Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I am going to come back to my post on money.  Its something that makes me feel like a loser, and frankly, I am not in the mood.

Autism.  I have a crazy fascination with trying to understand autism.  One of my summer school students, whom I don't know all that well, hit me the other day.  I mean like, smacked me.  Hard.  Across the face.  Why?  I think it was probably too loud in the classroom, too loud in his life, and me singing the clean-up song was the last straw.  Right afterwards, he looked at me with these beautiful, soulful eyes, like "I feel bad, but not that bad, because really teacher, couldnt you just have been quiet?"  And he got in trouble, of course, because the bottomline he has to learn is...we don't hit people.  Behavior like this in public could get him, well, arrested, so I emphasize these points very strongly.  But really, I should have seen the signs.  The pacing, biting his hand, and the fact that his dog had puppies early that morning, and there is a new baby in his home as well....I know these kids.  And they can't hide things that the rest of us shove away.

The number of children being born with autism, not only in this country, but in the world as a whole, is astounding.  I will not quote most recent statistics, because by the time I finish this post, they will have changed again.    But at the rate we are going, I suspect that those of us without autism, or at least somewhere on the spectrum, will be the minority.  I suspect that "special ed" will become "general ed" and the few kids that don't fit will get moved into a gifted classroom.  Computers will replace most jobs, and the Asperger adults that run them will work from home, where they don't have to deal with other people.

Hmmmm.  I am probably exaggerating.  But there are still astounding numbers of children, most of whom will become part of the staggering numbers of adults, with communcation and social disorders.  How can we begin to create a society, outside of the special education classroom, to accomodate these people?  And if we dont...what will happen to them?  I carry this thought around with me, like a huge backpack filled with too many hardback books that I never feel like I can take out.  Or maybe that's just me, showing a little of the Obssessive Compulsive Disorder I can't quite ever shake. 

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