a story rec

Oct. 8th, 2010 02:06 pm
mickeym: (misc_i heart somebody with aspergers)
Insights, by [livejournal.com profile] mimblexwimble.

It's gen, and it's a/u, and the author has put Dean on the autism spectrum.

As I said in my comment, I went to read this very warily, because I'm always concerned about how autistic disorders are going to be portrayed, and as anyone who reads my journal knows, it's a personal thing.

This story felt intensely personal, because one of the things Dean is wanting/grappling with, is something Matthew has grappled with and wanted, in the past. Not so much now, but it was a huge issue when he was younger, and even thinking about it now makes my chest ache.

Go read the story. It's a short piece, less than 1000 words. But those words pack one hell of a punch, particularly the last couple of lines.
mickeym: (misc_i heart somebody with aspergers)
The draft for the new edition of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) now officially incorporates Asperger's Syndrome into the autism spectrum. It's been (unofficially) considered a part of the spectrum for a while, but this cements it.

mickeym: (misc_i heart somebody with aspergers)
This is absolutely heartbreaking. (Linked from here, originally.)

It made me sad, and angry in turns, reading that article. I cried -- I'm still teary, actually.

One thing that stood out for me, in this article, was this:

"Because autism is a spectrum, there's going to need to be a wide range of options for adult living," says Susan Ratner, assistant director for special projects at Bellefaire JCB in Shaker Heights, which is in the early stages of developing a small adult-residential facility.

When the Bellefaire staff looked for models around the country, however, they could not find many. "What has clearly come out is that there are big gaps in adult services," Ratner says.

The search process is even more complex and sensitive when violence is involved.

In 2001, the Autism Society of America sounded the alarm on what it called a national crisis: a critical shortage of services and facilities for adults with autism. In 2007, when not much had changed, it updated its call for action. Parts of the ASA's report read like an account of Trudy and Sky's lives.

"In a behavioral, out-of-control crisis, individuals with autism can be scary," it says. "Parents are desperate. Aging caretakers (often single mothers, often living alone with their middle-aged child), knowing how difficult it is to adequately care for an adult with autism, are often prisoners in their own homes."

De Caris came to the same conclusion. "This is more common than I ever imagined," he says. "The facilities are just not out there - not at the level that's going to be needed. What's going to happen to all these children as they get older, and their parents who are their primary caregivers disappear? Even at facilities that do exist, the cost is outrageous. If you're making a typical salary, how do you afford that?"

The young man in question in that story is profoundly autistic as well as possibly mentally retarded, and non-verbal, which my son isn't. Matthew also isn't nearly as aggressive as he was when he was younger (and hopefully never will be again) -- but Matthew also has issues with impulse control, and when he does get angry or frustrated those issues (and his control) get considerably more frayed. I don't fear my son, as such, but I'm not unaware of the fact that he's now pushing six feet tall, and weighs roughly 185-190lbs. Do I think he's likely to attack me? No. Do I discount entirely that it could happen? Absolutely not.

The sheriff who basically cared for the young man while he was jailed...is awesome. I hope he's recognized for HOW awesome, because so many people wouldn't have gone out of their way to help a young man not even aware of what was going on. That, at least, gives me some hope. But the rest of it just makes me so very, very sad.
mickeym: (misc_proud parent of an aspie)
By way of [livejournal.com profile] hanncoll:

Like [livejournal.com profile] hanncoll says in her post, in general I'm in favor of every person believing (or not believing) what seems right to/for them, and I try not to get judgmental about ANY religious beliefs. However.

If what I've just read today about Scientology's position on autism is true, they can officially kiss my ass.

Apparently, Jett Travolta, the 16-year-old son of John Travolta and Kelly Preston who recently passed away, had autism, but his parents, who are Scientologists, refused to acknowledge it. (John's own brother, an autism activist, believes Jett had autism.) Scientology is pretty well known as eschewing psychology (think Tom Cruise here.)

That's bad enough. But. Here's worse:

According to the Church of Scientology, people with mental illnesses are "degraded" and capable of curing themselves by working harder on the church's teachings.


mickeym: (misc_proud parent of an aspie)
By way of [livejournal.com profile] mecurtin:

On July 16, Michael Savage, conservative radio talk show host, claimed that autism is "[a] fraud, a racket. ... I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, 'Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot.' "

That's the summary. Click on the link for all the assholish goodness.

[livejournal.com profile] mecurtin thinks he should be nomiated for Scum of the World. I think I agree. Either that, or burn him in effigy. I'm not particular, at this point.

The most effective way to demand that this scumsucker be yanked is to call whatever station is broadcasting him in your area. Media Matters has links to help you find your station, though it isn't complete -- AFAICT Savage is still heard on WNTP AM-990 in the Philadelphia area. Be as polite as possible -- it's going to take a lot of deep breathing on my part.

Also, a great article from Louise at Pam's House Blend about her autistic child. In case you think Savage is a lone nutjob, read the part at the end where a relative told them, you [parents] are the only people responsible for that (Jean's autism), the consequences of your actions and denials that have made your daughter the person she is today. I DO NOT wish that upon any parent. Scum spreads.
mickeym: (misc_proud parent of an aspie)
Via [livejournal.com profile] aspecialparent, but also seen on [livejournal.com profile] raynedanser and [livejournal.com profile] keepaofthecheez's LJs:

Mom says special needs child 'voted' out of classroom.

