Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What they don't tell you in the Autism books...

I posted this story a while back on one of my blogs, but I wanted to share it here for some of my mommy friends who have their own potty stories...

So, I wrote my research paper in Film as Rhetoric back in the fall of 2006 on the depiction of autism in movies as a temporal or transitory condition--a character device that imbues a sort of mystique to a particular character. I've seen probably about 10,000+ feature films and made-for-tv movies to date and each worse than the one before.

And, within each movie, the autistic character suddenly becomes not all that autistic by the third act of the movie. In one movie, Molly, an autistic woman is "cured" of her autism through a controversial, experimental brain surgery. In another, the autistic 4 year-old "snaps out" of his autism long enough to shoot the father who abandoned him 4 years before when his father tries to strangle his mother. (Yea. Tobey would probably be grabbing a gun, unlocking the safety, and shooting a man square in the heart.)

What they also don't show in the movies? That autistic children shove food in their mouths and are prone to choking. That they have zero sense of danger. And, that they are very difficult to potty train--something I have worked with Tobey on for many, many years. It's been slow going and we have to do "potty cheers" when Tobey poops in the toilet and not his underwear ("Poo poo in tha Pot'ay, Poo poo in tha Pot'ay..."--you get the jest).

So, one night about two years ago, as I was sitting at the computer enthralled in Ed White's Teaching and Assessing Writing and typing away, Tobey came into the living room, "poo poo in tha pot'ay!" I responded, "Great job," and went back to work.

He came back about 2 minutes later: "Poo poo in tha pot'ay!" I responded, "Yea, I know. Great job!!"

Tobey was still not satisifed. So, he went into the bathroom and came back a minute later: "Momma, poo poo in the po'tay!!" To get my attention this time, Tobey had reached into the toilet, pulled out the poop, and brought it to me in the living room to show me just exactly what he'd done. And, that he wanted me to sing the song.

So, I cheered for his wet poo dripping all over the floor. Then I washed his bottom. And, hands. And, went back to work. Yes, that is something they never show in the movies.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

PCA/ ACA Conference

Just got back from 'Nawlens after attending the PCA/ ACA conference w/ Marc. Couple thoughts that I've learned since attending PCA/ACA (Popular Culture of America/ American Culture Association):
  1. I love that my area of interest means I present on a panel with two papers on House. How freakin' awesome is that?!?
  2. There nothing better for my money than an entire panel on "Post-colonialism and Women's Liberation in the Appropriation of Homosexuality in Katy Perry's 'I Kissed a Girl.'"
  3. People take comic books VERY serious.
  4. Answer: A Tool. Question: What do we call you behind your back if you leave your ringer on, answer your cell when it goes off during a session, and then announce to the entire room that you've got to go?
  5. It's possible to write 6 different papers on the Saw franchise.
  6. Answer: A Tool. Question: What do we call you when you are too distracted texting to get your question out during the Q & A? (If you have a question, can you stop texting for 20 seconds before asking it? You look like jerk when you're too distracted by your cell phone to ask the question you raised your hand to ask.)
  7. All conferences should be held in really boring cities like DeMoine or Cincinatti. It's really hard to talk yourself into attending a panel in an overpriced and pretenious hotel when there are too many distractions outside.
  8. Just "winging it" isn't typically the best approach to a conference paper.
  9. A film clip and a powerpoint is just an excuse to watch television at a conference if there is no content to the presentation. I'm not saying, I'm just saying.
  10. You do not need to put your credientials on your boarding pass. Southwest Airlines does not care that you are "Ima Hogg, PhD."
  11. How can you, in good moral standing, rationalize charging $15 for a piece of french bread and 3 shrimp? [I'm looking at you, Bourbon Street.]
  12. It's quite obvious who the "working girls" and tourists are in 'Nawlens. I'm not saying, but I'm just saying.
  13. How can you not have tap water? A facet. A glass. Tap water.
Still, the trip was great. I love my gals, Donna and Emily. And, I'll never drink another Hurricane for as long as I live.