Delightfully Different Showcased

Delightfully Different Showcased

Mahalo to Chloe Rothchild and Special-Ism.com for showcasing my novel! Chloe even explains how she relates to the story. 

“I just had the opportunity to read a wonderful book, titled Delightfully Different by D.S. Walker. This book tells the story of a girl named Mia, and her family’s journey to love and acceptance through her special needs journey. As I continued to read this book, the story got so good I just could not put it down. I had to keep reading! Mia’s story is one that you may find yourself able to relate to….Read More

 

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Glee Needs to Apologize to Autism Community for Recent Episode 22

I hope all of you will write to Fox: askfox@fox.com to request an apology from the writers of Glee.  They require the following: In order for us to quickly help you, would you be so kind as to email us with the following additional details:

Your City:

Your Fox Station:

Your Zip Code:

Actual Channel Tuned to:

Cable or Satellite or Antenna?:

–If cable or satellite, your provider?

Type of Set Top Box Used (Name and Model if available):

Are there other times when the problem happens (like during another show or during local news)?:

Here is my letter:

To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing because I have a sixteen year old daughter diagnosed with Asperger’s.  She was diagnosed when she was ten and experienced severe bullying at school in fifth grade.  She has never been initially rude to her teachers, she has near prefect pitch and she is unlikely to request any special privileges especially about something that would call attention to her.  Imagine my reaction to the most recent Glee episode where a character named Sugar, “self diagnosed” with Asperger’s, was rude to a teacher, demanding special privileges including the right to be rude to the teacher, and to join the Glee Club when she is unable to carry a tune.
My daughter recently left a school she loved and had attended for ten years due to an intolerant teacher not understanding how having Asperger’s and the long-term effects of bullying made one assignment impossible for her.  She is still trying to adjust to attending an on-line school.  She misses seeing her friends everyday and in case you are wondering, yes it is possible to have friends when you have Asperger’s.  Her friends are open-minded, caring, and wonderful people.
Imagine how seeing Asperger’s be the brunt of jokes would make my daughter and others feel.  I hope you can imagine and you will request the writers to offer a public apology for all the girls like my daughter who deserve so much more from a show that they love and that has previously shown tolerance for others.  Please help restore my faith in this show and in your network by responding.
Most sincerely,
Sue Kam

aka D. S. Walker
authordswalker.com
Delightfully Different Facebook Page
Twitter: @dswalkerauthor

News Media Reports Parents Blame Asperger 4

In the news today, is the story of a twenty-one year old male from Armstrong County,  Pennsylvania who the media reports had a radical Islamist online persona and videos suggesting paramilitary training for terrorist activities. During his arrest last week he is alleged to have bitten two FBI agents and reached for a concealed weapon. The reason I am posting this is the media also reports that his parents are saying he has Asperger’s and offering this as a defense. It is unclear if this is just a defense for the biting or for everything.

Dec. 2010 086

We have a friend who is a weapons trainer for the military who let my son shoot this gun once, but my son normally only shoots air rifles. My son is not the one with the diagnosis, but I don’t know why anyone outside of the military would need the type of weapons involved in this case.

Below is the news article:

FBI finds another alleged home-grown jihadi in Pennsylvania « Hot Air.

Here we go again placing the blame on Asperger’s! I don’t know if anyone remembers, but when the Virginia Tech shooting happened the first response from his family came from an Aunt in Korea who said he had been diagnosed with autism as young boy. It upsets me that the news media jumps on this and runs with it, but they at least are somewhat reasonable in the article listed above. It is the comments that follow that are really the concern and especially the fact that everything gets so twisted the more the story is told.

I personally think whatever is going on with this young man, it is more than Asperger’s.  After the Virginia Tech shootings, we learned that he was a victim of horrific bullying in high school. Now I don’t know that even that caused him to become a shooter and I don’t know anything about the young man in today’s story other than what is in this article.

However, I do know that with understanding and support children can overcome bullying. I also know that Asperger’s does not make someone a terrorist or a shooter. What our children need is what every child needs an environment of tolerance, acceptance, understanding and support to manage challenges that sensory sensitivity and literal thinking can cause. They certainly do not need to be lumped into a group that implies they have no morals or ability to make their own rational decisions anymore than they need to be told that their Asperger’s is not relevant or it is just a made up diagnosis by over-reactive parents.

My child knows that Asperger’s is not a “get-out-of-jail-free” card and from reading other blogs, I know most parents of those on the spectrum agree with me. I want the media to stop blaming autism spectrum every time the diagnosis comes up in these cases. I want our society to change to a climate of helping those on the autism spectrum and anyone else who faces challenges. I want bullying to stop, even bullying by the news media.

Please try to find out exactly why this young man decided violence was the answer to his problems, but don’t blame his diagnosis of Asperger’s unless you have facts to support this. There are many people on the autism spectrum who have endured enough abuse in their lives without you feeding into it. Many have grown into amazing adults against all odds. Just look at Temple Grandin or better yet take the time to read some of the blogs listed under Special Peeps. There you will find some accomplished people who happen to also have a diagnosis that places them on the spectrum. You will also find parents who are working hard to raise responsible and caring children who have a diagnosis that places them on the spectrum.

And parents, if you have a troubled child with any diagnosis don’t blame the diagnosis. Get help for your child and be there to help them through whatever is causing them pain instead of blaming them. It is your job to turn them into the best adults they can be, so you don’t get a “get-out-of-jail-free” card either.

Aloha,

Sue

Do We Bully When We Strongly Disagree with Others? 3

People

I posted this on Facebook:

“I know many of my FB friends aren’t fans of President Obama, and he has let me down in some areas too. However, all of you have to admit that he and his family do seem to care. I love that he and Michelle instill the value of service to others in their children.”

Many of my Facebook friends are people I grew up with in the southern part of the United States, so I knew they did not like President Obama.  I expected some of the initial responses I received, but they were okay as I knew the sources and one of them was even able to joke about our differences of opinion.  She’s one of my best friends from high school, so it was all in fun and she even made me laugh.  I also knew the second person to shout out about my post well enough not to take it personally.  The third however I don’t know although we do have mutual friends.

Therefore, I was a little surprised by the post.  I’m not angry with her, on the contrary, I am grateful to her.  She allowed me to open up a dialogue that has been brewing for some time.  I really have a problem with the seemingly lack of attention that the bullying issue is getting in our country by the average person on the street.  Members of my family who know how important this is to me still don’t know how severe the bullying in our schools is today.   So when a relative stranger commented on the post about President Obama, it seemed like the perfect time to try again to get through to people.

I would be willing to bet that many of my friends and family aren’t even aware that my child has Asperger’s even though it shouldn’t be hard to figure out from my posts.  I also have not tried to hide, from my friends and family, that I wrote a book to teach tolerance of differences to try to prevent bullying.  Yet, only a few of them have acknowledged my plea for their help in getting the word out.

They are not alone; however, posts about anger at President Obama get more time on the live feed at Facebook than a plea for understanding and support to stop the bullying.  I think we need to really take a hard look at our values as a society.  Let me know what you think?