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Old 04-25-2007, 07:30 AM   #1
Arrhythmia
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Thumbs up April is Autism Awareness Month

My dear fellow Dims,

I feel it is my duty to either inform or remind everyone that April is Autism Awareness Month.

I am not only the Founder/Executive Director of a nonprofit for children with Autism, but most importantly, I am the mother of an awesome 10 year old boy who has Autism. Here's his picture below. His name is Emilio (I always call him "Mamma's Man") and he is the love of my life!


Since this month has been set aside to observe Autism, I'd like to leave you with two facts:

Fact #1 - The CDC (Center for Disease Control) now states that their previous finding were incorrect. Autism does not affect 1 in 166 births as what they once thought. They have now discovered it effects 1 in 150 births. That means approximately 1.5 million Americans have some form of Autism!

Fact #2 - Autism is 4 times more prevalent in males than in females

I could go on and on, but I won't. I love to talk about this Spectrum Disorder -- how it has changed my life and how my son and I together have changed many others.

If you'd like to know more about Autism, may I suggest these two websites?:

Autism Society of America
http://www.autism-society.org

Center for Disease Control
http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/

Also, if you'd like to chat about Autism or anything else for that matter, drop me a line.

BTW, I think my son may be an FA -- he likes to squeeze ladies upper arms, but only those who have lots of "meat" hanging there.

Ciao 4 Now!
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Old 04-25-2007, 07:36 AM   #2
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I know a little boy with autism. His name is Cameron. Man, that is one busy kid. But for some reason, he will slow down for me. I have'nt seen him in a couple of months though. We went bowling, what fun!

Peace,
2P.
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paw Paw View Post
I know a little boy with autism. His name is Cameron. Man, that is one busy kid. But for some reason, he will slow down for me. I have'nt seen him in a couple of months though. We went bowling, what fun!

Peace,
2P.
Paw Paw,

bowling is one of the kind of field trips we sponsor for the kids since they love it so much. Kudos to you for spending time with Cameron!
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Old 04-26-2007, 07:37 AM   #4
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Here's two more Autism Facts:

Fact #3 ~ Autism is one of five disorders that falls under the umbrella of PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) It is the most common of the five which are:

*Autism
*Asperger's Syndrome
*CDD (Childhood Disintegrative Disorder)
*Rett's Disorder
*PDD-NOS (PDD-Not Otherwise Specified)

Fact #4 ~ Autism was first identified in 1943 by Dr. Leo Kanner of Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Do you know someone with Autism?
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:18 AM   #5
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Awww he is so gorgeous, thankyou for posting and for telling us about this. One of my girlfriends has twin boys. One of them has a condition that falls within the autistic spectrum. I haven't seen her in a couple of years as she moved to England with her husband's job, but I still miss Tommy, her son. He was adorable, very affectionate and friendly, soo full of beans!

I have at times in my life made friends with people who i have thought were within the autistic spectrum, but obviously not diagnosed and I'm sure they had no idea. One in particular was my best friend's husband who I think had some kind of Asperger's. I didn't say anything to my friend until she told me one day that her sister had said to her that she felt my friend's husband had Asperger's. He worked as a structural engineer and was a very bright man. I told my friend then that I had felt the same thing since first meeting him. They were in the process of separating at that point, and Im sure she didn't tell him, as she felt he would not accept it. I feel there are a great deal of people at the milder end of the spectrum who are never diagnosed and manage to lead "normal" lives without intervention. I would imagine its when a parent notices a child's development is delayed or in some way different to the norm, that they seek help and get a diagnosis.

Have you ever meet people who you though were within the autistic spectrum and appeared to be undiagnosed and unaware of it? Also, I am very interested in your statistics of one in every 150 births being in the autistic spectrum. I'm assuming this is babies who are subsequently diagnosed? If so, combined with what I have said above, I feel that is the tip of the iceberg. What is your opinion on this, I'd be interested to know. And anyone else who wants to say, too!

p.s. my girlfriend I spoke about first, swears that her son's development, language, social skills were all normal until the day after his MMR jab, (measles, mumps, rubella) when he changed completely (2 yrs old). She feels 100% that it was the MMR that caused her son's autism. What is your take on this link, I know its a very controversial one.

