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Dear subscribers,

The first posting had the wrong link. Please read this one to get the correct one. Mahalo!

Autism As They Grow: http://goo.gl/wJaXL8 

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Post A Week 2011: Who Deserves More Credit?

schoolThis topic is the second topic on Word Press’ Challenge. I’m skipping topic one since I only agreed to do the once a week challenge. Besides this is an easy one for me to write about as it fits nicely into the core topics of this blog. Thanks Word Press!

I believe every child with any type of difference deserves more credit, but especially those who are schooled in mainstream classrooms. They have to work at least twice as hard as their peers and many of them still excel in the classroom. Some of them are in hostile environments where they endure daily meanness from peers who don’t understand their challenges.  Sometimes they have the added challenge of teachers, counselors, and even parents who fail to understand. 

  • Can you image having to tune out noise that sounds as loud as a jack hammer and still being able to concentrate on what the teacher is saying? That is exactly what many children with sensory sensitivity do every day.
  • What if you have cerebral palsy and boys on the school bus throw open condoms in your hair while calling you names? It happened to a young child in Florida.
  • What if you are a teenager who just reached puberty, you aren’t even old enough to have really experienced the world and other children are calling you gay and telling you to go hang yourself every day?
  • What if you stand up for someone and others target you and maybe even threaten your life? All of these things have happened in our schools.
  • Don’t those who are different deserve credit for enduring and surviving against all odds?
  • For the ones who couldn’t take it anymore, don’t we owe them understanding and a different world, so no others suffer the same fate?

I think we do, so I ask you to help me see that they all get the credit they deserve. Help me to change our schools and our world to a more tolerant environment where people really try to understand and support others. You can help do this by educating yourself and your children about differences by reading books like Delightfully Different. You can do this by speaking up when you see people mistreating others. You can do this by offering a smile or even offering help instead of judging others who are different.        

Did You See Santa Bully Rudolph? 2

Rudolph

Rudolph has always been one of my favorite Christmas shows, but we were too busy to watch it when it was on a week ago, so my family and I watched last night.  Thanks to my fellow bloggers, I watched it with a fresh set of eyes.

You see Laura over at The House That Asperger Built had a post about it last week which involved much blogger discussion.  It started me thinking about a lot of things that really hadn’t occurred to me before.  Now obviously everyone knows Rudolph and his buddies were not treated very well.  That I got.  What I didn’t get was how the whole show was  about being cruel to those who are different.  When you look at it that way it makes you think.

My thoughts are that at the time Rudolph was made, it probably was meant to teach tolerance, but given today’s climate, it really does seem cruel.  I can certainly see why some of my fellow bloggers would not like it, so I have some questions for you.

Do you think Rudolph should have let Santa off so easy?  Remember I’m all about forgiveness, but even I can understand why many in the blogging community would think he shouldn’t have.  Still, I think Rudolph did the right thing.  It would have been nice if Santa had really changed, but that isn’t really clear in the story.  For those watching Charlie Brown tonight, what about Lucy?  Is she a “mean girl?”  Let me know if you think of others?

Turning Anger to Forgiveness and Action 1

From 1963 Speech of Martin Luther King, Jr.

From 1963 Speech of Martin Luther King, Jr.

I started writing Delightfully Different to teach tolerance of differences, yet at the time I was angry not forgiving. A group of mean girls wounded someone whom I love dearly. The books for middle school girls were about being mean to be popular, and the other mothers were reading Queen Bees and Wannabes. I learned some even were okay with their daughter acting like the queen bee. I don’t believe that was what the author of the book intended still that is what happened.

I decided that I had to change this somehow. I started by educating the school as to how things affected my loved one and how they could help. They did help, but I also realized the root of the problem was not the school. The root of the problem was lack of understanding of differences, and that meanness is not okay. I decided I had to do something which is how the book was born.

A good friend saw how angry I was and suggested that I try writing from a place of love not anger, and she was totally right to suggest this. She also advised me that even if I never sold the book that writing would be therapeutic, and again she was right. Still I refused to stop there, as from day one I kept telling people about my idea, and that I was going to write a book to teach tolerance in our schools.

Another friend told me that if I was serious, that I needed to get the book on Oprah, because some schools chose their required reading books from Oprah’s book club. I did my research and learned that at least some of the books used are on Oprah’s list; therefore, my ultimate goal for this book is to somehow get it be to be one of the books in Oprah’s book club. I know the kids who need to read it most will then read it, hence I e-mailed Oprah yesterday through her magazine web site. Now we wait and I ask all of you to pray that she somehow sees the e-mail and agrees to help.

Mahalo,

D. S. Walker