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 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?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thank You for Sharing: I've been getting an extraordinary amount of spam these days on the Readers Respond pages on my site. These always appear to be entries legitimately made somewhere else and then picked up by a spam bot and tossed into other spaces just to see what sticks. It's kind of a weird sort of plagiarism -- apparently, any comment you leave anywhere might turn up anywhere else that no one's monitoring for spam. Sometimes they sort of fit the topic, more often they don't, always they have some telltale collection of alphabet letters in the "name" box so it's clearly not submitted by an actual human this time around, and generally I can plug the responses into Google and find those exact words in multiple spots on the Web. I kind of like spam better when it's a list of handbags of something that makes its intentions plain. Either way, though, it gets cut.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Too Close to the Tree: It's always interesting to see the nature and nurture of things with adopted kids, which aspects of their personalities you would swear were by genetic connection to yourself if you didn't know better. My daughter has "inherited" the same anxiety and obsessive worry that I got by blood from my own mother, and my son has clearly picked up the procrastination strain from my DNA even though he has none of the stuff. I'm in a position of telling her "don't worry" and telling him "just do it!" when my own personal ears are deaf to those words. Hypocritical much? Do as I say, youngsters.

(Speaking of distance from the tree: I requested a review copy of the interesting-sounding Far from the Tree, which looks at families of children with special needs and how they deal with their differences, to write about for my site, and ... OMG, it's 976 pages and three pounds of book. If your book is going to be that big, you better be Stanley Greenspan telling me how to work with my child in very concrete and life-saving ways. Otherwise, for goodness sake, edit! I have this tome looming me over my workspace now, and I can't even imagine the kind of opening up of time that would need to occur for me to be able to sit down and give it a serious read. Maybe when my kids are out of college.)