I need time.
It takes me time to understand things.
It takes me time to make words.
It takes me time to respond to things.
Shortcuts and attempts to speed it up slow it down more.
I literally walk faster than I run.
My brain is the same way kind of.
I get there. But I need the time. If it seems fast it’s because I’ve done it a million times already, many of them slowly.
Many times people assume based on the end product.
So if I have a complex thought they think it’s a fast thought.
I get to complex thoughts slowly usually.
Or they look complex. But they’re actually simple. But they translate as complex when they combine with language. Or people think lots of words means complicated. It doesn’t. It can mean I had trouble finding the right ones.
At any rate if people think they see complicated thoughts they often think that means fast thoughts. Or they think if I type or move fast I think and understand fast. Or they think fast in one context means fast in another.
None of those things are true.
I do best with things outside of what most people think like.
To get usual types of information and respond and have it be meaningful I need time. Lots of time. I get there but it takes a lot of extra time whether anyone sees that time or not.
To make it look fast I have to take dangerous shortcuts that harm me or confuse me.
I get confused easily.
I am good at not showing it. I suspect anyway. Sometimes.
But I get confused a lot. And it takes me time.
I usually tell people if you think of me as having a brain injury I make more sense. It’s the easiest analogy most people are likely to be familiar with.
You need to give me time to think. Time to understand. Time to respond. Time to have a back and forth conversation. Time to put things together. TIME.
And the time needs to be without pressure. Without judging me for needing more time. Without making me explain why I need time. Without treating me as demanding. Without acting like your time is so utterly valuable that to give me even five seconds is a giant favor. Without acting like cognitive accessibility is a favor at all. Without all kinds of bizarre conditions in order to qualify as worthy of your time. Without treating me like I’m asking for special treatment. Without using the fact you gave me extra time to demand other things of me later.
None of those things are how real accessibility works. Because all of those things treat me at best like I’m only welcome under certain conditions. Like I’m only welcome because you’ve decided you want to be nice to me today. That’s not welcome. And it’s not accessibility.