Monday, October 16, 2006

This I Believe

I was with Tali in the car this afternoon enroute to her violin lesson when we heard the following on the radio. It is an NPR series of essays, entitled This I Believe.

In this particular essay a fourteen year old boy who has Aspergers Syndrome discusses what he believes. It was very moving and it started me thinking what I believe. It also started me thinking about Julian and his learning difficulties. When I hear a young man like this speak, it does make me hopeful that Julian will find his niche in the world. It seems in many ways that he already has.

Well I am in bed typing this (read on) with tissues scattered about, watery eyes and a red nose - sexy huh?

I am therefore off to count sheep. If you like, tell me what you believe in the comments. But by all means, when time permits listen to this essay. Gives you pause.




Logophile said...

That is a good essay, I read some of the others too. Wow
I just love NPR. I get terrible reception at the house so I only hear it in the car, so annoying.
I miss Click and Clack too.

Feel better soon, that so sucks, I HATE being sick.

word veri~ noxblx
You remember Knox Blocks? Those jello squares? eeeeeow

Anonymous said...

i believe i shall wait to actually respond to this tomorrow, and will, instead, wish you a speedy recovery. i'm so sorry you're feeling crummy! (elderberry extract and Zicam. this is my "get well message" du jour/week/month for everyone. last year it's how i avoided many a brush with colds and/or the flu)

off to read the essay then off to bed. but in the words of California's governor, "I'll be back". xoxo

my veri is "geakwcud" -- does that mean i'm a nerdy cow??

Doug The Una said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Doug The Una said...

G, I heard that on the radio yesterday. Any friend of Godzilla is a friend of mine.

I submitted an essay to This I Believe a couple weeks ago so I can answer. According to my essay, I believe in cynicism, satire and mockery as a subordinate trinity.

Bless you!

Oh, and don't listen to Neva. Every ex-southerner knows you want Goldenseal and echinacea. As a native Midwesterner, I also recommend crystal meth.

Anonymous said...

Poor G... Hope you feel better soon!

I love to listen to "This I Believe" because it's good to know what others think and why. You know this particular "This I Believe" resonates very loudly with me because of my autistic son, but it actually hits even closer to home than you can imagine, but that's a different story.

It's good that you're hopeful, G, because Julian will surprise you and make his mark on the world. People will know him and he will make a difference in their lives. Some will be better people because of him.

Take care of yourself.


Anonymous said...

G Lady!!!! I believe I got some meth that will completely blow you apart!!!!!

FelineFrisky said...

What an amazing young man! He'll be an important person in many lives. I am rather a Godzilla nut, myself. Right on, Dopug!

Feel better soon. I dread this time of year. When - not if - I get sick, it hangs on until spring, yuck. D :}

Hobbes said...

G: Get well soon. I apologize for Dr. Doo-Doo. His disabilities are pharmaceutically induced.
I read the essay and thought it was good. I've wondered before how much of Aspberger's Syndrome is actually a "disability" and how much of it is just other people's meanness. i don't think my son has it, but he does like to "teach" on certain subjects sometimes (runs in the family), and I am certain he would be made to suffer if he were in school.
I believe children thrive best when they are challenged, when they are encouraged to find and pursue their interests, and when they have responsibilities. I believe our culture is suffering from Barney-ism. Hugging is important, but so is paying attention to children and exposing them to our own interests and productive activities, and supporting them by having routines that include work on their talents and rewards for that work.
Hard work and occasional failure do not hurt children, but help them become strong people who can succeed in life.

Anonymous said...

i believe i should have said "take Sambucol elderberry extract and Zicam ON TOP of goldenseal and echinacea"! : P

Doug The Una said...

Weirsdo, I don't know how often it's misdiagnosed but there is such a thing, really, and it's different from just being smart or teaching. When the young man started speaking, I thought he sounded like "an aspie" before he mentioned it. The syncopated speech and monotone are typical.

