More Than A Number blog












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

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{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 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.



{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.”



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.



et cetera