No it is not, but that did not stop this group. Two people died, 22 were injured and 100s were left homeless. Not a time to say cheese.
Tag Archives: television
By Kim Stagliano (She has 3 autistic daughters)
Kim Stagliano has authored a novel and two books on parenting daughters with autism. She is managing editor of Age of Autism.
Today, you’ll be seeing a lot of blue: World monuments will be cast in blue lights, your co-workers will be wearing blue clothes, and companies will be hawking blue products. Why? April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day, when advocacy group Autism Speaks “celebrates” its international Light It Up Blue Campaign. But while you’ll be seeing blue everywhere, I’ll be seeing RED. The feel-good frippery of Light It Up Blue cloaks an often debilitating disorder in an air of festivity, with balloons, sparkling lights and pep rallies. The campaign implies autism is a party, rather than a crisis. For families living with autism, reality is far more sober, and their needs extend far beyond “awareness.”
I dread April, which has been designated as Autism Awareness Month. As mom to three young women with autism – ages 20, 18 and 14 – I eat, sleep and live autism every day. My youngest daughter, Bella, can’t speak a word and was abused on a school bus, leading to a criminal case. My oldest, Mia, had hundreds of grand mal seizures a year from ages 6 to 10. My middle child is wracked with anxiety. For all three, I have to cut their food, tend to their monthly feminine needs, and bathe them. They will need that daily living assistance forever; when I die, a stranger will have to do those things for them. That is why I bristle at the festive tone of April, the suggestion that the circumstances of my daughters’ existences are to be celebrated. For me, this should be a month of solemn acknowledgement and education about a global crisis. Yet, Autism Speaks talks about World Autism Awareness Day as an event that “celebrates the unique talents and skills of persons with autism.” I’m all for honoring the achievements of people with autism, but the term “unique talents and skills” hardly connotes a global crisis. That’s the tone increasingly used in conversations about this disorder. Some advocates suggest autism is advantageous – even a gift. Before backtracking on his comments last year, Jerry Seinfeld said he believed he was on the autism spectrum, casting it not as a disorder, but “an alternative mindset.” It made me angrier than the Soup Nazi. Let’s be clear: Autism is no walk in the park for those who have it, nor for their loved ones. The National Autism Association, the leader in autism safety information, reports that 48 percent of autistic children wander or run away from a safe environment, a rate nearly four times higher than their non-autistic siblings. Accidental drowning accounts for about 91 percent of deaths of autistic children under 14 years old after those wanderings. These children also face horrific bullying and teasing. For instance, an Ohio high school student with Asperger’s Syndrome, a type of autism, was the victim of an Ice Bucket Challenge “prank” (really, an assault) last year when three teens dumped a mixture of urine, tobacco and spit on his head. Even after high school, young adults with autism face a bleak quality of life, with lower employment rates than those with other disabilities. One study found that just 35 percent of autistic young adults had attended college and just 55 percent had been employed during their first six years after high school. I understand the impetus to raise awareness about autism. Much of the world does not think about autism 24-7 – at least not yet. Today, about one in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, a sharp increase from the autism rate just a decade ago. It is the fastest growing developmental disorder, and MIT scientist Stephanie Seneff predicts half of children born in 2025 will be autistic. Certainly, a disorder so common deserves at least a month dedicated to educating people about its effects and raising money for critical social programs that can make autistic people’s lives happier, healthier and safer. But illuminating the Eiffel Tower in blue does more to promote an organization than to improve the lives of autistic people and their caretakers. Celebrating talents does little to educate the public on the intense challenges of the diagnosis and the tough aspects of living with the disability. What the autism community needs isn’t a party, but a sense of urgency and true crisis. They need advocates committed not only to getting them the acceptance they deserve, but also the critical help they require to survive, in the form of social programs, education, safety and employment opportunities.
If you’re compelled to contribute to Autism Awareness Month, I suggest you make a donation to a local organization that is actively helping families in your area. Instead of attending pep rallies and wearing blue bracelets, give to an organization that provides service dogs for autistic children orvolunteer as an autism buddy. If your child has a classmate on the spectrum, invite that classmate to your child’s next birthday party. You know that cashier at the grocery store who doesn’t look at you as she takes care of your order? Smile at her, even if she does not smile back. The best way we can support Autism Awareness Month is to turn it into AutismAction Month. People with autism deserve a bright – not just a blue – future.
Tonight we like millions of people watched the Empire finale. I have enjoyed this show. It has been a hilarious, over the top, escape from reality. Big personalities, crazy plots, dysfunctional families and memorable music, but tonight it was punctuated with violence. Why did “Boo Boo Kitty” and Cookie have to fight each other? I am sure many people greeted this fight with laughs and high fives, but did this need to happen? Last week we saw several girls viciously beat a girl at a NY Mcdonald’s. The fight was taped and has been seen all over the world. The girls involved have been arrested and they are facing the possibility of extended time in jail. If you have seen the tape you will see their behavior was also greeted by laughs and camera phones. Some will say the Empire fight was almost comic relief, but two black women fighting should never be a punch line, and it will only stop if we stop laughing.
Dr. Ben Carson has been described as brilliant, but that is when he is operating in his lane. Politics is a new lane for this prominent surgeon and he is stumbling out of the gate. He has to learn how to command the conversation and not be defined by one issue. CNN Chris Cuomo had an agenda and Carson fell right into place. CNN got its soundbite and Carson is again labeled by one issue.
” I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”-
– Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Why can’t he simply disagree with the president? Why does he have to question his love of country? Share your thoughts.
Sunday night Eddie Murphy appeared on the SNL40 special, but he didn’t do anything comedic. He received some backlash for it but we have now found out why he did not make us laugh. He was asked to do a Bill Cosby impersonation and he refused. The reason is he did not want to kick a man while he was down, and Eddie that is admirable.
Read the linked story and share your thoughts.
People are attracted to a train wreck. Sure its tragic but people can not seem to stop staring at it. Today Brian Williams is that train wreck. A week ago he was a perch at the top of the professional mountain looking down on us mere mortals. When I say looking down I don’t mean that he thought he was better than the people who watch him on a nightly basis. No he looked down because he felt he had earned that perch and this time last week everyone looked up at him with admiration and envy, but what a difference a week makes. This week the people who wanted his seat and the professional commenters, newspaper writers, and others are toasting their glasses at the prospect of the ultimate fall. Was the lie worthy of being de-perched? Is the lie greater because it was associated with the military? If they forgive him will the rest of the country do likewise? Share your thoughts.