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Friday, December 11, 2009
Let's just say the boy's not been much in a cooperative mood lately. He's been sick recently, which doesn't help matters, but he's been a royal uncooperative crank in the last month or so.
This is actually good news in some ways. I mean, it's a royal PITA in a lot of ways, but it's good news because he's no longer the passive, "good baby" that he used to be. He doesn't sit in the shopping cart or stroller and watch as the world goes by. He won't stare dully at you when you try to get him to make a choice.
He's decided he should be part of the world and interact with it, and express opinions. That opinion is usually "no." That's very typical for preschoolers. It's the first and easiest opinion to express.
But as I resign myself to caring for his Christmas program meltdown, and get frustrated that he won't wear headphones for a hearing screening or tell the nice clinician what's on the card on the room is full of all sorts of other things to see, I remind myself that this is a positive step. A frustrating and annoying step at times, but a positive step.
In other, somewhat related news, teaching to the test begins early. The preschool teacher and we agreed that we should start teaching him to point at specific objects when asked and to find the difference between a series of objects when asked. Why? Those are two skills commonly used in IQ tests. We're trying to give his baseline assessment for kindergarten as much of a boost as possible. We all agree that he belongs in a regular classroom, not in a resource room.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
It's a long article, but it's worth the read. Also see Science hijacked to support alternative therapies.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Anyway, they're thinking he's going to outgrow his AAC and need something more advanced soon. It's clearly appropriate for him. He navigates it like a pro. However, he's also created new problems by having a voice. Just as with spoken words, sometimes he's communicating wants and needs, and sometimes he's just making noises for internal reasons not relevant to the discussion.
The preschool directer thinks they pretty much have this one under control, and I tend to agree. Rather than saying something like, "No talker!" or "Talker down!" like the school district suggested, the teacher just says, "But we're not talking about X right now. Let's talk about Y." Just like any other kid babbling about something unrelated to the lesson. Sometimes when the lesson is over a skill he's already mastered, they just turn down the volume on his AAC and let him explore as much as he wants. This? This is why I am not taking him to a school district preschool.
Our next IEP will be for transitioning to kindergarten. I have to admit I'm concerned about this. I have faith in the school he'll be attending, but I can't control all the variables there either. What if he gets a horrible teacher? How much are they going to underestimate his abilities? How bad is it going to get next year when he's stuck in this new routine?
I'm glad he's doing so well with reading, because I feel like that's something that shows proof that he's educable. And it saddens me that he needs that. I feel like when it comes to special ed, some kids are taught, and some kids are warehoused.
Monday, November 9, 2009
ABA is on the decline. Several speakers with a background and education in ABA spoke of the shortcomings, including a certified and practicing behaviorist. Mainly that while it's effective in some cases, it's often pushed as a panacea and the only therapy anyone should use. One professor said that kids who had the sometimes recommended level of 40 hours a week of intensive ABA were simply overwhelmed by it.
I tend to agree. I have concerns about the true effectiveness of ABA beyond teaching a discrete behavior. Yet I, like many others, tend to hold it up as an example of an evidence based practice, because it's certainly better than admitting that there's very little evidence based practice in the education system, period. This would certainly be a better place to throw research money than disproving the vaccine-autism connection again.
The problem is that many states are starting to role out mandated autism coverage laws. What gets covered? ABA. Speech therapy, occupational therapy, and ABA. That means there are situations where a family would be told that they can get ABA or nothing. Let's hear it for teenagers that demand a reward for every action. Let's hear it for kids being taught that food is a reward. ABA in theory isn't that, but in practice it quite often is.
That said, we're in the process of hiring a behaviorist for potty training. Using the toilet seems like a behavior where rewards and positive supports would be effective. I really hope it works. He's going to kindergarten next year. And while it's not surprising that he's not potty trained, he's got enough social barriers as it is. He doesn't need a poopy diaper incident to follow him around his school career.
The phrase "genetics loads the gun and environment pulls the trigger" is in some ways an invocation of Bettelheim. We didn't cause autism in our genetically predisposed children, though sometimes prenatal stress seems to make the difference. And that's an environment we already do our best to control.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
You'd think preventing a potentially deadly illness with a treatment with low risks would be a no-brainer. But it is not. Thanks, mercury militia. The chance of having a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine is roughly the same as the chance of being struck by lightning in a given year. And yet, I had parents asking me if we noticed "any symptoms." I saw someone else asking if it was normal to have a sore arm the next day or if it was a sign of a bad reaction.
One told me that she was foregoing vaccination, since she'd driven H1N1 away by giving her son some homeopathic remedy at a 30C dilution. For those not familiar with the dilution required - that dilution is so extreme there is no trace of the original solution. Yes, she knew it was nothing but water. She said it was an "energy" thing. Well, I'll take knocking on wood and crossing my fingers. Just as effective, but a lot cheaper. And whenever someone in my family doesn't get sick, I'll credit my finger crossing, and when they do get sick, I'll claim I forgot to cross my fingers or didn't do it soon enough.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Anyway, I had a partner in crime. Over lunch I was talking with a couple of self advocates, and I mentioned Jenny McCarthy and woo. He looked up and said, "You don't by any chance blog, do you?" Ha! Turns out he thought I was kwombles. Not quite, but a really good guess. She's brave enough to go sans pseudonym.
