Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Public Face Of Autism

I don't have time for an incredibly well written, witty post.  With this kids still on holiday break and hubby at home the last few days my time has been spoken for.  I do however, have a small favor to ask everyone in the autism community.  See that picture above the post?  Stop using it as a stock photo for autism. Please, just stop.  It is degrading.  It is humiliating.  It is stigmatizing.  It is perpetuating stereotypes.  It doesn't represent autism.  It doesn't represent anything other than outdated, misconceptions of what autism was thought to be. I'm tired of seeing it attached to 1/3 of every news article, or otherwise information about ASD. Do you want people to treat your autistic child with respect, love and kindness? Sure you do.  We all want that for our kids. Then, please portray them as possessing those qualities and deserving those things. Insist that others use respectful images and words in association with autism.  No, this doesn't mean that Autism is a bed of roses and always should be spoken of as such.  Just remember you are the ones that are telling the world what it means to be autistic.  Ask yourself before sharing and speaking... is this a representation of how I want others to view my child/loved one?

                                         Thank you.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas




Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
 From left to right: Bubby, Beans, My Husband ( I don't have a clever name for him yet!) Me, and CJ


This picture is rare in that we haven't had any kind of family picture taken in 9 yrs. Beans was way less than happy about sitting and Dad was subsequently bitten and pinched several times,  but we got it!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Accepting Autism

Yesterday, I posted a video about Adults with Autism that the wonderful people over at Rethinking Autism made.  It isn't new, but seems to not have been circulated as much as I wish it were.  We really do need to rethink autism. We need to rethink how we think about it, how we talk about it, how we feel about it, how we treat it, whether we treat it, and so on.  We need a discussion that is frank, open and really holds people with dismal opinions accountable for these opinions, these half truths, these myths they spread to scrutiny.  We need people to think about what they say and how these things affect those on the autism community.  So many times,I think people think that the mother on the pity potty about how hard it is to manage autism, how vaccines stole their baby, how they cling to false hope that their child will miraculously recover, on and on... but we don't challenge her.  It's her opinion, we say.  It's her right to believe it, we say, but what about autistic rights?  What about the right to be considered a full fledged human being with with a full experience of life just like anyone else?  Their kids will be adults one day.  They will still be autistic. You don't recover/cure from neurological differences.  The stigma they stick their kids with today, will be their kid's burden to carry tomorrow.  When I wrote about how I value my son Beans just the way he is and how those we associate with seem to see his potential as well.  So, today in this post I'd like to share another video from Rethinking Autism:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Anticipating an IEP meeting

Tomorrow, I have an annual IEP meeting for Bubby at his school. We'll be updating his annual goals, as well as adding new ones related to his math issues.  We just had one about a month ago to add language and spelling services to his IEP.  I think I go to more meetings then a CEO.  I got a call to schedule Bean's IEP yesterday.

Today, I will be gathering all of Bubby's report cards, progress reports, ect  that I have not yet added to the monster 3 ring binder than chronicles his life.  From the very first special ed testing, to every doctor's report.  It's all there.  Sometimes, I have info that they don't and they have to take copies of MY files. lol  I have concerns about the work they're doing in speech therapy and am going to request to see data on progress.  I keep letting that area go, and I need to put my foot down.  Now that he is in the Intermediate Center (4th-6th grade or 9-12 year olds) the speech path is by far superior to the old one, so I have seen some progress in his conversational speech, particularly the ability to take more than one (even one is progress) conversational turn during a conversation.  Just last year, he would ask you 100 million very personal questions and then walk away.  If you asked him something, he would likely not answer, or if he did it would be short, without any info.  As a matter of fact, the other day we were going through the annual questions to re-qualify him for community based services (or the &^%$ wait list, since there are no services being given at this time, only space on a list) and he did wonderfully on answering questions.  Not only did I see him do well in answering the questions on topic, but he fibbed... not a big fib, but he anticipated what the socially correct answers were, and answered them that way.  I was amazed.  For example, he was asked " what do you do when you're lonely?" He answered " I find someone to keep me company." Or, "what do you do when you're bored?" He said "I find something to do to occupy my time." Which is untrue.  Both of those things would have required assistance from me and he would have gotten relatively whiny about it, too.  The thing is, he knew that on a social level it was embarrassing to say that he whines and has a fit when he's bored or lonely and needs me to redirect him.  He also told the case manager that he prepares his own food and while he can do some things, he by far still needs me to do most of it.  (and he has a huge meltdown every time I insist he try to make new things himself) It's been a slow process.  The point is, is that he knew most 10 yo boys make their own snacks and that he was different.  I really didn't think he had that concept of himself vs others, but I guess he does.

I have gotten off track on this post, babbling. :D  I will be doing lots of research on dyscalculia and the evidence based treatment options today, so I will be posting lots of link on Inner Aspie's FB page if anyone wants to know more about it, I also apologize to those of you that already follow, but don't want to know more about it if I am clogging up your feed.   Check back there tomorrow for results about the meeting.

Authenticating My Look- Which Type Are You?

One of the goals that I recall having the year before last was to get more (or back) into fashion. I don't follow a lot of new trends, o...