Description from YouTube:
Our eight-year-old blind-autistic son Jacob enjoying some fine acoustic guitar by a musician in downtown Lawrence, Kansas on May 13, 2012.
Tyler ... Thank you so much for letting Jacob feel the music!
The OWL sent me this video with this message:
Autism makes music beautiful for us.
Not ALL of us, but the OWL and I and Jacob and many others.
I hope everyone can see how beautiful Jacob and Tyler are.
Owls Are Nocturnal
I think I will mostly be offline for the next few days. While I'm gone, please watch the cartoon Adam Bailey and I made based on his autism comic strip OWL.
OWL tries to make his autism easier to see. Original strip here.
Allen Frances, the head of the Chair of the DSM IV Task Force, is starting to sound like Michael Savage or Sharron Angle: he has written an editorial in which he claims that the increase in autism diagnosis is basically a fad:
The most likely cause of the autism epidemic is that autism has become fashionable – a popular fad diagnosis. Once rare and unmistakable, the term is now used loosely to describe people who do not really satisfy the narrow criteria intended for it by DSM IV. Autism now casts a wide net, catching much milder problems that previously went undiagnosed altogether or were given other labels. Autism is no longer seen as an extremely disabling condition, and many creative and normally eccentric people have discovered their inner autistic self.
Kristina Chew's response:
He seems rather to mock those wishful thinkers who have, later in life, sought an autism diagnosis. Either you’re severely autistic, or you’re just a label-seeker.
Our son Charlie can be said to fall under the latter category, as his speech and academic and cognitive abilities are very limited, he will require 24/7 care for all of his life and has a history of sometimes extremely challenging behaviors that have made schooling in a separate center for autistic children necessary and preferable. However, Allen overlooks the fact that just being able to have more academic and communication abilities, to have a normal IQ, to go to college and even be married, does not mean that one does not have extreme challenges that can limit one’s opportunities and have effects on one’s health, income and many other areas.
Allen’s limiting an autism diagnosis to only a few who are severe according to his definition is dismissive and overlooks the fact that many do need support and understanding about their differences. He bases his claims on an assumption that, “back in the days” when autism was rare, we — well, doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists — knew precisely what autism was, diagnosed it accurately and did not miss any cases. Has he forgotten that “back in the days” many believed that the cause of autism was parents? That people would hardly seek out a diagnosis for their child that carried such a huge stigma? That an autism diagnosis was the equivalent of having a scarlet A on your forehead, as parents were blamed for causing autism by emotionally withdrawing from a child? That one reason for the increase in autism diagnoses is that we as a society have become more accepting of and open about having a child with a disability?