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What kind of world do you want?

How about a world without autism. The organization Autism Speaks has collaborated with Five for Fighting to raise money for autism research. Together they created a video of Five for Fighting's song "World" featuring images of autistic children. This is how you can get involved: John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting will generously donate $0.49 to Autism Speaks each time the video is viewed. Please watch the video here.

Hat tip: All Natural Mommies

Comments (12)

Thanks for the link and you... (Below threshold)

Thanks for the link and your support.

Or don't, if you're not a f... (Below threshold)

Or don't, if you're not a fan of eugenics and child abuse.

The "Autism Speaks" movement funnels a load of money into genetic research, finding out what puts us on the autistic spectrum. As you might guess, this isn't going to lead to a pill that turns an autistic individual into a suddenly 'normal' person; by the time a fetus is formed enough to take genetic samples, there has been far too much neural development for our technology (or any likely future technology) to change. Such genetic research will, however, be wonderful for finding potential autistics and, well, when a prospective parent hears that their child will be worse than cancer", I'd be amazed if the cell mass ends up anywhere but the dumpster. This method already worked wonders for Down Syndrome, where despite simple therapy allowing the vast majority of the 10% allowed to reach adulthood a normal lifestyle.

"Autism Speaks" has also supported the vileness that is Applied Behavior Analysis, a technique who's single 'success' involved slapping children as young as five every time they were to 'act autistic'. Their film, Autism Every Day, has a scene where parents proudly and in detail proclaim that they've contemplated murdering their children because of autism -- and one parent has viewed this video and then carried out those details!

The only good thing I can say is that they aren't as stupid as the idiots blaming mercury (dur, we haven't injected thimerosal for a decade now, rates haven't changed... duh, must be a link between thimerosal and autism!).

They'll give you all a world without Autism, and likely without Asperger's or HFA. I personally think that the works of future Einsteins and Newtons are too valuable to lose, nevermind the ethical issues of simply killing or beating any such genius out of future generations, but that's just my viewpoint.

Accept diversity even when it means people who think differently than you.

Given the "shit" that women... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Given the "shit" that women (men would probably be worst) are willing to put into their bodies while pregnant, I'm surprised that we don't have more problems like autism and other problems which are far worst.

My daughter lives with Aspe... (Below threshold)

My daughter lives with Aspergers. I wouldn't wish the trouble and problems that she had had so far on anyone - even some of the clueless that post here. :-)

That said she is beautiful, intelligent, and lives to help others. She's an amazing kid who has taken an enormous amount of abuse from other kids because she's different. As she has gotten older she's learned to cope but it was rough for a long time. Were we frustrated beyond our limits? Hell yeah! Did we ever want to hurt her in any way? Nope. I view life as a gift from God and her life is very precious to me. I don't have any doubts that my girl is going to do something special with her life and it will be due to who she is.

I don't know anything about Autism Speaks or Cure Autism Now (other than the announcers at todays Nascar race had the Autism puzzle piece pins on) but if curing Autism meant that other parents didn't have to go through what we did or other kids got to realize their potential without the crap my daughter went through - I'm all for it.

As the father of a 10 year ... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

As the father of a 10 year old son with severe autism, I am encouraged by the amount of research that is being done. The complexity of Autism Spectrum Disorder is only in the early stages of being understood. I hold out hope that my son will someday function closer to what we call "normal", but I know there is a bigger probability that he won't. That being said, his life is a miracle that has been filled with triumphs and struggles, mostly in figuring out how to teach him communication and living skills.

Gattsuru, I don't know why you think genetic research has to lead to abortion and infanticide. Fight abortions of convenience first. Also, you should be careful about smearing a teaching method without backing it up and using anecdotal evidence to assert that all who use it are wrong or worse.

This is sort of long but we... (Below threshold)

This is sort of long but well worth the read:

Ten things every child with autism wishes you knew.

1. I am a child with autism. I am not "autistic." My autism is one aspect of my total character. It does not define me as a person. Are you a person with thoughts, feelings and many talents, or are you just fat (overweight), myopic(wear glasses) or klutzy (uncoordinated, not good at sports)?

