Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pig Science

Since scientific theories surrounding autism can fly as fast an often as planes over my house landing in JFK, Laguardia or Newark, I figured I can post some of my own personal theories to help explain occurances in my daily life:

The chaos theory of multiple children:

The theory that in controlling kids, one child can go it a couple of different directions; two children, a couple dozen; three can go in a couple hundred; and four or more will drive a couple crazy...

A single sock will spawn others...none will match the original descendant...

The difficulty in finding the remote is directly related to the desiralbility of the show...

The amount of time needed to complete a task is inversely proportional to the number of interruptions experienced...

The time to teach a child a task in exponentially larger than the time it takes to do it yourself...

The time available to teach the new task is inversely proprotional to the amount of patience of the parent...the figure of patience inverse to the attention span of the child...

I have literally dozens more, but putting them into a cohesive theory expends energy better used to fight the theory of self regenerating dishes in the sink and the theory of self regenerating dirty laundry...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

How About Calling Everyone a Train Wreck?

Andrea Peyser of the New York Post, one of my favorite ::dripping sarcasm:: papers because it makes Fox News look like CNN (the Cuban News Network that is), posted this blurb about protests at the Autism Speaks benefit concert on Nov 17 in NYC:

Bruce Springsteen sang. Jerry Seinfeld joked. But former NBC/Universal CEO Bob Wright had harsh words for protesters who tried to muck up the A-list benefit concert he put on at Carnegie Hall on behalf of autistic kids.
"The protesters are lucky," said Wright. "They're well off enough, healthy enough, to do it. I wish my grandson were able to join them."
Wright runs Autism Speaks, which has raised over $200 million for research into a disorder that afflicts mainly children.
That didn't stop a clutch of sign-carrying adult protesters from descending on Carnegie Hall Tuesday night, trying to disrupt a concert attended by Donald Trump, Howard Stern and Martha Stewart. Protesters complain that there's not one autistic person on the board of the org, which produced an "offensive" ad suggesting that autism was a fate worse than death.
Wright, whose grandson cannot talk because of autism, said the disorder is exploding among young kids who can't speak for themselves.
"This is serious business," he said.
Give this worthy group a chance.

The little piece of journalistic relevancy our conservative journalist (isn't that a contradiction in terms?) left out is that these were AUTISTIC adults. Kinda puts juuusst a slight different spin on the story dunnit?

But over to Mr Wright, who I'm sure understands who these people were, maybe he should think about some relevent facts that his organization leaves out of many of the pushes for donations to Autism Speaks:
  • A large percentage of those on the spectrum DO speak.

  • Those '1 in 100' numbers Autism Speaks uses INCLUDE all these children on the same area of the spectrum

  • There are many affected by the spectrum who would prefer to thought of people to be worked with rather than problems to be worked on.

  • These people protesting share many of the same issues as the kids Bob is 'fighting' for. They can provide more valuable insight to these kids' issues than most others.

To tie it all back, I also noticed within the same article, there was also a picture of Sarah Palin and her child, who has Down Syndrome. I started thinking what would happen if organizations like Easter Seals, began running ads about children with disabilities portraying ALL kids with disabilities as 'train wrecks' and life-wreckers and needing more funding to find a 'cure' for all these life destroying disasters (and much less to support their existance)? I wonder how many of these 'subgroups' would react positively? Bob, there are quite a few different colors on the spectrum...and it definitely AIN'T black and white...

I have to agree with Andrea on one thing, we should give this worthy group a chance. But I'm speaking of the group on the sidewalk, not the auditorium....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Push To Bring Change 2 Mind

I was watching flicking through channels last night and I stopped on a commercial that was halfway through, but struck such a resonant chord I had to stop and look to the internet to see it again. The organization is called Bring Change 2 Mind and it is pushing to removed the stigma of mental illnesses like Bipolar, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Schizophrenia and Depression.

View the largest of the pictures to see the PSA (Directed by none other than Ron Howard and also poignantly featuring Glenn Close and sister). I saw so many parallel to what many of us are trying to push about the stigmatic language often conveyed about the autism spectrum. When I read these T-shirts on the people in this spot, I realized in retrospect that I have a visceral reaction at the mention of many of these disorders, almost an abject FEAR of people of people with these disorders. With my comparatively new view of neurological disorders, I have slowly come to realize that my perspective has been tainted throughout the years by sensationalism, ignorance and the general atmosphere that mental issues are NEVER spoken of in society, unless you are in some inner circle.

Hopefully, organizations like Bring Change 2 Mind will drag the mental health issues into a bright light, where we can examine them with an objective eye...