Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I've been inspired by a fellow blogger, Susan Senator. With a title called Mysterious Brown Thing, I KNEW it was right up my alley. I'll let her tale tell the tale, but it got me to thinking about all those things on my floors, walls, tubs, and refrig's that, to this day, remain thankfully unidentified. When on the floor, they are known as ULO's or Unidentified Lying Objects. Now I'm gonna TRY not to step over the boundaries of good taste, but as far as ULO's go and their counterparts UHO's and UFO's (Unidentified Hanging and Frozen Objects), it is hard, ney nearly impossible, to stay away from the grossities of life.

With 5 kids (two yet to be potty trained on the autism spectrum) now 4 cats, the myriad of small and large toys supplied by Toys r Us, Amazon and those plastic advertisements/toy box fillers the fast food restaurants supply, it's easy to get confused as to what that thing IS on the floor. Most often, these things are found through sense of touch, make that sense of PAIN when you hit that point of the Mr Potato Head eyes square in the balls of your feet in the middle of the night! Other times that 'thing' becomes part of contents of that bowl or drawer in the kitchen reserved for those 'kinda LOOKS important' things. I'll NEED that someday thing... yea RIGHT! Say goodbye, you don't know what it is now and you won't know where you put it if you ever figure out it was part of the bottom of your TV tray.

Anyway, there are a class of these ULO's that you DON'T want to find through ANY kind of sense of touch, smell, taste (GOD no!)...even sight and sound aren't really preferable. Aside from the obvious thing that cats do (I'm sorry, but ANYTHING that a cat is part of I want no part of), there are those toys that are fun at first but fast become lint,crumb,hair and anything else magnet. You'll know why I disparage them if you've ever had them in the house for any length of time: Koosh Balls, Gloop, and those sticky 'things' that stick and or climb down the walls and hang off the ceiling. I had one of those UHO's on my family room ceiling for a month before I recognized it. If you wonder why I didn't see it on the ceiling for a month, you haven't seen the FLOOR of the family room (come to think of it I haven't seen the floor of the family room for a while). Kids say "Yea, we threw it onto the ceiling and it got stuck"...yea AND...maybe....TELL ME so I don't get a stain on my CEILING! These USO's Unidentified Sticky Objects usually wind up behind or underneath something and wind up being one of those curiosities that take 5 minutes of abject fear and 10 minutes of careful scrutiny before they are identified. "Oh yea, that's the mutant sticky fish we gave to Jason last summer." And the kids want it BACK...after WE wash it off...

It is critical that WE as parents find these things, because I always dread my orally fixated children to find them first. I know BAD TASTE ALERT, BAD TASTE ALERT! But it needs to be mentioned. I dread it when I find one of them chewing on a chip, when I'm not sure IF Linda gave them chips recently! Anything else is simply unmentionable...UCO's Unidentified Chewing Objects are just too horrid to go into ANY detail!

I'll conclude with the UFO's...those frozen thingies. Most of the time it's not a matter of WHAT it is as it is a matter of WHEN it was. When WILL those supermarkets start putting the YEAR on those 'sell by' dates?! The other thing are those ice pops in the plain white wrappers that you have no idea what it is and become the desperation snack of choice until unwrapped. At that point you realize how glaciers form, given enough time...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Cat Coincidence

Alright, the cat saga is officially a cat SAGA, so it deserves the full treatment of a post. When last we left our furry heroes, we had two new cats in the garage and one on antibiotics, the victim of an apparent bladder infection. After 8 days on the meds, we were still noticing blood in the urine, Linda was going to let the 10 day meds run out before going back, my mother-in-law convinced her to call. She's back at the vet last Tuesday for an x-ray. I get the phone call I dread with two pieces of bad news. First, it's bladder stones and they need to operate. Prognosis for cat- good; prognosis for wallet- 4 figures lighter. Next, the reason I usually go the vet rather than her.
"Bill...there's this little black kitten"...
"no", I say.
"He's adorable and me and the boys are in love" she says.
"No", I try to sound forceful.
"NO", I pull out the voice I reserve for the kids for the 'Can we go to Great Adventure' whine. "OH, Please!" she pleads; she's not giving up easily, and I'm losing ground
"No" I say with that smirk you can see over the phone 50 miles away. She has me now.
"Lemme just hold him? If he's not a good cat, I won't get him." I know this cat would have to drop a limb off before she'd consider not getting him at this point.
"He's got to be PERFECT. Playful AND lovable." I concede. Game, set, match....Linda.