My big issue around Aspberger's diagnoses is exactly what he was talking about. It's just one of the many ways people can be a little bit weird. I hate that now that there's a name for it people act like it's such a big deal. I was just as weird at his age, but dumber and less interested in being heard.

The lad will do fine, I'm sure. There's lots of room in our society for people with social skills deficits. Some day he may even run his own social services agency.

G said...

logo: I love NPR too. I find it very soothing to listen to and I also mostly listen while driving.

I am feeling ever so slightly better today - thanks. Oh and Knox Blocks - sounding familiar. I believe my mother was more the make a bowl of Jello kind of gal.

Neva: Thanks for the recipe - I am feeling on the mend today. I need to get elderberry extract and Zicam stored for future reference. You a nerdy cow? You're no cow Ms. NBFF!

Doug: Haha - yes indeed. Why am I not surprised? I will plotz if I hear that while driving one day!

Thank you. And I believe that's what we have in stock - the echinacea and goldenseal. Scissors has been putting it in my tea (at least that's what he said was in the dropper). Maybe it was crystal meth.

Pavel: Thank you. Yes I thought of you when I heard it as well. I like it for that reason also. A story for another day perhaps? You know you are so right. I think he has already effected our whole family that way, but also everyone he comes into contact with in school just falls in love with the kid. Thanks Pavel.

Dr. Doo Doo: I don't do that stuff and even if I did, it wouldn't be appropriate for me to incriminate myself in a public forum such as this. Really!

FF: Isn't he? I loved his essay and I couldn't agree more. And believe it or not, I'm already on the upswing so not too bad. Achoo. Well there's still a bit of a lingering cold :)

Weirsdo: Thank you. That's quite alright as I've seen Dr. Doo Doo in action before so nothing is shocking.

I believe Doug answered your question below. I will answer from another perspective which is my guess is when that boy is home in the bosom of security and love, he still has Aspergers and any of the attendant symptoms.

Interestingly I just had a conversation last night about a new teacher for Tali's group violin class with the Program's director. She said that everybody liked him and thought he was a good teacher but several parents had complained about him critiquing the children's performances during the performance. The truth is he is a good teacher, he is somewhat "strict" and Tali loves him for just those reasons. She respects him. Too many parents want their children mollycoddled. They are there to learn. If he can offer my child the benefit of his knowledge so that she can learn, then critique away I say. To my knowledge, he is nothing but professional and courteous so what would the problem be? Children's "fragility"? It's part of the learning process.

Brian: Thank you. I guess it depends on which circle you fall in with. But it sure is hard on kids who are a little different. Sad.

Doug: So true, once things get a name, they become so ominous. I think back to growing up where nobody had a diagnosis, just a reputation for acting up.

I agree, he's a smart kid - he'll be fine. Perhaps even write for two wildly popular blogs (while wearing a 188 lb. godzilla suit).

Anonymous said...

That was yet another beautiful post G! What do I believe? Well, doing is believing in my book. I know a little girl who was diagnosed in the third grade as being dyslexic and had a horrible time learning things. About the time she reached the 7th grade she had figured out tricks to make reading and writing easier and really worked hard on her studies. There were many times she felt that she was dumb and was so envious of those who school came easy to. She worked hard at school and eventually made it through high school, college and graduate school. (Even though her parents were told to encourage her to go to vocational school.) To this day she still cringes when she hears someone say "learning disabled" - and you rarely hear the words "I can't do that." cross her lips. So believe that we can all accomplish things that seem impossible at the time - there are very little things I can't do.

Kyahgirl said...

Hi g, I will have to read this later...I'm intrigued by just skimming through so will come back after my meetings. I hope you're feeling better soon. I have a tincture of echinacea and goldenseal right here at my desk! I find it really makes a difference if I can catch it early.

Anonymous said...

The essay did, in fact, give me pause and it caused me to reflect on our own kids, their respective "issues" and unique approach to life - a great reminder...thank you.

Feel better cause it's no fun being sick...not when you're really sick anyway.

