Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Study: ‘Significant’ statistical link between mass murder and autism, brain injury” ~ Washington Post – May 21, 2014
Yes, that was the headline. If you read the rest of this article, it really doesn’t say anything of substance at all, but the headline screams “AUTISM and MASS MURDER!”
In fact, somewhere mid-article it reads:
“The researchers stressed the study is “clearly limited” by the “anecdotal and speculative” nature of some of the published accounts. Lead researcher Clare Allely, of the University of Glasgow, emphasized the study did not suggest those with autism or Asperger’s are more likely to commit murder”
- But Still the Headline Reads “‘Significant’ statistical link between MASS MURDER and AUTISM, brain injury”
Readers that may have taken the time to read further, are assaulted with a photo of Jeffrey Dahmer. The inference is, in this article at least, that due to some of the characteristics he had displayed, he may or may not have had some form of autism.
After displaying the photo of this very recognizable face, the article does go on to say:
“Despite the patterns that emerged in the study, researchers cautioned against sweeping conclusions. Neurodevelopmental disorders, they said, do not portend mass murder.”
I am sure very few people made it that far into the article. With the headline “Autism – Mass Murder”, and a photo of Jeffrey Dahmer, how much more would anyone need to read?
If one were to look closely enough at any of us, I am sure we all have one or more traits that can be similar to person with autism. These one or two traits, does not a diagnosis make.
Not all Autistics are loners or isolated as not all loners, shy or isolated people are Autistic.
Let’s not create a diagnosis to fit the ‘study’.
Santa Barbara: - May 25, 2014
My heart goes out to all of the victims and their families of this senseless act of violence. It is a tragedy that seems to be happening much to often.
This tragedy could have been prevented. There were warning signs, the parents saw these signs. They did what we have all been told to do after each and every tragedy that came before it – they reported their suspicions to the police.
“Police visited and interviewed the 22-year-old on April 30, after a family member became alarmed about YouTube posts by Rodger that mentioned violence and suicide. While Rodger’s parents and social worker were concerned, police found the student to be polite during their interview. He had taken down the alarming posts. Police cleared the call and left without taking any action. They determined that he did not meet the criteria for an involuntary mental health hold,” – It does not seem that the authorities have learned very much from these recent tragedies.
And again, right in the middle of the first article I read about this shooting were the words, “the shooter had been diagnosed as a child with ‘highly functional Asperger’s syndrome.’ - written just like that, in the article as if to say that the Asperger’s diagnosis was the reason behind the shootings, exactly the way it had been done in the Sandy Hook articles.
Just as in the Sandy Hook articles, this claim of an actual diagnosis is being disputed:
In an article published on May 25, The L.A. Times reported that Rodger family friend Simon Astaire said Eliot Rodger, the prime suspect in the shooting, was not diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, but that the family suspected he was on the spectrum. The claim contradicts an earlier statement made by the family’s lawyer
Both shooters may or may not have been diagnosed with Aspergers, we may never know for sure, but the fact remains that there is no evidence to support the claim that an Autism or Asperger’s diagnosis, played any part in either of these tragedies. They may have had that diagnosis or that diagnosis may have been suspected, but THAT diagnosis is not the reason behind these acts. Clearly there were other, possibly undiagnosed issues at work here.
They may just as well reported that these shooters had “blue eyes”.
“Now we caution against ‘sweeping conclusions’ based on eye color, but we just felt the need to mention the fact that this shooter had ‘Blue Eyes”.
Once again, Autism is made the scapegoat for an unexplainable horror.
Toni Braxton: – May 26, 2014
Toni Braxton wrote a memoir. Included in this memoir was her confession that she once believed that God had punished her for an abortion she had years ago by giving her son Autism.
Parents receiving a diagnosis of autism go though many, many layers of emotions and have many different thoughts. I do not have a problem with whatever she may have been feeling at the time. We all feel than think differently. We all handle it differently, there is nothing wrong with that.
There ARE some thoughts that should be kept to one’s self, especially when your child is involved. She may have felt guilt, she may have truly believed that this was some kind of punishment, due to her religious upbringing, but that thought should have been kept between her, her pastor and/or her therapist – forever.
Yes, I write many stories about my own Autistic son.
I write about him because I am so proud of him. – I write about him because he makes me laugh and smile everyday. – I write about him because I worry about his future. -I write about him because, I am told it helps others to understand autism (his autism, at least).
My son will come away from all of my stories knowing that his mother loves him and was never anything but proud of all that he is.
Toni’s thoughts about autism are her own. I would not disparage anyone for having whatever feeling they may have about that diagnosis.
But, this thought should have remained her own. It should not have been written about, printed in a book or spoken about in interviews. The fact that she no longer feels this way doesn’t negate the fact that her son will read and know that at one time, he was seen as her punishment. You can not take that back, no matter how much your views may have changed along the way.
You can not take that back …………………..
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Just a quick post just because I am so proud of my boy. I have told him so many times since yesterday that DC finally said, “Mom, write story”.
