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Showing posts from April, 2012

Upcoming iBook Plans

I'm revising my eBook, A Spectrum of Relationships, and plan to release this major update exclusively in the iBook format. I'm trying to decide what is or isn't worth adding to the book beyond more text. The format is going to allow me to include additional features, if I decide to do so.

As for the text, I'm going to expand the workplace section as I try to develop rules and guidelines based on my experiences. Parents, educators, and young people with ASDs have asked me many questions about the workplace — though I'm not sure I have any great answers on the topic. Maybe it helps to know we have some shared experiences as we navigate into the "real world" and work.

Other sections need to be expanded, as well. I rushed through the sections on dating and relationships because those are the least comfortable topics. I am glad I don't need to date, having a wonderful wife, and marriage is difficult for everyone. I'll still expand the text as much …

Geekiness and autism: Is there a connection?

I've addressed this issue in a few past blogs, generally arguing that stereotypes, even positive ones, are not helpful for a group. A positive stereotype about Asian students, black athletes, or autistic scientists is still a stereotype that ignores the experiences of individuals and creates illusions of what is normal in those groups.

Geekiness and autism: Is there a connection? – GeekOut - CNN.com Blogs

Yes, I'll admit I am a technically-skilled, science-loving person. But I enjoy creative writing. Even the "geek" stereotype bothers me (which is often reduced to socially awkward "nerd" and not actually technical skill, anyway).

Autism, to me, is the hyper-sensitivity of the senses. It is migraines. It is seizures. It is the inability to understand social nonsense (and much of it is nonsense). It is a physical reaction to things that don't seem to cause physical / sensory reactions for other people.

Autism is not about any special gifts. It's the ch…

Exhaustion and Autism

I've been working at my computer the last few days, while my limbs are in palsy mode and words take too much effort. When I am tired, it is difficult to control my body. Many autistics I've met tell me the same thing. This is also true for people I know with other physical challenges.

I have a history of mild seizures, migraines, palsy, and other annoying physical challenges. And because I'm exhausted, these issues are starting to overwhelm my ability to focus. Worse, my heart sometimes races and "bounces" with an irregular beat under stress. The tingling sensations are unnerving, at best, and keep me on guard. The doctor tells me the tingling is from anemia, for which I've had to receive blood transfusions in the past. My body is often the biggest obstacle to following through with my ideas.

Autism seems to come with more than one or two challenges. But, those challenges can be addressed. We can learn to navigate around our bodies, with some help and eff…

Not Dead… Moving Again

For those wondering, we have not stopped blogging and nothing horrible has happened to either me or my wife.

We're not dead… we're moving again.

Unlike last summer, when we moved from one state to another, this time we are moving about two miles from our temporary residence to a new home in the same little Pennsylvania township.

The move will give us plenty of material for our blogs. Moving is stressful and chaotic. Moving raises economic issues, especially in this housing market. Moving means shifting our beloved books again. Most of all, it cuts into our creative "me/us" time necessary to recharging and regrouping.

There will be new blog posts. This has been a hectic few years.

Of course, we're moving right as my students have finals, my wife has to take a business trip, and a cat is having health issues. The long list of things happening in our lives merely reminds us how overwhelmed we are until the end of May or June. Beyond May we will be renovatin…

Celebrating Autistic Artists

I have been invited to the following event, and I would like to encourage others to learn more about this gathering, too:
Adult Autism Showcase Reception - Celebrating National Adult Autism Day
Have some food and drink! This is free to all attendees.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Pittsburgh Center for the Arts
5th Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
For more information, visit:
http://www.autismofpa.org/
http://autism-support.org/

Autism and Diagnostic Rates

Yes, the media are covering the news that autism rates are skyrocketing, often failing to distinguish the rates of diagnoses from the rates of incidence. Quite simply, we have no idea if "autism(s)" are increasing or not and we have a great deal of evidence that diagnostic practices are uneven, at best.

You can read some of the stories at:
http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/29/health/autism/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/30/health/rate-of-autism-diagnoses-has-climbed-study-finds.html

Notice this from the New York Times:
C.D.C. researchers did not meet any of the children they judged to have an autism spectrum disorder. The team made the decisions based on evaluations of the children, drawn from 14 states. The estimated rates in those states varied widely, from one in 210 children in Alabama to one in 47 in Utah.
Now, either Utah has something dangerous in their water and Alabama is the safest state in the nation, or there is something else at play. What else? It turns out …