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on a day when I could really use a little cheering up and some good news I open the site to see a story about an abused cat and a ramble from a poster about animals dying in Australia.

The story I hit on the news web? A woman who's 15 year old daughter is going through a spiral into madness, prostitution and drug abuse.

And a home repair that is not more than I expected, but more than I hoped.

Add this to the loss of a customer in my day job and the loss of a potential customer in my part time work, and, well, you get the drift.

Anyone out there have some good news or thoughts to share????

Fluff
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It's not exactly good news, just a funny story.

I'm coping with data responses for a bunch of different cases. And in one question the company that wrote the question had a very long set of assumptions:

"Assuming that X% is traveling R, and it goes past monitoring point L, and is being paid for by J at rate T under circumstances W, what would be the result if" and it went on and on for paragraphs.

And the response was: We don't charge rate T.

Nancy
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I'm going to march in my commencement on Sunday, and my son, who is diagnosed mild autistic, took my mom on a tour of his school. He made eye contact, made conversation, told everyone proudly "This is my grandma!" and then would turn to my mom and say, "This is <whoever they were>!" This from a kid who used to have no language at all, and would point to the fridge when he was thirsty and the pantry when he was hungry, at four years old, is now at eight functioning very well indeed. I was smiling through happy tears. :-) And my mom, who was the first to notice her grandson wasn't perfect, was beaming as well.

There is hope. :-) I have seen it. He is a beautiful, wonderful, sweet boy, and I wouldn't trade him for any other kid, anywhere, even a "typical" or "normal" kid. (I take issue with folks who say my son isn't normal--the fringe of the bell curve is normal, because a bell curve is normal--if everyone were in the middle 50%, that *would* be weird...but I digress). He is learning stuff that I only dreamed he would. I think he's going to be happy, and he's a good person, someone I can be proud of and he can be proud of himself. Which is all that anyone can ask for their kids, and if it takes him a little longer to learn stuff, or that he has to have social stuff taught to him rather than just picking it up as other kids do, well, he can learn it, so really, the future's so bright, I gotta wear shades. :-)


--Booa
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And here's a funny thing about writing a dissertation:

Q: Son, why did it take you so long to write your thesis?
A: Well, Dad, I could have been done years and years ago, but I wanted my dissertation to rhyme.

:-)


--Booa (who is contemplating writing my dissertation in haiku and limerick form, for variety)
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Greetings, Booa, you have every reason to be proud, not only of yourself but also of your wonderful, original son! One of my closest friends from elementary school has a daughter, now 11, who is autistic. Her daughter has the most astonishing and riveting abilities in her areas of interest that I have personally ever encountered. She developed a love for dinosaurs and was not only able, at age 6, to completely write out their lengthy Latin names as part of stories she made up but also to draw them in minute, exquisite detail. Such a gift for focus I have never since seen and I remain always in awe of her.

My friend has become deeply involved in furthering her daughter's education and those of other autistic kids, and it is very fulfilling for her. I know she used to fret over whether her daughter would have any semblance of a normal-ish life and the answer is now - but, of course! My friend got me started on reading books by Temple Grandin (who is a gifted animal husbandry expert and who is herself high-functioning autistic) and I see so much of my friend's daughter in her, whose talents are no longer latent but are beginning to blossom. I think she will be a creative force of some deep magnitude and it's like getting to preview a superhuman success story. I always get the same feeling whenever you post about your son.

Please tell more stories about him. I love to read about things he says and perceptions he has. They are so fresh. I think of you as having a household teeming with creativity (CONGRATULATIONS on your dissertation, by the way!!!!) and keep thinking that it must be wonderful (when it is at its best) for the whole family to live in an environment at an orthogonal (or an acute, anyway) angle to the way the rest of the (duller) world may live. My heart sang to read what you wrote and I am eager to hear more.

Love,
xraymd
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Booa,

What you have accomplished over the past few years is astounding. Work, family, son, dissertation, finances, and everything else that you have dealt with has been juggled high in the air. I hope you understand how rare that ability is.

