autism

Martha asked why? A prejudicial society? My view?

Martha you asked why?  Why does society act the way it does.  It is sad but out society still sees color, disability and social class as a way to judge people! We live a cruel world.  It is seen all over the media when a report of bullying has happened in a school.  Some instances of bullying are criminal.

PLEASE UNDERSTAND THIS POST DECLARES SOME (plenty) in society are prejudicial. Martha, you see people with out prejudice of any kiind!  God blessed me when he gave me you as a friend.  It hurts that reality is many are predjuicial

What does “Theory of Mind” say about this individual. “Theory of mind (often abbreviated ToM) is the ability to attribute mental states — beliefs, intents, desires,pretending, knowledge, etc. — to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, intentions, and perspectives that are different from one’s own.[1] Deficits occur in people with autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,[2] as well as neurotoxicity due toalcohol abuse.[3] Although there are philosophical approaches to this, the theory of mind as such is distinct from the philosophy of mind.”This is a direct quote from the link below in the Wikepedia.

Further explanation of “Theory of Mind!”

Basically it states that those aren’t neurotypical, have autism, developmental delays and other fail to get that another person has feelings and a mind.   If a person is nonverbal, it is assumed that they have nothing to say or fail to understand that another person has feelings.

What did I see when I looked at this young man?  An interesting person that must have an alluring mind.  Plus, society is missing out so much from these indivicuals.

A group you and I have been active in started a campaign to “Think Different.”  Yet, there is so much standard, conservative and non-acceptance of “thinking different.”  I explained to this agency that they are still teaching “Theory of Mind.”  I brought up that the “Dopamine Theory of Reward,” is being questioned.  This deals with the chemicals in the brain thought to make you feel good and deals big time with addiction. This theory picks dopamine as the main neurotransmitter.  Currently there is a shift away from this to the chemical glutamate.  Some still say it is dopamine, some point to glutamate, and others say it more complex than either.

How many are hearing more and more that nonverbal autistic’s are starting to communicate through assistive technology, say they want to be social and something else associated with this?  Has anybody read the book The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida? Translated and adapted for American audience by David Mitchell and KA Yoshida.  Temple Grandin reviewed the book giving it praise.

If you know me, you know that I am “different!” I think different! Voicing my objections to things I think are wrong comes easy for me in some ways.  My family taught me to be myself.  Being a color other than white, having a disability and/or a different thought pattern were okay in my family. Both of my parents drilled into us to accept people regardless of these items.  Yet, my father pounded in us more.  Growing up poor with a father that died when he was ten impressed upon my father that people judging him for being poor was wrong.  He noted the lessons in life deciding being fair, a good father and human being were important to him.

Grandpa with his namesake Tanner (Dad's middle name).   Dad was a teacher and Sarge in the Army and he rode us hard so we would have great quality of life.
Grandpa with his namesake Tanner (Dad’s middle name).
Dad was a teacher and Sarge in the Army and he rode us hard so we would have great quality of life.

At this time let me show you a few pictures of my mother, Dorothy Mallo, now 87 years old. See if you can pick out the odd things about her.

Grandma kept a cabinet that was loaded with stuff he was allowed to shuffle around in play.  Remember the saying kids like the box better than the present!
Grandma kept a cabinet that was loaded with stuff he was allowed to shuffle around in play. Remember the saying kids like the box better than the present!
Grandma with Tanner, her favorite grandchild and Tanner's best friend.
Grandma with Tanner, her favorite grandchild and Tanner’s best friend.
Does this offer any clues? It is more subtle here.
Does this offer any clues? It is more subtle here.

Here is my mother with her best friend.

Mom and Mary freinds for over 65 years.  Mary taught me to be me too.
Mom and Mary freinds for over 65 years. Mary taught me to be me too.
Mom on Mother's Day.  you might see a clue here.
Mom on Mother’s Day. you might see a clue here.