2. My sensory perceptions are disordered. This means the ordinary sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches of everyday life that you may not even notice can be downright painful for me. The very environment in which I have to live often seems hostile. I may appear withdrawn or belligerent to you, but I am really just trying to defend myself. A "simple" trip to the grocery store may be hell for me. My hearing may be hyperacute. Dozens of people are talking at once. The loudspeaker booms today's special. Muzak whines from the sound system. Cash registers beep and cough. A coffee grinder is chugging. The meat cutter screeches, babies wail, carts creak, the fluorescent lighting hums. My brain can't filter all the input, and I'm in overload! My sense of smell may be highly sensitive. The fish at the meat counter isn't quite fresh, the guy standing next to us hasn't showered today, the deli is handing out sausage samples, the baby in line ahead of us has a poopy diaper, they're mopping up pickles on Aisle 3 with ammonia. ... I can't sort it all out, I'm too nauseous. Because I am visually oriented, this may be my first sense to become over stimulated. The fluorescent light is too bright. It makes the room pulsate and hurts my eyes. Sometimes the pulsating light bounces off everything and distorts what I am seeing. The space seems to be constantly changing. There's glare from windows, moving fans on the ceiling, so many bodies in constant motion, too many items for me to be able to focus - and I may compensate with tunnel vision. All this affects my vestibular sense, and now I can't even tell where my body is in space. I may stumble, bump into things, or simply lay down to try and regroup.

3. Please remember to distinguish between won't (I choose not to) and can't (I'm not able to). Receptive and expressive language are both difficult for me. It isn't that I don't listen to instructions. It's that I can't understand you. When you call to me from across the room, this is what I hear: "*&^% $#@, Billy. #$%^*&^%$&*" Instead, come speak directly to me in plain words: "Please put your book in your desk, Billy. It's time to go to lunch." This tells me what you want me to do and what is going to happen next. Now it's much easier for me to comply.

4. I am a concrete thinker. I interpret language literally. It's very confusing for me when you say, "Hold your horses, cowboy!" when what you really mean is "Please stop running." Don't tell me something is a "piece of cake" when there is no dessert in sight and what you really mean is, "This will be easy for you to do." When you say, "It's pouring cats and dogs," I see pets coming out of a pitcher. Please just tell me, "It's raining very hard." Idioms, puns, nuances, double entendres and sarcasm are lost on me.

5. Be patient with my limited vocabulary. It's hard for me to tell you what I need when I don't know the words to describe my feelings. I may be hungry, frustrated, frightened or confused, but right now those words are beyond my ability to express. Be alert for body language, withdrawal, agitation, or other signs that something is wrong. There's a flip side to this: I may sound like a little professor or a movie star, rattling off words or whole scripts well beyond my developmental age. These are messages I have memorized from the world around me to compensate for my language deficits, because I know I am expected to respond when spoken to. They may come from books, television or the speech of other people. It's called echolalia. I don't necessarily understand the context or the terminology I'm using, I just know it gets me off the hook for coming up with a reply.

6. Because language is so difficult for me, I am very visually oriented. Show me how to do something rather than just telling me. And please be prepared to show me many times. Lots of patient repetition helps me learn. A visual schedule is extremely helpful as I move through my day. Like your day planner, it relieves me of the stress of having to remember what comes next, makes for smooth transitions between activities, and helps me manage my time and meet your expectations.

Here's a great web site for learning more about visual schedules http://www.cesa7.k12.wi.us/newweb/content/rsn/autism.asp

7. Focus and build on what I can do rather than what I can't do. Like any other
human, I can't learn in an environment where I'm constantly made to feel that I'm not good enough or that I need fixing. Trying anything new when I am almost sure to be met with criticism, however constructive, becomes something to be avoided. Look for my strengths and you'll find them. There's more than one right way to do most things.

8. Help me with social interactions. It may look like I don't want to play with the other kids on the playground, but sometimes it's just that I simply don't know how to start a conversation or enter a play situation. If you can encourage other children to invite me to join them at kickball or shooting
baskets, I may be delighted to be included.

