On assigning friendship…

So much truth to this. Opportunities need to be created for friendship to grow – not as a project, but organically.

Thirty Days of Autism

You mission… should you choose to accept it… will be to be a friend to this other child in your class…

No – really…

This will be really great!

I will give you extrinsic rewards and reinforcements for being a good friend to this child and it will make me feel good as the teacher to know that this child is being included… and you will feel good for helping someone who needs it…

Nevermind that this is stigmatizing…

And… um… let’s just agree to overlook that it reinforces the underlying message that this other child should be pitied and doesn’t merit being included as they are – as our equal – as a human being  – but instead – as a project…

And… um… maybe we can also overlook that somewhere in there as your teacher I am reinforcing the message that this child with a disability is not…

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#689: Did I overreact when my date told me a story about rape and then wanted to get me alone?

This is important for Anyone / EVERYONE. (trigger warning-discussion of rape)

CaptainAwkward.com

Dear Captain Awkward,

I’m newly single, and getting back into dating. I went on a date last night with a guy I met on OKC. We met up at a bar, and he seemed cute and smart, and as we talked it seemed like we had lots in common! But about twenty minutes in, it seemed clear he wanted to do the touching-kissing thing. I had just met this person, and I wanted to get comfortable around him before I let him put his hands on my body (even though he was cute and promising!). So I was sitting kinda sideways and he was sitting facing me, legs apart, physically accessible, etc.

He said something like, “You’re very guarded. I’m in the restaurant business and we read people quickly and I can tell that you’re very guarded.”

I felt weird, but there was this voice in my head saying, “You…

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The Occupational Therapy Fairy

A Quiet Week In The House

ot fairy

My son’s autism diagnosis shocked me less than his proposed therapy schedule. The clinicians proclaimed that he needed 25-35 hours of therapy. Without it, he may not have the tools to be mainstreamed in school.

I struggled with this mightily.

Specialists came to our home and saw him at the early intervention center.  He is not the child you see, I explained. Tyoma was sweet, playful, and bright.  He only ran around maniacally because everything was so new.  Sympathetic smiles and pity faces were stock responses.

Let me emphasize–I don’t begrudge the efforts of the regional autism center.  Several staff members, however,  left me feeling patronized and disbelieved.

For two years I absorbed book after book about autism therapy—A.B.A., Floortime, DIR, and RDI.  All of these treatments had one thing in common–they sort of worked, some of the time.

Ultimately, when Tyoma was in a teachable place—he learned.  When Tyoma was disorganized, these  interventions failed.

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The Business of Breaking Children

Parenting Autistic Children With Love & Acceptance

by Kimberly Steiner

This post was originally published here

I spent some time with a friend one evening this week and one of the conversations we had surrounding her preschooler brought back so many memories of when my oldest child started school.

My friend’s child is vibrant, energetic, and brilliant. Her mind and body are very active and always running. She is all smiles and giggles. She is just an absolutely beautiful 4 yr. old child.

My friend was showing me her daughter’s school communication folder and I read some of the notes written about her child from the teacher. I recognized so many of the comments because I had read similar notes before with my own child just 12 years ago when he started school.

As I moved through some of the comments while looking at the green, yellow and red dots in her folder, I became very sad…

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Two Sides of Tolerance: Accepting Others

Wow – very moving.

A Quiet Week In The House

Perfume

Not long ago, I enjoyed tea and pastry at my favorite bakery. A woman with dizzying perfume swept into a seat behind me. Her sharp, expensive fragrance slid over my table, invading each sip and bite I took.  Irritation engulfed me. I snatched up my notebooks and stomped across the room to pen a few ill-tempered paragraphs. When my tea tasted good again, I stole a glance at the perpetrator. Slim and sixtyish, she stiffened under my scrutiny.

I expected someone offensive and unlikable–a diabolical, slathering fiend, perfume bottle in hand, ready to shoot pungent fluids at my face.  Instead, a frail and self-conscious senior citizen nibbled a croissant.  Her red-and-black plaid pantsuit radiated as fiercely as her fragrance. She was the kind of woman who applies lipstick with a tiny brush and styles her improbable chestnut hair with precision. In a deserted bakery, she purposely chose the seat closest…

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