Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Whitterer on Autism: Word play

Ben also had a fear of death at that age. After a fish burial, and Grandpa D dying, he seemed to get over it. I think he thought if anyone else died, he would, too.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

"-ics" and "-isms"

If you google autism experts, you get 19,000 hits. If you google autistic experts, you get something like 55 hits, many of which are "autism experts" in disguise. It's all a matter of semantics.

The thing about the Hub, there are many autistic experts here. They are experts in realizing the gifts and downfalls of autism. Autism experts pretty much have the "out damn spot" mentality.

It's something about "ics".

American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary - Cite This Source

-ic
suff.

1. Of, relating to, or characterized by (emphasis mine): carbonic.
2. Having a valence higher than that of a specified element in compounds or ions named with adjectives ending in -ous: ferric.
3. Of or relating to an acid: sulfuric acid.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.



Dyslexic, Aphasic, Dysgraphic, Dyscalculalic, Ataxic, I'm going to leave now to see if there is an "-ic" for left-handedness, a way of being that is punished (-Icky???) by virtue of being different.

Here it is...

Left-handedness was often interpreted as a sign of Satanic (emphasis mine) influence, and thus prohibited. Many examples can be found in the Christian-Greek scriptures in which the wicked or evil sit at the left hand of God, while the righteous sit at the right hand of God, during the Last Judgment. The Inuit also believed that every left-handed person was a sorcerer.



Okay, now let's go into "-ism"


The first recorded usage of the suffix ism as a separate word in its own right was in 1680. By the nineteenth century it was being used by Thomas Carlyle to signify a pre-packaged ideology. It was later used in this sense by such writers as Julian Huxley and George Bernard Shaw.


Behaviorism, Nazism, Autism (a pre-packaged ideology???), Liberalism, Conservatism, ...




It occurs to me that it was not people, per se, but an "ideology", an academic basis of thought (NT's must have a plan to follow...) that began in Psychiatric circles that led to T4.

I'd rather be an "-ic" than an "-ism" follower.

Has anyone ever noticed how full of sh*t I am? I am almost embarrassed to post these "stream of conciousness" thoughts, but if I didn't, I wouldn't have much to say...

Well, anyhow, I am just thinking of how different my world is, how much less "tragic" (I'm not going there...got to stay focused...) my live with Ben is because of "ics" over "isms"

For shame...maybe I should up my medication....

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Google "autistic experts"

and "autism experts".


Okay, I know it's a lazy blog, but I'm jus sayin....

Thursday, July 19, 2007

T4





My Day Begins

Even though I lack
the strength of lions and their courage,
and am but Adam's fragile rib
graced with a mystical spirit.
I saw
a blazing fire,
incomprehensible, inextinguishable,
totally alive, Life itself.


Hildegard of Bingen


**************************************************************************

What is the opposite of life? What is the opposite of good?

When I was a child, my curiosity was piqued by the Nazi's. Were they bad people? Were the Germans bad people? How could they be fooled, and how could I avoid being fooled in the same way? Pretty big thoughts for a third grader. It's probably why my family referred to me as the "forty-year-old midget" in an 8 year old body.

Not until we once again went to the Holocaust Museum this year, so my husband could see it, did the answer come.




For brevity's sake, I am not going to be fact based, but more opinionated than might suit some. For brevity's sake, I will only consider myself with the institutionalized, who were the canaries in the coal mine. It was with the 3000 children and 70,000 adults that the "final solution" killing machine was perfected.

In the early 1900's, an academic ideology based on Eugenics led to the legalization of sterilization for many handicapped in the United states.

Don't allow the unfit to breed...simple concept, eh?

Hitler, having a life-long fear of the handicapped, decided that not until the country was filled with the hysteria of war, would he begin a plan to rid Germany of the unfit by "mercy killing". He made this decision in 1935. Otherwise, he knew the people would not sanction it, it must be done under the cover of war and in secrecy. Of course, sterilization, which was acceptable in the U.S., began in 1934, long before the war. As always, there is the initial victim, Carrie Bell.

