Thursday, March 24, 2011

A great write-up on Synthenesia on Daily Kos

You know that autism speaks to creativity, as do many "brain diseases" such as schizphrenia, ADHD, wonders if any "creative ones" appear in the neurotypical world. 

I go to Daily Kos daily.  It's a liberal blog here in America.  More even than loving it for the news you don't always get on the boob-tube, I've come to love the writers there.  I think it has a readership of a million people a day, but anyone can create a diary, once they sign up and go through the one week waiting period, which stops a lot of drive by trolls from taking shots at the "moran libs".

rhubarb created a diary there that some might find of interest. It is very well researched and there is lots of linky-goodness to other sites, for more info.

I was well into my thirties before I figured out that most people did not see a color associated with every letter and number, did not see shapes associated with sounds, and didn't view a year as a big hamster wheel with a rung for every day. Before you counsel me to take my meds, there's more to say about this phenomenon, known as "synethesia." As with left handers, you might think we synesthetes are a little mixed up, but we are in fine company! There is a long list of famous synesthetes, from Richard Feynman to Wassily Kandinsky.

The following is from the Library of Congress presentation by Doctors Richard E Cytoic.

I give credit to rhubarb for this link:

There is a test there he wrote about that takes about 40 minutes, to figure out if you have one of the more common types of sensory pairings, although there are at least 150 documented.

Thanks for reading, Rose

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A review of Savant Syndrome and its possible relationship to epilepsy.

Hmm...the tyranny of the left hemisphere....

Sunday, March 06, 2011

It starts young...

The "least restrictive environment" was drummed into my head when I went to college for a degree in Special Education back in the late seventies.  Schools had just begun to open up their doors to the handicapped who previously might have been institutionalized or been raised and taught at home.  My mentor started a school long before P.L. 94-142 mandated teaching the handicapped in their own school districts and neighborhoods when possible, at the expense of public schools.  Now days, there are still legal battles regarding what is meant by the "least restrictive environment", and many parents fight to have their children learn alongside their non-handicapped peers. Many--I'd venture to say MOST, just put up with what the schools give them, not having the time or funds or energy to do legal battle with a far more endowed and experienced  opponent.

My son is mildly handicapped. He spent 95% of his time in the regular classroom, albeit with ritalin. Even at that I remember the early days.  Ben wouldn't sit still or quiet to go to library activities or church. He went to a Northern Baptist preschool where the teacher just "got him", or didn't get easily upset.  Developmental Preschool at ages 3 and 4, and a great kindergarten teacher who identified with wiggly kids. But he could not communicate, other than echolalia, until about 3rd grade. I reiterate: he was mildly handicapped, but that didn't make it easy.

I went to church today (please tell my sweet mama!).  Something led me to pick up the brochure from St. James's preschool.  Lookie heah...

All children in the 3 & 4 year old classes must be completely toilet trained and comfortable with bathroom habits...Four year old children must be able to communicate their needs in an understandable manner and must be able to work cooperatively in small group and large group activities...

What it said to me was...

Keep your disabled kids at home.  We can't handle them. Jesus may love them but we find them a giant pain in the ass...

Maybe Ben's being refused admittance to a catholic grade school 9 years ago sensitized me.  I really thought that those who hoped to be "Christ to others" would have the heart. They didn't.  And when I left the church in 2006, I never really looked back.  There was a whole lotta non Jesus like shit going on all the time, and not a second of guilt shadowed this parochially trained mind. To go back after years; mama asked me to and if she asked me to climb Mount Everest, I would; to go back and find it exactly the same while I had grown so much upset me. 

Thank God for Kevin.  Just as beautiful as he could be and dressed to the nines, in a big black wheel chair with Daddy pushing him, "Hi, little guy, how are you today?"

"He doesn't always answer...Kevin, ..."

"Nah, just leave him alone, he's fine!" I said, and he did allow me to rub his back.

"I'm sorry..." said his Dad.

"No, don't be sorry!  He's like a sign to me today!" (Yeah, I know it was a goofy-ass thing to say.  It's the only language I speak.)

"I've got a mildly handicapped son, with autism, and I find the church is real bad about handicapped outreach.  Do they have anything here?"

"No, not really..."

Sometimes we gotta be the change we want to see.  If they hurt me again, so help me God....

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