“You Will Become an Army for Your Child”

via The Mighty: https://www.facebook.com/Themightysite/videos/604998539647897/

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The Good Fight – Fighting Against Systematic Bullying

As some of you know, we have been in a legal fight with The Vanguard School in Colorado Springs for a couple of years now. Our 8 year old autistic son was expelled due to his disability. Today we found out that his federal case is a great precedent to parents and other attorneys.

At the COPAA** Conference in Philadelphia this year, attorneys from Maine made a presentation of the 40 most important federal district court decisions in the field in 2015. They listed our son’s case, Smith v. Cheyenne Mountain School District 12, 2015 WL 4979771 (D. Colo. Aug. 20, 2015) as number 22.

Yay! Fighting for your kid and not letting yourself be bullied by a school district DOES make a difference.

We also discovered that Robert’s case was cited by a federal court in San Diego, to overturn an ALJ’s decision that refused to uphold the “stay put” placement of a child in the school set forth in the child’s IEP.

This is a great victory for the parents and the child, not unlike the victory we achieved. Hopefully other school districts throughout the country will get the clue that they cannot continue to violate the stay-put clause.

Don’t be a victim of systematic bullying by school districts.

**The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates is a national American advocacy association of parents of children with disabilities, their attorneys, advocates, and others who support the educational and civil rights of children with disabilities.

 

Are You a Synesthete

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Four percent of the population, when seeing number five, also see color red. Or hear a C-sharp when seeing blue. Or even associate orange with Tuesdays. And among artists, the number goes to 20-25 percent! This neurologically-based condition is called synesthesia, in which people involuntarily link one sensory percept to another. The colors, sounds, numbers, etc. differ among people (for example, you might see five in red, while someone else sees it in orange), but the association never varies within a person (that is, if five for you is red, it will always be red). There is a surprising overall agreement among synesthetes, however.

The primary perspective of the cause of synesthesia is a mutation that causes defective pruning between areas of the brain that are ordinarily connected only sparsely. Therefore areas that are disconnected within a human brain retain certain connections in synesthetes, which causes unusual associations. The location of gene expression leads to two different types of synesthetes: If the gene is expressed in the fusiform gyrus, the brain area concerned with perception, a perceptual synesthesia results, in which people will actually perceive, for instance, a number five colored in red. If, however, the gene is expressed in the angular gyrus, the brain area involved in processing concepts, a conceptual synesthesia results, in which people will not physically see the color red when presented with a number five, but will nevertheless experience an association between the two concepts.

I must admit, I am a conceptual synesthete (but only for certain numbers). Two is a nice light cream color; three is bright green; four is beige with a bit of light brown; five is definitely blood red; seven is ice blue. Eight wants to be something, but it’s difficult… Nine is dark, almost black. I don’t physically see colors, but when numbers are colored in something other than my associations, it causes some distress. I also paint and am very sensitive to colors and sounds in general.

I also believe that even though perceptual synesthesia may be relatively rare, it does not mean that a subtler cross-sensory undercurrent is nonexistent. I would not be surprised if many creative individuals were conceptual synesthetes. They may not necessarily physically perceive the connections between the percepts, but nevertheless may exhibit the facility in linking seemingly unrelated realms in order to highlight a hidden deep similarity. For example, in a sample of normal university students, those who had higher scores on the remote associates task (which requires finding a common word that can be combined with each of the three problem words to form a common compound or a phrase: e.g., ‘shine, beam, struck;’ solution — ‘moon’) showed stronger associations between colors and pure tones than people with lower scores on the same test. Similarly, synesthetes outperformed controls on the remote associates test. In addition, examination of poetry of Poe, Swinburne, Shelley, Blake, and Keats revealed that they all employed synesthetic usage in their poetry. These findings indicate that cross-sensory linkages may be associated with creative thinking.

I would be glad to hear from synesthetes, as well as from individuals involved in creative pursuits. What are your experiences? How do you perceive the world? How do your experiences affect your daily life?

by Darya L. Zabelina M. S vis Psychology Today

An Experimental Autism Treatment Cost Me My Marriage

If Strangers Talked to Everybody like They Talk to Writers

Last week, writer and tweeter extraordinaire Elizabeth McCracken tweeted this:

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There is something unique about the way people talk to writers. Strangers seem very willing to offer career advice — “self-publishing is where the money is!” — literary advice — “People love vampires!” — or to oddly ask you to guess what work they’ve read in their life and if any of yours is among it. It got me thinking about what it would be like it people talked about other professions in this way.

“Ah, a middle school teacher? Have I met any of the students you’ve ever taught?”

“Cool, I always wanted to be a car salesmen. Maybe when I retire I’ll settle down and just work on selling that Buick I’ve had in my head for years.”

“Huh. A chef. Do people still eat food?”

“An accountant? Wow, I haven’t even looked at a number since high school.”

“You own a hardware shop? Nice! Do you sell tools with wood handles? People love wood handles, you should really sell tools with those.”

“So Chet tells me you’re a bartender. Would I have tasted any of the drinks you make?”

“News anchor? Okay here’s a news story I’ve been thinking about for years: the vice president slips into a vat of grape jelly. People would love that story, right? It’s yours! I’ll never have time to get away from work and break the story to a national audience myself.”

“Non-profit grant writer? Hmm. My 7-year-old niece is into non-profits. Do you write grants for any children’s non-profits? Maybe she’s read one of your grants.”

“Software programmer? Like, for actual computers sold in stores or just as a hobby?”

“Gastroenterologist? My aunt tried to be a gastroenterologist. Hard to make a living doing that! Hahaha!”

“Menswear designer for J. Crew? Interesting. Have you tried selling your clothes yourself on Etsy instead? I hear people are making millions self-designing on the internet these days.”

“You said a Wall Street banker? Interesting. Would I know any of the economies you ruined with borderline illegal practices?’

by Lincoln Michel

I Am Not Done

I hope by now you realize that I keep my word.
I do not give up; I will NEVER give up.

Are you tired of me yet?
If your answer is “yes,” my response is “good.”

What is more dangerous than a parent?
One whose child you have threatened.

Reveal my biggest, darkest secrets – scream it from the highest mountain but you will not silence me.

There is a simple, sure way to stop me…

…hire a hitman because I would rather die than give up.

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© Copyright 2016 Olivia Owens. All rights reserved.

 

Are You a Fundamentalist Christian by Amber Davis

Top Ten Signs You’re a Fundamentalist Christian

10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.

9 – You feel insulted and “dehumanized” when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.

8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.

7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the “atrocities” attributed to Allah, but you don’t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in “Exodus” and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in “Joshua” including women, children, and trees!

6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.

4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs — though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most “tolerant” and “loving.”

3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in “tongues” may be all the evidence you need to “prove” Christianity.

2 – You define 0.01% as a “high success rate” when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history – but still call yourself a Christian

 

© Copyright 2016. Amber Davis