Last edited by Ruby Ripples; 04-26-2007 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:30 AM   #6
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I love my 16 year old brother! He's technically PDD-NOS but part of a county program for autistic children in the public high schools since he's within the spectrum and a couple small diagnostic characteristics away from being fully autistic. He's verbally prompt-dependent, but the sweetest kid in the world. After he gets his high school certificate in four or five more years, he'll more than likely wind up in a group home somwhere in the area... he's been on a waitlist for 11 years already! My family has been active in non-profit autism organizations (currently in Autism Speaks, formerly NAAR) doing walks and raising money for research, and I used to do behavioral therapy (applied behavior analysis) with him before I left home for school. I'm proud to say that my university, too, has one of the foremost research centers for autism spectrum disorders.

Thank you so much Arrhythmia for bringing up this important topic!

Here's a photo of Aaron in his after-school karate class:
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:33 AM   #7
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Well you sound like a great brother to him - what a gorgeous picture, he is lovely.
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Old 04-26-2007, 11:45 AM   #8
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I have chill bumps all over and a very warm heart knowing there are people here at Dims who love and care for others on the Spectrum. THANK YOU!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruby Ripples View Post
I would imagine its when a parent notices a child's development is delayed or in some way different to the norm, that they seek help and get a diagnosis.
ABSOLUTELY! This is one of the reasons why early detection is so important -- so that a child will not slip through the cracks and grow to be an adult undiagnosed. There's an organization called FEAT (Families For Early Autism Treatment) who's purpose is to provide intensive early intervention training for parents and local professionals. You can find them at: http://www.feat.org/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruby Ripples View Post
Have you ever meet people who you though were within the autistic spectrum and appeared to be undiagnosed and unaware of it?
I have not as of yet. However, there have been several parents to explain to me different symptoms and behaviors of their child and wanting to know if it could possibily be Autism. My advice to them is if they suspect, to take their child to their pediatrician immediately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruby Ripples View Post
Also, I am very interested in your statistics of one in every 150 births being in the autistic spectrum. I'm assuming this is babies who are subsequently diagnosed?
Statistics were derived from children in the 8 year old age range. To be diagnosed at age 8 is rather late in my opinion, but never too late. My son was two when diagnosed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruby Ripples View Post
p.s. my girlfriend I spoke about first, swears that her son's development, language, social skills were all normal until the day after his MMR jab, (measles, mumps, rubella) when he changed completely (2 yrs old). She feels 100% that it was the MMR that caused her son's autism. What is your take on this link, I know its a very controversial one.
YES..this is one of the theories that is VERY controversial. Many have said it is the Thimerosal, a Mercury preservative added to immunizations that causes Autism. Thimerosal has been a part of immunizations since the 1930's. It wasn't until the 90's that they went beyond the dosage recommended by the government. And it just so happens, Autism peaked during this point. They have since cut back on Thimerosal usage, but the rate of Autism continues to rise. I cannot agree that my son's immunizations is the cause for his Autism as he had problems from the moment I went into labor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eightyseven View Post
I love my 16 year old brother! He's technically PDD-NOS but part of a county program for autistic children in the public high schools since he's within the spectrum and a couple small diagnostic characteristics away from being fully autistic. He's verbally prompt-dependent, but the sweetest kid in the world. After he gets his high school certificate in four or five more years, he'll more than likely wind up in a group home somwhere in the area... he's been on a waitlist for 11 years already! My family has been active in non-profit autism organizations (currently in Autism Speaks, formerly NAAR) doing walks and raising money for research, and I used to do behavioral therapy (applied behavior analysis) with him before I left home for school. I'm proud to say that my university, too, has one of the foremost research centers for autism spectrum disorders.

Thank you so much Arrhythmia for bringing up this important topic!
Thank you so much for loving your brother!! Not all siblings can fully understand and love them for who they are.

My 15 year old is jealous of Emilio. He wants to know why is it that Emilio gets "special treatment." I hear all the time, "THAT'S NOT FAIR! HE GETS...." Blah, blah, blah. I try to explain to him why and that life isn't always fair -- it wasn't exactly fair to Emilio. They fight which is a constant bother to me. Yet, they can play, too. My son has said several times that he wishes he had a brother he could sit down and chat with. (Emilio is basically nonverbal) I've asked him if he has sat down and truly tried to communicate with his brother -- he has PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System -- pictures with velcro on the back to attach to a sentance strip) and he also has a Dynavox (a very expensive computer that speaks for him). But, my son will not try. I pray that they will have a relationship when they grow up and one leaves home. For my 20 yr old son, communicating is not problem as he KNOWS Emilio is capable of and treats him as he would a nonsprectrum sibling.

