Social skills for autonomous people: Acknowledging power


When you have power over someone, it’s important to acknowledge it. If you don’t acknowledge that you have power, it’s hard to examine your use of it. If you’re not paying attention to how you’re using your power, you will come to abuse it, and you won’t notice.

Sometimes, when people are…

This post made me think, I call my client my boss sometimes (I’m a PA to a profoundly disabled woman). It’s not totally a joke because I do think she should be in charge and her parents encourage me to do what she seems to like. But I know that most people wouldn’t call her my boss so it’s kind of cutesy for me to call her that and also…she can’t directly fire me or even tell me what to do a lot of the time because she can’t talk, write, or use AAC consistently.

I don’t like terms like “caregiver” because that doesn’t include the idea that I should be helping her do what she wants (not just “taking care of her” like you would say about a baby). But this post made me think that calling her my boss is a little much and maybe a little insulting. Not just because it implies things she can’t do but also because it sounds like a joke and makes a joke of the idea that her preferences are important. (It’s better to just say I am her PA/aide/assistant which is a more normal term, but also implies what I want to imply.)

That’s interesting. I get the sense that there’s a lot more to be said and thought about there, but I don’t know enough to say it.

If anyone who does wants to weigh in, that would be most appreciated.