The Kirby Vacuum Salesman Who Became a Star

You know, just about the time you need to feel good about something, just about the time you need to believe that people are more -- so, so much more -- than the formless ranting that comes through to us over the ether every day, as we dip further and further into the reality/unreality that is the internet, you click on Twitter and a story like this comes along, and it gives all the headlines, all the divisive narratives, and all the prophets of doom a good, sharp kick in the derriere:Ever … [Read more...]

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Francis and Autism and Worship: All May Be One?

Ever since October's Synod on the Family issued its final relatio -- which managed to pay one line of lip-service to single parents, Katrina Fernandez has been feeling all-too-keenly aware of how detrimental it can be for a church to label-and-divide the flock for tailored worship and social events. When the news broke that Pope Francis would be meeting with families living with autism, she sounded a well-pitched note of concern:I’m glad the families in the video above are finally able to h … [Read more...]

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“Hey, KILL your autistic kid, because he’s ANNOYING ME!!!!!! And my NORMAL kids!!!!!”

Well, we've reached a new nadir;Click to enlarge. That's a letter left for the family of boy with autism. By someone who is raising "normal" children.The "pissed off mother!!!!!" who wrote this awful, sick, miserable diatribe has broken one of Elmore Leonards rules or writing:5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.More importantly, in demonstrating her terrifyingly utilitarian outlook that … [Read more...]

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Older Parents, Weaker Children, Future America

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.comAn important piece by Judith Shulevitz, focusing on the unforeseen effects of having children at a later age:…The Nature study ended by saying that the greater number of older dads could help to explain the 78 percent rise in autism cases over the past decade. Researchers have suspected links between autism and parental age for years. One much-cited study from 2006 argued that the risk of bearing an autistic child jumps from six in 10,000 before a man r … [Read more...]

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“I needed this for him…and for me…”

Sometimes a piece is so authentic that its truth overpowers you. Like this one, written by the mother of a severely autistic child:But as this year wound down, I added a seemingly tricky expectation/goal to my list for Lil D – that he should walk across the stage for his fifth grade graduation. It morphed from something I would speak of with a longing in my voice to something I discussed with more and more determination in the multitude of meetings we had with his school team these past s … [Read more...]

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