Uniquely Human

Ideas from “Uniquely Human” by Dr. Barry Prizant

We have always thought about obsessions of persons with autism as “enthusiasms.”

If something truly grips her attention, we seek ways to steer her interests in a way that would help her.

Perhaps focusing on one topic gives the child a sense of control, predictability and security in a world that can be unpredictable and feel scary.

Discouraging an enthusiasm can be just another way of dismantling a strategy that helps a child with autism feel better regulated – or worse, removing a source of interest and joy.

We can use the enthusiasm as a way to expand the child’s outlook and improve the child’s life. Continue reading “Uniquely Human”

Uniquely Human

Key Concepts from “Uniquely Human” by Dr. Barry Prizant

Most behaviors by children with autism are not deficits. They are strategies the person uses to feel better regulated emotionally.

Many children with autism regulate themselves by trying to control their surroundings – by seeking sameness. These are ways to ground ourselves by taking control and making our environment predictable and visually symmetrical.

Seeking to eliminate behavior without fully understanding its purpose is not only unhelpful; it also shows a lack of respect for the individual. Worse, it can make life more difficult for the person with autism. Continue reading “Uniquely Human”

Uniquely Human

I usually highlight news articles in my blog and ask readers to pray about them, informed by reading the Bible. This week, I am going to feature information from an excellent book, “Uniquely Human,” by Dr. Barry Prizant. The theme of the book is that people with autism are not disabled, but merely uniquely human. I was drawn to Prizant’s book, because that is exactly how I see my grandson, Grayson, who is on the autism spectrum.

Notes from “Uniquely Human” by Dr. Barry Prizant

U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that autism affects as many as one in fifty school-age children.

The behavior of people with autism isn’t random, deviant, or bizarre. Autism isn’t an illness. It’s a different way of being human. Continue reading “Uniquely Human”

Newspaper Prayers: Friday, February 2nd

Headlines from the New York Times for Friday, February 2, 2018

Don’t Believe the Liberal F.B.I.

(This is an excerpt from an editorial by Michelle Goldberg. Note, the man who helped me experience a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ, was a career F.B.I. agent until retirement.)

In the 1960s and 1970s, the American right set about undermining trust in the mainstream media, which it saw as dangerously infected with liberal assumptions. Later, in debates over evolution and the environment, some on the right attacked the validity of modern science. By the turn of the millennium, it was an article of faith among conservative ideologues that whole realms of human expertise were in fact intricate structures of propaganda that trapped the unwary in a matrix of deceit.

In an invaluable 2017 Vox essay titled “Donald Trump and the Rise of Tribal Epistemology,” David Roberts quoted a 2009 Rush Limbaugh rant: “Science has been corrupted. We know the media has been corrupted for a long time. Academia has been corrupted. None of what they do is real. It’s all lies!” With Trump, this ethos reached the White House. And now, to protect Trump, the right has expanded its war on empiricism to that most conservative of institutions, the F.B.I. Continue reading “Newspaper Prayers: Friday, February 2nd”

Newspaper Prayers: Thursday, February 1st

Headlines from the New York Times for Thursday, February 1, 2018

As Strongmen Steamroll Their Opponents, Trump is Silent

When it comes to securing a second term in power, Egypt’s president is leaving little to chance.

Potential rivals in the March election have been sidelined, jailed or threatened with prosecution. The news media is largely in his pocket. On polling day, Egyptians will have a choice between President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and one of his most ardent supporters — an obscure politician drafted at the 11th hour to avoid the embarrassment of a one-horse race. Continue reading “Newspaper Prayers: Thursday, February 1st”

Newspaper Prayers: Wednesday, January 31st

Headlines from the New York Times for Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Trump’s Volk und Vaterland

“This, in fact, is our new American moment,” President Trump declared in his State of the Union speech. “There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.”

But which American Dream? Trump portrayed a dark and menacing world in which immigrants, who stand at the heart of the American idea, were equated with gangs, murderous criminals and “horrible people.” Continue reading “Newspaper Prayers: Wednesday, January 31st”