Archive for the ‘questions’ Category


Being responsible versus being given a responsibility (or several)

February 18, 2013

What is the difference between being responsible and having responsibilities? To give someone a responsibility does not necessarily mean that the person is now responsible. The word “response” which means “a reaction or reply” to something, is the word I think of when the words responsibility or responsible come to mind. Actually, a friend mentioned this thought to me at a dinner outing last night…we were sitting at Noodles and Company, close to where I live, and we were talking about that briefly over a scrumptious (boy I love that word!) meal of spicy Indonesian peanut saute noodles. A person may have the responsibility of raising a child, but that alone does not a responsible person make. There are countless stories in news, past and present, of young people and celebrities having children without regard to the kinds of RESPONSIBILITIES they would have to face, and when they do not face them properly, they are not RESPONSIBLE.

A responsibility is an obligation bestowed on someone, and “being responsible” is a character trait usually acquired over a certain period of time. The length of time depends of course on environmental factors such as life experience, age, education level (sometimes, not always) and other things. We may explore some of these other things in future posts. People with disabilities can certainly be responsible. That discussion deserves its own post.

Being responsible is learned behavior. NT people learn it by observation and imitating peers. So too can autistic people, but it can take much longer. First do we understand what a responsibility is? Autistic advocates definitely have responsibilities that they take on themselves. Some of us organize protests against Autism Speaks events. Others organize major events such as the ASAN annual gala. Need link to this. Include more examples)
Others give presentations at Autreat, the annual retreat by and for autistic people.

The advocates who participate in these activities have chosen to take on these responsibilities. They are not forced or coerced by others to do these activities. These are real responsibilities though, just like going to work if one has a job, going to school (in my case) or taking care of one’s children. And some autistic people have children too, but that isn’t all that relevant except it is another responsibility that some of us have.

We will have other blog posts upcoming about things related to this: specifically we have plans for a post about the damage parents/family can do to autistic people by calling them “irresponsible” for not doing certain things. If you have something to say about that, or this post, we would love to hear from you!

Collaborative, all of us (finished by Athena)


Feeling Intruded Upon

December 19, 2012

Why the hell do people always think that even when I seem to be sitting around doing nothing, I might be far away in my mind-fortress and not want to interact(even to respond to a request to do something) or be disturbed? The following is just one example one of us came up with(possibly Athena; she likes watching insects. That says NOTHING whatsoever about her “functioning level”, by the way. So “I” refers to Athena. She wrote this draft many months ago, like most of our recently published entries) While I was observing some insects going about their business, my mother asked me to hang up the laundry. Okay, forgiven. She doesn’t know that I drift away somewhere else, because I have never really told her, so she has no way to know. I have intentionally not told her or anyone else in my family. (Not the full truth; I can’t figure out how to tell them in a way that wouldn’t result in awkward questioning.) So this is more of an internal dilemma and rhetorical question than anything else. When I did not respond to her request/demand, she “invaded” my fortress a second time, and penetrated more deeply with her speech and body language. Feeling cornered, I responded (I can’t remember what exactly I said, besides “yes” or “okay mom”) to make her retreat, because I didn’t want to continue the interaction at the time. I just wanted to be content sitting on the steps, watching the insects. Alas, Mom would have me do something else.

In another post we will try to explain the benefits to us, of being able to “go away” into our mind. It can be calming and rejuvenating. But there is also a downside, such as when our thoughts get into a negative, repeating loop. It happens more to Ivan than myself or Athena. We aren’t sure why. That issue is probably worth a post on its own.

Collaborative, Andrea and Athena.


Disability Blog Carnival Number 64: caught us with our pants down

March 1, 2010

Okay, before people start rolling their eyes and wondering just who in the heck would come up with such a bizarre and inappropriate theme, allow us to reassure you that the theme is definitely NOT contained in the title of this post. We had simply forgotten that we were the hosts of the March blog carnival, so it really did catch us with our pants down!

The theme of our issue of the disability blog carnival is the following: breaking down stereotypes. We posed the following question: if you could break down one single stereotype, which would it be and why?

