Saturday, August 4, 2012

Oughtism on Autism

For regular readers of my Oughtism blog, in the future it will be divided into two separate blogs, one mainly for parents, teachers and other practitioners interested specifically in autism, OUGHTISM and the other will discuss a wider range of issues at greater length as in my previous blog OUGHTISM TWO.  For those with greater tolerance for windy commentaries. Older posts will be found on the OUGHTISM blog link. 


• Latest autism news

Lynn. & Bob Koegel from UC Santa Barbara just reported results of study showing organizing social activities of teens with autism around some of their narrow interests works better in promoting friendships with typical peers than trying to redirect them into other pursuits. Rather than discouraging their occasionally-obsessive interests, the researchers helped set up social clubs around them and invited students who do not have ASD to join.   Makes a lot of sense.  Appears In the latest issue of Journal of Positive Behavioral Interventions. 

• Quick Tips

"She's just going to have to get used to it!"   How many times have you heard that?  Most of the time when we expose kids with ASDs to highly frustrating or frightening situations, that leads to an outburst, and eventually, parents, teachers or grandma finally give in....  Few adults are able to tolerate a prolonged meltdown without blowing a gasket. They are usually the one’s who “get used to it.”  It’s better to figure out what is behind the outburst and how to make it unnecessary by teaching the child to ask for help, by making the task easier or perhaps temporarily allowing the child to leave the situation. Kids with autism over react for reasons, we just have to figure out what they are. Choosing an alternative behavior pathway is always preferable (see Chapter 5, Overcoming Behavioral Tsunamis in my Freedom fromMeltdowns)

• Random Thoughts

Among the 88 books appearing on the list the Libraryof Congress has decided shaped America, the three science-related choices seem strange:  Benjamin Franklin's treatise on electricity, while historically interested influenced few scientists, and The "Silent Spring" is about science run amuck driven by commercial interests.  Only "The Double Helix" was a celebration of the contribution of science.  Considering our world as it is today, from astronomy to medicine, that seems an oversight. Where was Primo Levi’s The Periodic Table, E.O. Wilson’s On Human Nature or Lewis Thomas’s remarkable Lives of a Cell ?   Perhaps it reflects the continuing schism between the humanities and sciences of which C.P. Snow persuasively wrote many years ago in "Two Cultures" 1959).  

• What I'm Up To

On August 7th I’ll be delivering a keynote address "Melt Downs: What Causes Them and How To Prevent them" at the Community Collaborative, Brain and Development Conference, White Earth Reservation, Mahnomen, MN. 

I’ll be in Albuquerque NM September 6th presenting the invited Frank Logan Quad-L Lecture at the Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico on Autism Early Intervention and Brain Development.

I’ve been adding to my succulent garden. Daughters Andrea and Jennifer gave me a wonderful Assago Bonsai Palm and an unusual meandering Crassula for my birthday.  They remind me things may seem a little off kilter and still be beautiful.

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