So, now we have 4 cats in 3 'wards'. One in protective custody until that Friday when the operation will occur. Two in detention in the garage so we protect the sick one's olfactory turf until he's back on his feet; and a kitten with the run of the house. Friday surgery goes without a hitch and we have a bandaged cat back in the boys' room Saturday morning.

There's something about a kitten that you can't help but be drawn to. Even the girls have taken to watching him. Grace even went so far as to tell him to 'scoot' when he became annoying with some of her food. There have been several stimming episodes with cat toys that have been nothing short of physical comic masterpieces with him wiggling his butt and attacking an unsuspecting stimmer. We swear Liv was playing with him while 'spinning' with a cat string.

The rest of us just gravitate toward him while he's in the room. As the one who approved the transaction blindly, I pulled rank and requested final word on the name. I was NOT going to be party to another Smokey, Blackey or Midnight in this world. Although MY rejects were not exactly the best: Sirius Black from Harry potter fame; Grim from the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy (somewhat warped cartoon, you have to be a preteen or a psylightly psychotic parent to laugh); Or of course, Ozzy Osbourne. Dizzy Gillespie was my front runner (get it, black 'cat', jazz...well I thought it quite obtuse in retrospect!). It was the flippant comment flipping through the 'black list' that got me the name. "How about Licorice?" After one minor tantrum from the oldest, it was written in stone. Licky for short...

So, it's been an interesting couple of weeks in the feline arena; an interesting 'degrees of separation'. My F9 key missing because of new cat (claw stuck while walking across and POP, out it came); new cat here because of sick cat; cat found to be sick because of new cats in the house; new cats in house due to mother-in-law moving out of her house. MIL moving out because of autistic kids.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Summertime and the Livin's Easy?

Oh YEA! Time for summer vacation! 10 days away from work for me. Well... WORKwork. We still have a house to clean; laundry to do (aka Mt Colors and the White Cliffs of Whites). Three NT kids also need entertaining and persuasion NOT to kill each other. We also have two youngsters on the spectrum with a drastically reduced school schedule. It's a pretty universal fear amongst the parents of younger autistic spectrum children that they will 'lose' their skills over the summer. Schools either have greatly reduced programs or are non existent for those 'higher' functioning Autism Spectrum children.

Time to start supplementing with private camps, therapies and for those highly motivated and creative parents to create their own programs. (GROAN)...if only... If only we had the time, the patience, the extra appendage to do some of this ourselves. Get the other kids motivated to assist, become junior therapists. Draw up a schedule, have each girl get a half hour a day of one on one with one of us while the other one is entertained by the three others.


Linda has precisely 2 hours 31 minutes and 47 seconds of free time per day, which INCLUDES the time spent in the car going from therapy to therapy; including laundry and cooking time. A FedEx logistics manager has an easier job! The kids can be motivated to do individual projects, but a summer of assisting with therapies would result in a greatly depleted bank account; because promises would need to be made for trips to various theme parks and shore points in the area. The least of which results in 3 figure costs...

So, back in the real world, we scrape together what we need to send them to private 'camps' We have a wonderful autism non profit in Northern Monmouth in NJ that operates at a greatly reduced price to cover off on those spaces between spring and summer sessions and summer and fall. Swimming lessons/Sat. OT once a week for Liv. Since Grace only started school last month we hope that there won't be too much regression. I mean, we have the 3 other kids in some activities this summer, but I don't worry about their skills falling back. I guess I do, but it's not as critical if my son loses his division/multiplication skills as my daughters losing their socialization skills. It's part of that psychosis an autistic parent goes through needing to make sure we do all we can with the time we have.

I do feel bad for the three older ones though. We get requests from various parents that "we have to get together and do something with the boys. They're going to get bored." With all the therapies that still go on, with the school schedule that's STILL there in the summer for special needs kids, we're kinda hamstrung and can't as easily take them on excursions that 'normal' parents do. In that respect the phrase should be "summertime and the livin's guilty".