9. Try to identify what triggers my meltdowns. This is termed "the antecedent."Meltdowns, blowups, tantrums or whatever you want to call them are even more horrid for me than they are for you. They occur because one or more of my senses has gone into overload. If you can figure out why my meltdowns occur, they can be prevented.

10. If you are a family member, please love me unconditionally. Banish thoughts such as, "If he would just ..." and "Why can't she ... ?" You didn't fulfill every last expectation your parents had for you, and you wouldn't like being constantly reminded of it. I didn't choose to have autism. Remember that it's happening to me, not you. Without your support, my chances of successful, self-reliant adulthood are slim. With your support and guidance, the possibilities are broader than you might think. I promise you I'm worth it. It all comes down to three words: Patience. Patience. Patience.

Work to view my autism as a different ability rather than a disability. Look past what you may see as limitations and see the gifts autism has given me. I may not be good at eye contact or conversation, but have you noticed I don't lie, cheat at games, tattle on my classmates, or pass judgment on other people?

You are my foundation. Think through some of those societal rules, and if they don't make sense for me, let them go. Be my advocate, be my friend, and we'll see just how far I can go.

I probably won't be the next Michael Jordan, but with my attention to fine detail and capacity for extraordinary focus, I might be the next Einstein. Or Mozart. Or Van Gogh. They had autism too.

I don't know why you thi... (Below threshold)

I don't know why you think genetic research has to lead to abortion and infanticide.

Down Syndrome, where less than 10% of those with the condition avoid abortion or infanticide, despite largely normal quality of life with treatment. Cystic Fibrosis, where 95% of those diagnosed with the condition prenatally are aborted, thanks to genetic research that's been around for a decade, and not a single person living now with Cystic Fibrosis has been given genetic treatment or is likely to survive long enough to ever receive such treatment according to researchers specializing in the condition.

Past performance is never a perfect predictor of future possibility, but it's a damn good start.

Also, you should be careful about smearing a teaching method without backing it up and using anecdotal evidence to assert that all who use it are wrong or worse.

Not backing it up? Read Lovaas' book, where he proudly details beating children on his way to becoming the father of ABA. The fucker actually decided to get rid of the beneficial traits some children showed, like levels of knowledge, so they've become 'normal'! He put barefoot kids on electrified floors so they'd get painfully jolted if they didn't go where he wanted!

This isn't a smear, this is how the 'genius' behind the therapies proudly proclaims his expertise.

For those liberals out there, Lovaas was also behind a study that involved 'reparative therapy' and its related complete bullshit, trying to beat homosexuality out of gay men.

As a side note, ABA's methodology completely goes in contrast to the actual science : autistics tend to learn better when faced with large amounts of data rather than bite-sized chunks, like expressively stated 'rules' rather than implicit rewards or punishments, and ABA also tends to limit incidental learning.

blackcat77Please d... (Below threshold)


Please don't pretend to speak for MY autistic child and let go of your arrogance. Every parent raising an autistic child/child with autism, [the order of the nouns and adjectives is irrelevant], has as much understanding of the realities of autism as you do and they don't need your condescending patter to help them.

gatrtsuruThat is o... (Below threshold)


That is one of the most tired and silly attacks on ABA I have read in awhile. Attacking Lovaas based on an exaggerated rendition of history has nothing to do with ABA practiced today or as it has been practiced in our household with our son. Far too many people have actual knowledge of ABA and experience with application of ABA principles to buy into your silly anti-ABA diatribe.

Thanks Harold. I had decide... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

Thanks Harold. I had decided to sleep before I responded to gattsuru, but what you said pretty much sums up where I was going.

blackcat -- that's good stu... (Below threshold)

blackcat -- that's good stuff. My Aspergers boy is 16, and I wouldn't have him any other way.

blackcat - Thanks! That wa... (Below threshold)

blackcat - Thanks! That was an awesome post. I'm saving a copy of that to share with my family, friends, members of my church, coworkers, my son's teachers and anyone else who has contact with him.






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