Monday, February 28, 2011

Only 3% of ASpies are Employed!

By DEE DePASS, Minneapolis Star Tribune. MAPLEWOOD, Minn. - Temple Grandin wants more autistic people in your workplace. If they don't become part of the work force, your company will lose out.

That was the key message from Grandin, an industrial designer and fellow "ASpie" (a term referring to the "autism spectrum") who designed Cargill's slaughterhouses across the United States and Canada.

The noted author, animal scientist drew more than 1,600 corporate executives, state officials and parents to the first annual Autism and Employment Forum at 3M earlier this month.

Cargill, 3M Co., Best Buy and the Autism Society of Minnesota sponsored the event, which hoped to raise awareness in the workplace and improve the hiring rates of people with autism. Only 3 percent of people with autism are currently employed. It used to be that one in 250 people would be diagnosed with autism. Today that number is one in 91. It's more prevalent today than ever, executives said in explaining why they asked Grandin to talk to business leaders.

People with mild autism or Asperger's syndrome are basically "geeks," Grandin said. They have tremendous skills that can help corporations solve problems, grow sales and program a company's ways to greatness, she said.

Silicon Valley, Hollywood, corporate labs and IT departments are often "loaded" with well-paid individuals who live somewhere on the spectrum of autism, Grandin said.

Many just haven't been diagnosed yet, she said, and so don't carry the label of the illness, which is typically characterized by heightened intellect, awkward social skills, black-and-white, literal reasoning, an intolerance of noise and the inability to read facial cues or body language.

But people with the brain disorder also frequently possess a commanding grasp of science, statistics, research and engineering. They make great innovators, engineers, scientists and graphic designers, said Grandin. For example, her ability to think in pictures allows her to "see" every aspect of an industrial machine before she draws it.

"OK, businesses: So why should you hire the ASpie geek? Because they are the ones who will solve the energy crisis," she said. With job coaching and the training of managers, more ASpies can enter the work force and do more than collect a Social Security check each month, she added.

ASpies "can be taught social skills" in the workplace. The key is to be highly specific about which behaviors work. "Don't be subtle," Grandin said. It's not enough to tell the employee that the lunchroom is open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The ASpie worker may interpret that to mean that he is to take a two-hour lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. "Now how long do you think it will be before that worker gets fired?" she quipped.

Instead, tell him that lunch is a 30-minute time slot anytime between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., she said. "Be specific." It's not helpful to tell the ASpie worker "not to be rude." Instead, calmly explain that they shouldn't chase that disinterested customer all over the store.

Click here for my employers. Brittany response: In all of my recent research, when I come across this statistic, I think of how lucky I've been, but also how hard it has been for myself, and how it would be for other ASpies.

Proposed symbol for ASpies: "A cloud. When you have Asperger Syndrome you spend most of your time lost in your own thoughts and daydreams. It feels as if a dark cloud was enveloping your head and when somebody interrupts you, the cloud dissipates. Aspies live inside this cloud most of their lifetime."

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Data on Asperger Syndrome

Asperger syndrome: An autistic disorder most notable for the often great discrepancy between the intellectual and social abilities of those who have it.
Asperger syndrome is a pervasive developmental disorder that is characterized by an inability to understand how to interact socially. Typical features of the syndrome also may include clumsy and uncoordinated motor movements, social impairment with extreme egocentricity, limited interests and unusual preoccupations, repetitive routines or rituals, speech and language peculiarities, and non-verbal communication problems.
The syndrome is named for Hans Asperger who in 1944 published a paper that described a pattern of behavior in several young boys who had normal intelligence and language development but who had autistic-like behavior. Hans Asperger (1906-1980) was a pioneering pediatrician in Austria. He headed the play-pedagogic station at the university children’s clinic in Vienna in 1932 and became director of the children’s clinic in 1946. His special interest was in “psychically abnormal” children.

There is no specific course of treatment or cure for Asperger syndrome. Treatment, which is symptomatic and rehabilitation, may include both psychosocial and psycho-pharmacological interventions such as psychotherapy, parent education and training, behavioral modification, social skills training, educational interventions, and/or medications including psycho-stimulants, mood stabilizers, beta blockers, and tricycle-type antidepressants. Common misdiagnoses or multiple diagnoses for Asperger’s include: Depression, Bipolar disorder, ADHD, ODD, OCD – all adjoining to the Autistic Spectrum.