I don’t know if he asked me to ‘write story’ because he is proud of himself too or that he just wants me to stop telling him every 5 minutes, but either way, his wish is my command.
DC and his dad gave me a gift certificate for Mother’s Day for a seafood restaurant. The restaurant is very popular I am told. I had never been there, but DC has been there with his Dad and a couple of other times on field trips with an organization where he participates in many of their activities.
The restaurant is about an hour away, so we decided to make a day if it.
For a kid that loves to go ‘out to eat’ almost as much as he loves going to the bookstore, he didn’t seem all that excited when we finally arrived. Also, for a kid who remembers EVERYTHING, he didn’t seem to recognize it and told me more than once in the parking lot that he did not want to go there (I think he was a little bit out of sorts to begin with yesterday).
Once inside, he saw that they had cheeseburgers on the menu and he also seemed to now recognize the place so he stopped telling me he didn’t want to stay there. DC’s standard order anywhere we go is: wings, cheeseburger, french fries and coke. I could see they did not have wings on the menu so I was surprised when he ordered “fried chicken” with his cheeseburger. I did not see that on the menu either and tried to explain this to DC. He was getting upset and luckily the girl at the counter stepped in and corrected me and said that, yes they do have fried chicken and we CAN order one piece as a side dish/ appetizer. I should have known that he of course, would remember what he had when he was there before.
- SAVED by the counter girl -
I told DC that he was correct and that Mom was wrong, which just put him in a better mood, because he LOVES when I tell him I am wrong. :)
We took a seat and not too long after, our food was ready. In the booth behind DC was a family; parents and three young children. In the seat directly behind DC’s head was the mother and two of the children, they looked to be about 3 years old. The two children were on the inside of the booth climbing all over the place and screaming, two inches from DC’s head. At first I didn’t pay much attention because there are times that noise really bothers him and other times he seems oblivious to it. This seemed to be one of the oblivious times, until all of a sudden, he looked at me, lifted his fists straight up next to his head, clenched his teeth and just shook! There are many times when I don’t immediately know what is wrong, but this time it was apparent.
I told him that I understood what was bothering him and told him that it might be better for him if we just moved his food to my side of the table and sit with me. First he refused, because he was all situated where he was, but after thinking about it for only another second, he agreed. He moved over to my side of the table, he looked at me, put his hand to his forehead, pretended to wipe it and said “Phew!”
It was a simple fix, but I was so proud of him for keeping himself under control. Yes, he shook his fists and clenched his teeth, but he did not make a sound, he did not yell, he did not lose control. He found his own way to let me know he was having a problem and he let me help him to correct it. I’m sure the people in the booth didn’t even know anything was happening. I praised him over and over again for keeping himself in control and letting Mom know there was something wrong and letting me help him.
I also took it as an opportunity to explain to him that when he sometimes gets loud in a restaurant that this might be how the other people feel; this is why I always ask him to try to keep his voice down. I’m really not sure if he understood the connection, but I have to try to make it, when the opportunity presents itself.
He went on to enjoy his fried chicken, cheeseburger, fries and coke in the seafood restaurant without incident and in a much better mood for shopping and bookstore visits to come later.
(this post was written entirely on my phone, please excuse any typos and run on sentences)
Thursday, May 22, 2014
I have changed the address of my wordpress blog. All if the content on this blog is also posted there - the old links on each post here may not work, but all content is at the new address. I will continue to post here with the new address linked. Thank you!
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Saturday, May 10, 2014
My only Mother’s Day gift wish when DC was little was a macaroni necklace. You know, the macaroni necklace that every child makes for their mother eventually, for some occasion or holiday or for no reason at all. I think I remember making a few of my own when I was a kid. I really wanted a macaroni necklace! Unfortunately, there was no one that was going to help him do this, with the exception of me, of course, but that would not be the same. In other families if there was not another parent or sibling to make the suggestion and help with the project, eventually the child got old enough to come up with the idea as we all did when we were young, on his own. I knew that this was also something that was not going to happen in the foreseeable future, at least.
I know it was an odd thing to be fixated on, with so many other things to worry about, but it reallymade me sad that my son was never going to make and present me with a macaroni necklace. I talked about it all of the time. Whenever my birthday or a holiday came around, my friends would have to listen to me whine about the fact that I would never have that cherished macaroni necklace. In my mind it was the “right of passage” of parenthood.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
It has now been full year since I began writing this blog. Over the course of this year, a few friends have asked, among other things, why I call my son “DC”.
DC is not my son’s name. This is confusing to my friends because I do post this blog on my personal face book page. Obviously my friends on my personal page know my son’s name, they know our last name, they even know where we live. BUT because this blog is public, and is shared on a number of accounts and networks via WordPress (not via my personal page), I do not use his real name, our last name or our location.
Friday, May 2, 2014
(This post probably qualifies more as a face book status than a blog entry, but it made me laugh, so a blog it is!)