More Than A Number blog











I just thought it was curious and nice that Arizona State University is now offering an M.Ed online in Special Education Consultation and Collaboration: Autism Emphasis. I’m not familiar with what exactly they will be covering, but here is the link for more:
http://asunews.asu.edu/node/8836

On another note, I have been looking for free online courses for myself and am quite pleased so far with Open University’s OpenLearn at:
http://www.open.ac.uk/openlearn/home.php



{June 13, 2009}   Be posautive!


I LOVE this video!




Did you know June 18th is Autistic Pride Day? It was started by Aspies For Freedom and is celebrated by a small number of people all around the world.

Some people consider it to be quite political. I really don’t consider it so, unless a person chooses to be motivated in that way.

To me, I think it is a nice day for families to tell their autistic members “Hey, we love you just the way you are.” Regardless of where somebody is on the issues of curing autism vs. viewing it as neurodiversity; we should all be able to say that. It is one day where people should put aside the “war” on autism and unstead celebrate the autistic ones they love.

If you are intrested, there is an excellent article on autism pride here:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5488463



{May 30, 2009}   Oh my gosh!

I’m impressed with Newsweek, they had an article on genetic testing for Autism and an Autistic activist who opposes organizations like Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks and Newsweek have strong ties, so it’s surprising to see an article with the opinions of somebody who opposes Autism Speaks.

Genetic testing makes me nervous too. Moms-to-be could get the test and decide that Autism is some dreadful thing that dooms the kid and decide to abort. *sigh* Hopefully awareness will improve before the test becomes common place. Then it could be a positive thing, providing early help for Autistics from birth; allowing them to learn skills early yet still be themselves.

The article is here:
http://www.newsweek.com/id/197813/page/1

(BTW, any comments are welcome, just please refrain from name calling)



{April 25, 2009}   Neurology Now letter

Neurology Now is a great free magazine with intresting content. I was dismayed though by their choices of Autism resources so I wrote them this letter:
“I am an autistic adult and enjoy reading your magazine. However, I was disappointed to see only Autism Speaks and Autism Society of America listed in Resource Central. Despite the name, Autism Speaks is not run for or by autistic people, and the Autism Society of America primarly helps parents and families. It would be fair to include a resource like the Global and Regional Asperger Syndome Partnership (GRASP) that is run by and for autistics (grasp.org). The site includes hotly debated issues surrounding autism and its treatment. For example, Autism Speaks and the Autism Society of America both would like a cure for Autism and GRASP would not.”

Well, guess what?! They published my letter and added GRASP to the listing.

So if you are bugged by something in a magazine or newspaper, write them! You may be pleasantly surprised that they care and may change!



I wonder sometimes how my family would be different if I wasn’t Autistic. Would life be easier for them? Would my parents stress less? I think indeed life would be different, but not better. In my own wacky way I help sculpt my family into the people are, as they change me by who they are.

I have a lot of respect for families dealing with a special needs member. Especially parents! They want so badly to help their children, yet find them many times to be challenging and confusing. Well…

I have a surprise giveaway!

Carolyn’s Kitchenhas been kind enough to sponsor a giveaway of this apron:
sweetheat apron

Carolyn’s Kitchen has been featured in OK! Magazine.com and Paula Deen’s Holiday Baking issue of 2007 as well as with the Girls Next Door at Madame Chocolat Los Angeles. They are 40\’s vintage inspired and make anybody feel wonderful (and sexy!) to wear one! Put one on and tah-dah you are transformed!

To enter, you have three options (you can do all three, but leave each in a seperate comment!) :

1. Go to Carolyn’s Kitchen and tell me your favorite apron

2. Tell me a simple tip on how to relieve stress!

3. Give a fact about Autism

Please remember to leave your e-mail address like love[at]love.com so I can e-mail you if you win!

This contest ends May 15th at noon!



{April 17, 2009}   Not all Autistics are Rainman!


The 1988 movie “Rain Man” is fascinating and good movie fare. There are a very select few with Rain Man’s skills. He has a condition called savant syndrome that results in an extreme talent at one specific area yet generally an otherwise low IQ. These skills can include card counting (like Rain Man), calender memory, an obsessive knowledge about one specific thing (such as baseball statistics or U.S. presidents) Half of savants are considered to be autistic.

