About this blog.

My son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at 24 months. I created this blog to bring meaning to the often-confusing label. Sometimes I have answers. Other times, just more questions.

Monday, April 28, 2008


That's autism geekspeak for speech language pathologist (SLP) versus behavioral expert (BE).

Brad's SLP, my most trusted advisor in all things Brad, is going to sit in for one of Brad's Floortime sessions, administered by the "specialty provider", who is really an ABA provider (also referred to as a "BE"). The SLP is going to try to give the BE some gentle guidance on Floortime.

Who will be the victor?


Judith said...

Equipped with the proper reinforcers, the SLP will prevail. :)

Anonymous said...

In response to your post on Brazen Careerist and Penelope's post "Stop Thinking You'll by on your high I.Q":

Laura, please re-read what I posted from Eric Raymond’s site and his thoughts on Asperger Syndrome:

“After all, people in authority will always be inconvenienced by schoolchildren or workers or citizens who are prickly, intelligent individualists, thus, any social system that depends on authority relationships will tend to helpfully ostracize and therapize and drug such ˜abnormal” people until they are properly docile and stupid and ˜well-socialized”.”

As to why Penelope is not addressing this, I can’t speak for her, but judging from her blog entries, here’s some of my thoughts.

1) The problem is not staring her in the face. For whatever reasons, she’s not dealing with her Asperger son day to day. That’s left to his teachers, the nanny and the house manager.

2) It goes against her contention that being likeable and incompetent is superior to being brilliant. Some places can get away operating like that. Nobody in engineering, R&D, aerospace, technology or manufacturing can do so for very long. In those areas, you either innovate, apply scientific principles to the product or you file for Chapter 7. I’m not sure where she got the idea that analytical and problem solving as well as original and visionary thinking are divorced from intelligence. It sounds like the Forrest Gump method, but then Forrest never had to be an engineer, technician, mechanic or someone who needed those “hard” skills.

3) Reforming the system is something that can’t be gamed by “networking” and doesn’t provide the instant credibility and rewards that she seems to advocate. Something like this can take years, if not generations. It’s hard, grindingly boring, unglamorous, and generally not fun and instantly rewarding. You have to do real work and no amount of gimmicks or tricks are going to make it easier or shorter.

Finally, all is not lost. Many companies have made accomodations or have even been founded by Aspies. Microsoft and Google are commonly cited examples, but there are others like General Electric, Lockheed and Hewlett-Packard. The revolultion is moving, but like glaciers, it can be hard to see progress.

Laura said...

Judith, ha, agree.

anon, thanks for the note. My response is keyed to your comment.

1) ehhhh...not a fan of the bad mom argument. I have a full-time nanny, and I'm very connected to my son. I don't know what the dynamic is with respect to Penelope and her son, so I'm not going to judge.

2) Separate the existential (a lack of social skill in fact hinders one's success) from the normative (intellect ought to be valued above social skill). I think Penelope is only positing the way it IS, not that the way it OUGHT TO BE. What I tried to do was challenge her to focus on the normative issue.

3) What are google and Microsoft doing for autistics?

Anonymous said...

Laura, let me speak to your response to the 3rd point I made on accomodations for autistics in the high tech industry. Be advised that this is my experience in working for GE, Lockheed, HP and Microsoft.

Autistics and Asperger Sydrome has always been a major part of the high tech industry. Anecdotal stories of possible autistic or Asperger symptoms in such pioneers as Bill Gates, Thomas Edison, Bill Hewlett and others are stuff of legend. Even if only some of these stories are true, there does seem to be a much higher percentage of those with varying degrees of autism found in high tech. As such, much of the high tech corporate culture has been molded around accomodating the "eccentric geniuses".

One big accomodation is the use of electronic communication. As a diagnosed Asperger, I really prefer the precision and unambiguity that email and instant messaging presents. At Microsoft and HP, the companies use email and other electronic communications mediums almost as a nervous system in sharing or transmitting information.

Secondly, grouping a number of us in solving a nagging problem or creating something new is a great way to help focus. I did work at Lockheed in their famous "Skunk Works" group, which had come up with marvelous planes like the U-2, the SR-71 and the F-117 Stealth fighter. We were given a goal, and essentially turned loose to make use of whatever we knew, imagined or could find out to solve these problems.

In other companies, being able to self-define the job, the parameters of success and exploring various areas helped a great deal. One of my friends at Microsoft has the great job (which he self-defined), of finding information on various products and developing ways of conveying it to customers and partners. Microsoft has essentially opened the corporate intellectual property vaults to him, as well as introducing him to the developers. He's in hog heaven, soaking up all he can, and finding ways of getting what he's learned to the people who need it.

Finally, I'm not sure about Google, but Microsoft does cover autism treatment under its corporate health care benefits with no restrictions.

Laura said...

Thanks for the note. That's a nice start, and it does provide a career path for high functioning aspies.

I'm going to turn this theme into a post (rather than just a comment) on Friday.

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