Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Moms with autistic children make less

Who would have thunk?

I was scanning over CNN's homepage seeing if any news caught my eye. Sure enough this article on the "burden" of raising a child with autism managed to do just that.

A new study, apparently, finds that raising a child with autism leads to families making 28% or roughly $18,000 less than those who have children without autism. Apparently this only affects the women (states the study) but the fathers are not affected.

Now by this point in the article I'm screaming (in my head seeing as the children are in bed) at the "study." Anyone who knows what autism is could tell you the likely culprit of this money gap. The therapies, the doctors, and the countless hours of self research. I'm sure you could take this study and change the word autism to cancer. I'm sure families of children with cancer make a pretty penny less than those that are healthy for the exact same reasons. That being said I'm not sure whose brilliant idea it was to research this. Why would it be shocking?

The article does acknowledge these obviously "duh" answers saying its probably because mom is either leaving her job to stay home or leaving it for a lower paying job (probably part time).

I'm not entirely sure why but it was also apparently necessary to bring up at least twice how these children are going to cost society money, $3.2 million to be exact. This figure does extend into the child's adulthood when many will still need services. Once again I'm sure people with cancer are also costing "society" money.

I'm sure this study was thought to be a brilliant idea, but really that's like doing a study on "Why do we use more electricity after 6pm?". The answer is right in front of your face and I'm sure every mother with a child who has autism will look at you and go "And your point is what?"

Is this the medical field's way of feeling they're being helpful and finding answers about autism? Do they feel they need to do something because there is still no definite answer to what causes autism, and this is the answer?

I personally feel the money spent on this study could have been given to one of the thousands of other autism research groups out there. Instead I think someone wanted to feel like they'd found an answer about autism so they searched for an easy find.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dare I speak it's name?

Daylight savings seemed to flick a switch in mother nature.

I swear I went to bed that day and it was cold, the babies went outside only when we ran to the van. I woke up that morning and it was 75 outside, sun shining. It felt like... no I dare not speak it's name.

Even the dreary rainy days haven't dipped below 60, did I mention that in a week we have only had ONE dreary rainy day? Hello I live in the north... that's like saying it rained in the Sahara.  Even the rain held that smell, the promise of... again I refuse to say it.

So what is the mother of an extremely active toddler to do when confronted with amazing weather? Uh go outside, and now you will be rewarded with some sweet babies!

Hooray, Mommy! It's nice outside!

What is this magical green carpet? 

And of course the contemplation of escape

I'm in trouble when they're older.

Sam enjoying the breeze
(note the naked legs, it was seriously that warm)

But how do I eat the grass from over here?

So while I'm of the belief if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck it must be a duck my mother pointed out she had packed away all her sweater: in about a week we'll be seeing 3ft  of snow. 

In the meantime I felt the blog needed some sprucing up! Maybe if I wish away the snow none will come?

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Social Expirment in Human behavior

That sounds like a daunting title, huh? Like a paper you might have to write for a college class.

I promise it's not going to be boring... or 1,000 in 10pt font single spaced.

My social experiment happened quiet by accident. Well we weren't at the grocery store by accident but what I noticed was.

For this experiment you need one out going and semi verbal toddler and a semi crowded store. For my experiment we used Sophie and a grocery store.

What you do is put the toddler in the cart and push them around the store as you do your shopping. Sounds like something you do often right?

Take notice, children like my daughter are the type who will say "hi" to every person that crosses into her path of vision. She says it loudly, clearly and usually with a wave of her hand. She will make eye contact and let you know she is speaking to you.

Now I'm the type of person who in the real world would rather no one notice me. I keep my head down and when people try to talk to me I usually end up mumbling and walking away. One of the rare times I will engage with someone is if it is a baby staring at me, I'll gladly smile and make a little face, or if it is a small child saying hi to me. I will always say "Hi" back, why wouldn't I?

That being said I can almost always tell you which of the people my daughter says hello to will respond. Older people, grandparent like, with a generally pleasant expression? 9/10 they will not only "Hi" my child back but they will also either speak directly to her ("How are you?") or to me ("Oh she's so cute").

The category that gets the least amounts of responses: men between twenties and their sixties. Even men who are there with their own children will usually not even look. What is with that? Do they think that if they respond I will automatically assume they're some dirty minded pedophile?  Because I wont. I get that today society has a stigma about men and children, but my toddler is safely within the confines of my cart and has been trying to catch your attention the entire time I try to figure out the difference between the types of bread. Just say hi to her, please. After that she'll probably go on to the next person and leave you alone.

Women of the twenties to sixties age are a toss up. Some will smile and say hi back, others will ignore complete, and some will give the dirty look. I'm not entirely sure what's up with the dirty look. Did my kid break your zen shopping mood? Are you shocked I'm not admonishing her about stranger danger? Is the idea that she is definitely heard and not just seen drive you crazy?

Teenagers are an odd bunch. It's shocking that a lot of teenage boys will return the greeting. I'm pleased, don't get me wrong. But it brings to question when does the fear of being a pedophile enter into a man? At age 18 does your dad have a talk with you about how you'll be considered a creep if you do certain things? Teenage girls are a tossup between a smile and a "hi" or a hair flip.

Why can't everyone just say "hi"? You say more pointless things in your life and it literally takes up a fraction of a second. You can do it while still picking out your eggs, it wont prevent you from seeing cracks. I seems that very few people want to enjoy the general acceptance of a little girl (or boy) who has yet to form prejudices or opinions on what you wear or your make up.

In about 25 years will no one even bother anymore? Those men who are just now in the stage of being afraid to be called pedophiles, will they still be afraid? Or will age make them realize how sweet the innocence of a toddler really is, and that it doesn't hurt to just say a single word.

So I ask what do you do when that little social butterfly greets you?

And just for putting up with my rant
 My little social butterfly