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Friday, December 31, 2010

Autism Symptoms and Signs -A Book Review

Autism Puzzle-The author of the book when snow turns to rain is Craig Shulze, an elementary school assistant principal in Baltimore Maryland. He holds masters of education degree in Early Childhood Education from Towson State University and a PhD in human development from University of Maryland. He and his wife Jill are former board members of the. Baltimore Chapter of the Autism society of America.

Craig is qualified to write this book having raised a child with autism. He knows firsthand the telltale signs of autism, the travails and headaches that accompanies the task of rearing a child with autism, and the many sacrifices and changes that has to be made to accommodate anyone with the disorder.
He is also qualified academically since he has devoted part of his life to studying; while educating himself in Early Childhood education and Human Development for which he is accredited a Masters and PhD degree.

I am a James Paterson fan and mostly read romance and mystery yet; I chose this book because I believe it would further expand my limited knowledge and understanding the disorder and further confirm previously viewed video illustrations and textbook information. My goal was to discover whether the writer of the book, under review, the writer of the text book and various videos were on the same page as far as autism is concerned. Also, seeing that I work with children who have autism, I needed the voice of someone who has gone through the ordeal of raising a child with autism so that I would be better prepared to work with them and also have the ability to pinpoint children with the disorder so that early intervention can be administered. I wanted to hear from someone who has lived and dealt with autism instead of getting it from a textbook. Although, no two children are the same, I wanted to know of the telltale cues that Craig witnessed firsthand which would help me to better deal and understand people and families who have relatives with the disorder.

When snow turns to rain is a narrative centered around a little boy named Jordon, who exhibits three core deficits of autism namely lack of social interaction, communication skills, and behavioral which the experts confirm when they say that, "autism is a disorder that is present from birth or very early during development affecting essential human behaviors such as social interaction, the ability to communicate ideas, feelings, imagination, and the establishment of relationships with others"(national research council, 2003, p.11).

As the book "Educating Children With Autism" points out, autism can happen very early in a child's development and this is true for the main character Jordon,who at one time had the ability of interacting with his parents through words and gestures. He held conversations just as a normal child would but as time went by he regressed into a world that left his mother and father searching for solutions as they rearranged their lives, implemented techniques learn t from research,treatment and educational programs to help their son overcome the disorder of autism.
One of the core deficits of Autism, lack of social interaction in Jordon is further evident in Jordon as Craig observes, “During this third summer I spend with Jordon ,the isolated incidents of negativism, quirky language, resistance to change, cognitive stagnation, and the desire to be alone begin to form a pattern. At times, he will play by himself for periods of up to an hour, all the while repeating phrases; he frequently uses or has heard in books (echolalia). He expresses little or no interest in other children and he shows very little or no interest in other children and shows very little propensity for imaginative play.

The curiosity he exhibited in the previous summer seems to have totally disappeared and he is no longer consistently in a good mood"(1993,p.27). Since early intervention is the key to unraveling the autism puzzle, Craig conducts his own research. After reading "The Empty Fortress" by Bruno Bettelheim, he believes that Jordon’s symptoms and those of Bruno's clients are conclusive. Taking a closer look at Jordon's behavioral symptoms-tendency to repeat phrases, the absence of the words "yes" and "I" from the vocabulary, and the propensity to self stimulate, Craig believes that Jordon has full blown Autism so he takes him to see the Pediatrician who refers him for neurological and psychological evaluation and the prognosis is communication disorder and developmental delay. At that time the neurologist does not confirm Autism ; so Jill and Craig talk to friends, contact local autism specialists by phone, read everything they can get, make games, and puzzles, purchase toys, and come up with plans to deal with Jordon at home.

Craig’s search on the topic of autism results in a reading by a California psychologist, Ivar Lovas, a pioneer in the area of blab who suggest, "the best results being obtained with autistic kids are occurring in settings where behavior modification techniques are being employed"(1993,p.48). Pauls implements this technique by setting up a "secret room" where he and Jill put into practice Lovaas's findings and it works yet;their hopes are shattered when screening done at the Kennedy Institute shows a decline in Jordon's skills up to six months.

Since behavioral techniques stop working Animal Therapy is introduced to help facilitate Jordon's social skills but that fails also and the Pediatrician directs them to a. Boston Psychologist, Dr.Jerome Kagan, Neurologist Dr.Paul Hardy,Educator,Ann Larkin and the governor's wife, Kitty. Dukakis who are supporters of Boston Higashi.

