Yes, Peg, I know! No hard and fast 'rules' as to when it is and isn't okay to play the disability card.
Anyway, I started a thread of the same title on BT fairly recently. I was asking what people's opinions are on when it is or isn't okay to put the culpability for your problems on the disability. You know, because they (whoever 'they' are) say not to do it.
My general rule of thumb is don't play that card unless it is valid to do so. And even then, don't say it in a way that implies you shouldn't be trying to work on your issues (some may say hey, I have a disability, so just deal with how I behave). Obviously, I have some issues that I wouldn't have without Asperger's, and some issues I wouldn't have without the visual impairment. I'd say that the Asperger's probably causes me more problems than the VI.
If I'm attributing any responsibility for my issues to Asperger's, I might say that that might cause me to sometimes have meltdowns. I don't, however, say that meltdowns are okay just because I'm aspie. In other words, sometimes a meltdown is unavoidable, but when possible I should be working to avoid a meltdown or maintain what control I may have during one.
Generally I try not to use it as an excuse -- actually, as I had pointed out on BT, the term excuse has become pretty traumatic for me, as there have been many times in 25 years that I have been accused of making excuses when nothing could be further from the truth. To me, making excuses is playing a card that is not valid to play (for example, blaming your disability for a problem that anyone can have regardless of whether or not they have that disability), and is dishonest. Therefore, to me, being told that I am making excuses is the same as being called a liar, and while I'd be lying if I said I've never lied, it's generally something that I am very much against doing. So when I'm accused of it it's rather traumatic for me. Anyway, I digress...
If I'm going to be playing the disability card, I try to make darn sure it is valid to play, and even then I'm very judicious with it.
The reason why I'm reviving the topic here is I had an interesting conversation with my psychologist yesterday. I mentioned that I try not to play that card. But I also said that sometimes it's really hard not to. Like when my mom is less than tolerant (for want of a better term) of when I do have a meltdown, or perseverate on things, or what have you, sometimes I REALLY want to just come out and say: "You know, I'm aspie. Sometimes it's unavoidable. You are neurotypical and sometimes you need to be the one to remain calm." I think I made this comment when my psychologist said (for the hundredth time) that my mom very well may need to be the one to make sure she's remaining calm in difficult situations. Now perhaps that's a valid situation to play the disability card, but I'm not totally convinced of it so have thus far stopped short of crossing that line, but sometimes it's really tempting to at least stick a toe over that line.
Anyone have any thoughts?