Anyway, no matter how you slice it, summer RULZ! Remember those endless summers when you were a kid. We have a gang of 8 kids all within 5 years of each other, a group of houses in a cul-de-sac that will ensure dawn to dusk running around, 1000 adventures, arguments, skinned knees, ice pops, ball games, lighting bugs, claw games, and seashells. Happy summer everyone, may they create a new month between July and August to keep it going even longer...
With no relation to the post, here's a tie to the picture of Madam Marie's and to one of my fave songs about the summer:
4th of July
Bruce Springsteen
Sandy the fireworks are hailin' over Little Eden tonight
Forcin' a light into all those stony faces left stranded on this warm July
Down in town the circuit's full with switchblade lovers so fast, so shiny, so sharp
As the wizards play down on Pinball Way on the boardwalk way past dark
And the boys from the casino dance with their shirts open like Latin lovers on the shore
Chasin' all them silly New York virgins by the score
Sandy the aurora is risin' behind us
This pier lights our carnival life forever
Oh love me tonight for I may never see you again
Hey Sandy girl
Now now baby
Now the greasers, ahh they tramp the streets or get busted for sleeping on the beach all night
Them boys in their high heels, ah Sandy their skins are so white
And me I just got tired of hangin' in them dusty arcades, bangin' them pleasure machines
Chasin' the factory girls underneath the boardwalk where they all promise to unsnap their jeans
And you know that tilt-a-whirl down on the south beach drag
I got on her last night and my shirt got caught
And they kept me spinnin' baby, they didn't think I'd ever get off
Oh Sandy, the aurora is risin' behind us
This pier lights our carnival life on the water
Runnin', laughin' 'neath the boardwalk with the boss's daughter
I remember Sandy girl
Now now now now now baby
Sandy, that waitress I was seeing lost her desire for me
I spoke with her last night, she said she won't set herself on fire for me anymore
She worked that joint under the boardwalk, she was always the girl you saw boppin' down on the beach with the radio
The kids say last night she was dressed like a star in one of them cheap little seaside bars, and I saw her parked with Loverboy out on the Kokomo
Did you hear the cops finally busted Madame Marie for tellin' fortunes better than they do
For me this boardwalk life is through baby
You ought to quit this scene too
Sandy, the aurora is rising behind us
This pier lights our carnival life forever
Oh love me tonight and I promise I'll love you forever
Oh mean it Sandy girl
Now now now now now baby
Yeah promise Sandy girl
Shala la la la baby

Monday, June 18, 2007

Could I be an Aspie?

In light of Autism Pride Day, I'm finally thinking that I come out of the proverbial closet. Linda... Lin, my wife, my love! It's not what you think! I have been analyzing my behaviors and may be ready to admit that I have...AUTISTIC TENDENCIES!

You have been living with me for almost 20 years and I'm sure you have noticed my penchant for playing air guitar or drums. If you've noticed, I frequently do this WITHOUT the accompanying music. I expect that this is a form of stimming.

I make pretty good money at work. This is largely due to the near instinctive memory of obscure system setup facts in my companies computer processes. Stuff that other's eyes glaze over on I have made a career out of. This may be one of my obsessive needs for knowledge that characterizes some autistics. Luckily, it's financially beneficial.

You'll also note that I don't have friends and I don't get out much. Not that I have a complete fear of social situations, but I will avoid them if the opportunity presents itself.

As you are so fond of noting, I do have difficulty focusing during conversations. My mind tends to wander, especially if i have to maintain eye contact, and I can't always absorb what is being said.

Which brings me to eye contact, which, as you remember, was one of my flaws which i worked so hard to overcome. I can do it now, but it's not exactly a comfortable situation.

Now that I know the terminology through all the therapies of Liv and Grace, I also note that I "script" on movie and television lines. I quite often relate to the world with anecdotes from movies; lines from movies become responses to questions or situations. By the way, does the flat screen hold a special place for everyone else, like it does for me? Movies, TV, computers all play a critical role for me in dealing with the world.

Lastly, is my infamous inability to focus. Distractions abound in my world; a good commercial; an annoying sound; and extra conversation in earshot will immediately send me mind away from that which I intend to focus on.

And of course there's Star Trek...

Now I only say these things half tongue-in-cheek. I wonder if these are all indeed DSM-IV criteria for ASD; sorry, I'm not about to look at THAT document and apply it to myself. But it makes you wonder if I'm normal (clearly, I am not, but then again, who is?). It also make you wonder how many more of 'me' are out there, with varying degrees of the symptoms I have,;living perfectly abnormal lives with their perfectly abnormal kids.

BTW, in the living room last night, that wasn't a stim, it was "How Many More Times" off Led Zeppelin I that lead me to the air guitar and drum burst!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fathers Day Kobayashi Maru

For those who do not know the name of the ship Kobayashi Maru, without getting into the whole Star Trek lore, think of it as a no-win scenario. Linda faced hers last night. It is our tradition to let the other sleep in on special days like birthdays and Mothers/Fathers Day. Last night was Linda's test of character and she passed with flying colors.

