Max has yet another consequence-free meltdown on Parenthood.
Parenthood's Adam Braverman is many things, but he is not, as his wife Kristina insists at the end of last night's episode "Qualities and Difficulties" a "great dad." Great parents don't take away their daughters' bedroom doors if the girl wants to date someone of another race with a little baggage, as Adam and Kristina did earlier this season. And, if their kids are diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, great dads don't see it mostly as a problem for themselves.
James Durbins performs Judas Priest's "Another Thing Coming"
James Durbin, who has both Tourettes and Aspergers, got ecstatic reviews from the judges for his performance of "Another Thing Coming" on Tuesday's episode of American Idol. It was probably the best thing he's done on the show yet-- much more controlled (less pitchy and screechy). He also looked great. I'd say he's a lock for the top five, but you should still vote.
Call 1-866-IDOLS 06 or vote online at www.americanidol.com/vote
Neurotypicals, dentistry, echos, and laughs
A couple of homemade Aspergers cartoons. One reveals AS symptoms through a trip to the dentist. One is about a flying banana and was made by a young aspie named George. George also has cool videos about candlelight and curry.
Whether life's disabilities
Left you outcast, bullied or teased
Rejoice and love yourself today
'Cause baby, you were born this way
The song "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga is intended as a gay anthem, but it excites me more when I listen to it as someone with autism. I believe that I was born both autistic and gay. I recognize that there are significant differences between the two things. Being gay affects me only when I'm in a romantic situation or when someone treats me differently because of it. Being autistic affects how I experience and think about the entire world, and it causes problems in and of itself, not just because of the way other people react to it.
But still, I understand what it is to be to autistic through the prism of being gay. One of my reasons for starting thAutcast was to create a space for people with autism similar to those I have found most useful as a gay person. I wanted a place to celebrate with people like me when something wonderful happens and to mourn our own when we are murdered. And I wanted a place where we could talk about autism in a way that goes beyond the obvious, that genuinely supports us.
I want to encourage autistic people to appropriate gay culture whenever it is useful. And to me, this song is. We were born this way, too. God did not make a mistake when He created you as you are. Sing it. Dance it. Be proud.
Speaking of pride. . .
There are several phases to coming out as gay, and thinking about them helps me think about where I am in understanding my autism, too. I think other people might have a similar experience, so read on if you're interested.
Robert Maino's testimonial to the House committee.
Updated to add video of Robert's testimony. Outstanding!
When the Virginia legislature passed a law requiring businesses to offer insurance coverage for children with autism, it was due in part to the efforts of Robert Maino. Robert is an 18-year-old with Asperger's syndrome who will be attending college next year. He wrote a letter to members of the legislature, explaining how essential the sort of treatment covered by the bill has been to his success:
No amount of education could have prepared me for life, what I really needed was therapy, social skills training and medication. I am one of the incredibly lucky few who have been able to benefit from these therapies from an early age and I have been able to learn how to deal with my high functioning autism (called Asperger's). Now I can speak for and work with others who have it. With the passing of this bill, I look forward to seeing the amount of kids who can speak for themselves grow exponentially.
Legislators invited Robert to speak in support of the bill after being moved by his letter:
"They hadn't heard from somebody who lived it," said Marybeth Maino, Robert's mother.