I don't believe in normal. There is average, yes. And there is mean (in the sense of half over half under). But as I've grown older and wiser, I've come to understand that 'normal' is a label.

You and your son have smashed labels. I wish I had enough words, and could put them in the right order, and explain how stunned and marveling I am that you have accomplished so much.

The world is richer for you.

Thank you.

Nancy
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This from a kid who used to have no language at all, and would point to the fridge when he was thirsty

well That brought a smile to my face.

Congratulations on your achievements, both academic and in the home front!

Fluff
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Oh, xraymd, what a series of sweet things to say. :-)

It amazes me, the progress the pup has made. Let's see, they were learning about government, about the three branches of our government and how we live in a democracy and it's good we don't have a king, because we have freedom, and then my boy says, "Well, we're not free. I have to come to school, and I have to follow directions once I'm here. This is more like that slavery thing you taught us about, with the blacks and the whites." So then the other kids, who'd been nodding and listening, suddenly started saying, "Hey, yeah, he's right. We're slaves!" His teacher thought she might need a police cordon to protect her from the suddenly rebellious first and second graders. Hee! She got them calmed down, but I love that he thinks about things, and questions them. His teacher told me she wasn't expecting to have to deal with that question with first and second graders. :-) Guess we're going to have a summer full of John Stuart Mill and the like.

He really thinks outside the box. And he is so, so funny. We had family visiting for graduation, and it was great to see how he'd get them laughing. One person asked me, "My gosh, how did he get so funny? And he's so quick!" Some of it is, he repeats funny things he's heard his older friends say, or from television, but he does it appropriately, which is *awesome*. Like the beer commercial in the sushi bar where the guy has something stuck to his face like in Alien, and the waitress says, "It lay eggs now, enjoy!" in this really cheerful, perky way? When my mom took a bite of something and made a face and said, "What *is* this?" he said that line, and we all laughed.

Anyway, I have a million pup stories. :-) I'll try to spread them out. He is a big entertaining sweetie. And yes, orthogonal to the normal point of view is pretty accurate--his dad and I aren't any too normal, so the kid is sort of doomed. A friend of mine fondly remembers how my DH answered my son's question of "What are people made out of?" "Carbon compounds and water." Or how he gets random lectures on plumbing and time travel and what not. :-) If he asks a question, he gets the most accurate, honest answer we can give him.

He's a really good kid. I enjoy him a lot. :-)


--Booa

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A friend of mine fondly remembers how my DH answered my son's question of "What are people made out of?" "Carbon compounds and water."

Are you a missing relative?

I have a nephew who, at the age of three, was with his mother and they were driving through a development, and he looked at all the half-circle windows and said, "hey, look at all the parabolas." And someone (at school) said, "how are wine and beer alike?" and he said, "they both contain ethyl alcohol." He was five.

It's scary when they're that fast, isn't it? And with a problem like Autism, it's marvelous that he has such a strong social sense in knowing what is appropriate to say. I know a lot of adults who can't manage that.

Nancy
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Oh, Nancy, you are going to make me cry. Thank you. That is unbelievably and incredibly kind of you, but you are an incredibly kind person, so it's in keeping with your character. Thank you so much for your kind words, I don't feel like I deserve so much credit for things, but thank you so much for thinking that I do. :-)

The world is richer for you, too. :-) Thank you.


--Booa
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Thanks! I'm still writing the diss, but the end is in sight. Yay! And the boy, well, he brings a smile to my face every day. He is my personal miracle. :-)

I told him that I told my online friends about him, and that they liked him, and he wants me to show him to y'all. I think he wanted to meet you guys, but he'll have to settle for me posting some pictures, for now. I have to find the more recent ones. :-)


--Booa
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Thank you. That is unbelievably and incredibly kind of you, but you are an incredibly kind person, so it's in keeping with your character.

I should probably explain at this point that there are quite a number of Fools who would cheer at my death. I've been told that I have a superior attitude, I tell people what to do, and also have a nasty holier than thou streak. (The last comment led me to believe that a poster mixed me up with somebody else).

