Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Digest 40

I want to let you all know about several interesting articles I've come across in the last couple of weeks. Check out these links...

1) I have Autism Speaks in my facebook feed, and the title of this blog entry grabbed my attention. I am always interested in adult siblings' perspective on autism as I begin to look ahead to our children's relationships.

2)The link above is a response to another blog post which is a call for more civility among the autism community. I have to say I agree with the original post...if you've ever checked out comments on one of any controversial (or even not controversial) articles on autism, the rhetoric and diatribes become quite disheartening. I can't get into any of that, really. I have my own opinions on all of the controversies, but I recognize them as just that - opinions. I could never claim them as facts to bludgeon another parent with an alternate view. Perhaps I am not cynical enough, but it seems to me if we could put aside our differences we might make more progress in researching and advocating for individuals affected by autism. Isn't that what we all want?

3)  My husband pointed me to this article from Though I am familiar with most of the issues explained by this "Alphabet of Asperger's," it is really helpful to have the child's perspective on each of these topics. Our daughter looks a lot like an Asperger's child these days because she has made a fair amount of progress with her language, but she doesn't have the language skills to explain her behavior or preferences like Nick does in this article. For instance she also seems to prefer to be at the head or tail of a line. I always thought she just wanted to be one of the title positions (both have special jobs to do at our school) but maybe it is also because she feels "crushed" and needs some open space on one side.

4) There is a lot of buzz out there about the new definition of autism per the latest DSM update expected to appear May 2013. This article in the New York Times suggests that the new diagnostic criteria will "miss" a lot of individuals who currently "fit" the diagnosis. I haven't studied this very closely, though I probably should soon since we are right at the cusp on some of these issues. To handle things more even-handedly than the alarmist news media, I suggest starting here at my blogging friend Autism & Oughtism's take on the whole issue. She does her homework on these things. I should SO follow her example in this.

5) We watched most of the Superbowl yesterday, and the most interesting "personal interest" story to me was the story of Steve Gleason, a former professional football player now diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.) He has started a foundation called "Team Gleason" that helps other ALS patients improve their lives and reach for their goals. He brought two such patients to the Superbowl - a once in a lifetime experience to be sure. You can read more about Team Gleason here.


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