Here is picture of my friend from phamacy school.  Years add up!  Thirty-three years we have been friends. Sally  (Name changed as others in this post) has Cerebral palsy (CP). Can you guess when I found out? In college?  Nope! In October of 2013 we took a trip to Wisconsin to see mostly my family.  The trail was diverted to see a few other landmarks.  Sally blurts out to my cousins she has CP.  I looked at her said thirty years and I never knew what you had.  I wanted to know in a way why she never told me.  Sally didn’t answer.  Of course I stated it never really mattered but I was curious.  Sally still hasn’t given me an answer.  I figure she has her reason and that it that.

Sitting down you can't tell there is anything different about Sally.  She has trouble walking.  Her knees bend in so it appears she almost walks with legs crossed or pigeon-toed.
Sitting down you can’t tell there is anything different about Sally. She has trouble walking. Her knees bend in so it appears she almost walks with legs crossed or pigeon-toed.

Here I wish to express that although I appear bold there are insecurities present.  Below is a drawing and a chalk colored picture I did of Sally. Guess when I showed her the art work?  I was ashamed.  I thought Sally would be offended.  Everyone, almost I think, down grades their self esteem and abilities.  Hurting a friend’s feeling, especially one that is treasured as much as Sally, is an act that I would rather avoid.  Sally loved it.  Sally felt something she said that was hard to put into words.  I finished it for her by coloring it in chalk.  I plan to take some painting classes and other art workshops in the future. It relaxes me.

Anita on our 2013 Wisconsin trip.
Anita on our 2013 Wisconsin trip.

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How did my family react to Tanner as he appeared to have some engrossing qualities?  Deal with his sensory issues?  Address people when they had him out in public where people ask stupid questions and do or act in an uneducated matter?  Often these people were ignored, teased, given an education or my father shouted comments at a few.  Shouting at people may be wrong but saying mean things, name calling (due to idiocracy) or doing demeaning things when a child can hear them is also unaccepatable behavior. My father was a well read teacher.  He had a plethora of information on late talkers and related information.  My dad was spot on about a lot of how to deal with with situation of having a special needs child.

Look at Temple Grandin’s mom.  I too was told by three experts to put Tanner in an institution.  My father wasn’t always right either.  Ignoring everything and putting your head in the sand will not make all of the autism go away.  Treating my son  like any other child with a few exceptions was the right difficult balance to try to obtain. If you know me well, then you may have observed my patients with my son can sometimes be lacking.  I admit it.  I am not perfect and my health since a car wreck in 2008 has left me a bit on edge.  My personality changed according to friends, family and my doctor.  I had a  Mild Traumatic Brain Injury along with 5 to 7 fractures.  Recent complications with an answer might take away some of my edge.

What I am getting at here or trying to express here is treating the kids (improper maybe but my way of talking) as if they are “normal” with specific needs appears to me to be the best.  Doing what all good mothers do, I read about autism and have tried to do my best to get it right for Tanner.  Self-advoacy is a big topic.  Do any of you like to be singled out?  Stand out to b the freak in the room?  Labeled with something that is unpopular that sets you apart where you may not be considered normal?  Think about “Person-Centered Planning!”  Are we really listening to our kids?

Tanner hates to be called disabled, autistic or another synonym that sets him out of the big group.  I understand now how this can set up our kids to have lower self esteem.  What is my answer?  Labels are important in identifying what a parent can do to help or aid their child(ren) reach theit highest potential for quality of life.  Insurance and schools have to have a label.  In a perfect world we could get away withouth labels. I guess I would explain it to Tanner now as if he had a cold and by doing these things the cold will get better.  I would try to tell him the things you need help with are symptoms of autism and by doing these things we can help some of the things that are hard to become easier.  Key would be teaching the kids to ask for help when faced with an obstacle; math problems, talking to friends and such.

Please ponder my friend Sally and my mother.  Did you figure out what my mother’s issues were?  Look closer at this picture again. Hone in on her feet.  Look back up at the picture with Tanner side by side.  How does she sit?  Anything different about her legs?  How about the picture where she is standing up next to my father and brothers?  Even with shoes on does she seem tilted?

Grandma kept a cabinet that was loaded with stuff he was allowed to shuffle around in play.  Remember the saying kids like the box better than the present!
Grandma kept a cabinet that was loaded with stuff he was allowed to shuffle around in play. Remember the saying kids like the box better than the present!

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