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Showing posts from July, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for/that:
Conversations with the kids.
The night time serenade of crickets and catydids.
Flowers (sometimes with the roots attached) from the kids.
Ice.
Family. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.
Break and bake chocolate chip cookie dough.
Dark chocolate instant pudding. Nothing quiets down a noisy bunch of kids like pudding. Especially when they've had a hand in making it.
Garbage collectors. If you ever lived in a city when the garbage collectors were on strike you would understand. Go out and say thanks the next time they wake you up in the process of hauling off your junk.
Isaiah lost a second tooth with no fan fare and is happily growing in a new pair. We were also able to recover the tooth.
What are you thankful for?

Real Autism

Bev of Asperger Square 8 has an insightful post that includes commentary on Michael Savage, the impact of the language we choose to use when talking about autism, and how we choose to react when confronted with someone who is some how different from us.

Autism. Really.

Somebody quacked. Somebody screeched. Then came a yelp in a lower register. Tourette’s maybe? That was my first thought. It happened again. Quack, screech, YELP, the same exact cadence. I was enjoying it somewhat. Once in awhile I will chirp or trill, but I was quiet for this ride. Quack, screech, YELP. The man in front of me was getting angry. I could see his neck turning red and his eyes narrowing as he tried to concentrate on his book. On the next quack, he turned sharply to the young men behind me. Would you be quiet? Because that is very rude. Briefly, there was nervous laughter, as the offender(s) seemed to debate whether or not compliance was warranted. Not Tourettes? Was the quacking voluntary? How much did it mat…

Advocates Coordinate Response to Savage's Autism Remarks

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) is leading a rather impressive campaign in response to Michael Savage's uninformed claims. (If you don't know yet what the fuss is about you can find links to several articles and blog posts about it here.) Several other disability advocate groups have come together to make a joint response to Mr Savage. They have also begun a petition. ASAN has also complied a list of sponsors for Savage's shoe complete with contact information. (One advertiser and a Mississippi radio network have already dropped Savage's show.)

There's a now Facebook group supporting a boycott of Savage as well.

More people, in this case self identified conservatives, are beginning to speak out about Savage's remarks about autism, A Savage Attack: Right-radio wrong. In Alabama state Rep. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster has also spoken up in defense of autistic people and their families. Apparently Ward has been regularly working on improving services for autistic…

Thankful Thursday

After many weeks of being lax about this this week I was actually impatiently awaiting Thursday's arrival so I could do this post. Today I am thankful for/that:
Cicada song, a sure hallmark of summer. It spooked Sophia the first time she heard it this summer but she's getting over it now.
Isaiah lost his first tooth this week with no fanfare
(just a bit of spitting) and we managed to recover the tooth.
God's unconditional love.
Baking cookies with the kids.
Even though I wake up most mornings thinking, "What day is it?" I do eventually remember.
What are you thankful for?

Science in the Media

This looks like it will provide some interesting reading, A Healthy Distrust. An excerpt from the inaugural post,
The clash of cultures between science and journalism has been the subject of long debate in the science communication literature (Trench, 2007). Science is slow and precise, while journalism is fast, short, and often imprecise (Hartz and Chappell, 1997). The language used in each field is quite different. The language of science is guarded and qualified, while journalists make much use of metaphors, and are principally concerned with making their writing readable, simple, understandable and entertaining (McCall, 1988; Anton and McCourt, 1995; Nelkin, 1995).


Scientists have frequently pointed out that the media ignore both the process and the substance of science (Nelkin, 1995). The reliance of journalists on pre-packaged information such as press releases and staged events for science information has come in for a good deal of criticism (Shepherd, 1979; 1981; Nelkin, 1995; A…

Words Have Consequences

Top Radio Host Shifts Blame as Advertiser, Radio Network Drop Show
In response to Savage's remarks, the insurance company AFLAC announced it will no longer sponsor Savage's program, while the seven-station Super Talk Mississippi radio network has decided to drop Savage's program from its lineup.

