Saturday, May 26, 2012

SPD, DSM, IDK: Saw a post on the blog Special Happens on The Last Chance for Inclusion of Sensory Processing Disorder in the DSM-5. Now, I'm a big believer in sensory processing disorder or dysfunction of sensory integration or sensory integration disorder or whatever we're calling it this week -- I even wrote a book on the subject, and I'm convinced that a diagnosis of sensory integration problems, awareness of them, and therapy for them helped my son out a lot. I'm all for having it officially recognized, and officially respected, and officially paid for by insurance. But am I the only one who feels uncomfortable with having it classified as a psychiatric disorder? That suggests a whole different type of therapist than an occupational therapist. Is there such desperation for legitimacy that proponents will take it any way they can get it? Apparently, the best shot may be to have sensory processing disorder classified as part of autism, and ... hoo boy, that's sure an umbrella not every kid with sensory issues fits under, and if all the rest of us are about to become second-class citizens in this as we are with every freakin' other thing our kids have in common with autistic kids, I shall be quite put out. And while getting a medical seal of approval may have some advantages, doing it this way is not, I think, going to make parents more eager to see these problems in their kids and embrace them. I guess if this is the only way to rise above quackery in the eyes of professionals, I'd prefer sensory integration remain some out-there theory that might actually help your kid. But maybe that's just me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bike Contest Announcement: I've been writing here about Friendship Circle of Michigan's bicycle giveaway, and the winners of new adaptive bikes have now been chosen. Visit the contest's Facebook page to find out who won, and read their stories. Congratulations to the winners, and to all who participated and shared their bicycle wishes.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Prove It: Got a request for additional documentation from the specialized services department at the community college my son will be going to. It came on Saturday, of course, when I couldn't do anything about it, so I've had all weekend to stew. It's asking for proof of his need for academic accommodation that I'm not sure I can get, and while it's possible that when I talk to them later today there will be some more accessible ways to get him this help, the idea of him losing it has got me thinking about whether he really needs it. He's received lots of special-education help over the years, including a one-on-one paraprofessional, but in high school it's become apparent that his need for academic support isn't that great, it's behavioral support that he benefits from. Academic support is what the college gives, and I'm not really sure at this point that he needs note-taking and tape-recording and a calculator and a tutor and extra time on tests as much as he just needs a general awareness among his professors and maybe the security people on campus that he may behave in unexpected ways. Chances are, everybody will assume he has autism the way they have in high school, and perhaps will extend him some grace based on that. The college does have a lot of support systems for mainstream students, too -- is it possible he could shed his special status and still survive? It's a scary thought, but kind of exciting, too.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Senior-Mom-itis: My son's paraprofessional wrote me a note yesterday, in the wake of a couple of failed quizzes, suggesting a problem with my son's attitude. I mentioned that maybe it was senioritis, and maybe it is. One thing I know for sure, though, is that I have senioritis. Man oh man oh man, am I ready for him to graduate. Am I ready to not get notes implying he should have studied better for tests when the tests weren't structured in a way he can pass and neither were the study materials. Am I ready to not have to read an entire book on a weekend to help him with homework. Am I ready to not have people believe him when he says things that are obviously catchphrases he spouts when he doesn't want to talk about it. Like a kid who basically likes school but can taste graduation, I really do like my son's para and his teachers, and I think everyone has done an amazing job with him, and I'm forever grateful, but I am outa here. It's just weeks away, the end of years of IEP meetings and classroom struggles and homework as we've known it. My brain is there already. And while I know that college will have challenge of its own for him, we're both ready for different ones. Listen. Pomp and Circumstance. Can you hear it? So close. It's a nice day to kick back and dream.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Bike Giveaway Voting Begins: I've been blogging here about entering your child into Friendship Circle of Michigan's contest to win a free adaptive bike, and with the nomination phase over, it's now time to read the stories of more than 150 young bikers-to-be and vote for the ones you'd like to see win. According to the rules, you can only vote once for any particular candidate, but you can vote for as many candidates as you like. You can also comment on and share your favorites. The fourteen top vote-getters will get their bikes, and four more will be chosen as Director's Choice winers. Voting ends at 4 p.m. this Friday, May 18, and you have to "like" Friendship Circle of Michigan's Facebook page in order to vote.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bike Giveaway Deadline: Wow, time flies! It's May 10, and that means this is the last day for you to get in on the Great Bike Giveaway from Friendship Circle of Michigan I blogged about a while back. Next week, we'll all get to vote on the contestants, but if you want your kid in the running (biking?), get your picture and caption in today, people. For more information, check my earlier post or go directly to the contest page.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Not So Super: I've written a lot on my site about slurs against people with disabilities in films, but it's been a while -- maybe since Orphan? -- since the adoption community has gotten up in arms over a hurtful movie line, plot, or portrayal. There's a film in theaters now, though, that's earning some outrage, and unfortunately, it's the one that also earned the biggest first-weekend opening ever. That would be The Avengers, and the fact that Thor offhandedly explains the behavior of the film's villain, his brother, with the throwaway line "He's adopted" has many adoptees and adoptive parents feeling like the Hulk, particularly when it gets a laugh from the audience. Like so many slurs, it's a line that would not at all be missed if it had been snipped from the script, and it's something that surely someone, somewhere along the way, someplace in the cast or the crew, could have pointed out as needlessly offensive. There are plenty of movies that intend to offend, but it's almost more discouraging when ones that clearly do not have that agenda let lines like this in because nobody thought it through. If you'd like to let the filmmakers know that's unacceptable, there's a petition at seeking an apology.