On Teaching

Sometimes, I’m really surprised that I can talk at all, surprised that I actually have a voice. When I teach, I feel so different and utterly disconnected from who I am in reality. I suddenly don the mask of being social, of being talkative.


I watched the Oprah special on autism today, with Jenny McCarthy and Holly Robinson Peete: Their Fight to Save Their Autistic Sons.

I have a good deal to say, only, it stems from no productive part of my brain, so I think I’ll curtail all bloggerly manifestos until my minimal, thimerosal-induced cognitive resources have had a chance to de-auticize.

Oh, wait. That won’t ever happen, now will it?

I am happy that McCarthy and her son have developed mutually understood ways of communicating. I am displeased, however, with her whole “autism is reversible!” tirade. McCarthy repeatedly exclaimed that her message was one of hope and faith for parents of children with autism. Yet, she significantly reduced her credibility with MMR jonesing and her contention that her son’s autism was “death” to her. Death?

Upon watching this, I almost feel the need to apologize to my parents for all the pain I’ve caused. I’m sorry for pooping up to my neck as an infant, as a toddler, as a pre-kindergartner. I’m sorry for rarely crying as a baby, for seeming oblivious to sensory stimuli. I’m sorry for not learning how to urinate on my own until age five. I’m sorry that you had to bring me to Easter Seals for my walking problems as an infant. (I’m sure my siblings, who were also toe-walkers, likewise apologize.) I’m sorry that I never made friends, that I never learned to play violin, that I didn’t invent the cure for cancer. I’m sorry that I can’t drive or push a shopping cart, can’t display affection in a way that is commensurate with societal expectations, can’t eat fruit or meatloaf or stuff with mixed sauces, can’t modulate the volume of my voice.

Then again, I suppose my apologies aren’t so necessary since my mother is to blame. After all, she decided to breed.

McCarthy credited her son’s reversal to the GFCF diet (gluten-free, casein-free diet; aka no wheat or dairy). She likened it to chemotherapy: works for some, but not all. Again, I’m glad that going GFCF “helped” her child… but CFGF diets aren’t cures.

OK. Before I rant any more, I’m going to perseverate on something more constructive, like a Law & Order rerun. I might even chug a huge glass of milk and down a loaf of bread. Just to celebrate.

Parody: Cure Neurotypicality Now

During a professional development workshop, we were asked to remix images, to swap rhetorical contexts and purposes in order to arrive at a new message. Out of ideas, I decided to parody curebie ads from organizations such as Cure Autism Now / Defeat Autism Now.

No offense meant to neurotypicals. Honest. 159 out of 160 children have a neurotypical spectrum disorderImage text: 159 out of 160 children have a neurotypical spectrum disorder. According to current estimates from the CDC, neurotypicality is on the rise by 6,000 percent in the U.S. alone. Neurotypicality knows no boundaries: It occurs in all racial, ethnic, and social groups and is 17 times more likely to strike girls than boys. Neurotypicality impairs a person’s ability to remain aloof. It is also associated with groupthink, persistent eye contact, enjoyment of social activities, and the inability to memorize bus routes. YOU can help. Donate to CURE NTs NOW and save our children. Neurotypicality: Learn the Signs.