New Mission

New Mission

My idea is to explore how other countries around the world are dealing with education and special education issues. I’d like to see different successful schools, wherever they may be, up close. I’d like to sit down with directors and administrators. I’d like to speak with government officials who keep a pulse on the education affairs of their communities. I want to learn more about education around the globe through speaking with locals, seeing the schools, and shaking hands with the people responsible for implementing the systems. If you know of any outstanding (public or private) special needs schools in other parts of the world, I’d love to hear about them. If you know any education experts from around the world, I’d love to be introduced to them. Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts or ideas. Read more about my mission.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Redefining Autism

What do you think would be the effect of changing the way that we define autism?  Looks like we will soon find out.  The front page of today's New York Times summarizes proposed changes to the DSM which have been the topic of conversation for months.  What they want to do is narrow the definition in a way that would, effectively, weed out the "higher-functioning" (and I use that term cautiously) individuals and capture those with more severe forms of autism.  People previously diagnosed with Asperger's or PDD might no longer be recognized as having autism.  There is disagreement about how many people would be excluded as a result of the changes.  It seems to me that it would be a significant chunk of the autism population.  And even if it is mathematically a small percentage, aren't they still entitled to receive therapeutic services - whether it be because they struggle socially, emotionally, or in some other way?  To the extent that a diagnosis is a sine qua non for receiving services, where does it leave those people who were previously diagnosed but from whom that diagnosis was stripped?