FirstNations said...

what I believe with out a trace of a doubt is that what comes around, goes around. some of the truest words ever spoken.
we get canadian NPR here when the weather is right. (Jurgen Goth is my honey)But American NPR? HAIL no.

FirstNations said...

RX: Theraflu in hot water with honey, and burritos. Works like MAGIC, my darling.

everyone with a 'different' kid? have faith. go over to Chaucer's Bitch.
The woman has Aspergers. She's also attending one of the big British Universities (Like cambridge or oxford big) and GETTING A MASTERS DEGREE. She rocks out loud.

G said...

Thank you cj! You know what I believe? That that little girl has a lot to be proud of - truly. You know what else - I hate the term learning disabled. In my eyes, Julian has difficulties - he's just wired a bit differently. Thanks for that perspective cj.

Kyah: I think you'll enjoy the essay(s). Hope you don't mind, but I helped myself to some of that goldenseal and echinacea for my green tea (you were still at meetings).

Joel: For me too - just makes you reflect on what your own children have or will face. Babysteps ay? Yeah, especially when you're at your desk.

cindra jo: thanks (sniff sniff) - you're such a good mommy to us bloggers. I think you'll enjoy the essay as well.

FN: (whenever I type that I find myself singing FN to the tune of Steeley Dan's FM - no static at all): Down with you on the Karma thing. By the way, can't you just stream on the computer?

I am going to be obsessing on burritos now! CB does rock just by her comments I've seen. I'll check out her place (I have before I think).

Thank you all for your get well wishes - I almost feel bad that I feel a bit better today :)


Kyahgirl said...

Hi buddy, I'm back. I REALLY enjoyed listening to Josh and reading more from this site. We don't get NPR where I live but have something similar and its always so interesting.

I read a book awhile ago, recommended by 'Mutha' on her site about a boy with Aspergers's. why can't I remember the name? It was good. Anyway, I do know its an actual quantifiable condition but there is such a huge range of what is normal and what is weird (especially in kids) that I'm sure lots of people are wrongly labeled.

A pox on labels!

Oh, and I see you had half my bottle of herbs. I hope you're feeling better :-)

On a side note, when we were driving through Montana this summer, you would not believe the number of huge painted billboards and signs depicting the horrors of crystal meth. It was so strange because there were hardly any people, millions of antelope, and all these signs! We have a big problem with this drug in our area but no one has done signs yet.

Doug The Una said...

Kyah, I think that was The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night Time by Michael Haddon. I think the main character had full autism, though.

G, that was what I meant, better said. What was wrong with "Not quite right" as a diagnosis?

Tom & Icy said...

There is so much emphasis on sympathy for children, but factual information is important. We need to considered that childhood is only about a fifth of our lifetime. This disorder or profile of individuals may seem sad when the person is a child, but it could turn out to be a very good thing when they are grown. Like the boy noted, many of our greatest people in history have seemed different. It is usually the cause of this difference that drives them to greatness or usefullness to humankind as a whole. Like a person who becomes a volcanologist and discovers ways to save thousands of lives may have been just like this boy as a child with an obsession for volcanoes that carried over into adulthood and career. Other factors need to be considered in relation to any particular problem such as the intelligence of the individual. Just like with Polar Disorder, they claim that an intelligent person can read and study and handle their own problem, but less intelligent people may not be able to handle it by themselves.
The real danger seems to be who is in control of the information from diagnosis, profiling and pigeon-holing children. Power hungry governments and dictators or communists do this for their own benefit of maintaining power. Yet it could be good with people who have benevolent agendas for the betterment of mankind.

Kyahgirl said...

Doug, I read that one too but I'm sure that wasn't it. It was about a boy who is starting at a new school. He's an outcast and befriends this girl who always sits on the step at lunch and eats a vanilla ice cream cone for lunch. He always eats alone because he has this OCD thing with eating everything in fives. Anyway, he's seeing a psychiatrist because of his odd behaviour and an incident where he thinks he somehow is responsible for someone's death (his grandfather?). He makes friends with this other odd kid in art class then eventually gets in trouble from being involved with this kid and doing some vandalism.....I'm going to have to go figure it out because now its driving me crazy. I'll come back.
It was on Mutha's blog around the same time she was a guest on your site so I'll go back to then.

