Normal Is Overrated

Musings and meanderings on the autistic spectrum

April 12, 2009

Noodly executive functioning

So, at my Aspie support group meeting last week, I finally learned how to cook spaghetti on my own. It was actually a lot simpler than I thought it’d be, and there was very little room for me to accidentally scald myself (something that has happened before in other attempts at cooking).

And I was ready to cook some for myself tonight, since I figured most restaurants would probably be closed for Easter. I’d already gotten spaghetti noodles and sauce at the store; I’d already checked to make sure I had a pot to cook it in; I thought I was ready.

Some of you probably see the issue already.

I remembered to check if I had a pot to cook it in. As I realized this evening, however, I forgot to check whether I had a colander to pour it in afterward. Which, of course, it turns out that I didn’t.

So much for that plan.

And it’s not as if I can go to the store to get one today, since (1) none of the stores are on the Sunday bus route, and (2) they’re probably closed for Easter anyway.

Guess I’ll be seeing which restaurants are open downtown; there’s bound to be one, at least…

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 5:08 pm

April 7, 2009

A bit late, but still a worthy link…

I’m a day late with this, but I just can’t go without linking Cara from The Curvature‘s post “Things That Pain Me“. It’s about Yoko Ono’s partnership with Autism Speaks, and it links to my own post about said organization.

I’m glad to see that those of us on the autism spectrum aren’t the only ones who have issues with Autism Speaks’ tactics and approaches. Thanks, Cara, for getting this out to an even wider audience.

Filed under: Autism Speaks,Controversies — codeman38 @ 8:27 pm

April 4, 2009

Mr. Handley, we’re standing right here…

I was planning on posting about the ridiculously frustrating Larry King interview from last night with Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey, and J. B. Handley, but Joseph at Autism: Natural Variation beat me to it. So I’ll just let you read his post instead. It’s well worth it.

I will, however, comment on one particular line of the interview that made me just want to scream at my set for its utter wrongness (as taken from the official transcript):

HANDLEY: I want to talk about this issue of autism prevalence. It’s going to be shocking for parents to learn that the CDC and the AAP don’t actually acknowledge that there’s been a real rise in autism cases. Larry, the Department of Education in 1992, 16,000 kids were getting autism services. Today 225,000. That means in 1992, they were missing 93 percent of kids with autism. Where are all the adults with autism? They don’t exist.

Not only is that, as Joseph says, completely wrong, it’s also logically inconsistent with itself. Let’s see: If there were 16,000 kids getting autism services in 1992, those 16,000 kids would be… I don’t know, over age 18 now, since it’s been over 18 years since 1992 they were already in elementary school 17 years ago (I once again demonstrate that I’m horrible at arithmetic). Which, last time I checked, would make them adults.

So Handley must think that every one of those 16,000 individuals has either been cured or died, I guess. I’m curious as to which.

And that’s completely ignoring the issue of diagnostic substitution— I was undiagnosed in 1992 because Asperger’s and other high-functioning forms of autism just weren’t on people’s radar back then— which, as Joseph’s post points out (and which Dr. Max Wiznitzer also attempted to correct, but was cut off by the show ending), Handley also got wrong.

This seems to me to be one of those sorts of cases that Keunwoo Lee termed fractally wrong.

Filed under: Controversies,Vaccines — codeman38 @ 11:41 pm

April 2, 2009

A glimmer of hope

So today was the second ever World Autism Awareness Day. And I expected it to be one of those days that was frustrating but that I just had to bear, with all sorts of media coverage of the plight of parents of autistic kids and all sorts of distortions and incomplete truths about what autism actually entails.

And y’know what? It wasn’t too bad this year.


Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 9:37 pm

April 1, 2009

Yet another April…

…which means it’s once again time for me to blog more often than the occasional post that I usually make.

And it’s not just because I just turned in my comprehensive exams for grad school, though that has a bit to do with it as well, given how swamped I’ve been feeling lately.

No, it’s because it’s the second ever World Autism Awareness Month. And those of you who follow this blog should know how I feel about the typical media approaches to “awareness.”

And tomorrow’s the second annual World Autism Awareness Day, which means that such “awareness” will be out in full force on all the TV morning shows and news programs. All sorts of talk about how kids on all ends of the autistic spectrum will never have jobs, never go to college, never have significant others, yada yada yada, never mind that many of us have grown up to do all of those… all sorts of misguided efforts to try to make sense of autistics without actually bothering to talk to any of us, as if we don’t actually exist… not to mention all the people who seem to forget that autistics actually grow up…

Then again, the media may very well surprise me, as some of the ones I mentioned in the above-linked blog post did last year— actually giving awareness that autism isn’t just something that affects kids, that it certainly isn’t any sort of death sentence, and that even with the occasional odd reaction or atypical behavior, yes, we’re people too.

That’s the sort of awareness I’d like to see more of this month.

Or, to paraphrase a slogan from another well-known advocacy movement:

We’re here. We’re weird. Get used to it.

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 3:26 pm

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