When the war started on September 1, 1939, the machinery to kill the handicapped was in place and... (within a month)...the killings began. Actually, the first martyr was a baby named Knaur whose father petitioned Hitler in 1938 to have his severely disabled son killed. Hitler decided to act, and instructed his escorting physician (Karl Brandt), to authorize the the euthanasia. (It only takes a spark, to get a fire going...). In October of 1939, Hitler authorized a post-dated (September 1, 1939)"authorization"(note: not "law" which would have legally sanctioned the killings and left the killers free from litigation)



It is interesting to note, Hitler chose people who shared the same ideology as he to "man" the killing machines. It began with Psychiatrists, heads of respected institutions, who sanctioned Eugenics. Next, medical doctors, who made the "medical choices" by "scientific" tests, then lawyers (who started noticing their clients falling off the face of the earth)...and police officers who manned the everyday nurses, secretaries, and common workers who normally did the actual killing under the authority of the higher ups. These were not everyday people, THEY WERE SPECIAL PEOPLE, who rid their consciences of blame because somebody in authority told them it was okay! (Forgive gallows humor, it's how the Jews deal with it, so I am in good company. Also, get used to "quotes", and recognize them for what they are: euphemisms.)

So there you have it. The killers were not everyday people, they were SPECIAL!! They were CHOSEN losers who couldn't make it to the top without help, without licking the hand of the Fuhrer! They were now IMPORTANT and tied to a powerful leader!

Of course, the parents and doctors who lived with the children were at the bottom of it...troublemakers one and all...and very few were like Mr. Knaur who wanted his child dead. Therefore, they had to be lied to.

Institutions were forced by law to "register" appropriate cases involving hereditary deformations (harelips, for God's sake), and mental retardation for "clarification of scientific questions." (italics mine) The Reich sent out a decree that explained to them the reason why these listed children were being moved to different hospitals was that the state hospitals were really OPEN WARDS FOR THE EXPERT CARE OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH" ! (capitalization mine)and that refusal to commit the child, once all the facts had been explained, might lead to the Reich to have to investigate whether such a refusal is a transgression to the right to custody. That usually shut them up. And if they wanted to take their children out of the hospital, they were sent to contractual labor, whereby the parent would have little choice but to commit the child.

The neatest thing the Nazi's did? The parents were not allowed to visit the children in the hospitals because the children, of course, would need to adapt to their new surroundings. Even though the children died within days of arriving at the OPEN WARDS FOR THE EXPERT CARE OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH" ! (capitalization mine), they waited a couple of weeks before sending a note home that announcing the loved one had died of some tragic disease. Junior medical experts scrutinized the dead bodies for some believable affliction and lied on all of the death reports. They had to. I have taken the liberty of violating copyright rules, because I can't do justice to the author, Henry Friedlander's words...

The Origins of Nazi Genocide






When we went to Washington, I became very interested in the idea of sterilization and later "mercy killing" of handicapped children, where it all begin. The kids were "practice" for what was to happen later on. CANARIES IN THE COAL MINE?? To tell the truth, it was the first stopping point, where one could sit down in the Holocaust museum. The first time I went, I was drawn to understand it. The second time I went, I realized it was the beginning of the final solution.It had a name: the T4 Operation. I asked the clerk in the book store for a book about the T4 Operation, and the above was the one he gave me. Most books spoke only about the later days, this one served as a guide to where it all began. Strangely enough, it was the study of Eugenics in the United States that served as a scholarly excuse. We, however, did not enact any solutions, as an elite crew of medical personnel in Germany did. I will write a book report, if NO ONE has any objections to it. If it is too painful, I will not. But remember, sunshine is a great disinfectant, and the truth will set you free!!!

I always wondered why the German People let Hitler get away with it. The truth is, Hitler based the whole thing on lies and deception. And used the Psychology heads of Major Universities to do it, and carefully selected the "killers".

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

To amuse myself, I often google "images" of autism, just to see what's out there. Today, I happened to notice one of the "code words" of the Nazi's. (This message was below the first picture, although it did not download.)

