Showing posts from April, 2008

Wright's Attempt to Hijack Christianity

Cross posted at Say Anything: Reader blogs . The cold weather and the recent remarks by Jeremiah Wright have enticed me to break my blog fast. The short version of my thoughts is that Wright is trying to hijack Christianity for his own purposes and he is trying tar and feather black Christians in America specifically with his views. The long version is thus. The things that Wright has been saying recently are not new. I've heard them many times before, usually right before someone starts laughing. Anybody seen the movie Undercover Brother ? Pay close attention to the character Conspiracy Brother. He and Wright would get along famously. I can't take credit for coming up with that comparison. I adapted it from a commenter on this post . But I digress. Wright's proclamation that the negative reactions to his remarks are an attack on the "black church" was just too much. To attempt to tar black Christians in America with his views is...I'm trying to find the righ

What did you say?

Here begins another collection of some of the things said in my household. Sophia: [ After giving Ethan half of the curtain rod she had brought downstairs. ] Here, now we can kill each other. *** Me: You're not going. It's just me and Ethan going to see the doctor to make his arm all better. Sophia: Okay. Can I bring my backpack? *** Sophia: What does it say? Hubby: Adorable. Sophia: Just like Dora the Explorer! *** Sophia: I'm gonna make Isaiah dead! [ Pulls a toy egg out of her purse. ] With this! Me: What?! Are you going to try to kill your brother with an egg? Sophia: Yes! Me: We don't kill people in this house! Sophia: [ Walks over to Isaiah standing in the window and throws the egg. Isaiah fails to notice this deadly assault. ] That didn't work. Maybe we should eat the egg. I don't know why she keeps trying to do away with her brothers. *** Sophia: [ Walks in the room and puts a book and a block next to me on the bed. ] Mommy would you pay for my

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for/that: Bed time. It never seems to come soon enough. The people who give me a "hang in there" smile and give me a sympathetic pat on the shoulder whenever one of the kids is having a hard time at the store or where ever. Spring time bird song. I've identified a new species this year. We seem to have acquired a red bellied woodpecker in the trees in the backyard. There are other members of the woodpecker family about but this is the first that I've successfully identified by its call. Sophia gleefully pointing out every little bit of spring time colour she sees. She had a blast down in NYC this week which is about 2 weeks ahead of CNY in the season. Most of the flowering tress were at their peak there while things have yet to start here. "You can get him to do anything if you put it on that schedule of his!" Paraphrase of my mom marveling at how willing Isaiah was do something that appeared on his picture schedule. Especially when he

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for/that: Warm sunshine. A warm breeze. Colourful spring flowers with the promise of more to come. Spring time birdsong. Spring time leaf pile jumping. The ear piercing shrieks of joy from the kids during this exercise are well worth any potential hearing loss in my old age. Compassionate teachers and therapists for my children. Understanding friends. Small children who understand the importance of reaching out to those who are different from themselves. One of Isaiah's classmates is usually walking by our house about the same time that the school bus arrives in the afternoon. She religiously says hi to Isaiah even though he has yet to say anything in response. The other day she told me that their teachers told the class that they need to talk to Isaiah to help him communicate. She also told me that he talks in class a lot. On one occasion one little girl carried a conversation with Isaiah by herself. Isaiah never said a word but he didn't run away. When she

Bill O'Reilly on Jenny McCarthy

Bill O'Reilly will be commenting on Jenny McCarthy's recent performance on Larry King Live during his show tonight. I'm almost tempted to watch.


Cross posted at Say Anything: Reader blogs . I got to see the first graders at my sons' school put on a musical a few days ago. It was a delightful experience to watch the kids sing, dance, and belt out their lines on stage. Our neighbourhood elementary school has quite a few special needs students. They seem to do the best job at educating these students compared to other schools in the district. While there were no doubt students on stage with learning disabilities who could not be easily marked as such there were some students whose disabilities made them stand out in the crowd. I was glad to see them there. In the past those students would never have had the opportunity to participate in anything as enjoyable as a school musical. They would have been shut away from view so as not to make the rest of the "normal" folk uncomfortable with their presence or burden themselves with the work of understanding them. These children would have been medicated into submission and