I really...can't describe how reading that made me feel. My *13yr old child*, who is special needs himself, said, when I broke down and started crying, "that's SICKENING", wrt to the teacher's behavior. He hugged me and held me while I cried, and said he couldn't understand why a teacher (or anyone!) would do that to a little kid. (Do I even have to say how proud I am of him right now?)

Some other links, by way of [livejournal.com profile] keepaofthecheez:

Apparently some parents started a petition to get Wendy Portillo voted "out of her class", aka FIRED FOR FUCKING LIFE. If you want to sign, or just simply voice your displeasure with the school, sign here. This is an absolute disgrace.

Also, from here:

Barton said after the vote, Alex's teacher asked him how he felt.

"He said, 'I feel sad,'" she said.

Alex left the classroom and spent the rest of the day in the nurse's office, she said.

Barton said when she came to pick up her son at the school on Wednesday, he was leaving the nurse's office.

"He was shaken up," she said. Barton said the nurse told her to talk with the child's teacher, who told her what happened.

Alex hasn't been back to school since then, and Barton said he won't be returning. He starts screaming when she brings him with her to drop off his sibling at school.

Thursday night, his mother heard him saying "I'm not special."

You can reach the school and members of the board of education here.

Please feel free to pass this information on, link to this post, whatever. Please go vote in the petition to get the teacher fired for LIFE. If you have kids yourself, talk to them about the importance of valuing everyone, regardless of any disabilities or differences. I know the kids in the class were going along with what the teacher said to do -- they're five year olds, for heaven's sake -- but it's never, EVER too early to teach love and tolerance and understanding and to underscore the importance of standing up for those who maybe need it.

Editing to add information:

From [livejournal.com profile] hanncoll: If you're as outraged and disgusted about this as I am, please take a few minutes to contact the St. Lucie County School Board at webmastr@stlucie.k12.fl.us, or call Lucie County Schools Superintendent Michael J. Lannon at (772) 429-3925 (fax #: 772.429.3916, email: lannonm@stlucie.k12.fl.us), or contact the school principal, Marcia Cully at (772) 337-6730 (email: cullym@stlucie.k12.fl.us) and tell them so.

Because Alex has been repeating the phrase "I'm not special" since the incident, there's information here about a card-writing campaign to let Alex know that he IS special.
mickeym: (misc_i'm listening)
An interesting article about a virtual resource center for those with austism spectrum disorders, within the online environment "Second Life":

iReport: 'Naughty Auties' battle autism with virtual interaction

In other news, it's 79.7F in here, we have three large fans running, and between the heat and the noise, I have the headache from hell. Bleh.
mickeym: (misc_small miracles)
There's a thing on the Today Show about a measles outbreak in San Diego County. Nine of the twelve children affected didn't have their immunizations. Six of those were because their parents objected to/decided against immunizing their children.

I know there's a lot of conflicting information out there about a (possible) link between childhood immunizations and autistic spectrum disorders. I don't know what to believe, because I've read credible arguments on both sides.

I do know this: autistic disorders aren't life-threatening. So far as I know, no one's ever died from autism. Measles, mumps, rubella, etc. CAN be, have been fatal. Even in this day and age.

Matthew has all his vaccinations. We've gotten them on schedule since he was born--and because of when he was born, we were among the first to get the chicken pox vaccination. Matthew also has (for those of you new to my journal, who might not know) Aspergers Syndrome, which is an autistic spectrum disorder.

If I had known when he was 4mos, 12mos, 18mos, whatever and getting his shots, what I know now? If I had a way of knowing all the different ways Aspergers would complicate (and enrich) and change our lives? If I'd been made aware that there was a possibility of a link between those vaccinations and ASDs? I would still make sure he had those vaccinations.

Things haven't been easy for Matthew -- and by extension, me. His AS affects all aspects of his life, in many varied ways. But knowing he's not going to die because of some (nearly) extinct infection that CAN BE PREVENTED is worth it. And he agrees: I've asked him, we've talked about it.

YMMV, I understand that. But I say the things above as a parent who is raising a child with an ASD. It's never been easy and sometimes I've wanted to pull my hair out in frustration. But at least I have my child, whole and healthy and happy. So please, *please* immunize your child. It's that important.
mickeym: (misc_behind every cloud is sunlight)
I posted this in [livejournal.com profile] aspecialparent, but I know there are folks on my list who aren't a member of that comm, who have children or friends with children, who are on the autistic spectrum.

I subscribe to the online E-zine that About.com offers for Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Today's edition features an article about a link between Mitochondrial Disease and Autism.

Just thought I'd share the link :)

I don't know enough about mitochondrial disease to say anything about the possible link, but I think I'm going to do some reading into it.
mickeym: (Default)
For anyone who has a child (between 3 and 16) on the Autism spectrum, who lives within the Louisville, KY Metro area (or doesn't mind driving down here), Kosair Children's Hospital is planning to do an austism study in January, 2008.

As of right now they're simply taking names for call-backs in January, as they're still developing the protocals. But if you're interested in more information, you can contact Diane Brandenburg at (502) 629-8086 (that line goes directly to her; I just called).

My son is an Aspie, but she said she wasn't sure at this point who all would be included -- but I figured it wouldn't hurt to get the word out -- and please, feel free to pass the information along to anyone you might think would be interested.
mickeym: (misc_behind every cloud is sunlight)
This is an article that appeared in our (online) Sunday paper, today. I'm really kind of proud of my little town and our county schools.

The Autism Disconnect. The OT mentioned in this article, Angie Lilly, was Matthew's OT while he was at GCB. She's great.


mickeym: (Default)

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