Believe me, I'm not always a nice person. But I try to improve.

You, on the other hand, are an admirable person.

Nancy

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I have a nephew who, at the age of three, was with his mother and they were driving through a development, and he looked at all the half-circle windows and said, "hey, look at all the parabolas." And someone (at school) said, "how are wine and beer alike?" and he said, "they both contain ethyl alcohol." He was five.

Yeah, exactly. I mean, the other day my DH treated us to the explanation of how the pup can trust the water from the water fountain outside the bathroom, because the toilet water does not get mixed up with the drinking water, because they're in different pipes, and water pipes are much smaller diameter. :-) Someday someone will wonder something about pipes, and he'll be able to say, "No, that's the wrong diameter pipe," and people will probably think he's, um, interesting. :-)

It's scary when they're that fast, isn't it? And with a problem like Autism, it's marvelous that he has such a strong social sense in knowing what is appropriate to say. I know a lot of adults who can't manage that.

Well, he didn't used to know what to say, but he goes to a social cognition group every week, which helps immensely. My DH wants them to have a group for adults, so he can go. (DH does "simulated sensitivity," which is randomly saying, with great concern, "Is everything okay?" to me, because sometimes, I *am* upset and then he looks like a hero. But it's hard for him to tell, otherwise.) My pup is very smart, so he can learn about social skills, he just doesn't pick them up on his own like most folks.

He is scary smart. He can't whistle, but he's seen people in cartoons whistle and put their hands behind their backs when they're trying to look innocent, so he'll do that and sing way up high in an attempt at whistling. So, so funny, and he does it appropriately, which is even more exciting. :-)

It is funny to get a three page handout on "Nose picking," and the proper way to go about it. :-) And they go on field trips to learn "how to buy a toy at a store," and "how to eat in a restaurant." But it works, which I am thrilled about, and he's a really good kid, which I'm even more thrilled about. He'll sometimes use the "I'm tattling," tone to tease me, like saying, "Mom, Dad is doing nothing to me," in that singsong voice, and when I say, "Well, what's the problem with that, then?" he'll say, "Oh, I'm not telling on him, I just wanted you to know. I'm giving him a compliment, it's good that he's doing nothing, right?"

Goofy, sweet kid. :-) Your nephew sounds very smart and sweet, too. Parabolas and ethyl alcohol! :-) Hee.


--Booa
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Thank you. That is unbelievably and incredibly kind of you, but you are an incredibly kind person, so it's in keeping with your character.

----------------------------------------------------------

I should probably explain at this point that there are quite a number of Fools who would cheer at my death. I've been told that I have a superior attitude, I tell people what to do, and also have a nasty holier than thou streak. (The last comment led me to believe that a poster mixed me up with somebody else).


Um. Who? That's terrible. I think that anyone who would say those things has their own set of problems that keeps them from appreciating you. I would say that you don't let people pee on your leg and tell you it's raining, and that that's a *good* thing. Not everyone likes someone who stands up for herself and for others, though.

Believe me, I'm not always a nice person. But I try to improve.

You, on the other hand, are an admirable person.

Nancy


Well, I admire you, Nancy, and I would like to be like you when I grow up. :-) And I think you're a nice person.


--Booa
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Booa -
If your son is interested, he might like to check out my website -

http://home.gci.net/~ak4real/

YeilB
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Thanks, YeilB! I will try to pry his little eyeballs off Xbox long enough.

Yesterday we were watching "Pride and Prejudice" with Keira Knightley, and one of the scenes right after Elizabeth says, "Hello Mr. Darcy," my son said, if she thinks he loves her, she would have said, "Hello, Mr. Mushy."

Also, the scene where she's standing on that little cliff with all the gorgeous scenery, I said, "Oh, that makes me want to go to England." Then my son said, without missing a beat, "Well, then you'd better not look, because you're not going to England." (He said it cheerfully and logically, not in a mean way--reading it here I realized it could sound mean.) Very funny, all three of us laughed each time. :-)


--Booa
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