Interviews

  • Interview

    The respondent is a Syrian woman currently living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has an advanced degree. She has several family members who have been diagnosed with serious mental conditions, including her daughter. In the interview, the respondent discusses the impact of mental illness on her family’s life. She describes the stigma surrounding mental disabilities in comparison to physical disabilities as well as what she perceives as a generational difference in openness when talking about disability and illness. She also compares the degrees of acceptance of differences in ability in the United States and Middle Eastern countries. She expresses her concerns regarding the potential dangers of medications when treating mental illnesses, and stresses the importance of trying alternative methods to improve one’s wellbeing. She also described the power of her faith to deal with traumatic events and other obstacles.
  • Interview

    This respondent was born in Indonesia and immigrated to the United States rather recently. She is the caretaker to her ten-year-old son who has selective mutism. During the interview she talks about the long and confusing road to a diagnosis, inability to afford an evaluation, and bullying that her son experiences. She also discussed the ethnic/cultural/nationalistic divisions within Mosques, which can be obstacles in finding community across these divides.
  • Interview

    This married mother of three children, who emigrated from Bangladesh, is a caretaker for her adult son who has Cerebral Palsy and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She and her family recently moved to Milwaukee and have been struggling to find programing for their son. She also discusses topics such her responsibilities as a caregiver, community response, her believed reasoning for her son’s disability, and her fears for the future.
  • Interview

    Mother of son with cerebral palsy talks about her immigration here, problems with her ex-husband and other son, a lack of support from her community, and an incident at the daycare where her son was allegedly sexually assaulted. She also discussed severe economic issues she experienced once she immigrated and before she found employment. She hopes that education within the Muslim community can help people learn to be more accepting, although she does not think change will come in her lifetime. One of her biggest needs at this point is respite care and transportation for her son. She also worries that recent immigrants do not know about resources that are available, Pakistan
  • Interview

    The respondent was born in Wisconsin and has an older sister with a Mild Cognitive Impairment. She states the Muslim community believes differences in ability or disabilities are tests from God. She has witnessed her sister face a few hardships with bullying, watching siblings surpass the levels she can achieve, and changes in routines including going to family parties or having no one available to bring her to activities. She also states that she thinks both genders experience the same types of attitudes associated with disabilities, but was thoughtful at the question. She also shared her respite care and babysitting experiences dealing with people who were insensitive to disabilities, and believes that people should have opportunities not only to learn about them, but interact with people with a disability.
  • Interview

    The respondent was born in Illinois and her parents immigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan in the 1990’s. She has two children under six years old – one boy and one girl. Her husband works full-time. She is the primary caretaker of her son who is on the spectrum of autism. This interview touches on the particularities of her son’s needs at home and at school as well as distancing and educating family on what having this specific disability means. At the end, the interviewee compares religious and gender differences in a cultural lens.
  • Interview

    Mother of a child with a type of dwarfism talks about her struggles going back and forth between states for surgeries, therapies, and all the associated financial burdens. She shares her son’s experiences in achieving so much, yet closing himself off from the world. Currently she works in special education and has great sympathy and compassion towards children with autism spectrum disorder and how they should be treated. She described a very profound experience that gave her strength as a mother of a child with an ability difference and as a teacher of children with special needs: “God gave me a child and not anyone could just take care of that kind of child. So God chose me to take care of that kind of child, so I will take care of that one. So that gave me a lot of strength.”
  • Interview

    The respondent is a Pakistani woman who was born in England and moved to the United States in 2014. She suffers from schizophrenia and depression. Several years ago she had physical disabilities such as leg and arm shakes, and learning disabilities and the sudden loss of speech and memory. In the interview, she discusses how she overcame some of her speech, memory, and learning disabilities and how she is trying to treat her other conditions as well. She discussed how her many conditions have impacted her family, her life, and her financial situation. She also discusses her life in America and her interactions and involvement within the Muslim community.
  • Interview

    Mother of adult child with a visual impairment due to neurological factors. She believes that the education of teachers as well as students would be helpful to those with disabilities. She discusses the social impact the visual impairment had on her son and her ideas for creating a network for children in the next generation. She also has stated that families can be more protective of daughters with differences in ability and keep them closer to home.
  • Interview

    The mother of an adult daughter with cognitive delay speaks about her experiences in the schools and Muslim community. Originally from Chicago, she moved to Milwaukee in the late-1980s. She wishes that she had been more aware of the resources that are available, rather than her assuming that programs didn’t apply to her. She suggested that perhaps the experts could be more proactive in letting their clients know what is available. She expressed belief that her role is to be the sole caregiver, which leads to difficulties for her to ask for help. She also suggested that healthcare providers, teachers and others who work with special needs, could be better informed/educated on the religion of Islam and how its religious values are different regarding transitioning into daycares and adult care facilities and things like that. She discussed stigmas/prejudices in the Muslim community regarding people with ability differences.
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