I am a member of the Autism Society of America and every quarter they send a magazine called The Advocate. The current issue is concerning what happens when the bus stops coming. In other words, what happens when the child turns 21 and the government is no longer responsible for their education. This worries me. Will Emilio be employable? Where will he live as I do not want to deprive him of being semi-independant. This is why it is soooo important for a child to be diagnosed early. Because my son was, he is learning skills that are necessary for him to live a life as "normal" as possible.
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrhythmia View Post
I have chill bumps all over and a very warm heart knowing there are people here at Dims who love and care for others on the Spectrum. THANK YOU!


ABSOLUTELY! This is one of the reasons why early detection is so important -- so that a child will not slip through the cracks and grow to be an adult undiagnosed. There's an organization called FEAT (Families For Early Autism Treatment) who's purpose is to provide intensive early intervention training for parents and local professionals. You can find them at: http://www.feat.org/


I have not as of yet. However, there have been several parents to explain to me different symptoms and behaviors of their child and wanting to know if it could possibily be Autism. My advice to them is if they suspect, to take their child to their pediatrician immediately.


Statistics were derived from children in the 8 year old age range. To be diagnosed at age 8 is rather late in my opinion, but never too late. My son was two when diagnosed.


YES..this is one of the theories that is VERY controversial. Many have said it is the Thimerosal, a Mercury preservative added to immunizations that causes Autism. Thimerosal has been a part of immunizations since the 1930's. It wasn't until the 90's that they went beyond the dosage recommended by the government. And it just so happens, Autism peaked during this point. They have since cut back on Thimerosal usage, but the rate of Autism continues to rise. I cannot agree that my son's immunizations is the cause for his Autism as he had problems from the moment I went into labor.


Thank you so much for loving your brother!! Not all siblings can fully understand and love them for who they are.

My 15 year old is jealous of Emilio. He wants to know why is it that Emilio gets "special treatment." I hear all the time, "THAT'S NOT FAIR! HE GETS...." Blah, blah, blah. I try to explain to him why and that life isn't always fair -- it wasn't exactly fair to Emilio. They fight which is a constant bother to me. Yet, they can play, too. My son has said several times that he wishes he had a brother he could sit down and chat with. (Emilio is basically nonverbal) I've asked him if he has sat down and truly tried to communicate with his brother -- he has PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System -- pictures with velcro on the back to attach to a sentance strip) and he also has a Dynavox (a very expensive computer that speaks for him). But, my son will not try. I pray that they will have a relationship when they grow up and one leaves home. For my 20 yr old son, communicating is not problem as he KNOWS Emilio is capable of and treats him as he would a nonsprectrum sibling.

I am a member of the Autism Society of America and every quarter they send a magazine called The Advocate. The current issue is concerning what happens when the bus stops coming. In other words, what happens when the child turns 21 and the government is no longer responsible for their education. This worries me. Will Emilio be employable? Where will he live as I do not want to deprive him of being semi-independant. This is why it is soooo important for a child to be diagnosed early. Because my son was, he is learning skills that are necessary for him to live a life as "normal" as possible.
I'm sure your son will grow out of that phase of jealousy... every sibling does. I hold Aaron to the highest standards I can when it comes to things like personal hygeine, following rules, and asking questions when he wants something. My hope for our lifetime is to be able to have a *real* conversation that is very much of his own self-discretion rather than me prompting him what to say and how to say it. It's far off, but not that far off and I know it. We're also dealing with similar feelings about what will happen after age 21... it's only in half a decade or so. I don't worry about that for Aaron too much. He's very clean and organized and shouldn't have a problem learning a basic trade like bagging groceries or stocking shelves. Where I worry is his ability (or inability rather) to adapt to social situations.

