Sunday, October 27, 2013

Undiagnosed #Autism and #Aspergers - I am NOT concerned

Have you seen these stats being passed around social media sites? I have, but I'm not as concerned as some. Let me explain.

I doubt that the statistics for autism have risen as drastically as many claim. I say this because there are millions of adults who have high-functioning autism (known as Asperger's Syndrome) who were never diagnosed as kids. That's because the awareness of this was not known. In fact, Asperger's Syndrome was not added to the DSM until 1994. Now, Asperger's has been removed and falls under the umbrella of autism. 

Do you know an adult who is odd? Rude without meaning to be? Blurts things out inappropriately? Someone who seems to alienate people and has no clue as to why? Someone who can't stand certain noises, textures, wearing socks, etc.? Chances are you know plenty of people with undiagnosed autism.

The majority of people with Asperger's Syndrome are brilliant, talented, and highly knowledgeable. You will find them working as engineers or other specialists where brains count more than social skills.

I am concerned about America's unhealthy foods, GMOs, I am concerned about obese and sedentary children, food allergies, and asthma. I am concerned about the severe form of autism. But about the increase in the diagnoses of autism? I am not concerned. I am thrilled that we are able to recognize this and help those affected.

I am relieved that someone who is different, odd, or socially inept can be helped and acknowledged. How great to give this constant struggle an actual diagnoses.

For so many of the adults who grew up living with parents and teachers and peers who called them names and blamed them for things they could not control. For all the isolation and self-hatred this has engendered in them. I am thankful for the increase in diagnoses.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

What Does It Mean to Have Scales Over The Eyes?

They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.

Isaiah 44:18

Have you ever known someone who could deny facts even when faced with clear and undeniable proof? Yep, me too. Plenty of them.

When I came across the verse in Isaiah 44, about twelve years ago, I highlighted it in my Bible and wrote in the margins: this was me! And it was. For so many years - even after leaving the FOC - I believed they were God's only chosen people. Now I know that is obviously untrue. But I'm not so distantly removed to forget how anyone could think that way.

In the New Testament, the scales fell from the Apostle Paul's eyes in the eighteenth verse of Acts 9:

And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

Acts 9:18

Did you know that all snakes have scales covering their eyes? They're designed that way for protection, since they lack eyelids.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Little Ugly Truth About My Book and Blog

I started blogging over two years ago and, until this past week, haven't missed a week. It's been two weeks since I posted a blog and that one a guest blog. The week before was a republished article.

The truth is, I'm just not feeling it these days. I finished my book a year ago and haven't touched it since. So, it's not exactly finished-finished. It was finished enough to pass as an MFA thesis. It was approved by much better writers than me. It went through professional edits. But, it isn't in the condition I want it to be.

And all that kind-of stinks because I have an agent waiting to read my book - and I don't want to hand it over. I want to fix dozens of things (yes, I have a list) and add several scenes. But, without the 30 pages/month requirements I once had, writing tends to fall to the bottom of my to-do list.

I'm letting my dreams slip away. It's depressing and overwhelming and even embarrassing.

Most people have long since stopped asking me about my book. So, in case anyone out there is wondering: my book hasn't changed in a year. It's sort-of finished. Good enough to earn a terminal degree and qualify me to teach undergraduates. But not good enough to show the world.

And that ties in with this blog - I won't publish excerpts of my book here because that's a rip off to anyone who eventually reads the book. 

And I'm a bit weary of writing about the Followers. Honestly, they bore me. What's left to say? I'm tired of hearing from community members (and current members) about them sneaking their children (and themselves) to medical clinics. Good for them for doing the right thing. Bad for them for being too chicken to admit it. We're all hypocrites in some way, I suppose.

I'll write something next Sunday. Probably.