Call to Action

Special Needs Advocate

Special Needs Advocate

Those with special needs come in all shapes and sizes.  They are of all ages and genders.  Because of our nation’s lack of common awareness, those affected are not given the social treatment and understanding they deserve.  Due to unfortunate circumstances relating to this epidemic, suicides, bullying, depression, isolation, and many other horrific things come as a result.  By advocating those with special needs, a major step forward can be made for society.  We can focus more on those around rather than only looking out for the needs of ourselves.  A wider perspective on social conditions and understanding will allow this nation to sympathize with the less fortunate and decrease the negative events that result from the misinformed majority.  Help stop the mistreatment of special needs patients and bring awareness to this ongoing problem that America continues to face each and every day.  Avoid the hurt and allow understanding.

“Autism is a part of who I am.”



Autism is not a word to be feared, because people are afraid of what they do not know. People can be naive and do not realize that others have problems too. Instead of ignoring those who learn and communicate differently, embrace those born with problems that can’t be chosen. All children want to be loved and treated equal. It is not fair to take away a child’s innocence and need for affection. We all deserve the same opportunities and that goes the same for children as well. Autism is commonly endured by children around the world. Why should we avoid something that continues to grow?

Come Together    


The puzzle pieces are significant, because they represent social unity with fitting in with other people. The creators didn’t want the society to be similar like any other commercial or charitable foundation. The pieces are effective, because they tell us about Autism, meaning that children are handicapped by a puzzling condition meaning that this isolates them from not being able to fit in. The multi-colored puzzle pieces is the International symbol for Autism. For some, the colors represent the mystery and complexity of the disorder, and for others it can represent the mechanical nature of an autistic person’s thought process. The bright colors are said to represent hope.



Documentary Review

I found this particular documentary to be quite interesting.  It seems to be some sort of news clip from a British television broadcast.  The film focuses on a man named David Jordan who was born with Asperger’s Syndrome and was diagnosed at a very young age.  He recounts his experiences with the condition over the years since early childhood development.  While this is occurring, information is given about the condition to inform the audience about this uncommonly-known condition that affects people’s daily lives on a common basis.  Asperger’s Syndrome is a mental condition that is categorized on the Autism spectrum.  It is a higher-functioning “sub-genre” of Autism that affects one’s social skills and ability to take in information about the people around them.  Although it is a fairly common condition, very few efforts have been done to spread this information to the common public and research continues to happen.  I found it interesting when David gave specific examples of events that happened when he was young.  As a boy, he was interested by Astronomy and space exploration.  Often times, he was bullied growing up in school because who would constantly talk about Astronomical research and discoveries to his classmates during social situations.  His inability read their disinterest along with letting others speak due to his condition led to severe misunderstanding among his peers.  Social situations remain to be a difficult aspect of the daily life of an Aspie, the term commonly used within the Asperger’s community for those affected.  David managed to find the Asperger’s Support Group which put him in a room with other Aspies who could talk about their problems and common struggles associated with the issue.  Overall, as someone who has symptoms of Asperger’s herself, I found this documentary to be a wonderful piece of much-needed information for the public to grasp this consistent challenge.  Unfortunately, many do not understand Asperger’s or the symptoms involved with such a condition which results in youthful bullying and social abuse.  Broadcasts such as these positively affect the cause for bringing awareness to the needs and treatment that go with an Asperger’s diagnosis.  Hopefully, more newsworthy events and broadcasts such as this will be integrated into our nation’s television schedule or educational curriculum.  I can greatly sympathize with David and I found this documentary to be very effective in its cause.  It covered the basic information, displayed the struggles involved with both children and adults, and offered a solution though support groups, treatment, and widespread awareness.

Jordan, David. “Asperger’s Syndrome Documentary.” YouTube. YouTube, 13 May 2007. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.

Scientists Implicate More Than 100 Genes In Causing Autism

Scientists Implicate More than 100 Genes in Causing Autism

Scientists are getting a clearer idea of how genetic mutations cause autism.

This was a current event that was reported on October 29, 2014.  The discoveries made by over 50 laboratories across the country resulted in the knowledge of over 100 possible gene mutations that cause the condition of Autism in young children. Scientists tested over 3,000 parents of families that had been affected with Autism in their children.  Multiple scenarios were taken into account such as families that had an affected child with unaffected siblings.  Autism is most common in boys that either have a heightened IQ or suffer from a lower IQ.  It is much more uncommon for girls, who really only get hit by this condition later on when the embryo is in its early stages in the womb.  Girls are overall more strongly protected against Autism than boys.  To dig deeper into the condition, the scientists examined the 2 percent of the human genomes, which is where the body first develops protein.  This is where the 100+ mutation combinations were discovered.  Rather than being a full-on mutation that develops and grows over time, the actual condition of Autism is caused by slight malfunctions in the copying of genes that throw off the natural pattern of gene formation during early child development after conception.