I was out like a light last night and she heard (at 2:30)what she though was Liv's super low chant/stim (sounds like some kind of Buddahist mantra to achieve nirvana). When she entered the room, Liv was asleep but Grace was up like a shot, blankie and Nuk in hand and mouth. Sharing the bed with Grace is not really an option, she is much to fascinated and distracted being between the two of us, and winds up wandering the room, some type of bodily or property damage is inevitable. So Lin takes Grace out to the living room to Grace's little Dora futon, where as long as she has a hand on her head, no motion and darkness, Grace will return to sleep.

15 minutes into the living room exile, the real fun begins, with the REAL Buddah-mantra from Liv. Since there is no one in there to disturb, Linda and I psychic-ly agree to leave her in the bedroom to her early morning search for inner peace. The external peace however, is becoming problematic. The mantras now include the heal kicks into the wall which, during the daytime, are tolerable, but at night become a sort of dripping faucet to the 15th power (imagine construction on your house and you get the idea). I get up and bring her into my bedroom. Two minutes later, I get the offer from Linda for the better accommodations in the living room with a nearly asleep Grace while she gets the shift with Liv and the 45minutes-1 hour it will take her to be calmed down (including massages and maybe an occasional kick if Lin begins dosing off.

So I get the 'good night's' sleep, Linda gets the extra hour of sleeplessness. I was looking forward to sleeping until 9 this morning; but this is NOT how I wanted it to go down!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Makin' the B B B B Sound With My Lips and Index Finger Again...

Just another standard weekend from hell...

Friday, up early, Grace sick. IEP in the morning, she's with us at the meet, concentration difficult with Dora recitation in the background...Speech therapist finally helped us by taking her for a walk while we talked about Liv's progress. Bright spot of the weekend as Liv's doing very well. Doctor in the afternoon for Grace, ear infection. I get the grammar school pickup in the 90 degree heat. Lin gets the after school shopping trip for the birthday party supplies for Saturday's party. Somewhat crazy evening.

Saturday morning, another sleepless night as Grace continues to hack through the night. Cancel the girls going to Saturday therapy. Gather together party accouterments for noontime party. Mother in Law arrives 15 minutes before we are to leave, with our two new 'houseguests'; two of her cats. Takes a combination of cold logic about being late and various threats to get kids away from new cats and out the door on time.

First part of swim party goes off without a hitch (of course, because they're occupied in a pool!). Make the mistake of overestimating eating time; 15 minutes before party is supposed to end, I have 15 nine year old boys hopped up on pizza, cake and caffeinated soda in a small hot room with nothing to do. Swear I had this nightmare before, having 3 times the amount of kids and no way to control them...

Saturday afternoon/evening: cat saga continues. New cats are hold up in the garage, old cat is afraid to go in (food and 'relief' located in garage). Birthday son suddenly has burning cash and a burning desire for something his cash matches: a Wii. He and Lin go out to just stroll into the local Toys R Us to buy one. Lin calls and informs me that strolling did not work; she's going to try several other different store chains to see if stroll works there. Meanwhile, old cat winds up relieving himself in a small cardboard box right in front of us. We discover blood in his urine, and have to find a new place for the Dora puzzle. We find a 7 day vet within 10 miles of us for tomorrow morning. Cancel planned visit to relatives for tomorrow.

Sunday morning, double whammy last night; Grace at 1 am, Liv up at 5. Lin got 1 am, I got 5. household consciousness occurs around 9 am (using term consciousness loosely). 10 am call to the vet yields a 1PM appointment. 10:10 AM call to Toys R Us yields laughter as the 50 Wii's which arrived Sunday morning were sold out within minutes. Online elicits virtual laughter (or greatly inflated prices). Cat goes to vet; gets minor cystitis diagnosis. I get a 'break' waiting 30 minutes for urine sample analysis as I and vet were lucky to get sample. Alternative involved an empty litter box, a syringe, a fridge and another trip to the office which was, shall we say, undesirable. Arrive back refreshed and exhilarated as kids have been cleaning room for use as temporary cat storage.

Sunday night, weekend of fun an frolic begin to ask for the tab to be paid. Laundry not done, kids not properly up on homework, dishes growing from neglect, supliments need mixing for the week, parents begin hallucinating from exhaustion. Forgot to watch everyone get killed on the Sopranos.

