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Monday

Stereotyping atypical persons- just babbling

Little man has always been a bit of a conundrum- particularly when it comes to fitting him into the autism stereotype.
He has noticeable social deficits (see previous postings of humorous conversations for example) yet he has social ability and desire.
He was language delayed-has language output disability now with a vocabulary of a three year old yet he reads and comprehends reading material at a college level.  His understanding of language is complex, his spoken language formal.
He lacks an interest in most typical creative play-more so as a toddler, yet he is amazingly creative. He writes, plays role play games such as Dungeons and Dragons, draws and invents.
His fine motor skills are impaired yet he can paint war hammer miniatures.
He walks with an odd gait and is exceptionally stilted in his motions, yet he can run like the wind with no hint of clumsiness.
He is severely learning disabled, yet is an honour roll student with the help of oral testing to replace written.

I find it interesting, myself, that when he was younger his unique quirks were more obvious to me, yet we were unable to get a diagnosis for him.  In part because he demonstrated empathy, was able to use inflection of voice, interacted socially with his sister and was able to sit in class. Because he did not fit in with some of the false stereotyping involved with autism he remained undiagnosed for some time.

Yet now that he has developed in so many ways, has benefited from social thinking groups and interventions he was so quickly diagnosed.  interesting that a disorder that is marked by the atypical behaviours and processes of the individual there would be so many associated stereotypes.

Little man blends in better now, in some ways while standing out more in others.  Being in such a small town has some major pluses, in my opinion.
His classmates are used to his quirks and lack of social grace.  He is bullied less than I feared, stood up for more than I had expected and appreciated almost as much as I had hoped.  He has experienced the irritation of being stalked by someone 'crushing' on him and dealt with it much smoother than I had anticipated.  He continues to contribute to the classroom, helping other students with math concepts while learning to accept that he in turn needs help with written requirements.

His speech has improved some, although I am still frequently asked if he is from (new york, Chicago, France, Newfoundland, England to name a few).  Little man has figured out that he needs to compensate for his 'accent' with hand gestures, patience and care.  He has no troubles understanding other persons with strong accents amazingly enough. 

His new hobby (besides inventing) is to create intricate role playing board games.  All of these games have complex rules including character creation and advancement although I have yet to see one that favours the player over the 'monsters'. The creativity involved as he creates new races and worlds astounds me, yet he seems unable to imagine others intending him harm.  So naive for a young man turning 12 and headed to middle school....

Watching my children grow has been the most rewarding process.  I can't wait to see what other stereotypical behaviours little man prove are atypical to his diagnosis of being atypical.

Sunday

The difference between you and me.... you are a loon

I had a giggle reading this post at AoA  where Julie goes on a rant explaining that the difference between her and Allison Singer is that Julie doesn't. (Julie doesn't believe or trust anything or anyone that doesn't feed her paranoid beliefs).

Her writing is incoherent from the beginning and I was pleased to see it was...well... boring.

In my oh so humble opinion, the difference between Julie and Allison is that Julie is a loon.

Tuesday

AoA's David Burd is a bird brain

I read this article at Age of Autism and was left confused.  Where was David Burd getting this...'data'?

Firstly, I live in Canada.  I am also the person responsible for keeping our 'Pandemic Preparedness' binder current at work and as such I receive updates on current flu clinics, flu trends, outbreaks etc.

David Burd starts off by with this little gem; "Last September, a large study by Canadian scientists Danuta Skowronski and Gaston De Serres threw Canada into an uproar with their findings showing people who had prior "seasonal flu" shots were much more likely to come down with newly appeared H1N1 (Swine) flu illness."

Saying that people that get the seasonal flu shot are more at risk for H1N1 is inflamatory.  Many of the persons that get the seasonal flu shot are more at risk for all flu virus's.  (My employer has Crohn's for example, and the medication he takes leaves his immune system weakened.).  I also do not recall any uproar, other than people being lined up and turned away for the shots as our government was not prepared for the high demand for the H1N1 vaccine.  By the time I was able to take my family in for the shots, my daughter had already been ill with H1N1.  The rest of us still got the shot. 

The study he is talking about is unpublished according to this article. This article also states that "Marie-Paule Kieny, director of the WHO’s initiative for vaccine research, said no other researchers had presented similar findings and it could be a “study bias”, although the Canadian investigators were well known and capable."

Burd goes one a bit more then says "All this was front page in newspapers across Canada".  Huh? What newspapers?  Not where I live.  A quick google shows me that key words "Canada, H1N1, study" brings up the AoA post by Burd, the article above and yet no links to any major newespapers.  How odd.

He rambles on about the conspiracy to hide this unpublished studies findings from the American public and brings up what is fast becoming AoA's new punch line "in the immortal words of NBC's Dr. Nancy Snyderman on national TV, "just take your damn flu shot.""

He then goes into some rambling about New Brunswick, hammering in his point that he has no idea what he is talking about-but the AoA'ers lap it up! Its a conspiracy! It's vaccines! (I notice that what it is not is Autism), so all the little AoA sheeples are happily bleating.

Then David writes in third person, telling us about his professional acheivements in technology related fields.  He consults on surgical devices related to intellectual property rights (patents) and claims that he was in the first grad class of 'rocket scientists' (quotes are his, not mine).  All of which of course make him more than qualified to write about vaccine studies.

One comment caught my attention:

"Request for authors: For those of us interested in original sources, please reference the source of studies referred to and please provide urls that lead to specific pages such as the Canada Fluwatch website mentioned in this article. I think I found the correct website by googling, but several hits were returned. I also was not able to glance at the home page and find the specific information mentioned.

I'd live to pass along articles such as these to skeptical friends in the field of science, but know without sources, they will not take the articles seriously. And it is frustrating to take time to try to recreate an author's sources. Even spending much time and effort to track down sources, it's often necessary to preface them with "I think this is the source but am not positive."
Thanks in advance for those who will begin doing this! It will save your readers a lot of time!
Posted by: L Brasher "

Burd replied:
"Dear L Brasher, The keywords 'Canada' and 'Fluwatch" go right to the source. You could also add years such as '2010' or flu season phrases such as "2009 - 2010"

However, what is provided by Fluwatch are the wonderful tabulations of all the Provinces in Canada, the respective flu seasons, cases per Province, etc.
It is me, the author of the piece, that uses these facts, and makes deductive analyses, and conclusions. Canada's Public Health System, like the U.S. CDC actually believes it is good to give flu shots (tho they are rethinking in light of Skowronski and De Serres).
Hope this helps -- David Burd"

So there you have it! Mr Burd has used a table that he is not qualified to interpret and written this garbage article for the entertainment of the AoA crowd.

Beauty, eh?
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Little Man's New Hobby

Little Man's New Hobby
Toy Photos