Following the third debate between President Obama and his Republican opponent Mitt Romney, Ann Coulter a news “personality,” tweeted out, ““I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard”, referring to President Obama. Immediately and justifiably a large number of people began to call Coulter out for her offensive word choice, which upset people for two main reasons: 1) that she finds it okay to use such a demeaning term to the mentally disabled, and 2) that she would feel it is okay to speak about an elected president of the United States in such a manner. Coulter’s defense of her use of the ”R” word reveals her true colors. Read the rest of this entry →
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It has been well documented in the literature that individuals with ASD have impairments with what it called “theory of mind.” Basically, theory of mind refers to the ability to take the perspective of other people, or to see things from the point of view of someone else. Some refer to the difficulties with theory of mind in people with ASD as “mind blindness.” I find that to be quite a harsh description of individuals who have amazing minds and much to offer the world. I’m not going to discount the fact that many people with ASD do have difficulty understanding the perspective of other people. But what I am going to point out is this: so do a lot of people who don’t have autism. Let’s not deny that many people in this world spend the majority of their time thinking from their own perspective and have great difficulty seeing things from the perspective of others. It may be true that people with ASD have more difficulty with perspective taking than individuals without ASD, but they are not a rare species of humans who are the only people who have difficulty with theory of mind. Read the rest of this entry →
In October 2010, The Atlantic Published an article entitled, “Autism’s First Child.” This article chronicled the first documented case of Autism in medical literature dating back to 1943. However, this article was really more about the man, Donald Triplett, a 77-year-old Mississippian, and his enviable life. The author of the article, Caren Zucker, explains it best when she said:
We wanted readers to come away with a critical lesson — that in real and material ways, the quality of life achievable by a person with autism (or with any disability for that matter) depends significantly on how successfully and spontaneously any society recognizes the humanity of that person in its midst. In short, pity isn’t much help. But community is, when community implies connectedness, inclusiveness, caring, and, quite simply, good old-fashioned friendship. Read the rest of this entry →
Special Education Advocates or IEP Advocates help parents write appropriate Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and attain special education services for their child with a disability from their public school system. They do so by familiarizing themselves with the special education process. Please be aware, advocates are not attorneys. However, advocates are extremely helpful in IEP meetings to assist in the negotiation process between parents and their school. The Advocate can provide information about special education options and requirements and can help seek specific services or programs. The advocate knows local schools resources and can see solutions others might not. A Special Education Advocate is: Read the rest of this entry →
Today my boy and I were skulking in a thrift store – hunting for treasures. It is one of our favourite pass-times: something we can do together, an adventure of sorts, and always there is the promise of finding something absolutely remarkable. For me that would be some lovely 1940′s kitsch, movie memorabilia, photos or art, or old miscellaneous collectible bits and pieces. For H the treasure could include old movies or electronics, retro pop culture stuff, anything Star Wars or Star Trek, or even a really cool hat. Read the rest of this entry →
As a certified speech language pathologist using technology with children with autism for the past 12 years, I have experienced first hand the impact the iPad has had on the field. When the iPad was first released, it was quickly adopted by the special needs community as an easy to use, engaging tool. Plus, with the early creation of apps for communication, it solidified its place as a viable option for children with autism. There is much debate about the benefits of the iPad for these children, but in my experience, the use of the iPad boils down to two major categories: a therapeutic tool or a communication tool. Read the rest of this entry →
Maybe They Need To See What You Say!
We believe hearing sounds begins in the womb; perhaps learning to recognize a mother’s voice or benefitting from listening to certain types of music. So in all likelihood processing sounds, the beginning of language acquisition begins before birth. A parent may or may not enhance those opportunities. After birth those who have a significant role in a child’s life have a major part to play in language development. Read the rest of this entry →
We all know how important it is to have an IEP that addresses our child’s Academic, Developmental and Functional needs; to ensure they are appropriately prepared for an independent future. Therefore, as parents, we have to make sure our child’s IEP includes the necessary information to prepare them for life after high school. The results of your child’s most recent assessments, report cards, state tests, school personnel and parent input will assist the team in developing an appropriate IEP. Read the rest of this entry →
Some people would answer something such as “the ability to stay calm,” or “providing the right kind of structure,” or “keeping yourself healthy and well-rested.” Read the rest of this entry →