Got Stop Signs?
In the comments on my infodumping post last week, a mom mentioned that her son’s special interest is stop signs. He’s 6 and he loves everything stop sign related. His teachers think this is a problem and try to discourage his interest. But his mom, who sounds like an awesome person, encourages him to do stop sign activities at home, both for fun and as a way to learn new things. That got me thinking that we could potentially make a little boy happy and show him that there are lots of adults who think that having a special interest isn’t weird or something to feel bad about.
So how about if we celebrate Tommy’s special interest by seeing how many photos of stop signs we can come up with for him? Since he’s already using Google to find photos online, I’d like for us to share photos that we’ve personally taken. The easiest option is to take a photo of a stop sign in your neighborhood or if you’re feeling ambitious you could find some interesting place in your area that has a stop sign. Or maybe you happen to have a vacation photo with a stop sign in it?
I know there are readers all over the world. Hopefully we can get some different designs and languages, but any stop sign you can add to the collection would be great. If you want to write a few sentences about the photo–location, pronunciation for non-English versions, a bit about you or your neighborhood, a fun fact about the location (or the sign in general if you don’t want to reveal your location)–that would be awesome. Just keep it appropriate to a 6-year-old.
You can put your photo in the comments below. You can share it on Twitter (mention me so I see it: @aspiemusings) or my Facebook wall (https://www.facebook.com/MusingsofanAspie). Or you can post it on Tumblr, Instagram or a photo sharing site and get a link to me. I’ll put together all of the photos and notes in a post for Tommy. Let’s put a deadline of the end of the month on this so we all feel motivated and such, executive function being what it is around here (especially mine!)
I’m going to start us off with this photo of a stop sign from a train platform in Korea:
Online Neurodiversity Lecture Series
In spite of its rather odd title, I’ve been enjoying the “No Mind Left Behind” lectures that @quarridors shared a link to ages ago. I’ve watched most of the first day of the scientific track, which I found more interesting than the bits of the “reality” track that I’ve seen. The scientific lectures have the benefit of being very short (no more than 20 minutes each) so the speakers are forced to get the point fast. Many of the lectures focus on autism, but ADHD, OCD, Tourette’s and other atypical neurologies are also covered. A scan of the lecture titles will help you narrow things down to your areas of interest pretty quickly.
Two lectures in particular that I enjoyed were the ESSENCE lecture on very early symptom identification and the lecture on the development of empathy. One thing that struck me in the ESSENCE lecture was the idea that very young children are often diagnosed based on the type of doctor that they see. ASD, ADHD and Tourette’s can look similar in two- and three-year-olds, so a child who gets seen by an ADHD specialist at that age is more likely to get an ADHD diagnosis while a child with similar symptoms who gets seen by an ASD specialist first is more likely to be diagnosed as autistic. The lecturer also said he believes that children younger than 3 with hyperactivity symptoms should first be evaluated for ASD before ADHD is considered.
The lecture on empathy by Chrisopher Gillberg was fascinating because he is the person who coined the term Empathy Quotient and his beliefs about empathy are so different from Simon Baron-Cohen’s (who developed the infamous EQ test). Gillberg takes a very neutral, scientific view, avoiding the sort of emotionally charged language we usually see associated with empathy and autism, which is refreshing.
This weekend I brought over a bunch of survey answers from Survey Monkey. Yes, people are still answering the adult autism surveys! There are links to all of the survey posts from the final survey if you want to check out the latest additions.