The following five criteria primarily characterize Asperger’s Disorder.
1. A significant, ongoing impairment in social interactions with others, as demonstrated by at least two of the following symptoms:
  • Significant difficulty in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as the lack of eye contact, few facial expressions, awkward or clumsy body postures and gestures
  • Failure to develop friendships
  • Lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)
  • Failure to express appropriate and corresponding social or emotional reactions, such as when conversing or playing with others.
2. Restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as shown by at least one of the following symptoms:
  • A significant and encompassing preoccupation or obsession with one or two restricted topics, that is abnormal either in intensity, subject or focus
  • Seemingly inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals that serve little purpose
  • Repetitive motor mannerisms.
  • A persistent preoccupation with parts of objects
3. The set of symptoms causes significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
4. There is no significant general delay in language (e.g., single words used by age 2, communicative phrases used by age 3).
5. There is no significant delay in cognitive development (such as reading or math skills) or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, behavior, and curiosity about the environment in childhood.

This information contributed via Brittany M Dauzat

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Cheesecake Factory review

Palatial and Delightful  by Andrew I. Lerner (21 reviews)
February 23, 2011 - Really likes it
Monday, 2/21/11 was my birthday, and third time there. The name is not appropriate for a restaurant serving exceptional food. I am not interested in having cheesecake either. However, the place is the size of a factory. The entrance is gigantic and elaborate, like a giant upscale department store like Dillards or Nordstrom. Inside it was a monumentally spacious two story high palace. There are painted murals on the ceilings. The tables were made of fine polished stone. It was deserted and quiet, with hundreds of empty seats. We were seated immediately. The only wait was the very long walk down the very long tremendous dining area of this enormous building. My wife, a demanding critic, had her best Old Fashioned in memory. She had the Chicken Madeira, with a late substitution of asparagus instead or the mashed potatoes. It was the best she ever had. it was "to die for". Even I, who avoids it at all costs, and hates it, did not mind it at all! Everything was "perfect". It was, without a doubt, the best meal she had since our wedding at Enzos on 2/2/10. A wedding guest supplied a $25 gift card we used this meal. I had the purest freshest strawberry lemonade ever. In an unusual move, I had the Louisiana Chicken Pasta. It was perfect and divine as well. For the first time ever, a complete role reversal: She finished everything on her plate, and I took home almost half. Service was excellent. The atmosphere was quiet, and beautiful. The total experience was outstanding. The prices are extraordinarily high. If you are unemployed for about 1.25 years like us, do not go without a gift card.

2 Years Unemployed anniversary today Please read the column at the left, left click on all of the posting titles, pictures, and underlined blue words. Please click below, on "Comments, Reactions, & Feedback", below, to read reviews, and or write your own reply. This means a great deal to me. Each box, below the date below, corresponds to the letter of your choice: A = Funny. B = Informative. C = Clever. D = Distasteful. E = Excellent. F = Frivolous. 1) Please place your cursor arrow onto the little white box, next to the letter, that represents your selection. 2) press down to click. 3) A check mark will then appear, showing that you have voted. The counter for that box, will increment by your one rating (#).

Monday, February 21, 2011

2/21/58 This day in history.

