There Always Has to be One

It seems that every year, there is one teacher who just doesn’t get it.

I am overwhelmed by the amount of homework in The Boy’s science class this year, and it is supposedly being modified for him. This teacher refuses to give us study guides, insisting they are only made available for tests and not for quizzes.  However the quizzes cover an entire chapter and 40 slides from the PowerPoint they use in class.  What is assigned isn’t being communicated correctly in the planner, or conflicts with what is sent home via email.

I’ve been trying to communicate all of this to The Boy’s special education teacher, and she is doing her best, but she can’t control the general ed teacher and I don’t expect her to.  It’s just frustrating that yet again, I find myself providing the modifications for my son, and it’s just not my job.

modifications

This same teacher tried to “explain” to me in an email that he “grades on effort” because he knows that some students “struggle” more than others. Wrong thing to say to me. It offends me as a special needs mom, and it offends me as a former teacher.  There is nothing right with that statement.  I just have to figure out how much fight I have in me right now, and then I’ll figure out what to do next…

Advertisements

Celebrities and Autism

Jenny McCarthy was all over social media this weekend, because somebody reprinted an old interview, and everyone had something to say about it.  I haven’t touched this issue on this blog, and I call it an “issue” because just the mention of Jenny McCarthy divides people in the autism community into very disparate camps.  I’ve said before that I think this kind of division can not only hurt our kids, but also any progress we are making in enlightening society, and changing the world for our kiddos.

And truthfully, celebrities can say whatever they choose, not because it’s a first amendment right (because that is not what the first amendment is actually about), but because media and all of society expect them to have something to say on everything, and even if they don’t seek it out (although I’m pretty sure Ms. McCarthy did), sometimes they are pushed to voice their opinions.

Of course, when you do voice your opinions, one must understand that others may disagree with you.  And because you are a celebrity, and therefore so removed from real life, they may do so in a less than charming fashion.  Even founders of large nonprofits are not immune…  ahem

I’m going to tell you right now that I have not read Jenny’s books (does she have more than one?), nor have I read any entire interviews.  I know that she claims to have had her words misconstrued, and misreported.  I have heard that she claimed her son had been “cured” of autism, and that now he may have not had autism at all.  I have heard that her book contained some outlandish theories about children with autism, something having to do with crystals… (??)…  As I said, I haven’t read it.  But I’m beginning to think I should.

I will tell you that I believe in science.  I believe in the many, many, many scientific studies that have repeatedly found no link between autism and vaccines, regardless of the schedule.  I believe that anyone urging parents to forgo vaccines for their children is dangerous to society*, and I believe the CDC, the WHO, and the NIH.

(*Vaccines protect those who cannot be vaccinated, but only if all who can, do: from the CDC website, “Immunizing individual children also helps to protect the health of our community, especially those people who cannot be immunized. These include children who are too young to be vaccinated (for example, children less than a year old cannot receive the measles vaccine but can be infected by the measles virus), those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons (for example, children with leukemia), and those who cannot make an adequate response to vaccination.”)

Autism has no cure.  It is a neurological disorder, not a disease, and not an epidemic.  It is not something from which you “recover”.

Autism is my son, and my son is autism.  I cannot separate them, nor would I want to.  Many adults with autism feel this same way, and they are much more entitled to be experts in our community than anyone else.

I believe we need to be more careful to whom we give credence. 

I believe we shouldn’t allow anyone to divide us as a community. 

I believe we need to understand and support good science rather than anecdotal evidence. 

I believe that we should be suspicious of anyone making money off of autism.

celebrate

From Bill Nye to Babies

English: Planets and dwarf planets of the sola...

The Boy was recently re-introduced to Bill Nye, the Science Guy, and remembered how much he adores him.  Tonight, instead of indulging in his obsession of watching strange cartoon-based YouTube videos, he was laughing and giggling, and not being very secretive at all.  Turns out, he was recording audio from a Bill Nye video and altering it so that Bill Nye would be saying incorrect things, which, to him, is HILARIOUS.

Afterward, we were joking about it.  This particular episode was about the planets, and he concentrated on the portion of the video in which Bill said the planets circle the sun in a counter-clockwise motion.  He had cut out the “counter” portion of the audio.  I told him you can’t just change the direction of the planets because winter would be summer, morning would be night, and as you got older, you would get younger…

“What does that even MEAN?” he laughed.

I said, “It would mean that as you got older, you would become more and more like a baby.”

“And then, you would go back to pre-birth,” he added.

Uh… Ahem… Where are we going with this, I wondered…

“Yep, you would have to go back in the womb,” I said.

“What’s a womb?”

Uh-oh…  “The place in the mommy where babies form,” I said simply.

“After they come from heaven?”

“Yep, after they come from heaven,” I said.

Whew…  That was close.  And I don’t even remember talking about babies coming from heaven, but I don’t mind that.  That’s cool.

He is so flipping smart.  I love that kid.