Kyahgirl said...

Oh yeah, I forgot to say, that Tom and Icy, they are a smart duo!

found the book...
Not As Crazy As I Seem by George Harrar. Anyone else read that one?

g'night. :-)

Anonymous said...

Feel better soon! I do enjoy listening to those essays, too. Probably a great exercise for everyone, to ponder what it is that they believe.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I want to add that I really like Tom's comment. One thing I find disturbing is that most of us develop our self-image at an early age, and the diagnoses, or labels we inflict on young people can have a long-term effects, emotionally.

Unknown said...

g, "The sweetest song is that which tells of saddest thought"

sleep well, princess

G said...

Sorry I couldn't get in to answer all sooner:

Kyah: I agree completely. The labels get tossed about like feathers. And so many of the identifiers are rather nebulous.

On the crystal meth thing - I know Dr. Doo Doo was by peddling it but in all seriousness, it is a terrible dangerous drug. Cindra Jo has a post on her blog that deals with a loss of a friend to it found here.

Doug: Thanks - although I think further on Kyah comes up with the book that she was thinking of, that's anotha of Mutha's that I have to write down.

"Not quite right" was pretty comprehensive, I just wanted something a little less technical sounding.

Brian: I don't agree that intelligence is derided as long as it comes in the right package. G-d help us all if that's not the case.

G said...

Tom&Icy: I have to agree on much of what you said perhaps with the exception of people with "particular problems" being able to will away their problems with education of same. Oh if that were only the truth. Certainly educating yourself about an issue is important, but certainly does not negate the need for treatment and therapies.

The other issue that I may have to take a slight detour on is "labeling". To treat a disease or disorder, you must know what you are treating. Without a label or designation, doctors, teachers or professionals do not know how to appropriately treat that individual. I mean this is part of the stigma of mental illness and people with other neurological issues. Being ashamed to call it what it is. I have a child with neurological imprairment - specifically, global developmental delay. This does not mean that he cannot grow up to be a productive intelligent member of society. It probably means that the route will be a little bit different for him and he will need some assistance getting there. He needs a designation to get the proper therapies in school (often hard fought for by my husband and I). On the other hand, I do not like the idea of children knowing that they are "labeled" and that is quite a different thing.

Children should go through life as unfettered by our adult mishagosh as much as possible. Leave the labels and issues to us to worry about.

G said...

Kyah: Thanks for thinking that through and getting back - now I have two good books to write down (this time I will!).

Actonbell: Thanks, feeling better already (must be standing in the fires of that roast). I agree, it wouldn't hurt to explore our own beliefs. It's very true, children learn quite early their self-worth.

Karma! : What a wonderful quote. No wonder I was always a sucker for a mournful tune in the minor keys. Thank you sweet Karma.

ann said...

G: I shall be back.... I'm sorry I haven't had a chance to listen yet.. but I promise I shall play catch up.

lotsa luv ann xxxx

G said...

Ann - I know that dance. You left me a rose - who could complain?

xox ~ G

Hobbes said...

Thanks, Doug. I figured it was for real, and I mainly meant to agree with the boy and the others who support him and all our various differences here. I did not listen to the essay, though, and did not know about the voice.

I certainly don't mean to take meth lightly. Dr. Doo-Doo is not a role model, and I hope his name suggests as much. Since his remedy has recently caused his leg to fall off, I don't recommend it myself.

Minka said...

You are sick? get up, get up... Right NOWWWW!
Not a fan of the tough love?
*hands her tissues and Camomile tea*

Cie Cheesemeister said...

When I tell people what I believe, I usually get accused of being in league with The Devil. At this stage of the game, I go ahead and take off the halo and reveal the horns! >;-)

G said...

Good for you! A bit freeing isn't it?

By the way, does it have anything to do with the Netherworld or Death Cheese?