You're amazing for caring not only about your autistic son (who is ADORABLE, by the way!) but considering the feelings of your non-spectrum child(ren) along with him. I hope to possibly write my undergraduate honors thesis on the effects that autism and/or other disorders can have on the rest of the family.
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:36 PM   #10
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You're amazing for caring not only about your autistic son (who is ADORABLE, by the way!) but considering the feelings of your non-spectrum child(ren) along with him. I hope to possibly write my undergraduate honors thesis on the effects that autism and/or other disorders can have on the rest of the family.
Thank you so much! Aaron is very handsome -- cleft chin and all!
If you ever need any info from a parent's point of view for your thesis, please do not hesitate to knock on my PM door, okay?
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Old 04-26-2007, 01:43 PM   #11
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Arrhythmia,

You have a really cute boy!!

Do you think Autism and Fat Admiration can be related, in some way?
Just curious...

Thanks, GPL.
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Old 04-26-2007, 01:48 PM   #12
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oy, i love learning new things about the posters here, and more importantly, how big their hearts are.

hoo-ray for activism and loving families!!
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Old 04-26-2007, 02:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Arrhythmia View Post

My 15 year old is jealous of Emilio. He wants to know why is it that Emilio gets "special treatment." I hear all the time, "THAT'S NOT FAIR! HE GETS...." Blah, blah, blah. I try to explain to him why and that life isn't always fair -- it wasn't exactly fair to Emilio. They fight which is a constant bother to me. Yet, they can play, too. My son has said several times that he wishes he had a brother he could sit down and chat with. (Emilio is basically nonverbal) I've asked him if he has sat down and truly tried to communicate with his brother -- he has PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System -- pictures with velcro on the back to attach to a sentance strip) and he also has a Dynavox (a very expensive computer that speaks for him). But, my son will not try. I pray that they will have a relationship when they grow up and one leaves home. For my 20 yr old son, communicating is not problem as he KNOWS Emilio is capable of and treats him as he would a nonsprectrum sibling.
In fairness, being that one is 11 and the other's 15, they'd despise each other no matter what. Nature of the beast. (I have a sibling who's six years olderm and at 15, he wanted me dead. We love each other NOW.)

I have a friend with Asperger's, and it's always been interesting to me. I know less about other stuff in the autism spectrum, honestly, but always interested to learn.
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Old 04-26-2007, 02:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by GPL View Post
Arrhythmia,

Do you think Autism and Fat Admiration can be related, in some way?
Just curious...
That is interesting question GPL! Because autism is more common amongst engineers, and many FA's are engineers, artist, technical oriented people.
Being an engineer myself, I know quite a few people with Asperger syndrome, in many degrees. Some are really brilliant scientist, but not able to recognize peoples emotions. For them it is actually an advantage, because they can concentrate very well on their work. Contact with those people is difficult, but you can still communicate.
Also, while contact is difficult, they are sensitive to hugs, a caressing hand over their head. You don't hear it, but you do see.

There is a theory that this can be explained by that fact that engineers have a very "male" type of brain, with small linguistic area and large graphical area.
How does this relate to FA's... well the most "male" type of men do prefer more feminine type of women. So there could very well be a relation between FA's and autism.
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Old 04-26-2007, 03:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by GPL View Post
Arrhythmia,

You have a really cute boy!!

Do you think Autism and Fat Admiration can be related, in some way?
Just curious...

Thanks, GPL.
That's a great question! And one I had never thought about. I just figured my son loved to squeeze the arms of only larger ladies because his mommy has 'em.
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Old 04-26-2007, 03:45 PM   #16
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In fairness, being that one is 11 and the other's 15, they'd despise each other no matter what. Nature of the beast. (I have a sibling who's six years olderm and at 15, he wanted me dead. We love each other NOW.)
You are absolutely correct! And you would think I would know this and I do--I raised two others before them. I guess I am just more sensitive to their relationship due to Autism being a fator.
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Old 04-26-2007, 03:55 PM   #17
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That is interesting question GPL! Because autism is more common amongst engineers, and many FA's are engineers, artist, technical oriented people.
GeorgeNL, where did you find the statistics that Autism is more common in Engineers? I'd love to read up on that.