I hope this was beneficial to you and that you will be able to apply early intervention to assist your child should they exhibit signs of autism.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

mixed drinks fruit punch- Your Next Party Drink


Planning a party can be a bit stressful especially when deciding what drinks to serve your guest. Serving alcoholic party punch drinks, is an appealing idea ; yet at the same time you do not want your guest to be drunk while still at your party. Although some people usually bring a bottle of wine or alcohol as a gift for the hostess you should not rely on that. What you need are two huge punch bowl with drinks. One bowl of non alcoholic mixed drinks to satisfy the needs of those who are non alcoholic and one for those who drink liquors.

Deciding to serve alcoholic party drinks means your planning should be modified to provide at least two drinks for each guest every hour that would mean about 20 wine bottles with about 6-7 servings for each guest . Be sure to have enough wine on hand and in addition to wine consider serving other mixed drinks fruit punch like kool aide or ice tea so that you do not run out of drinks.

Don't limit your guest to just one glass. People usually like fresh clean glasses so have extra clean glasses on hand. Many people like their beverages cold so don't forget to stock-up on ice and have enough clean glasses on hand so that guest can change dirty glasses for clean ones with ease.

Below is a recipe for gincranpine juice which can be easily modified. Tasty to d bone.

  • 1 sac of peelings from a whole pineapple
  • 1tb ginger
  • 2 cups cranberry seeds.
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • Combine all bring to boil strain and serve cold.


ebrosia Weinhandel

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Overweight Women - Discrimination Against Women

I come from a part of the world where women are embraced for being big. You see, back then people that were fat were viewed as being healthy and happy. On the other hand, if someone was skinny, like I was always skinny; people believed that skinny people were sick,miserable and unhealthy. It's like fat was in and skinny was out. This still holds true as some parts of the world do embrace fat women while others tend to have a problem with obese women.

When I came to America, it's all the opposite.Fat is out and skinny is in and its at a huge cost. In Art History, I learn about the "woman of Willendorf"(picture above). She is portrayed with large breasts, large hips and a detailed vulva and symbolizes fertility.The aim of this paper is to explore women and obesity.

Through the Romantic, Victorian, and Modern ages, Womanhood has had and still has its share of woes. The ability to survive in a world dominated by men and a society which is not sympathetic to the travails of women has not been easy: “The indifference of the world which Keats and Flaubert and other men of genius have found so hard to bear was in her case not indifference but hostility. The world did not say to her as it said to them, Write if you choose; it makes no difference to me.
The world said with a guffaw, Write? What’s good of your writing” (Woolf 2462)? Women lived in a world where they were viewed as brainless and merely as vessels to breed sons and daughters-one of the many debased classification of women; still with the rise of courageous women and movements like women lib enabling women to evolve to some extent from being the doormats they once were; to date women are targets of weight bias that takes an emotional, physical, and social toll on their lives.

The media and other mediums of communication are major culprits in the discrimination of overweight women. In their portrayal of beauty; women are usually depicted as tall, skinny, and of a certain built. Seldom does an overweight woman grace the cover of popular magazines neither is she photographed next to a beautiful car or a strong male with a six pack.

This preoccupation with obesity and weight gain affects women to an extent which is often detrimental. Susan Bordo argues, “The practices of femininity and particularly of dietary restrictions and body modeling reinforce the feel and conviction of lack of insufficiency of never being good enough. At the farthest extremes, the practices of femininity may lead us to utter demoralization, debilitation, and death” (p.166).

According to Bordo, obese women are made to feel inadequate, not good enough and their self esteem is attacked. They do not have the temperament to handle constant kidding about their weight. What may appear to be funny or hilarious to others is never funny to the ones who are subjected to it. When people are labeled a certain way, they have the tendency of making that name theirs and usually believe that such labeling defines who they are.

