Archive | July, 2012

This person thinks that disabled people have no right to refuse a cure or treatment

Imagine you’re talking to a group of people about disabilities. One person says to you that disabled people should be force fed what ever cure or treatment is available so that their hard earned tax dollars are no longer burdened by having to support those people.

What would you say?

“No moral right to refuse a cure”

While in a heated discussion on a blogs comments, two people exchanged opinions where one person, nicknamed “taxpayer” replied with this:

M@”Does focusing on access barriers rather than cure make a wheelchair user less of a stakeholder in discussions re physical disability?”

From my taxpayer perspective the answer is No, they don’t have a right to be there. No one has the right to refuse a cure or a treatment that would make them less needy of state-sponsored services.

I would much rather see my tax dollars going towards a CURE, I would rather be paying to ERADICATE autism than paying for your wheelchair access barrier and many millions of wheelchairs to come.

So yes, unless a disabled person is financially and physically independent they do not have moral right to refuse a cure or treatment. And they especially don’t have any right to sit on a panel that was created to COMBAT that disability.

Sorry, I’m not going to link to their blog so you will either have to find it yourself to get full context (does context really matter for a statement like this?) or just take it for what it is.

money vs moralsTo paraphrase, and I don’t think I’m far off here, is that this hard working taxpayer feels that their valuable dollars are going to people who would rather keep needing more tax dollars than be cured and stop costing the system money.

From a strictly greedy, selfish, inhuman and egotistical point of view, this reasoning is actually quite understandable.

Still though, it doesn’t explain the “moral” part, does it? What does money have to do with morals? What does saving a buck have to do with morals?

Allow me to paraphrase once again, keeping morals in mind, just so that I can make better sense of this: “You and/or your child should not be allowed your basic rights nor have freedom of choice as it interferes with my wallet.”

Morals? All I see is irony.

How to respond? Let me count the ways!

So I got to thinking about how I’d respond to this person. I know from past experience that any response, no matter how articulate, compassionate, informative or insightful would basically fall on deaf ears. Excuse the disability pun. And the irony. Again.

I decided to do away with responding from my heart. I figure that this person would actually require one to be able to understand, much less relate to, my thoughts on the subject.

Instead, I figured it would make far more sense to appeal to their tragedy. They are obviously very hurt by this.

So here is my response to Mr or Mrs Taxpayer.

Dear “Taxpayer”,

My child was born with a disability and our entire lives are affected by it. There’s going to be some struggles just about every step of the way and yet we never get down or negative about it because we just love him so very much.

But please, tell me about how burdened you are by paying the same taxes I am. That must be devastating for you. Is there anything I can do to help? I hate to see you suffer so.

A taxpayer too, but with a heart.

I would love to hear your responses to this person. What would you tell them if you could say just one thing to this person?

For more on this:
The disabled don’t have a moral right to refuse a cure or treatment?
You have no voice

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Trading in my sanity

On the day I received my Aspergers diagnosis from the doctor, I was scheduled for appointments with a counselor and a psychiatrist. On the same day that my entire 35+ years finally started to make sense to me, I was put on the list to be fixed.

No one even asked me if I was broken.

The gate keepers for what is normal

It occurred to me that psychiatrists (and psychologists) have become the gate keepers of what society considers to be normal. They write up manuals with definitions of what is not normal and if you fit within those definitions… you’re diagnosed with something.

They’re also the people you talk to over and over again, sometimes for the rest of your life, in the epic quest to figure out how to make yourself normal. And you never will be normal until they tell you that you are.

Which brings me to my son Cameron. He’ll never be normal. He has PDD-NOS (which, next year, will no longer be called that and will simply be “Autism Spectrum Disorder”) and you have that for life. Because it’s one of the many definitions found in the psychiatrists manuals, he will always fit into that definition and thus be told that he’s not normal.

Growing up autistic

My son has a long life ahead of him with some of the most difficult years yet to come, high school.

The truly ironic part of high school is that when he gets bullied (I say when because the odds are, unfortunately, pretty good), he will be sent to a counsellor or a psychiatrist to help him cope with the anxiety, the depression and the feeling of being an outcast.

The bully? He’ll probably be punished in some form, like a detention or suspension but then will go right back to his bullying ways. Why?

Because bullying is normal.

