treat the two differently? What kind of things would you say?

edited 19th May '11 9:58:38 AM by Ettina

If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
2 honorius19th May 2011 10:00:45 AM from The Netherlands
I'd perhaps talk to the locked-in person, because he's aware and it might comfort him.

The minimally conscious one is just as a piece of furniture.
If any question why we died/
Tell them, because our fathers lied -Rudyard Kipling
3 Bur19th May 2011 10:04:50 AM from Flyover Country , Relationship Status: Not war
Chaotic Neutral
I'd read a short story to the first and try to be as emotive and auditorially engaging as possible.

The second um.. nnn... er... maybe I'd ask someone beforehand if there's anything they find soothing. Last thing I'd want is them pulling a fit.

edited 19th May '11 10:05:23 AM by Bur

i. hear. a. sound.
Which one would make you feel more uncomfortable?
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
5 Pykrete19th May 2011 03:41:15 PM from Viridian Forest
The locked-in would make me feel more uncomfortable, because I'm not sure if they find my company refreshing or irritating tongue

Either way, Bur's approach is probably best, since I'm screwawful at spontaneous conversation — I'd probably go for a dramatic reading of something moronic.
6 LoniJay19th May 2011 03:45:45 PM from Australia , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
I might sing or something to the minimally-conscious one, in the hopes that whatever they are capable of perceiving will be soothing. The locked-in person, I might also sing, or read, or something... mainly I'd just be conscious that they understand the exact things I'm saying and they're not just picking up a vague impression of me.

I would probably find the minimally conscious person more disturbing.

edited 19th May '11 3:46:07 PM by LoniJay

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7 MrAHR19th May 2011 03:57:01 PM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
Locked in syndrome.

I really hate to say this, but severely disabled people terrify me. Much like old people do. For the same reason too. That association with...frailty, be it of the mind or of the body...I can't stand it. I have an innate fear of aging and losing my abilities, and as a result, I find it very emotionally taxing to interact with people such as this.
8 Bur19th May 2011 04:04:16 PM from Flyover Country , Relationship Status: Not war
Chaotic Neutral
I'd be far more uncomfortable around the severely mentally impared person. I'm small and they have no clue how to hold back their strength if something sets them off, assuming there's enough cognitive ability to become enraged.

edited 19th May '11 4:04:34 PM by Bur

i. hear. a. sound.
^ But they'd be mostly paralyzed, too.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
Why so serious?
I would be more comfortable around the minimally conscious one. After all, if they're not going to understand or properly react to anything I say regardless, then that's a very low-pressure situation. I can't offend someone who is almost or completely incapable of being offended.

The locked-in person would be far more uncomfortable, since I would have no way of knowing whether they would feel irritated or condescended to by an attempt to talk to them, or if they would feel neglected by a failure to do so.
11 HungryJoe19th May 2011 06:15:46 PM from Under the Tree
I'd feel better knowing there's somebody in there, somebody aware. That's one of my greatest fears, so it'd feel good to comfort somebody going through it.

The minimally concious one? Play 'em some Mozart? How likely are they to recover with any sort of appreciable cognitive ability?
Charlie Tunoku is a lover and a fighter.
12 TheyCallMeTomu19th May 2011 11:24:12 PM , Relationship Status: Anime is my true love
I can't help but imagine it depends on any emotional attachment. My father, for instance, was effectively in the second camp for the last few days of his life.
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Total posts: 12