By far the best of the worst session we saw was a DAN! presentation. It was in a lecture hall. We sat in the back, or as he put it "closer to heaven and further from hell." He asked her about safety concerns with chelation and the validity of HBOT research. I asked her if she thought any detectable level of yeast was acceptable or if she treated all of it. She didn't have fantastic answers but, that all is a blog post for another day.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
People can have autism AND allergies or food intolerance. However, having autism doesn't make you any more likely to have them than the general population. It just means you got two challenges for the price of one.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Holy fuck, woman! Get some damned perspective. And some therapy, stat. Yes, it's harder than some people realize to parent a child with autism. Yes, there are extra expenses you didn't consider. Speaking of dead children and mourning for your very-much-alive child that is "dead" in your eyes at age eight is just, just... wow. I think you get the new refrigerator and the crown!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
So many of the things he does just happen when you're not looking, and then it's like he's been doing them for ages.
In possibly related news, he's become quite fond of Blue's Clues. He's started saying thank you for everything, and he occasionally "skidoos." I could think of worse shows. Blue's Clues overtly teaches self care skills and basic preschool concepts and even throws in some sign language.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
This is awesome. It won't help my son - he's still a bit wee for something that sophisticated (and easily broken,) but it looks awesome for when he's a bit older if he still needs AAC.
Oh, and it looks like there's another one, iConverse, but it's slightly less sophisticated. It's also considerably cheaper.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Just got back from a weekend trip, and the boy spent the entire time in the jog stroller. Eventually we'll probably get a special needs umbrella stroller just to get the higher weight limit, but for now, our jog stroller does the job. It's a little less maneuverable in tight spaces, and it doesn't fold down as small, but it makes up for it in comfort.
King didn't want to leave his stroller, even to eat at restaurants, even to play with toys. Several people assumed he was in a wheelchair, which provided a few teaching moments about autism. But he was more than content to remain there and protested whenever we tried to unbuckle him anywhere but the hotel room.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
autism | (psychiatry) an abnormal absorption with the self; marked by communication disorders and short attention span and inability to treat others as people
Yeah, thanks. That's ever so helpful. I'm sure that's exactly what people searching for autism want to see. Add vaccines to the mix, and it doesn't know what to do with your search query at all.
| current distances | light time Mercury to Venus | 0.406 AU | 202.6 s
Maybe in the future it will be the awesome research tool they claim it will be.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
If you ask a parent of an autistic child if they want the measles or the autism, we will stand in line for the f___ing measles.Uh, no. No. I'd rather my son have the autism, thanks. It won't kill him. Plus it's a false choice since, you know, vaccines don't cause autism.
She also thinks that autism is on the rise because schoolteachers (in her opinion) haven't seen so much of it. My autistic cousin got all the way to high school before his MR diagnosis shifted to autism. Perhaps we're just diagnosing differently? Nah, couldn't be. It's not like the rate of kids in special ed has remained relatively constant during this massive "epidemic." Oh wait, it is.
Oh, and she refers to autistic children as shadows. You know, because they don't actually exist as full people? Wha? That's almost as offensive as her co-author's reference to them being soulless and sucking the marrow out of family members. Quit calling my kid a non-being.
But the real cherry on the sundae is her acceptance of diseased and dying children as collateral damage in her war for "safe vaccines."
I do believe sadly it's going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it's their f___ing fault that the diseases are coming back. They're making a product that's s___. If you give us a safe vaccine, we'll use it. It shouldn't be polio versus autism.It isn't polio versus autism. It's your stupidity versus polio! And there isn't a thing you could do to vaccines that would make them safe in an anti-vaxxer's mind. Not a thing. If you get rid of the mercury (which was done before her son was born), it must be aluminum. Or it must be the frequency. Or it must be the viruses in the vaccines. And if you show them study after study, they'll find a way to refute them as being "biased by big Pharma" or the CDC (since the government is in on the conspiracy.)
In other words, it's an irrational fear that the stabby thing that made my baby cry must also have damaged him in some other way.
I've heard people claim that McCarthy is "getting the word out" or "doing a lot for autism awareness." No. No she isn't. She's doing a lot for autism fear. There's a big difference.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I will say that he could reliably hit the toilet with puke, which gives me hope he can do the same with poop in the near future. And on the further good news front (knock on wood) none of us have come down with the symptoms.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Here's another story. A few weeks ago, Jodie went to the pediatrician. She had Tdap [tetanus-diptheria-pertussis] vaccine, a flu shot and a vaccine against meningitis. The next day her teacher remarked to me that Jodie was much more attentive and participated in class much more than usual. Her gym teacher said that for the fist time Jodie was able to compete in an obstacle course. Should I start pontificating that vaccines are a great treatment for autism? Of course not, that's not science. That's called coincidence. Here's the full Newsweek article.