Monday, January 06, 2014

Brain Damage Does Not Make for Fun Link Bait. No. It Does Not.

Well, I made myself a New Year's Resolution this year that I wouldn't let myself get all furious and grumbly and foot-stomping about stuff I read on the Internet, and I was doing pretty well until this afternoon, when I came upon this on my Google+ feed:



And that's when the top of my head blew off. Steam out of the ears. It's hard to imagine a post so thoroughly designed to turn my outrage knob to 11. I shared it and added this comment:
OMG, are they kidding me? Is it April Fool's Day already? Drink alcohol during pregnancy to guarantee yourself a well-behaved kid? I think those of us raising kiddos with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder would beg to differ. This is an incredibly irresponsible way to report on a "study" that basically involved asking moms if their kids are well-behaved. Based on that, you feel comfortable saying "Attention Pregnant Women. Want well behaved kids? Maybe you should pick up that bottle of wine," CBS Atlanta? Shame on you!
and took a bunch of deep breaths, but ... GAH! Bad enough the study was done, bad enough it's reported on misleadingly, bad enough the headline completely misrepresents, but whoever is responsible for the message that accompanied it on Google+ needs some serious education on FASD and what it means and why it's really really really not OK to turn this into a flip little "Hey moms!" link-bait come-on.

So, now, do I get to re-set my resolution, or am I doomed to daily outrage from here to 2015? (On the other hand, I'm doing okay with the resolution to start writing here again.)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Games for My Friend, the King of New Jersey

These links to games on the Internet are listed here for V.M., but anyone else who wants to follow them to somewhere fun is welcome to.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Truth, and Nothing But the ... Wait, What?: I'm having my head spun around this week by a couple of kids with fetal alcohol syndrome and the sort of fluid relationship they have with the truth. One I've caught in a relatively harmless lie, but it puts into question whether any of the stories she's told are real. (Many I would be happy to find out are not.) The other changes stories so quickly when challenged that it's impossible to know how to follow up -- I've sent him with instructions before to make something right only to find out there was never anything wrong. A fun thing about the "crazy lying" kids with FASD do is that, while their peers might lie to get themselves out of trouble for which they're responsible, these kids lie in a way that gets them into trouble they had nothing to do with, so it's impossible to know the right reaction. If I could be sure there was one cold hard truth I could get to with questioning, that would be great, but that particular ice cube has melted, and the kid holding it in his hand doesn't even remember what shape it used to have.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Blue-Light Special: I've definitely been reading too much give and take this month about Autism Awareness vs. Autism Acceptance, blue lights as awareness-raising vs. blue lights as a small ridiculous gesture, because when I saw the Disability Scoop headline Neighbors Clash Over Blue Light Supporting Autism this morning, I automatically thought it was an ideological clash between two families of children with autism who approached advocacy differently. But no, it was just a nitpicky neighbor thinking a blue light on the garage looked tacky. Maybe I need to lay off with the special-needs-news reading for a while.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Parenting Fail: Having one of those depressed days where I'm unsure whether I'm making the right choices for one of my kids, and wishing that the line between pushing too hard and not pushing hard enough was painted in neon and had flashing lights and arrows so you could find the dang thing. Especially for kids with FASD, it's just so hard to know whether apparent potential is real, and a worthwhile goal, or just a mirage to pursue at everyone's peril. Sigh. Tomorrow is another day, and fall is another semester.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

You Almost Have to Admire the Creativity: Earlier this week I wrote about spam on the Readers Respond forms on my About.com site, which appeared to be responses stolen from other spots on the Web and spam-botted around to new destinations. I'm getting a lot of spam blog comments, too, but those are different -- where the Readers Respond spam tries to sneak in looking like a legitimate entry, comment spam goes with flat-out flattery. Sad that the some of the nicest feedback I get on my work in a given week are these "Wow you are so brilliant why isn't everybody coming here and reading this" comments that just sort of sneak in the link for weight loss or Gucci bags or Viagra as if it was a small price to pay for such extravagant praise. Does this really work? Do bloggers not notice that that ten comments in a row on what a nice layout they have are bogus? Do they take at face value the requests to chat about how to combat spam by comments that are spam? Are they just so happy to get comments that aren't mean and nasty and fight-picking that they go ahead and let the false flattery stand? It's tempting.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Benefit of the Doubt: Walking around my kids' college campus, it occurs to me that one seldom-praised advantage of modern technology for young people with developmental differences is the ability to talk on the phone through a low-profile earpiece. Not because kids like my son are doing that, but because now, if you walk around public places talking to yourself or your invisible friends in an animated fashion, there's at least a chance that you're having a legitimate chat with someone through a device not easily visible. That's a comfort to a parent, you know?