Monday Morning 3 AM: Woke up to stars in my eyes as Liv was in our bed and had inadvertently smacked my eye. Get up at 6:30 so that I can get out and go relax at work. Load dishwasher, get 5 bags of garbage outside, awaken children and RUN LIKE HELL!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Speaking for Those Who Cannot Speak

Or is it speaking for those who cannot articulate; or acting for those who cannot speak; or just plain raising a child? Which direction am I/should I go with regards to the betterment of my young autistic children?
Are we experimenting with biomed (obviously), ABA (possibly), speech, OT, physical therapies (could be)? We have this unprecedented opportunity with early diagnosis to figure out what is the best way for an autistic child to learn. Why shouldn't we try or why (better yet what or when) is it wrong to try? Aren't we trying to see what autistics need early in life, when they could most use a way to communicate, control their issues of concentration, help their functionality within this neurotypical world? I feel we are at square one with autism therapy/training and parents of young uns' are stuck holding the research bag.

It goes to my original shock of the neurodiverse attage of understanding without changing. Even the most fervent of the 'diverse' of the neurodiverse must agree that something should be done for a young autistic child, the issue is always what. What is invasive? I see a lot of talk around the objections to what is deemed as trying to make a child look and act more 'normal'; but for me, it's a blurry line between normalcy and improving a child's condition. My example is my 3 year old, Grace, is having trouble with transition. I think transition is not necessarily an autistic trait but it seems like the work to get Grace to transition easier is made more difficult by her ASD tendencies of wanting sameness and control over her world. Writing that I am again confronted by what is 'normal', what is pushing too hard, what is a tantrum of a three year old vs what is an outcropping of an autistic tendency.

It's back to 'difficult to get it'; how do we take these therapies, these studies, the politics, the day to day existence and desire to make things 'easy' and mold them into a cohesive attack (oops, thorry, used a military term) a cohesive strategy of giving my children what they need vs what is best for me? Kinda between a rock and a hard place, dancing the line between all of what the schools and science says should be done vs what an autistic adult may consider crossing the line into 'normalcy indoctrination'.

The people looking at the neurodiverse movement have to see the symbiosis between the autistic parents (parents of autistics) and the autistic adults. Autistic adults need to look at the opportunity to assist the next generation with advice and guidance; the parents need to look at the opportunity to change the views of the schools and the system to a view of assisting the growth of this generation vs societies attempt to create NTND's.

Why does Hamlet's soliloquy seem to keep popping in my mind with regard to the decisions that I need (want, could) make for my children:

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprise of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry And lose the name of action.

We are in a position to do something (that clock is always ticking in the back of my mind,though I try not to listen). It is a great noise coming from all angles about what to do, all we really want is what's best for them. But is it action or inaction that we should be doing? Is it their balance or ours that we are seeking?

Monday, June 04, 2007

It's Not Easy to 'Get It'

I just watched a You Tube video by Christschool and I agree with everything said on it about how non autistics can be allies in the neurodiverse movement. But it got me to reflect on the journey that I have taken to get to that position. It's not an easy thing for a neurotypical parent of an autistic child to arrive at a place where they understand the neurodiverse movement; I won't say truly understand because, being on the outside looking in, you cannot truly appreciate the situation autistics are in, kinda like a white person trying to get in the shoes of a black person. We can empathize, but we can't really understand.

It's real easy to fall into despair when you first receive your child's diagnosis of autism. There's the 'you have terminal cancer' attitude you get from the doctor. The shock that your initial dreams for you child have been shattered. That your life has taken this bizarre left turn, and the road ahead is dark and foreboding. Unless you have disability in your immediate family, nothing can prepare you for this.

Getting through my denial portion of grief, I ran headlong into anger. I remember anger at my first brushes with people who actually saw autism as something more that just a nightmare that I had just been thrown into. "How can you actually want to keep THEM the way they ARE?" I said to my wife and posted several things to that effect on some boards. The idea of not wanting a cure for autism was repulsive to me. The people advocating this position were abhorrent and uncaring of my daughter's plight. Being told that I was similarly repugnant for looking so hard to 'cure' her of this 'disease' further confirmed my suspicions that their souls we headed for eternal damnation.