You bring up some VERY interesting facts! Everyone is so interested in researching Autism to find a cure....THAT'S WONDERFUL! But, my interest is to help and understand those who are already here and have the disorder. I just figured my middle son and Emilio loved larger women because their mother is one. But, that may not be the case. Did you know that physicians are finding that children with Autism quite often have a sibling with ADHD? That is the case with us as the 15 yr old has ADHD. My son's doc let me know that there are some behaviors in both Austim and ADHD that are similar. My middle son let me know not too long ago that he "likes a woman with some meat on her bones." Again, I thought it was due to me. But, he's no small one himself weighing close to 250 and 6"2...at 15!!
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Old 04-26-2007, 04:14 PM   #18
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That is interesting question GPL! Because autism is more common amongst engineers, and many FA's are engineers, artist, technical oriented people.
Being an engineer myself, I know quite a few people with Asperger syndrome, in many degrees. Some are really brilliant scientist, but not able to recognize peoples emotions. For them it is actually an advantage, because they can concentrate very well on their work. Contact with those people is difficult, but you can still communicate.
Also, while contact is difficult, they are sensitive to hugs, a caressing hand over their head. You don't hear it, but you do see.

There is a theory that this can be explained by that fact that engineers have a very "male" type of brain, with small linguistic area and large graphical area.
How does this relate to FA's... well the most "male" type of men do prefer more feminine type of women. So there could very well be a relation between FA's and autism.

Thank you for the answer, George!
You could be right... Very interesting.

GPL.
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Old 04-27-2007, 03:06 PM   #19
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GeorgeNL, where did you find the statistics that Autism is more common in Engineers? I'd love to read up on that.
Hi Arrhythmia. I read this in IEEE spectrum, a magazine for engineers. Here's a link:

http://spectrum.ieee.org/oct06/4665

I didn't know about ADHD and autism. What I notice is amongst engineers is, it's a sliding scale. From just introvert people that are very good in concentrating on their work (you cannot really call them autistic), to people that are unreachable.
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Old 04-27-2007, 06:42 PM   #20
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Default re: April is autism month

I'm PMing everyone who has contributed to this: Arrhythmia's autism thread (including, of course, Arrhythmia.) I don't have a personal interest. I just wanted to acknowledge the truly great hearts and minds here.

I tried to PM GeorgeNL and was told I had to 'spread it around' before PMing him again. Would one of you kind folks do that for me? Thanks.
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:05 PM   #21
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For anyone who is interested in reading more about autism, I would like to recommend the books of Dr. Temple Grandin. She is herself autistic -- did not speak until she was three and a half -- but has become an author and speaker on the subject of autism. Her books include Thinking in Pictures
and Emergence: Labeled Autistic. She has worked with animals for much of her life and believes that the fact that she thinks in a different way from most humans helps her understand the way animals think. At any rate, her book Animals in Translation is one of the most amazing books I've ever read.
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:51 PM   #22
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For anyone who is interested in reading more about autism, I would like to recommend the books of Dr. Temple Grandin. She is herself autistic -- did not speak until she was three and a half -- but has become an author and speaker on the subject of autism. Her books include Thinking in Pictures
and Emergence: Labeled Autistic. She has worked with animals for much of her life and believes that the fact that she thinks in a different way from most humans helps her understand the way animals think. At any rate, her book Animals in Translation is one of the most amazing books I've ever read.
I absolutely second this recommendation!
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Old 04-27-2007, 09:48 PM   #23
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For anyone who is interested in reading more about autism, I would like to recommend the books of Dr. Temple Grandin. She is herself autistic -- did not speak until she was three and a half -- but has become an author and speaker on the subject of autism. Her books include Thinking in Pictures
and Emergence: Labeled Autistic. She has worked with animals for much of her life and believes that the fact that she thinks in a different way from most humans helps her understand the way animals think. At any rate, her book Animals in Translation is one of the most amazing books I've ever read.
Yes, Dr.! Excellent suggestion!
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Old 04-27-2007, 09:50 PM   #24
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Hi Arrhythmia. I read this in IEEE spectrum, a magazine for engineers. Here's a link:

http://spectrum.ieee.org/oct06/4665
Thanks so much for the link, GeorgeNL!
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Old 04-29-2007, 05:17 PM   #25
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Last year one of my brothers married a woman with a then 15 year old autistic son. Trying to develop a relationship with him has been a challenge, each time I see him I feel like I have to start over with him. But on those times when I know we connect, I am honored to feel like he has let me into his world.

I give everyone who cares for an autistic child a lot of credit.
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