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March 12, 2009

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Ok, I swear I learn something super useful every time I read one of your posts. My twins have Asperger's (one has some additional challenges as well) but the idea of them not being able to filter out the content of novels, read between the lines and adopting the language never ever occurred to me. I'd like to think I have educated myself about AS but this is a totally new - and completely correct - perspective to me.

They're only 12 now so these particular books haven't come up yet but several years ago we had to take away Calvin & Hobbes and Garfield books from them because they were mimicking the behaviors and languages (two 6 year olds pretending to be Calvin was LOTS of fun as I'm sure you can imagine) in them so of COURSE this needs to be on my radar. It just wasn't until I read this.

Thank you thank you thank you!!!

Katy, I understand! Amigo was a public radio junky when he was little. We had to guide him to something else when Monica Lewinsky became the main headline; he was too young to understand, but not too young to repeat what he was hearing.

I'm appalled that the school is using, in this day and age, Cuckoo's Nest as an appropriate book. Maybe our area is different, but I would guess that fully 1/4 of the kids in our high school and the high school of our neighboring town have had at least one stay in a psychiatric ward. Between eating disorders, cutting, drugs, alcohol, suicide, mental illness, and basic adolescent angst, the psych wards in my state are filled to the brim at ALL times and getting your child in is almost impossible.

While I loved Cuckoo's Nest when I read it 40 or so years ago, times are VERY different now and there is no way I would think this is an appropriate book for a high schooler, especially one with special needs.

Oh, Daisy. My heart goes out to you. It seems like this is your role until he graduates high school. You must dread the grind of this over and over.

If it's any comfort, the teacher's note could be read, not as defensive, but as her attempt to be reassuring. "It's okay, mom. He wasn't left to flounder through the book unaided, I helped him pick it. Yes, I understand your concenr that it's dark, but it has humour to balance that out." I don't know the woman, of course, so this tone of voice may not be accurate at all, but it's a possible read.

Update: the team-teacher has backed up and even apologized for not working with us. One of the others, a supposed autism expert, has gotten her undies in a bundle and declared that we're sheltering our child inappropriately from these issues. She. Has. No. Clue.

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