Mama Slob-san's

Leftist Blogger wants to practice writing and exorcising her gaseous build up.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Autistic Teen, Jacob Allen Found

The good news is that autistic teen, Jacob Allen has been found alive. He is an 18-year old that was hiking with his family and "wandered off". The search went on for about 3 days, 3 1/2 days? The terrain was steep and thick with brush. They were adamant that Jacob was dressed appropriately, even for some night lows in the 40s. He was in shape and used to hiking. Apparently they said that there were plenty of natural water sources, so he shouldn't be too dehydrated. They were concerned that he wouldn't respond to his name.
The chill one must feel when a child wanders off and in a relatively dangerous place.
It's great news that he wasn't hurt, as far as we know.
The bad news? It isn't front page headlines. Jacob isn't a sparkly girl with all sorts of bubbly smiles or the victim of a tawdry crime. I think everyone deserves a happy ending, not just the pre-pubescent blond girls with tons of friends.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

No Increase in Special Education Enrollment

According to this story, the amount of enrolled students receiving special ed

services is staying the same. Having lived in 3 states since my son was first

considered autistic, I have heard about the explosion of autism and the impact on

special education. When I ask about training, I am met with, "we've never had an

autistic student before". Doesn't matter that there are several schools in town

with autism clinics that are full. Somehow, certain schools have never encountered

We hear complaints about the drain on the budget. What did schools do before all

the autism moms took over special ed? Why is mainstreaming so foreign to them?
Significantly enough, the numbers for "retarded" and "learning disabled" have gone

down as autism as gone up. We all know that autistic people used to be diagnosed

with mental retardation, non verbal learning disorder (nvld), dyspraxia, apraxia. So, it's no surprise that these numbers reflect the change. What is disconcerting is
that the change isn't being noted as a change but a true explosion. As if autistic
kids came out of nowhere and invaded the school system.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Y2K McCarthyism or Why I don't like Celebrity Moms

As my friends know, I have an autistic son who is 7 years old. To summarize and highlight our lifestory, he receives special ed services while fully mainstreamed in 2nd grade. He gets sensory breaks-if he needs them, he uses mechanical pencils to help his writing, he gets coaching on social skills as needed and we maintain a communication log with his teachers. On "paper"his IEP is quite involved and far reaching. In practice it's really a way to keep him out of the autism clinic and with his peers as much as possible. He thrives on socializing and thus, really learns from peer-modelling (as in hanging with his kids is age). Sometimes I feel we over-medicalize his lifestyle to justify specia-treatment.

Ironically, "special treatment" is just accepting him as he is and not asking or forcing him to change. His regular teachers are the most effective with him when they tolerate him.

What sucks this month is that celebrity mom, Jenny McCarthy, has been given air time to promote her latest book about her "fight" with autism. I could just ignore her, another mom, another theory, another perspective. However, others don't. I get calls from well-wishers to watch her, read her book. She cured her son, he's not autistic anymore, only he is. There is no cure, he's fully recovered. She's not anti-vaccine but she is. I read the fallout from her appearances on blogs. For every 4 or 5 complaints (my mom called and said Jenny cured her son!) there is a Jenny-defender. These people come in and say in their spam-like way, "she's just a mother who wants to share her story, what's wrong with that? She's not claiming her way is the only way!"

Well, then why are viewers walking away with the idea that vaccines cause autism? That autism is curable? That Jenny is a real Blonde?

Jenny has the right to free speech and she's using it. Those of us who disagree with and resent her message have that same freedom. She casts a catastrophic shadow over autism, parenting and disabled kids. When we wring our hands over vaccines, diets and alternative medicine, we are ignoring education and social services. We are ignoring, "celebrate diversity".

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