The doctors were very excited to announce these discoveries because with this enhanced knowledge, further treatment will come as a result.  More children will be able to be diagnosed and treated at an early stage where improvements can still be made while growth is a constant process.  The United States continues to research on the common condition of Autism.  Even though it has been discovered and diagnosed for quite some time, actual causes and treatments have been somewhat limited in recent years.  This is a common problem that is surprisingly underwhelming in terms of actual knowledge and progression.  But it is because of positive events like these that further steps can be made for a decrease in our Autistic youth and a brighter future for our children.

Shute, Nancy. “Scientists Implicate More Than 100 Genes In Causing Autism.” NPR. NPR, 29 Oct. 2014. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.

Jillian McCabe Accused of Throwing Autistic Son Off Oregon Bridge

This was an unfortunate current event that was reported on November 4, 2014.  Jillian McCabe is a wife to Matt McCabe and mother to London McCabe.  London, age 6, was diagnosed with severe Autism back in 2011.  Jillian had a long history of mental health struggles.  She would consistently seek care and treatment for her conditions from a variety of professionals.  Often times, the stress of her life would get the best of her and, unfortunately, lead her to rage-filled outbursts and extreme actions.  The death of her father and the near-fatal MS diagnosis of her husband combined with the severity of London’s condition became far too much for her to handle.  One day, she decided to take London for a walk which resulted in her throwing her son off a bridge out of stress-induced rage.  Relatives complained about the improper care she was given in the past and the immediate releases she had from mental health facilities.

The most shocking and surprising aspect of this story is the first-hand accounts received by her husband and relatives.  All of them were surprised due to her loving and intensive care she gave her son in the past.  London’s severe Autism led to an inability to communicate verbally.  The boy showed signs of great intelligence that were trapped in a body that did not allow communication.  This caused great strain and difficulty in raising the boy that could not speak.  As a result, Jillian’s angry past of mental instability led to the horrific death of her young son and a prison sentence for 1st and 2nd degree manslaughter.

This current event greatly reflects the common issue of improper care for both those with mental health-related outbursts and dangerous environments for Autistic children who need all the care that can be received.  When a child with Autism that severe is given to a parent who has not been properly treated for rage-filled outbursts, a horrible result is only a matter of time.  This is why American health facilities need to attend to Autistic children through proper treatment and living conditions.  The process of growing up without the ability to speak is completely different than that of a normal, fully-functional child.

Vinograd, Cassandra, and Tracy Connor. “Jillian McCabe Accused of Throwing Autistic Son Off Oregon Bridge – NBC News.” NBC News. NBC News, 4 Nov. 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.

For Further Reading

Annotated Bibliography

“Data & Statistics.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 Mar. 2014. Web. 02 Nov. 2014″Facts and Statistics – Autism Society.” Autism Society Facts and Statistics Comments. Autism Society, Web. 02 Nov. 2014.  The CDC is a fairly well-known organization that prevents or maintains various health problems or conditions.  Their website lists some things about Asperger’s Syndrome that many other sites may not display.  Although it lists the basic symptoms, causes, and treatments, it also goes into the actual risk factors involved along with how many people actually have it to show how common the condition actually is.

“Home – Autism Society.” Autism Society Home Comments. Autism Society, 2014. Web. 02 Nov. 2014.  This is the website for a non-profit organization that is asking for support and involvement in order to bring awareness of Autism.  They have all types of information on their site besides basic information about the condition.  There examples in the news, press releases, events, ways to become involved with the organization, shopping, etc.

Pope, John. “Autism-Symptoms.” WebMD. WebMD, 28 Jan. 2014. Web. 02 Nov. 2014. WebMD is a very popular source for any information regarding health-related issues.  This particular portion of their site is devoted to the various symptoms that go along with Autism.  It organizes it well and breaks it down into the symptoms and conditions that are evident throughout different stages of life such as young children, teenagers, etc.

Pope, John. “What Is Asperger’s Syndrome? Symptoms, Tests, Causes, Treatments.” WebMD. WebMD, 28 Jan. 2014. Web. 02 Nov. 2014.  This source also comes from WebMD and it goes into Asperger’s Syndrome which is a specific type of Autism.  It gives an in-depth overview of what it is along with common problems one may notice with someone who has Asperger’s such as social problems, coordination problems, etc.  The next page then goes into the specific diagnoses and treatments involved with this condition.

Rogerson, Nicole. “About Us.” Autism Awareness. Autism Awareness Australia, 2007. Web. 02 Nov. 2014. This site is a more interactive source that better informs the reader about how Autism is relevant throughout current events along with an option to donate for treatment and research.  This site also gives tools, books, and events in specific areas for anyone who wants to be better informed.  As for actual information, the basic causes, treatments, symptoms, etc. are also listed on the main pages.

Swierzewski, Stanley J., III. “Autism Treatment, Prognosis.” Autism. Remedy Health Media, 1 Mar. 2000. Web. 02 Nov. 2014.  Health Communities is an online, technology-based organization that is dedicated to informing the public with reliable and credible information related to health and medicine.  This source goes much more in-depth with their portions for Autism.  Along with listing the basic information from the other sources, Health Communities goes into the prognosis, various therapies, and behavioral conditions that go along with Autism.