Yeah, I said it. Bullies, while many are doing great work in trying to stop bullying, are still very much a fact of life. Especially in high school. When ours kids go off to high school, they know just as much as we do that there will be bullies there. Our kids just have to get through it.

“It’ll make them stronger.”
“It’ll toughen them up.”
“We did it. They can do it too.”

How has society gotten to the point where the bully is normal and the autistic kid that’s bullied is the one that needs fixing because he’s not normal?

It gets even worse as we get older. For example, here I am, getting my diagnosis and “fix me” appointments all the while other people I know have, what I consider to be, real issues. I won’t go into specifics but there are people I know that could use some help.

But they’re normal. They don’t have a diagnosis for anything. They just have issues. And everyone has issues, to some degree.

So they would never have someone booking appointments for them like I did.

insanityI’ll keep my insanity

Today’s world sees the word “insane” as meaning totally bonkers, crazy or all sorts of not making sense. The truth is, the definition actually is “In a state of mind that prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction.

Sound familiar?

Granted, autism is far more than just “a state of mind” but still, you get the same effect. One could argue that something that “prevents” me from being “normal” classifies me as insane.

My son too.

Which makes me think of an old movie I once watched. The movie itself isn’t very memorable to me but one line in it really stuck with me.

Sane and insane could easily switch places. If the insane were to become the majority, you would find ourself locked in a padded cell wondering what happened to the world.

It always intrigued me, even sort of made me smile. Because it’s quite the interesting notion to think that “normal” is really just what the majority of people are doing.

If most people do this, and you do that, you’re not normal. But tomorrow, if most people did that and you started doing this… you were still not normal.

There’ll likely never be more autistic people than non-autistic people in the world but at 1 in 88 being the most recent numbers out of the US, it still makes me think; if more people had autism, would being autistic be considered normal?

That makes me smile.

I’ll go see the counselor and the psychiatrist. My son will likely have to some day as well. And we’ll do our best to be the best that we can be.

But insanity is only a 51% majority away from being considered sanity.

Normal is just a number away.

You can keep it

I love my son how he is. I love my son for who he is.

And now that my life makes more sense, I love who I am too.

Since getting the diagnosis, I feel like I traded in my sanity. I was instantly put onto the “not normal” radar and had appointments made for me.

But I realize now that having autism doesn’t make you abnormal. It just makes you a different kind of normal. A kind of normal that could easily switch places, if the numbers were right.

If normal means changing my son into someone he’s not, you can keep it.

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Autistic Children Requirements for Diet Changes

Autistic children may not only require behavioral therapy and medications for autism, but also appropriate dietary patterns in order for children with autism to maximize wellness and achieve full potentials.

Normal individuals who want to become healthier and fit usually undertake dietary changes to improve the amount of nutrition and limit any excess in fats and calories. In the same way, children with autism may also require these changes. In fact, pediatricians, nutritionists and researchers advocate that caregivers implement an autism-specific nutrition.

In televisions, autism treatments even include dietary changes because any faults in diet may cause intensification of unacceptable behaviors by the autistic child such as self-harm. The management of autism is also not geared towards “cure” because improving the state of health of children and maximizing potentials are more realistic than curing the condition.

In this line, appropriate dietary changes for autism may involve the same dietary requirements for people who want to lose weight. Other dietary changes may be specific for autistic children because of the problems that the foods may cause to autistic children. The following are the most essential dietary changes for children with autism to maximize health condition:

  • Provide high protein diet

High protein diet is essential for autistic children to prevent muscle wasting. Since autistic children are less engaged in motor activities, they need an adequate amount of proteins to develop their muscles. In addition, proteins contain essential amino acids necessary for various body processes including those that happen in the neurologic system.

  • Provide adequate slow-digesting carbohydrates

Slow-digesting carbohydrates such as whole wheat, barley, oats, brown rice and whole wheat bread and pasta are the ones that should be given to autistic children instead of the white counterparts (white bread, white rice, etc.). These slow-digesting carbohydrates are able to provide a sustained amount of energy as the child undertakes various activities. In contrast to fast-digesting carbohydrates, they tend to dump glucose in the blood leading to a more hyperactive status that can aggravate any repetitive and self-harm behaviors.

  • Limit fats

Fats are very difficult to digest, and autistic children usually have problems in digestion so limiting fats may help prevent diarrheal episodes and indigestion.