However, it does get really annoying when people automatically assume autistic=rain man. I especially have no desire to let anybody know I’m autistic where I am right now; the Borgata at Atlantic City. Although I wouldn’t be allowed on the casino floor anyways since I’m not 21 until July. In any case I can assure you I have average skill at card games, I certainly cannot card count. I am lucky to remember today’s date, let alone one 50 years ago. Every autistic person is different, so please do not insult us by assuming we have the same skills as a movie character or somebody on the news. Just like non-autistics, we are each unique.



{April 5, 2009}   Emergency and Autism

Autistics can react in unusual ways to an emergency. They can become disoriented by the noise and confused by multiple people asking rushed questions. Others shut down to a minimal level to follow the rules needed to “solve” the problem. I strongly recommend having a “Autism” card for any child, teen, or adult who has Autism/Asperger’s. Also keep a paper with information on medications needed, allergies, etc. as the Autistic person may not be able to recall this information when needed.
Here is a sample card I made, feel free to use it:
card1[



Thought I’d share a few thoughts I’ve been told about Autism (not my own). Also, please feel free to comment with your own thoughts, all except spam will be approved.

“I am a mom of a child with autism. I wish more people were aware that he is a smart wonderful person. So often people assume he is not intelligent because he has autism! I also wish more people understood that at least for him,,even if he doesnt act interested in bieng friends he wants to be friends with people with all his heart!” -mom of child with Autism

“What I hate is people calling him autistic or saying they are autistic. This does not define him. He has autism, but autism is not who he is. Sry, I get kinda po’d”-mother of 12 year old with Asperger’s/High Functioning Autism

“It’s be cool if we had an autism-spectrum comedian on our side , one who told jokes that nobody got except other auties and aspies.
Or if they had an “Aspie Night” on Dancing With The Stars; being that nobody would be terribly physically coordinated, everybody would be graceful by comparsion.”-35 year old man with Asperger’s Syndrome



A lot of people assume Autistics do not care about others. In all the Autistics I’ve met, this isn’t true at all! However, it is difficult to figure out what other people are feeling. A classic example is I cannot for the life of me figure out crying. People cry when they’re sad, people cry when they’re happy. How the darn goodness do I tell which kind of crying it is? Heck, I can’t even tell you why I’m crying sometimes! So we may not know something is wrong. Once we figure out something is wrong, we often have no clue what to do to fix it. I know I would want to pet my hamster when upset, but other people probably don’t. Anyways…

Something that has helped is reading books that explain social skills and situations. Well, that is one thing that our giveaway sponsor, Free Spirit Publishing can help with!
Free Spirit Books

Their mission: Being the leading publisher of learning tools that support young people’s social & emotional health. We help children and teens to think for themselves, succeed in life, and make a difference in the world.

-They guarentee you will like their products or you get a full refund.
-They started in 1983
-They print on recycled paper containing a minimum of 30% post consumer waste as part of the Green Press initiative

They have books on everything from feelings to dealing with middle school to body issues. It’s just a wonderful site! And they like to help people so much, they have given me the book “Understand and Care” to giveaway. This book is fantastic, it is aimed at younger kids and explains clearly about other people’s emotions. The faces are well illustrated in what is being discussed. There is not a lot of text but a nice activity guide for parents in the back that includes questions and games.

To win, all you have to do is visit their site and name another book you like in the comment section on this post. Free Spirit For a second entry you can add my button to your site.

Please remember to leave your e-mail in the comment, such as “lovely[at]love.com”
If you add my button to your blog, please leave a link to your blog in a second comment!

This Giveaway ends on April 30th at midnight. Good luck!



{March 9, 2009}   Dang it…

I love Church. Wonderful, nice people. I have friends, although they are several years older than me. So…I decided to try to make friends with those my own age.

We have a Sunday night service/social event for those around my age. (20s) I went to this and, well, failed. I didn’t even make it through the whole thing before I had to leave from being overwhelmed by the music and people. I went home and cried but my dad cheered me up. It’s just so dang frustrating, I’m 20 and not 5, I should know how to make friends with peers.