Annotated Bibliography Goodling ’14

Ice bucket Fail: Teens charged in Urine-Bucket Prank

Ice bucket fail: Teens charged in urine-bucket prank

This article focuses on five teenagers from Cleveland, Ohio who were accused of humiliating an autistic student as part of a charity for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The teenagers were accused of dumping a bucket of urine, tobacco spit, and water over the victim’s head after asking the boy to come to the home of one of the teens to participate in the challenge. Three of the teens were charged with two counts of assault, delinquency and disorderly conduct in the complaint, and the equivalent of an indictment. Two others were charged with a single count of disorderly conduct. The teens ages ranged from 14 to 16, so none of the teens’ names is being released because they are younger than 18. These teens are currently awaiting punishment and possible time spent in a juvenile correction facility. The actual video of the event was posted on Youtube and received an abundant amount of complaints and people hoping to lend support in prosecuting those responsible for this act of cruelty. A petition has been funded with over 350,000 signatures that are hoping to all the occurrence of their prosecution. Celebrities such as Donnie Wahlberg and Jenny McCarthy have lent their own support and money for funding a reward for finding the teens who conceived the prank. Further charges are being considered under court review and the parents of the special-needs child agree with the charges involved for detention time and correctional action to be taken. The question of morality and standards of societal decency are what is at hand concerning this event. The reason this event was made so public was to bring attention to the continuing epidemic of teenage bullying, especially events involving special-needs teens. Unless the problem is made aware, it will only continue unless legal action is taken.

Ice Bucket Fail: Teens Charged in Urine-bucket Prank.” Ice Bucket Fail: Teens Charged in Urine-bucket Prank. WMAZ, 15 Oct. 2014. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.

Did a Son’s Autism Drive a Woman to Murder?

Did a Son’s Autism Drive a Woman to Murder?

This article does not report on one particular event or issue, but rather serves as an overview of newsworthy events that have occurred involving the murder of Autistic children by their own parents.  To be more specific, the usual parent involved is the mother rather than the father.  The primary example used is that of Gigi Jordan and her son, Jude, who had a severe case of Autism developing since birth.  Gigi had displayed a long history of psychological instability that may have led up to her son’s murder.  She had grown increasingly unhappy with her son’s condition and continued to appear unable to take care of the boy.  The actual murder occurred in a hotel room in Florida, where the two went for a vacation trip together.  Gigi used violent force to make Jude swallow dozens of pills, including Xanax, washed down with Vodka.  Jude, being about nine years of age, was easily killed by the effect of the pills and alcohol mixture.  Bruises were evident on the boy’s face which confirmed the forceful abuse of his mother.  A 20-page explanation was typed by Gigi explaining her inability to handle the condition.  The bag of pills were left near this explanation and the proper authorities were quickly informed and made aware of the terrible incident.  Her psychological instability caused her to feel completely unable to raise the boy on her own.  The time, care, and effort that went into raising a boy with such a severe condition was far too much for her to handle.  The article explains many various events similar to this including cases of other parents murdering their children.  Unfortunately, events such as this continue to go on in today’s world.  The piece also describes some of the struggles that go along with such a severe condition and how it can affect the parents given the task of raising these children.  Autism is not something that can be cured, but rather something that can only be helped and treated.  The condition causes many children to feel lost while unable to fit into social interactions or society in general.  However, the shocking number of parent-child murders really does show how certain parents do not fit into society themselves.  The unfortunate irony of this situation leads to many horrific deaths that leave an impact on the Autistic community.  Overall, I would say this article accomplished its many purposes successfully.  It managed to address the history of these murders, describe the current one involving Gigi and Jude, inform the reader of how Autism is caused, and how it affects those involved.


Gigi and her son Jude

Nazaryan, Alexander. “Autism, Murder and a Woman on the Ledge.” Newsweek, 19 Oct. 2014. Web. 04 Nov. 2014.

What is Autism Awareness?

Autism is a cognitive disorder that greatly affects brain development from an early age. This disorder typically results in and/or causes difficulties with social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors.  There are many varying degrees of Autism that span all over the Autism spectrum. Autism has been divided into a wide array of sub-types that include autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder, and Asperger’s Syndrome.  This is a serious condition that begins during early childhood and greatly affects one’s ability to absorb the essential information required for a child to learn the basic ways of daily life.  Autism can be caused by a variety of factors that may or may not include maternal illness, difficulties during birth, oxygen deprivation to the brain, etc. along with genetic commonalities.  The actual symptoms tend to become noticeable by the ages of two or three.  Through Autism Awareness, I hope to help address these commonly-overlooked issues that the public tend to completely dismiss.  People also tend to take basic brain function for granted.  Many are born without the proper “tools” needed to complete the “task at hand”.  By bringing awareness to this condition, the public will be properly informed about Autism and the struggles that go along with it.  Autism Awareness also allows people to fully understand how many are affected themselves or may have loved ones born on the Autism spectrum.  Helping those with Autism is something that needs to be strongly addressed in today’s world.  Although it may not have a cure, there are a number of measures, both psychological and pharmaceutical, that can greatly assist those commonly affected.  Helping those during early childhood will also improve development in the long-run.  Some major improvements that could be made include the integration of Autism accommodation into the American public school system.