Tag Archives: Autism

Your Morning Cereal – Grandfather Builds Web Browser for Autistic Grandchild

John LeSieur is in the software business, and he noticed that computers seemed mostly useless to his 6-year-old grandson, Zackary.

The boy has autism, and reacts negatively to the screen with all of it’s color and options. LeSieur searched for online tools that were appropriate, but found none. So he had one built, named it the Zac Browser For Autistic Children in honor of his grandson, and is making it available to anyone for free.  Check out the link here

This man is a reminder that while the Web has created important communication and educational opportunities for people, those with cognitive impairments still need special tools to learn – particularly online. As a computer instructor, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mr. LeSieur. 

Let’s hear it for grassroots innovation. Maybe Microsoft can take notes.

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Filed under Morning Cereal, Politics, Technology

Autistic Child Thrown Out of Church

Reprinted from TheDeeZone

Last week ABC News had a report about Adam Race, an autistic boy, who was banned from attending Church of St. Joseph in Bertha, Minnesota. Apparently Adam had become so disruptive that the church considered his attendance a threat to others. Rev. Daniel Walz claims that accommodations were made or at least offered to the family. Now, a restraining order has been issued preventing Adam from attending services. The Races insists that no accommodations were offered and that the boy was not dangerous. While I am not personally involved, this incident has really bothered me. I have been processing the situation and formulating my response all week.

There is something about banning a person from church that just does not seem right. A church is supposed to be a place of refuge and worship for all. I have worked with teenagers long enough to know that sometimes it may be necessary, however a court order does seem excessive. I am just not comfortable with the thought of banning someone from church. Well, that is really not the point of this post anyway.

Growing up in a ministers home I have attended church my entire life and there as always been at least one disabled person who attended my church. As I reflected on the Races situation I begin thinking about observations I have made from my own interactions with disabled congregants.

Several years ago we had some friends at the church we were attending whose son was developmentally disabled son. Matthew* enjoyed attending church. It was not uncommon to here Matthew loudly proclaim, “Yeah! God!” or to cheer when our pastor came to the pulpit. When was the last time you saw someone be truly excited when the pastor started preaching? Matthew’s favorite place to sit was at the pastor’s feet. He had a desire to worship God. How many times do you are you really anticipate receiving a word from God?

Theo*is a pre-teen at our church who has Autism. Like Matthew, Theo loves attending church. He approaches worship service with much gusto. Theo loves to sing and makes a joyful noise. While some may consider Theo and Matthew disruptive I do not. Actually, I believe that both boys take a scriptural approach to worship. To them church is about God and not doing the right thing, pleasing others or appearing good. I have thought a lot about my own reasons for attending and what I do during Services. Am I really there to have a meaningful encounter with God or have other things gotten in my way?

A church is or at least should be a community of faith. In all communities diversity can or should enhance and enrich the community. It is only through interacting with those who are different from ourselves that we learn acceptance and hopefully learn to see past the differences to person. It is very easy to see only a person’s disability and not the person inside. For more on my thoughts on labels and disabilities read this.

*Names changed

by Dee

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Filed under Culture, Politics, Religion

Autistic Student “Voted Out” by Kindergarten Classmates

A mother in Port St. Lucie, FL is outraged and considering legal action after her son’s kindergarten teacher led his classmates to vote him out of class.

The student, Alex Barton is being evaluated for autism.

However Morningside Elementary teacher Wendy Portillo, felt it was appropriate to have Alex’s classmates say what they didn’t like about 5-year-old Alex. The teacher then had the students vote Alex out of class by a 14-2 margin.

Hmmm – sounds kind of like Survivor doesn’t it? Of course I wouldn’t know first hand, because I’ve never watched one episode…ever.

Alex’s mother, Melissa Barton, filed a complaint with Morningside’s school resource officer. The school spokeswoman, Janice Karst, said the district is investigating the incident, but could not make any further comment.


The state attorney’s office concluded the matter did not meet the criteria for emotional child abuse, so no criminal charges will be filed. 

Yeah, but it meets my standard of – My God, I can’t believe how much of an ignoramous you are!

This teacher should be flogged.

As a parent of two special needs kids, there are some things you don’t do. One of those things is – you don’t try to start your own half-ass reality show in your classroom. Here’s another, kindergarten classrooms aren’t Democractic forums. They are places where little children glue cotton balls on paper rabbits and learn how to interact with others (I’m a teacher by the way).

This is just another sad example of a low intellect, under-qualified, ignorant teacher trying to pass herself off as an educator. She’d be better off parking herself in front of the boob tube, and devoting the rest of her useless days as a Nielson rater for brain-dead re-tread reality T.V.

Her actions were disgusting and outrageous. She should be fired immediately, or at the very least, buried up to her neck in frog shit for three days.

I ask Wendy Portillo this – What did your students learn that day?????

Read related article herehere

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