Such is the case with overweight women who are often led to a path of destruction. Eating disorders like bulimia, anorexia come into to play as some women become obsessed with exercise to achieve the “ideal” weight and this impedes them in the area of health. Women feel inadequate and the struggle to be accepted for whom they are rather than what they’ve become is a constant battle.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Character Education, Plagiarism, and Academic Cheating

John Jay College
195 Joralemon Street

Re: Provost

Dear Mr. Obama:

My name is Henry and I am a student at John Jay College. This past semester my English Technical Writing Class has been focusing and researching character education, plagiarism, and cheating. According to William May, the author of the book Ethics and Higher Education, informal polls indicate that as many as three-fourths of the student population on campuses today admit to some form of academic fraud. Cheating is accepted as a way of life because too little is done to prevent it, and there is reluctance on the part of faculty and administrators to report it and prosecute when it occurs. At best the problem is dealt with unevenly; at worst it is avoided or totally ignored. If colleges and universities are to have an impact on value development, and I suggest they should, then a concerted effort by faculty and administrators must be undertaken in order to address the problem. (171)

The polls indicate that there is a lack of heightened interest in ethics or morals. Faculty and administrators are partly to be blamed for not doing their part to combat such unethical behavior and for not putting controls in place. In the majority of our schools cheating on test and the wrongful acts of plagiarism have become very rampant. That’s why, I am writing you this letter to address the need for an enforced character education curriculum in our schools.

Character education as defined by Dr. Thomas Lickona, author of Educating for Character, How Our Schools Can Teach Respect and Responsibility, “is the deliberate effort to develop virtues that are good for the individual and good for society. The objective goodness of virtues is based on the fact that they: affirm our human dignity, promote the well-being and happiness of the individual, serve the common good, define our rights and obligations, meet the classical ethical tests of reversibility (Would you want to be treated this way?) and universalism (Would you want all persons to act this way in a similar situation?)”

Character education is as old as education itself. It dates way back to the times of renowned theorists like Piaget, Kohlberg, Turiel and Carol Gillian who all conducted research and experiments in the area of character development. The goal of education has and always will be to help people to become smart and help them to become good. The founding fathers believed democracy has a special need for character education, because democracy is government by the people themselves. The people must therefore be good, must develop "democratic virtues": Respect for the rights of individuals, regard for law, voluntary participation in public life,and concern for the common good.

As you can see character education is not something new. If the founding fathers endorsed it and thought it to be a good concept that should be invoked in government then, it certainly is important. The very idea that people needed to develop moral ethical behavior, which would benefit them and others as they continue through life, has been in the works. It appears to be vanishing and needs to be implemented and enforced at the college level as well as the elementary level.

Since home is the first school, character education should begin there; however, with the changes in family structure-mom working two jobs, or mom and dad working then the burden falls on schools as well. It is said that, “it takes a whole village to raise a child”; therefore, the responsibility extends not only to parents and teachers to raise persons of good character and moral standing but the community as well. Character and moral can be used interchangeably since they mean the same thing. Huitt and Vessels define the term a moral person as a person who understands the difference between right and wrong and willfully chooses what is right; a virtuous person engages in good behavior intentionally, predictably, and habitually; an ethical person figures out what is right or good. (260)

Character Education is made up of honesty, self-responsibility, citizenship, respect, fairness, and caring; However, my focus is on honesty. It is of vital importance to stress the importance of this aspect of character education because dishonesty, when tolerated hurts the innocent and vulnerable. Everyone is affected.
Let me take you back to the Enron scandal, where CEO s, top educated men regarded as trustworthy men took advantage of many and stole their life-long earnings. Such display of bad behavior simply says that these men have no conscience and no morals. In the implementation of character education curriculum honesty needs to be emphasized since it is a pivotal part and ranks highest on the list of character education traits. To integrate this aspect of character into the curriculum I propose the following.

First of all, college catalogs should have a section devoted especially to academic honesty. The term should be broken so that even the dumbest of all persons can understand what academic dishonesty means and it should be accompanied by consequences for those who do not adhere to the rules and regulations that accompany academic dishonesty. At the registrar's office a banner that reads “Cheating is not tolerated here should be displayed. Also, since teachers are the gatekeepers to character education, the burden lies heavily on them for being good role models to their students and for assisting in behavior changes. Dr. Marvin W. Berkowitz, a developmental psychologist , a professor of character education at the university of Missouri supports this by saying," When we think of character education we tend to think first of how students behave and how we can implement strategies and structures in schools that will lead students to develop more desirable personality traits, competencies, and behavioral patterns. What we too often fail to recognize is that this is much more difficult to achieve if the adults in the school community do not "walk the talk." I think we need to start character education with a focus on the adults, and only when we get this in order, start to worry about what we can do to support the development of the students. The focus of schools should be the students, but one gateway to students' character is the character of the adults around them."

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