The Cost of Autism

Cross posted at Say Anything: Reader blogs . There are a lot of extra costs associated with caring for autistic individuals, particularly when they are young. Apparently someone has taken the time to do a study on what it costs to care for autistic children. Association of Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorders and Loss of Family Income Data collected from 1999 to 2000 showed that each year U.S. taxpayer dollars collectively pay $12,773 of the annual education expenses associated with each child with autism. In spite of this assistance, ASD-affected families still bore the brunt of the financial burden. Between un-actualized income (again, estimated near $6,200) and extensive out-of-pocket ASD-related expenditures – one 2006 national study from the University of Rochester estimated that these families paid nearly $5,300 more than other families – this direct-to-family cost may exceed $11,000 each year. Recent research has shown that parents of children with emotional and behavioral disord

In the Name of Love

Cross posted at Say Anything: Reader blogs . I meant to post this earlier but got sidetracked by life. Early morning, April four Shot rings out in the Memphis sky. Free at last, they took your life They could not take your pride. In the name of love What more in the name of love. In the name of love What more in the name of love. Pride (In The Name Of Love) The Unforgettable Fire U2 A bit inaccurate since King was shot in the evening but haunting none the less. Today is the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in case you were wondering what this is about.

Autistics Speak for Themselves

Cross posted at Say Anything: Reader blogs . This is just a small portion of the address by the president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) on World Autism Day at the Florida Autism Task Force's inaugural meeting. It stands in stark contrast to the way that other advocates speak about autism and autistic individuals. The autism spectrum is broad, diverse and subject to many stereotypes. Just as we work to combat generalizations about racial, religious, national or other minorities, it is only right to avoid a stereotyped view of autism. There are speaking and nonspeaking people on the autism spectrum; people currently capable of living independently and holding competitive employment and those with more significant support needs before those goals are conceivable to them. There are those of us who have held diagnoses since childhood and those of us who were identified later in life, serving to correct an inaccurate previous diagnosis that had placed us in the wrong educ

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for/that: A warm sunny day. Time to play with the kids outside. Early spring flowers. Ethan's teacher told me this week, "He's so smart that he gets bored with the work." There are worse problems to have to deal with than that. Sophia wanted to help write this post. Her contribution: abbbbbccccccddddddddddddddefghijklmnopqqrrrrrrsthhhhhhuuuuuvvvvvvvvvvvvwwwwxxxxxxxxxxyzzzzz Isaiah sitting enthralled while watching big brother and the rest of the first graders put on the first grade musical. Ethan singing, dancing, and saying his lines in the first grade musical. Ethan dancing at the zoo with his sister. Ethan's elbow has healed well. No one else has broken any bones. Toys, plates, cups, furniture sure but no bones. The chance to speak my mind. The birthday cake Sophia made for me with play dough. My birthday is a few months off still. What are you thankful for?

Autistic vs With Autism

Cross posted at Say Anything: Reader blogs . Should we refer to an individual as "autistic" or "a person with autism"? Some people are very diligent about drawing a distinction between the two and making a point of saying that they will only use one. Usually they choose "person with autism". I didn't really care about the distinction until I started working on this post. I've leaned more towards "autistic" because it is far less cumbersome to say and write. But many would argue that merely saying "autistic" de-emphasizes the personhood of the autistic individual while "person with autism" recognises that the individual is "a person first". I disagree with that mode of thinking. I've cooked up this niffty little graphic over here to help me make my point (no wise cracks about my graphics skills please). What is it? It's a cup. What kind of cup? It's a red cup. Does the fact that it's red make

Autism Awareness Month

Cross posted at Say Anything: Reader blogs . Today is the first day of Autism Awareness Month. I spent this morning in a room with 8 or so other parents of autistic children (one dad, go dad!) and one autistic adult. She was diagnosed at the age of 36 or so and is just now hitting her forties. In her words autism is as new to her as it is to us parents. We peppered her with questions about her past, present, and future. She was very candid about the amount of effort it took for her to sit and interact with us. From the preparation she had to do before hand (watching videos in the morning to get her words back, not unlike the non-autistic who can't function until they've had at least one cup of strong coffee in the morning, the picture schedules that remind her of the proper sequence for getting dressed in the morning, etc.) to the anxiety and sensory overload she would have to deal with afterwards (head banging, screaming, rocking, and other stiming behaviours to relieve her st