{March 8, 2009}   Why?

I’m reading Portia Iversen’s book “Strange Son” which is about her experiences with her Autistic son, another mother, and the other mother’s son. The question she persists in asking throughout the book is “Why?”.
Why do Autistics flap their hands and “stim”?
Why does my child have Autism?

I’m not on the same spot of the spectrum as her son Dov, or the other Autistic named Tito. However, I used to do a lot of strange hand motions, like I would walk around like an airplane with my arms out. When I was grade school aged, I loved to chew on the Barbie shoes. Not really “neurotypical” behavior. (those are just two examples) The why? I suppose it calmed me in a world with so much input. I have noticed cutting soda out of my diet has decreased the stimming behaviors.

The next “Why?”…why her son? I, of course, do not know why her son was chosen to be Autistic. I believe God has some reason for making me the way I am. Maybe He made me this way so I could try to help other people understand Autism. I can find peace in that I trust Him to be looking out for me. He doesn’t hate me, everything that has happened in my life has happened for a purpose; even if I don’t know those purposes.

Romans 5:3
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his alove.”



{February 12, 2009}   Finally!

http://www.freep.com/article/20090212/NEWS07/90212028/1009/Court+cites+science+in+ruling+measles+vaccine+doesn+t+cause+autism

The court said the evidence was overwhelmingly contrary to the parents’ claims — and backed years of science that found no risk.

“It was abundantly clear that petitioners’ theories of causation were speculative and unpersuasive,” the court concluded in one of a trio of cases ruled today.

The ruling was anxiously awaited by health authorities and families who began presenting evidence in June 2007. More than 5,500 claims have been filed by families seeking compensation through the government’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The claims are reviewed by special masters serving on the U.S. Court of Claims.

“Hopefully, the determination by the special masters will help reassure parents that vaccines do not cause autism,” the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.



With a name like “Autism Speaks” you would think Autistics actually are expressing their views and wants. Wrong. Autism Speaks used to have a horrible video up with a lady saying she would have driven off a bridge with her Autistic child if she didn’t have a “normal” child too.  Frankly I would prefer to be alive, not driven off a bridge by a psycho mother.  I really don’t see what gives them the right to call themselves “Autism Speaks” when they rarely invovle Autistic people in their going ons. So please, don’t support them. Try the Autism Society of America that is actually helpful and kind to Autistics.



{February 10, 2009}   For parents of special needs kids

As I was do my sweeping (not with a broom! It means to enter sweepstakes) I came across a product that looks like it would be very useful for kids who are highly visual and need a schedule. It’s called “Do-N-Slide”!
http://www.do-n-slide.com
They have 3 styles right now: “Help Around The House”, “Potty Training”, and “Toddler’s Day”. The picture of what to do is on the left side and when the task is done, you move it to the right side that says “All Done”. So it’s pretty cool, go check out their website!



{December 2, 2008}   The second giveaway!!!

Here is the second giveaway! (finally, right?!) The owner of www.awarenessitems.com was very kind to send me Autism Awareness goodies and I can’t wait to give some of them to YOU! I would recommend visiting her site too, she sells many different kinds of awareness items and the money she raises goes towards her Autistic son’s therapy. Here’s the goodies being given away (click on them to see the store listing):

Gift from God bracelet

Gift from God braceletAutism Awareness Puzzle Piece Ribbon and Charms Key Chain

Autism Awareness Puzzle Piece Ribbon Tack Pin

Autism Awareness Puzzle Piece Ribbon Tack Pin

 

Autism Awareness Bookmark

Autism Awareness Bookmark

Autism Awareness Puzzle Piece Ribbon and Charms Key Chain

Autism Awareness Puzzle Piece Ribbon and Charms Key Chain

                                                                                                              

 
Pretty, right? How do you win? You can enter up to three times with comments!
1. A fact about Autism and the place you got the fact from.
2. How does Autism affect you? (think about it)
3. A question you have about Autism.
Edit: Forgot to add, this giveaway ends December 20th. 🙂


et cetera