Kat's Blog

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From: Walk for Autism



April is Autism Awareness Month. On Friday, April 2, 2010 (Autism Awareness Day) I joined a group from Autism Speaks on the NBC morning news to do the Friday dance with weatherman Andy Avilos and friends. Although you I'm in back and you can’t see my face or my wonderful attempt at doing the limbo under the Autism Speaks banner, I’m on TV doing the Friday dance!

Please support our family as we raise funds for a very worthy organization that is doing very important work helping families, promoting awareness and funding critical research. The walk takes place on Saturday, May 15 and is a fairly short 5K walk (~ 3 miles) around Soldier Field in Chicago. There will be lots of family friendly activities going on and Rashied Davis of the Chicago Bears will be there also.

As you may know, my son Sean is affected by autism. He faces many challenges and is working hard to overcome them. We don’t know if he will ever be able to live independently. Hopefully, a cure will be found in his lifetime. With your support, he and others like him may be able to overcome this mysterious condition and lead normal lives. This walk is an opportunity for you to be part of this exciting quest to cure, or at least treat, those afflicted with autism.

Please consider supporting our team with a donation! http://www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/chicago/katdaddy9

Thanks so much!


Source: Walk for Autism

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Our tribal perseverance on normalization has the DSM exploding. I heard a talk recently at a Williams Syndrome convention in Boston, in which the speaker (Dr. Thomas Armstrong), discussed his theories re; 'neurodiversity.' Instead of characterizing folks as deviating from norms, another approach would be to focus on the fact that our testing sometimes uncovers folks who would be excellent at certain things that require intense focus on details, for example. Computer programming field is filled with examples of folks who would clearly be diagnosed as autistic. It takes a special mind to actually dream in code.

There are enough sources of legitimate frustration and challenges without adding to the list by tacking on any that have as a primary foundation our concerns over deviation from the norm and not being the same as the rest of the locally normalized herd; normalization is a potential cul de sac, and not something to overly worry about. He illustrated with the example of 3D spatial navigation skills in the island nations of the South Pacific leading to a kind of local filter for rising up the local tribal power structure, whereas in DC, we have folks who can't find their BMWs in the parking lot claiming to run the most complex economies in the world(even if they belie the ability to do that by insisting on referring to them as an it...) Our tribe normalizes itself into a cul de sac when the highest valued political skill is the ability to lie convincingly to others. (My youngest, with Williams Syndrome, would be a terrible politician.)

The frustrations and challenges that are based on our own perseverence on 'normalization' is largely the doing of the tribe itself, manufacturing additional sources of frustration and challenge.

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