You can buy advertising space on Tim Christian's body to raise money for autism. $100 a centimeter and he will have your logo tattooed on his body. Not on his head.
The most important article I read in 2010 was not directly about autism. It was about bullying and the Internet. And not bullying of gay kids or people with disabilities, although both of those topics were much in the news and of great personal importance. It was an article about a company called Decor MyEyes and their business model: offer terrible service and abuse customers, get them to complain, and then watch those complaints drive up their Google ranking. People trust that high ranking so much that they don't bother to check out why so many people are talking about the company. So they order, get terrible service, complain, and drive more business to their site.
Read the article. The whole thing. It's fascinating. Then come back and read why I hope a lot of people consider its implications in 2011.
Eric Darville, Nugget, and Dawn Kelsey. Photograph by Ian Smith
Dawn Kelsey's family needed something happy after a series of illnesses so she decided to try training a service puppy and ended up changing her life:
Around this time, Kelsey saw a news report that a non-profit organization called the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society (PADS) was looking for puppy-raisers to help train and socialize puppies to become assistance dogs for people with physical disabilities.
“There was an adorable yellow lab that caught my attention and I rang quickly to call the number,” said Kelsey, who then met with PADS puppy supervisor Sharon Andriash.
“I contacted Sharon and she came to meet the family and gave us our first dog, Diamond, to raise. A beautiful yellow lab with a beautiful name . . . Diamond became part of our family and went everywhere with us. Everywhere I went everyone had to meet the dog and ask me about PADS.”
Kelsey has since trained three other dogs and now works with people with disabilities.
What says "Christmas" me more than kids playing in boxes? Nothing! Had to post these clips of a young guy with autism doing just that.
The following is a response to an article by journalist Caren Zucker called "Christmas with my Son with Autism." In it, she writes about finding humor and hope in a frustrating situation.
Dear Caren Zucker,
I want to thank you for bringing attention this year to the story of Donald Triplett, the first person diagnosed with autism, and for your continuing work to bring awareness to people on the spectrum. However, I had some problems with your piece A Christmas with My Son with Autism.
I don't know you or your kids, and I wouldn't criticize your piece if it were an example of "mom blogging." I have no interest in critiquing your child-rearing skills or your relationship with your son. I'm writing this because you are also a journalist who is writing about a subject of professional expertise, expertise that is used to give your article additional authority: "Caren Zucker is a television producer currently working on a six-part series on autism for the PBS NewsHour with Robert MacNeil."
So I'm wondering something. Did you apologize to Mickey?