Then Amanda Baggs' Getting The Truth Out photo essay hit me square between the eyes. I followed the link off of a board and went through the first half of the slide show which ran along pretty close to my perceptions at the time. How horrible; what CAN we do to FIX her? The second half, and the sudden juxtaposition of advocator vs advocatee, caught me so off guard that there was a paradigm shift in my thoughts of what I was doing and why I was doing it. I admit that I did not get all the subtleties being put forth as far as advocacy, but I did get the point that there is more to my child's disorder that something that needed to be defeated.

I gradually went from exorcising the autistic beast from my child to discovering what I could do to help her and myself deal with the issues that would be there for the rest of our lives. By the time we discovered our youngest was probably on the spectrum as well, I had a different perspective on what it meant. I will not deny that thoughts of a 'normal' life are still not appealing; but I no longer view 'normal' normally anymore.

My moment of clarity in all this is that parents have to deal with this new and different life; to my children, this is the only life that they will ever know. There is no grieving process for them. I guess that's where there is a difference in advocacy between the autistic and the parent of an autistic. Parents have to deal with the loss and change; in that sense we have a certain core of selfishness, no matter how much we sacrifice for our kids. We're mourning what WE'VE lost, not what THEY'VE lost. Autistic children haven't lost anything, but they'll need parents' help to gain everything. The sooner I can shake off that life that has never nor will never occur, the sooner we can get to work.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Is it the 'Haves vs Have Nots'?

Even though I am not a member of the exclusive group known as the Autism Hub, I still feel I have a place commenting about it. Being a biased outsider, a parent of two on the spectrum, with radically moderate biomed tendencies, all I can offer is perhaps a woods view of the trees being talked about.

If I could be permitted some gross generalities into the mindset of autistic, it appears to me that many autistics I read on the internet are seeking order. One of the traits of autism is the need to have an order to life. Some may seek order in their universe by keeping things the same. Others, I think, might have a need to 'fix' the universe around them; seeing the world as it should be and seeking to go in that direction. I'm not sure if it's a trait of autism or of certain types of individuals, but many seek perfection in their worlds. Whether it is attacking the wrongs of society; exposing quackery; or creating, to a certain degree, a level of controversy within the inner circle of 'their' society; it's that seeking of perfection that drives us in the sometimes divergent directions we choose. Since no one knows what perfection is nor what is the best path to get there, disagreements will arise.

I guess we all, NT's and ND's, are seeking some sort of perfection in our lives. I say that with a bit of trepidation though, thinking of the possibility that I may have autistic tendencies myself (trying to put it into a cohesive blog for the future). I'm not sure whether I am part of that group called neurotypical, neurodiverse or some no-man's land in between. It's at once a revelation and an uncomfortable thought that I may not think like a 'typical' person. But I think that's more about a universal fear that everyone is an island; that despite our similarities, we are all alone in our shells with our own unique thinking patterns. Perfection may be a little more of an obsession in autism, but it is innate in humans themselves.

It comes down to autism being a specific, perhaps the first, neurological disorder that has tried to step back and say, "Hey, maybe we don't NEED fixing". I'll be funny and say the schizophrenics were too busy arguing with themselves; the ADHD people couldn't concentrate long enough to get a movement going; the manic depressives were either too busy or too bummed out; and the OCD's couldn't quite get it just right. But, even with the obvious disadvantages of autism, they can rightfully point out the neurological advantages as well. The bias against autistics can easily be compared to any bias against disabilities in general. The way will be plowed by the autistic adults today if my daughters are to have a fighting chance in the future. So, I have a vested interest in their success.

I was going to talk this one through to say that the disagreement between the autistic adults and the parents of autistic children is about who gets the funding and who gets left out in the cold. With all the focus on the autistic influx of children into the governmental system, it leaves the autistic adults scrambling for the scraps of funding. I doubt this plays a role in the current disagreement on the Hub, but it has to be on the subconscious of everyone's mind. My kneejerk reaction will always be to take care of my own first, the educational aspects of autism and getting school systems to recognize the need and the advantages of catering to those younger autistics. But parents must be equally as vigilant at fighting those issues affecting autistic adults as well. Discrimination; funding for proper medical care and housing for those in need; job training and retention; these will all become our children's issues in a heartbeat.

In this sense we are inexorably linked to a single cause. There are certainly areas where we do not overlap, but there are more than enough common bonds that can and should unite us to a common goal- the right to exist; the freedom from discrimination and the goal of a happy future for all peoples on the spectrum. I kinda stole that last thing from the Declaration of Independence, but I feel that what is being argued here...independence.