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) may arise from a combination of genetic and epigenetic (environmental) events that result in specific neurodevelopmental problems. These events or “hits” may occur in the genome and thus can be inheritable. The number of “hits” before a threshold or ASD is reached is today unknown. These hits are postulated to occur before (hereditary) and after conception (in utero), as well as in the early postnatal years.

Once manifested, the “hits” produce various behavioral, communication and social deficits that become apparent in the early postnatal stages of life until the child becomes diagnosed beginning at about 36 months.



The incidence of ASDs are rising, and latest estimates are as high as 1/72. Following diagnosis, the parent and caretakers are faced with numerous options for therapeutic intervention. Intervention is a critical issue, since in general the earlier the intervention, the better the prognosis.



A major goal of TIPOgen is committed to identify early markers of ASDs that may be used to diagnose ASDs and prognose the effects of therapeutic interventions, thus reducing the time from “hit” and intervention.


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%



See those words, therapeutic intervention? We all know what that means. If allowed, I will work on a book report this weekend.

The book was not all horrific, there was a seed of how we manage to avoid another final solution. You may or may not be surprised at the authors summation of how to avoid it. I'll give you a hint: It is happening right here on this hub....

If this has been done before, please give me the links to your own posts in the comments. Although it seems extreme, these are the times we live in, and we all know it is beginning again.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

FIRE ME, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

Warning: This is a RANT!

God forbid anyone from work would actually read this rant... It might mean they have some interest in the kids other than what they've been told. I feel like I am being asked to train animals. With no brains. Or feelings. And there are "observation windows" in every room to make sure you are doing it right!!!!!!

Document this, document that, do as you're told, don't make waves...Use the system! (There are two competing ones, which would you prefer NOW?)

I'm not an animal trainer, I'm a God-blessed teacher!!!!!!!!Let me teach, and you all can do whatever the hell you want because in the end, I am only responsible for filling up the kids minds!!!! You've had your chance, how is that Kindergarten stuff working for ya?

Am I the only one who feels there is a terrific waste of humanity here???????????

I'm never going to fit in your little system. I'm a square peg you are trying to fit into a round hole. Good Lord...I know how our kids feel!!!!!

Please, do yourself and me a favor and fire me, and never think again of what might have been...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Trusting I'm where I should be...

H. is one of my ten students. His goal was to learn NSEW directions. He copied an unlabeled map of the 7 continents and 5 oceans, and labeled them without my help. He then labeled NSEW. He had surpassed his goal before he started. He knew more than I did. I've told him, twice, that he has a gift. He has asked me a couple of times what I mean by "gift".

I've been told none of the kids have a mind greater than 5 years old. That's bull-ony. H. refused to sing today because he said "that's baby songs" (Days of the week, months of the year, "Good Morning to You", etc.) H. is 18 years old and has a brilliant, if unused mind. I love you buddy!!

I was sent to NCIP class, to learn how to put "safety" holds on kids. (I am SORRY, but it's the G.D. truth). The teacher didn't think I did my job well. I asked another woman there who was as gentle as me, who had worked there for years, if she had ever had to use any of the things they were teaching.

She said, "Never."

I'm not sure I've got the strength to put up with this crap. As long as the heavens keep the doors open to me, I'll be there. Even if it kills me. It's not the kids...

Sunday, July 08, 2007

plf515's favorite joke about Aspergers

A guy is flying in a hot air balloon, and he's lost. He lowers himself over a field and calls to a guy "Can you tell me where I am and where
I'm headed?"
>
"Sure. You're at 41 degrees 2 minutes and 14 seconds North, 144 degrees 4 minute and 19 seconds East; you're at an altitude of 762 meters above sea level, and right now you're hovering, but you were on a vector of 234 degrees at 12 meters per second"
>
"Amazing! Thanks! By the way, do you have Asperger's Syndrome?"

"I do! How did you know that?"

"Because everything you said is true, it's much more detail than I need, and you told me in a way that's no use to me at all."
>
"Huh. Are you a clinical psychologist?"