  • Increase fiber

Fiber is also essential for autistic children because fiber improves the digestion. Fiber from fruits and vegetables prevents constipation, which is a usual problem in autistic children. Make sure that they get a regular dose of fiber by adding fruits and vegetables in their diet.

  • Avoid gluten-rich foods

Although autistic children need slow-digesting carbohydrates, make sure that these products are gluten-free. Autistic children usually are intolerant to gluten that may lead to digestive problems such as abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation. In addition, gluten intolerance may also lead to irritable bowel syndrome. Gluten is present in wheat, flour, glutinous rice and other products containing these ingredients. Nevertheless, you can provide gluten-free preparations of these food substances in order to also provide energy to your child.

  • Provide grass-fed meat

Autistic children should also be provided with meats that only come from grass-fed animals such as lamb meat, organic chicken and turkey and lean beef. Pork usually comes from farm-raised pigs that are fed with commercial feeds. Commercial feeds contain harmful chemicals for autistic children that may intensify their hyperactive states.

  • Limit oxalate-rich foods

Children with autism have high oxalate levels in their blood, which is correlated to autism symptoms. In this regard, low-oxalate diet may be beneficial in minimizing autism symptoms. Foods high in oxalates should be avoided suchas chocolate milk, black tea, soy milk, sesame seeds, nuts, blueberries, kiwi, blackberries, celery, carrots, olives, spinach, potatoes, and squash. Foods low in oxalate should be given to autistic children suchas apple juice, cheese, green tea, whole milk, butter, avocados, bananas, raisins, peas, cucumber, honey and mushrooms.

These dietary requirements for children with autism may help reduce autistic symptoms and help children have maximum potentials and learning abilities.

Guest Author Bio

Dr. Amarendra is interested in guiding autistic people on diet changes and requirements. He is also interested to promote diet programs such as BistroMD and eDiets. Visit this URL to know more about BistroMD and click here to check out about eDiets weight loss programs.

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Obesity During Pregnancy May be Linked to Autism in Children

Are you pregnant? Do you seek information on how to prevent neurological disturbances in your newborn? A recent study has just discovered that pregnant women who are obese may have increased risk for developing a child with autism.

obesity during pregnancy

Obesity during pregnancy

The research involved 1,000 children aged 2 to 5 years old. Among the 1,000 children, 700 had autism and other developmental delays. The remaining 300 children were healthy and did not have any problems in their development.

The mothers of the children were asked about their intra-partal health or their health during their pregnancy. The records of the women during pregnancy and delivery were available, and researchers found out that most women who had autistic children are obese during pregnancy. Although the direct connection between obesity and autism is not clear, the authors of the research have offered some theories.

When a person is obese, there is a high percentage for inflammation and increased blood sugar levels. In pregnant women, these excess blood sugar levels and the presence of inflammatory chemicals may reach the placenta and eventually the fetus causing disruptions in the development of the brain. In the long run, prolonged exposure of the fetus to inflammation and high blood sugar levels may eventually lead to developmental delays such as autism.

There were no differences in the ethnic, racial, health insurance and education levels of pregnant mothers that may have influenced the results. However, the study did not have information regarding the dietary habits and blood tests of women duringpregnancy that may be other causes for the development of autism; nevertheless, the study suggests that obese women are 67% more likely to develop autistic children that normal weight mothers. Aside from autism, obese pregnant women have twice the risk of developing other developmental delays in their offspring.

Women normally face 1 in 88 chances of developing a child with autism, but obesity during pregnancy may have just increase this to 1 in 53 chances. This is a significant increase in the risk for having a child with autism.

Since there is an increased incidence of obesity in adults, the possible increase in children with autism may just be worrisome. In this regard, it is essential for pregnant women to watch out their weight and for non-pregnant women to maintain an ideal body weight to reduce the chances of being obese before and during pregnancy.

The normal weight gain during pregnancy is 1 pound per month on the first and second trimester and 1 pound per week during the third trimester with an average of 28 pounds on the whole duration of pregnancy. Although limiting food intake during pregnancy is not advisable, watching what you eat is more beneficial. This may involve limiting fatty foods as well as avoiding binge eating during pregnancy.

It is also essential that pregnant women report any increased weight gaining during pregnancy to their obstetricians in order to minimize, if not avoid complications during pregnancy and delivery.