The first response t0 this question comes from Spaz Girl at Butterfly Dreams, a Candidly Crippled teenager. She puts AB’s (able-bodies) and disability advocates alike on notice with her desire NOT to be considered “just like you.” If anyone has questions as to why someone wouldn’t want to be considered like everyone else, consider the following: how annoying would it be if, say, you had worked really hard at something but no one really thought much about it because “everyone can do that?” Would that not take away from, or cheapen, your experience or ability to have done whatever it is that you found hard but were told “everyone can do that?”

Well, that’s exactly the reaction of many disabled people who are told by anyone (but probably even more so by other disabled people) “you are just like me?”

Having the same disability doesn’t make any two people just like one another. Being told thus, cheapens both of their collective insights, experiences, feelings, struggles, and everything else that contributes to who they are as individuals. Thanks, Spaz Girl, for your insight.

From Angel, we have a poem about life as a blind person. It doesn’t directly get into the question of which stereotype the author would most prefer to refute….perhaps until the very end. Stereotyping IS prejudicial behavior……for sure. I think that in her poem she is asserting that she is who SHE believes she is, and not what OTHER PEOPLE think she is. So more or less, I infer that the stereotype she’d like to break down the most is…..that disabled people are only what and who others think they are, they cannot possibly be their own persons, if that makes any sense.

Moving onto something that directly relates to autistic people…’s an entry from Joel about autistics with certain abilities…..not being taken seriously and instead dismissed by nonprofessionals and professionals alike, as not being autistic at all, or not being autistic enough, to speak for “others who are obviously more impaired” than they are. This type of argument is quite honestly ludicrous, and extremely unproductive. I can’t think of anyone worth their weight in salt, who could actually benefit from a melodramatic spat over highfunctioning versus lowfunctioning, what characteristics constitute which label, and things of that nature. It’s just a waste of energy to even think about, let alone get embroiled in a heated debate about. Unless a person has done stuff to give others a good reason to doubt what he or she has to say (repeatedly lied about other aspects of his or her persona…..doesn’t include lying to avoid harassment) that person needs to be given due respect….innocent until proven guilty kind of thing.


Why defend somebody you don’t know?

April 7, 2008

I don’t know Ms. Kathleen Seidel on any level whatsoever, personally or online, formally or informally. Yet, I have decided, as have the other two of us, to take it upon myself/ourselves to speak out against her being subpoenaed. We don’t even know the exact circumstances of her having been subpoenaed, but we have read enough stuff around the net, from other autism bloggers, that she is being treated most unfairly indeed. We have decided to defend her because injustice is injustice, whether one knows the person or not. We DO know that Ms. Seidel is an autism blogger who often speaks out/blogs against common misperceptions of autistics and the causes of autism, such as the spurious autism-vaccines link, and other things.

Even knowing precious little about legal issues, we feel that her privacy, and that of her correspondents, is being violated in a most egregious way, by means of the subpoena. We hope it is quashed, and that she can go back to her normal business and forget about this entire debacle as soon as possible. We can’t begin to imagine the amount of stress she must be under right now.

Why defend somebody you don’t know?

Because, if they turn out to be right, you will have done the right thing. We don’t advocate defending people who have done wrong, but we would suggest hearing the person out, and giving him or her due process. Even that, it seems, is missing in this case of Ms. Seidel being subpoenaed. Am I wrong here?

The Integral, in defence of Kathleen Seidel


Some things we need to learn to blog better (feedback greatly appreciated)

April 1, 2008

1. how can we make links blue, so that people can click on them to read whatever we are referencing?

I’ll update this post with new questions as they come up……..

all of us

UPDATE: Problem 1 has been SOLVED, thanks to “ama” for providing us with an easy answer to the question.

2. How do we incorporate html into comments to others’ blog entries? We’ve seen many commenters adding links to articles they have found or posts they have written about a certain topic or topics in response to whatever they are commenting on.

Problem posted by Ivan, solution sought by all

UPDATE: Problem 2 has been SOLVED, thanks to “Rose” for providing us with an easy answer to the question. I did some experimentation and whoever was writing, was correct. Yay I understood something.

3. Is there a way to convert javascript to some other kind of script, for use in wordpress? does not support javascript so I cannot put widgets on my blog that use that script. has really neat widgets, but unfortunately they all use javascript….

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