February 25: You Aughta Know This Week

This week in late diagnosis, Cheeto brain and learning sign language.

This Week in ADHD

Loved this post by Rhi about being on the spectrum. I remember about fifteen years ago I was working with a woman who had a theory about ADHD.

“We’re all a little ADD,” she would say referencing our field. Except I was actually a lot ADD and come to think of it, possibly she was too.

It’s weird to look back and realize that I could easily believe that statement instead of the obvious, that I actually had the condition. But even with all the people I’ve known over the years with ADHD, I hardly knew anything about it until I was diagnosed. And when something is your normal, you would never think to Google your symptoms and maybe get diagnosed a decade earlier in your life.

This Week in Autism

I lucked out and missed the comments Cheeto made about mental institutions, but The Autism Policy and Politics blog caught me up. Long quote below.

At the White House listening session on school shootings, Trump suggested that he would like to turn the clock back.  He also demonstrated a total misunderstanding of why many of them closed in the first place.

“You know, years ago, we had mental hospitals, mental institutions — we had a lot of them, and a lot of them have closed. They’ve closed — some people thought it was a stigma. Some people thought, frankly, it was — the legislators thought it was too expensive.

“Today, if you catch somebody, they don’t know what to do with them. He hasn’t committed the crime, but he may very well, and there’s no mental institution. There’s no place to bring him.

“We have that a lot. Even — if they caught this person — I’m being nice when I use the word “person” — they probably wouldn’t have known what to do. They’re not going to put him in jail. And yet — so there’s no — that middle ground of having that institution, where you had trained people that could handle it and do something about it and find out how sick he really is. Because he is a sick guy, and he should have been nabbed a number of times, frankly.”

This is disgusting for so many reasons.

Only he would look back fondly on the days when mental institutions warehoused and in some cases tortured people with mental illness. It’s sad that he had a note to himself to make sure the participants knew he heard them and yet there was no note that could have held him back from showing his true, ugly colors with a disturbing quote like the above.

That he refuses to call the mentally ill “people” makes it clear that we are less than to him.

Comments like these are now normalized, as are a host of other offensive remarks that used to be career-ending to utter. Not now.

This Week in Motherhood

On a personal note, my son has been making up his own signs in an effort to communicate with us. I decided yesterday I would attempt to learn some of the basics of sign language so I could help him “talk” in signs.

This is a great plan in theory but it’s not like I have a bunch of free time to be trying to do this sort of thing. I heard once, about six months ago, that if you do something for ten minutes every day, you can do just about anything. I immediately thought of like ten things I wanted to do, which would be 100 minutes a day, extra time which I really didn’t have.

This stuck in my head as I thought through how to put this plan in motion. In the end, I decided I will do ten minutes a week of sign language, so that he’s learning at a manageable pace. I figure he’s not going to be interested in the alphabet just yet or greetings, numbers and some of the other things you learn first in any language. I’ll concentrate on signs he can use to communicate more with us. I’m excited to teach him and hoping my ADHD brain gets enough positive reinforcement from helping him learn that I keep up the program as long as he wants to learn.

And finally, my media for the week: https://youaughtaknow.com/2018/02/24/february-24-on-a-related-note/

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