"I am, but how the heck did you know that??"

"You don't know where you are. You don't know where you're going. You got where you are by blowing hot air. You put labels on people after asking a few questions, and you're in exactly the same spot you were 5 minutes ago, but now, somehow, it's my fault!




If you are looking for this joke on the blog page, it's kind of hard to find. So far there are 128 comments on his post, and it is only 1 among many.

An interesting conversation at Kos

I could spend all day there, but I've got to get some work done today. It is somehow on the recommended list, which means it will probably survive for more than just a few moments. I have seen mcewen's at Kos...maybe other's are familiar. It is a democratic political blog, and there is a lot of stuff I find hard to take, not being dyed in the wool democrat, but there are a lot of people who go there.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal



When Ben was younger, I used to read every book I could get my hands on to understand what he was going through. Jonathan Mooney co-wrote a book called Learning Outside the Lines, from which I picked up the notion of "mental health days" that Jonathan's mother gave to him when school got to be too much. I'm sure there's more, but that one stuck.

Jonathan was a victim of Special Ed, labled dyslexic, and had to ride the short bus to school. Here in America, the short bus is synonymous with disabilities,and thus "less than" children. He went on and graduated from Brown University with honors in Creative Writing and Disabilities Studies, and has set out to change the world for his peers.

With candor and wisdom he takes his own recently attained short bus (named "Bob Henry") across the United States in order to meet a mixed bag of others who learn outside the lines. His voice is a mix of observer,academic, and empath.

I don't even know where to begin...I have 20 pages bookmarked for inclusion in this tome. I'll try to cut it down to three people to give your a sense of the book.

_________________________________________________________________


Speaking of a trans-gendered man, Cookie,who was taken care of,loved, and accepted by the townspeople, he woes the loss of community in the modern world, where people are strangers to each other, and the strange are not taken care of, but marginalized.

This is in Kennebunkport Maine, where the influx of noveau riche attach a level of comfort to having no "others", and the human we speak of was literally asked to "get out of town".

He quotes Robert Putnam, who feels the loss of community is tragic because :
"an impressive and growing body of research suggest that the civic connection helps make us healthy, wealthy, and wise"...(because we)"become more tolerant, less cynical, and more empathetic to the misfortunes of others"...


In this chapter he also makes a critical observation as to why so many of us are outed.

...After World War II, American society began it's economic shift from an industrial economy to a service economy. This brought an unprecedented rise in the social service economy: more shrinks, medical doctors, social workers, and educators. As John McKnight, a community activist and professor of public policy wrote in his book The Careless Society, this social service economy needs people like Cookie as it's raw material. It needs a sick client (italics mine).

_______________________________________________________________


Katie has Downs, and has a Book of Life she created which has pictures of her friends, her work, her school, her family.

When asked by Jonathan, "What is a meaningful life?", she pointed to her book without comment.

"The book of life is just huge, isn't it?" I said to her after she had flipped through most of the pages. She smiled broadly and said, "Yes, it is."


Katie's karma was unbelievably good, and when she suggested things were better if they were done together, especially when jumping on a trampoline, Jonathan realized
"...each of us (used) our weight to throw the other one up higher than we could ever go simply on our own."
>

There is a thought out there that the human condition shows the faces of God, whose "ways are not our ways". Wouldn't it surprise the shit out of people if God was actually more Downs than any other way?


_______________________________________________________________

I've chosen as last the story of a man who refused to be labelled, but Jonathan surmised was autistic. He describes his obsession with his calculator and math; and his attempts to document and streamline efficiently his life.

Before seeing him off,Jeff copied for Jonathan a book of wisdom, which Jeff carried in his backpack everywhere he went. Jonathan confesses he did not read it for months, quite unable as he was to figure out this
...most singular person I had ever met.



In a bizzare coincidence (I'll not divest any more than that...), I have scanned the page from the book to allow you a peek at Jeff's book of wisdom.








Jonathan admitted he has since gone back and read Jeff's book of wisdom 30 or 40 times.
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