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Showing posts from October, 2013

Plans for Book Update: Spectrum of Relationship

Since I first uploaded the ePub for A Spectrum of Relationships  in 2011, several thousand copies have been purchased. Yet, there are only two reviews, and one mentions grammar errors that my wife and I cannot locate, despite rereading the text multiple times. I realize that few people review books, and even fewer offer valuable suggestions, but I do wonder why so few readers respond to the book. Only a handful of people have written to me about the book, and most of those emails are short "Thank you" notes without suggestions or ideas. Not that I don't like a thank you, but I want to improve the book. The text should inform, entertain, and lead to more ideas. Some writers might prefer a lack of engagement with readers, but I want to learn from readers and offer them something better with each revision to a text. If you have purchased A Spectrum of Relationships , let me know your impressions: What did you like about the book, and how could I do "more" o

Life, Death, and Getting Caught Up...

Last week my grandfather was abruptly hospitalized. He died Wednesday night, at the age of 93. I haven't processed this loss, in part because we now live so far away that I haven't seen family in a few years. Moving was a good thing  for us, but it does weaken links to family and friends left behind. I don't want to post much about my grandfather. He was good man and I couldn't write anything adequate. He was the quiet calm in my father's family. Loyal, honest, and caring. Nothing meant more to him than family — and you didn't need to be related by blood to be in his family. It has been an exhausting few weeks and a tiring year. I'm sorry that I haven't been able to keep the blogs updated. This year, we've experienced a few difficult moments. My wife had her first-ever minor surgeries (plural, because we never do anything half-way), our little Muttly died of cancer (third cat to die of cancer in the two years we've lived here), I switc

Higher Education, Supports, and the DSM

I received a question via email about a statement in a 2011 blog post: from  Autism and Higher-Education Rights  (May 2011) Legal Implications of the DSM-V Revisions Some disability services expect a sudden and rapid expansion of the number of students qualified for services when the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the APA is published. The DSM-V is not finalized and its affects are still being debated by mental health professionals. Regulatory agencies, including the Dept. of Education , use the DSM-IV to define disabilities. DSM-V updates "Autism Spectrum Disorders" — potentially expanding the number of individuals diagnosed. Universities must accept DSM-V criteria or risk losing federal funding. While the DSM-V is not perfect, and many of scholars remain critical of its approach, courts and regulators tend to defer to the DSM as a minimum guide for diagnoses. A college or university can offer greater flexibility, but the DSM is likely to serve as a bas

How autistic are you?

After I speak to groups, one of the common questions, often in the form of an accusation or something, is, "Just how autistic are you? You seem so normal." Yes, seeming "normal" is how one survives and earns a living. Then again, be "abnormal" enough and you can also earn a living, but that's not the path I've decided to follow. On most days, probably 95 or more out of 100, I convince myself that I not only appear normal but that I am "normal" — or as normal as anyone else I know. But, on the difficult days or even during the difficult hours, I know I'm different. Recently, a colleague posted links to Facebook for two online "personality tests" that supposedly measure autistic traits. I've taken both before, and I recall the ASQ score was 42. But, I was curious and answered the questionnaires again. If you believe such things (and I question their validity), the answer to how autistic I am… very. As for the A