"Savage can try to obfuscate matters all he wants, but the fact remains -- his words are his words, and they were clearly directed at children with autism," Palmer said. "Instead of trying to shift blame, he ought to do what's right and apologize to the millions of autistic children, their families, and others he insulted."

Parents call for Savage to be fired over autism rant
...law professor Nate Persily cautioned, "The Constitution protects your right to be a jerk sometimes. ... Jerky speech is protected."
Mr. Savage is indeed free to say whatever he wishes about pretty much anything. The rest of us are equally free to judge him based on what he says …

Genetic Test for Autism?

I had hoped that the emerging science on the genetic complexity and subtleties of autism would curtail the lean towards a eugenic solution to autism. Those of us in the us autism community are painfully aware that upwards of 90% of babies who test positive for Down Syndrome through prenatal testing are aborted. I for one don't want to see autism travel down the same road. So this bit of news is a bit unsettling, Autism pre-birth gene test. Here?

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I'm a "Far Left Stalinist"

According to Michael Savage that is.
Radio host Michael Savage incites protests with autism comments
WOR said they couldn't be held responsible for what Savage says because he is a syndicated host broadcasting out of San Francisco. "We regret any consternation that his remarks may have caused to our listeners," the station said.

On the air last night, Savage said his comments were "ripped out of context" by "far left Stalinists."

He said he was talking about kids who were "misdiagnosed," but repeated his contention that most children who are called autistic aren't really sick.
The comments on the article are just lovely. So are the comments on a lot of other post and articles I've read. Apparently the opinion that autistic kids (no one seems to realise yet that those kids you know, grow up) are just rotten kids with rotten parents is pretty popular. Lovely. So much for autism awareness. It seems that most people would rather autism, and a…

Parenting Adults

I've noticed that some people have a hard time parenting their adult children. It seems that sometimes parents don't realise that their little babies will grow up (or have grown up) to be adults. One of the things that I admire about many of my friends with adult children is that they recognise that the parenting approach has to change as a child grows older. They may not always get it right (which they freely admit which is another thing for which I admire them) but they do recognise the need to approach their adult children differently. So I found this rather interesting to listen to, When Should Financial Independence Begin?. It seems that a lot of parents and their adult children are having difficulty with that transition from child to adult.


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Conservatives Need to Get a Clue

I'd like to be shocked and appalled that someone in the conservative region of the political spectrum would say something like this but I'm not. Conservative though I am I am increasingly disappointed with the attitude of many a self proclaimed conservative towards things like education and disabilities. I am particularly disheartened by the cluelessly hard hearted attitude of those who claim conservatism for religious reasons. You would think a little of God's love would rub off on these people but apparently not in the realm of disabilities.

Conservatives whining about how liberals screwed up schools just doesn't cut it for me. All that self righteous anger and vitriol directed against those evil liberals might make some feel good but what does it do for the students? Jack squat. I always wonder what the conservatives were doing while the liberals they so love to disparage were ruining public education. Letting them do it apparently. Possibly even helping them out? Wh…

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for/that:
I remembered to do this list before I fell asleep.
Being able to turn the kids loose in the backyard to play with the garden hose and the kiddie pool.
Picking home grown raspberries with hubby and the kids in the backyard.
Laughter.
We can still afford the things we need (kids really do grow like weeds, Ethan will shortly need a whole new wardrobe) and a few of the things we want (like a small toy shopping spree for the kids every few months).
Paraphrasing my OB-GYN, "Any time you feel like going into labour now go for it." I'm trying to hold out until my order of purple flip flops arrives in the mail.
Online shopping. Sure I don't get to fondle things in the store and cool off in AC that someone else is paying for but I can shop whenever I want, I don't have to worry about keeping the kids in line in public, and at the rate gas prices are rising shipping is sometimes cheaper than the gas to get to the store and back.
Nonstop chatter from AL…

Manhood According to a 3.5 Year Old

Sophia wondered into the room where hubby and I were half listening to NPR while we worked. Some reporters were discussing Barack Obama (it could have been this story or this one), Jesse Jackson's recent comments, Obama's address to the NAACP, and maybe the recent New Yorker magazine cover (see cover and commentary here). The following exchange took place.