Are you planning to get pregnant, but you are obese? Then, this now the right time to watch your weight and start having a healthier living.

Guest Author Bio

Dr. Amarendra writes on weight loss and thus he interested to promote Bistro MD promotional code and Diet to Go web codes. BistroMD and Diet-to-Go are the two best weight loss programs that are clinically endorsed by doctors.

Comments { 2 }

Dear 50 cent, I hate what you said, but thank you

On Twitter, where these things always seem to happen, a follower lashed out at 50 Cent (kind of tongue in cheek-like), insisting that he release his album early. In an attempt to by funny, 50 Cent tweeted back something that put the entire autism community into battle stations.

And I say, thank you.

50 Cent

50 Cent

What he said

First, let me show you what he said. These tweets have been removed from his stream but he has yet, at the time of this writing, to apologize.

yeah i just saw your picture fool you look autistic”

i dont want no special ed kids on my time line follow some body else”

just kidding about da special ed kids man, i was in special ed day said i had anger issues lol”

My reaction

At first, I was a bit upset but mostly disappointed. I am not exactly his biggest fan although I do like his songs that I hear on the radio. Nor am I well versed in his life but I have heard that he’s more intelligent than most would give him credit for and that he is quite the philanthropist.

Both of these things greatly contradict his remarks and would have me questioning if what I had heard was true.

Still though, I took to Twitter myself and Facebook and Google+ and shared what he had said. I tacked on “Not cool man. Not cool.” to show my disapproval but reserved any emotional response for later… after I had time to think about it.

Holly Robinson PeeteHolly R. Peete

Probably the best response and the one that is making it’s rounds around the Hollywood and news media scene is the open letter from Holly R. Peete, the celebrity mother of an autistic child.

You can read her response here. I suggest you do now if you haven’t already: Dear 50 Cent…

Her letter made a lot of people rejoice, repost and even cry. It prompted a wave of tweets from parents, all sharing their child’s pictures with a single unified message: “This is what autistic looks like.”

Her tweet, with the link to her response, has over 1000 retweets and that’s not counting all of the other people that have tweeted the link. My own tweet to it has dozens of retweets as well.

I can honestly say that I’ve never seen that before. It is amazing!

Wait, why thank you?

So why is it that I am saying thank you to a guy that said something so hurtful? Why am I saying thank you when so many people are so mad that they wish they could meet him face to face to yell at him in person for what he said?

Well, for two reasons really.

Number 1 is that he, and others like him who do these things, are able to unite the autism community, even if for just a moment. All parents, experts, educators, autistics and everyone else associated with the community all felt the same thing at the same time. And as improbable as it seems sometimes, the entire community actually is all saying the same thing… shame on you 50 Cent.

We’re all mad. We’re all waiting for an apology. We’re all disgusted for the same reason.

Oh, it’s ugly, but it’s unity. I’d rather it could come under different circumstances but there it is.

Number 2 is that it shows us just how much work we really have left to do. If raising awareness was step 1, then we’re only now tipping our toes into step 2… and there’s still 8 more steps to go.

The world has become so familiar with autism that it’s now a commonplace enough word to sling around carelessly, just as the r-word has been in the past. And that’s being beaten back, thanks to a lot of hard work from a lot of great people. But it’s hard work all the same.

If celebrity philanthropists can sling around “autistic” as an insult, in an attempt to be funny, then hard work is quite the understatement. But it does mean that people are aware. Now we have to inform.

And despite the lack of apology… I think the backlash and recent media attention (thanks to Holly R. Peete’s great response) is a great step forward towards informing people.

A lot of people are reading and watching and listening to that media. People who knew less about autism than 50 Cent apparently did. And they’re getting an ear full.

Just to be clear

I don’t condone what he said. I don’t like what he said. But it was said and I was mad, for a moment.

Still though, it’s an eye opener. A rude one but an eye opener. And despite the very negative beginning, I think this little episode is actually doing a lot of good.

With a united community and with great people like Holly R. Peete standing up to those who make statements like that, we’re well on our way to ensuring that these little episodes don’t happen again. Or at the very least, rarely.

And I welcome that. A lot of people just found out how very wrong it is to try to use “autistic” as an insult… whether they’re just trying to be funny or not.

That makes me smile. The entire autism community, for a moment, makes me smile.

I really hope he apologizes. That would really put a great little wrap up on this whole ordeal.

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