Sophia: What's a rockobama?
Me: [Briefly exchanging a "where is this going to go" look with hubby and trying really hard not to laugh.] Barack Obama is a man.
Sophia: What's a man?
Me: [Never does she go for the easy questions.] It's what your daddy is and what your brothers will grow up to be.

Then followed a somewhat convoluted monologue by her about who can be "mans". I think it was something along the lines of, "Only daddies can be mans but boys can't be daddies." I found it particularly amusing given what was actually being discussed on the radio at the time. She maybe young but …

The Family

I listened to parts of this Diane Rehm interview with Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. I haven't got much to say about it except that every time either of them mentioned the family I thought of these guys.



Be afraid, be very afraid.

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for/that:
The heat finally broke. The cool pleasant evening we had last night was a welcome change from the sleepless sweat soaked night we all had just two nights ago.
Ethan is turning into a thoughtful and protective big brother much to the delight and consternation of his younger siblings. What is one supposed to do with a big brother who will defy mom and dad (and a locked door) to get you another flavorice but will sit on you if you try to walk down the driveway? He's also got classic big brother taunting abilities which make life...interesting.
We've almost made it through the first week of summer school. The first day was a bit rough but the school bus was right on time. The volume of work that Isaiah has been bringing home has us hopeful that he will actually be taught some new skills.
Garden fresh peas so sweet you can eat them raw. They're almost like candy.
What are you thankful for?

Good Big Brother

Ethan just came running up the stairs on the verge of having a melt down. He was fretting about needing some scissors. When he came rushing into the bedroom (where I'm trying and failing miserably to take a nap) I saw that Ethan had two red flavorices in his hand. He'd managed to get one open for himself but couldn't get one open for Sophia. He was as upset about this as if it were his flavorice that he couldn't open. I opened the thing for him and he promptly took it from me and gave to Sophia (she had followed him up the stairs). I made sure to give him a hug and a kiss for being such a thoughtful big brother. Then I sent him back downstairs to get a blue flavorice for me.

Thankful Thursday

Since I forgot last week, today I am doubly thankful for/that:
Vacation!
Someone else to chase the kids for a little bit.
Someone else to do the dishes.
Someone to help with the laundry (even if they did throw an odious dryer sheet into one load in the dryer).
Ethan, Isaiah, Sophia, and the little one currently tap dancing on my bladder (enjoy it while it lasts kid).
Hubby.
The rest of the family, even though I sometimes feel like strangling, drop kicking, exiling to Siberia, or otherwise doing bodily harm to them.
Uninterrupted sleep, which I have not seen in a while and will not see again probably until this same time next year. I'm greatly looking forward to it.
Pen and paper to write down all of the things I otherwise forget. Now if only I could keep track of the pen and the paper.
Prayer. I'd surely be way off in the deep end by now without the prayers of others.
clean running water. Had to go with out for a few hours today while a well mechanism was repaired. Not being able to wash…

What did you say?

Here's the latest installment of some of the sayings in our house. Everyone has been so chatty lately that I didn't even capture a fraction of some of the interesting stuff said. Hubby recorded some comments and conversations on his blog.

***

Sophia: [Leaping out of the pantry at me.] I'm a monster!
Me: Okay. Would you like a taco?
Sophia: No thanks. Monsters don't eat tacos. They eat kitty cat vitamins.

***

Sophia: [Brandishing a squirt gun.] I'm a squirter! I'm a squirter! I'll squirt everything in the house!

I bought a multi-pack of squirt guns for the kids. They enjoyed them way too much the first few times I let them play with them. They eventually calmed down though. Especially after Ethan spent an anxious night worrying about if his CD player would work again after he shot it with his squirt gun.

***

Me: You'll get a turn when your brother is done.
Sophia: What's a turn?
Me: ...
Sophia: A turn is when you get a screw and a screwdriver and turn it with th…