The symbol was designed and completed February 21, 1958 (my birthday!) The name “Generation Jones” has several connotations, including: a large anonymous generation, and a “Keeping up with the Joneses” competitiveness borne from this generation’s populous birth years. The connotation, however, which is perhaps best known stems from the slang word "jones" or “jonesing”, which means a yearning or craving. Jonesers were the people who as teens in the 1970s made this slang word popular, but beyond this historical claim, many believe the concept of jonesing is among this generation’s key collective personality traits. Jonesers were given huge expectations as children in the optimistic 1960s, and then confronted with a different reality as they came of age in the pessimistic 1970s, leaving them with a certain unrequited, jonesing quality.
Born in 1958: January 1 - Grandmaster Flash, African-American hip-hop/rap DJ January 4 - Matt Frewer, Canadian/American actor (Max Headroom) January 26 - Ellen DeGeneres, actress and comedian (Ellen) February 16 - Ice-T, African-American singer, songwriter, and actor (Law and Order) February 21 - Andrew Lerner, blogger. 2/21 - Mary Chapin Carpenter, singer February 26 - Susan Helms, astronaut March 5 - Andy Gibb, English-born singer (Shadow Dancing) (d. 1988) March 8 - Gary Numan, British singer (Cars) March 10 - Sharon Stone, actress (Basic Instincts) March 20 - Holly Hunter, actress March 21 - Gary Oldman, English actor (Air Force One) April 3 - Alec Baldwin, actor (30 RockApril 21 - Andie MacDowell, actress (Groundhog Day). April 29 - Michelle Pfeiffer, actress May 12 - Eric Singer, rock drummer (Kiss) May 29 - Annette Bening, actress June 2 - Lex Luger, professional wrestler June 7 - Prince, African-American musician June 8 - Keenen Ivory Wayans, African-American comedian, actor, and director (In Living Color) June 15 - Wade Boggs, baseball player July 8 - Kevin Bacon, actor (Apollo 13) July 20 - Billy Mays, infomercial salesperson (d. 2009) July 31 - Bill Berry, rock drummer (R.E.M.) August 16 - Madonna, American-born singer, songwriter, and actress (Material Girl) August 16 - Angela Bassett, African-American actress August 17 - Belinda Carlisle, singer (The Go-Go's) August 24 - Steve Guttenberg, actor (Police Academy) August 25 - Tim Burton, film director (Alice in Wonderland) August 29 - Michael Jackson, African-American singer and dancer (The Jackson 5) (d. 2009). September 6 - Jeff Foxworthy, comedian, actor, author (Fifth Grader?) September 6 - Michael Winslow, comedian, actor, voice actor September 22 - Joan Jett, musician October 5 - Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist (NOVA Science NOW). October 14 - Thomas Dolby (Thomas Morgan Robertson), English rock musician (She Blinded Me With Science) October 16 - Tim Robbins, actor November 22 - Jamie Lee Curtis, actress (A Fish Called Wanda) December 11 - Nikki Sixx, rock musician (Mötley Crüe) December 17 - Mike Mills, rock bassist (R.E.M.) December 31 - Bebe Neuwirth, actress (Frasier) 
Many years ago I received up to 12 birthday cards via the postal service. This year, I received one this way, 25 via FaceBook, 2 emails, one before by phone, one voice-mail, and one in person. Thank you to all of my friends that make my life worth living.
Thank you to these FB people, who are responsible for making my birthday happy: Linden Stricker Robin Matheson Dan Lerner Brittany M Dauzat Félix A. Noël Dan Homan, Chantri Waddoups, Arlynn Beyer Palmer, Nancy McKenna, Rachael Sibley, Philip Heffron, Chamier Williams, Bess Ortiz, Anna Lerner, Jennifer Jones, Darcy Galane, Dan Teixeira, Alan Lerner, Joseph Lyric Inforca Lerner, Melanie Lerner, Michael Horn, Jeff Wernick, Shari Rodway Beck, Nancy Goldfarb by voice-mail, and Catherine Parkes Latane by email. Elanor Matheson was represented in the gift card we used for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. (please read my review of our experience)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Keep money here in the U.S.A.

Sometime this year,  we taxpayers will again receive another 'Economic Stimulus' payment.
This is indeed a very exciting program,  and I'll explain it by using a Q & A format:
    Q.  What is an 'Economic Stimulus' payment?
    A.  It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.
    Q. Where will the government get this money?
    A.  From taxpayers.
    Q.  So the government is giving me back my own money?
    A.  Only a smidgen of it.
    Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
    A. The plan is for you to use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.
    Q.  But isn't that stimulating the economy of China ?
    Below is some helpful advice on how to best help the U.S. economy by spending your stimulus check wisely:   
        * If you spend the stimulus money at Wal-Mart,  the money will go to China or Sri Lanka
        * If you spend it on gasoline, your money will go to the Arabs.
        * If you purchase a computer, it will go to India , Taiwan or China
        * If you purchase fruit and vegetables,  it will go to Mexico , Honduras and Guatemala
        * If you buy an efficient car, it will go to Japan or Korea
        * If you purchase useless stuff, it will go to Taiwan
        * If you pay your credit cards off, or buy stock, it will go to management bonuses and they will hide it offshore.
    Instead, keep the money in America by:
    1)  Spending it at yard sales,  or    
    2)  Going to ball games,  or
    3)  Spending it on prostitutes,  or  
    4)  Beer or  
    5) Tattoos.
(These are the only American businesses still operating in the U.S. )
    Go to a ball game with a tattooed prostitute that you met at a yard sale and drink beer all day!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Target Shack

Target has phased out the garden centers in their stores. They are phasing in Fresh produce grocery stores. An agreement has been made with Radio Shack, who now also carries Verizon, to operate mobile phone kiosks within their stores. This will better position Target to compete with Walmart and Best Buy stores. The Bullseye stores seems to be a win-win for both companies. It also fills the void left by Circuit City, Blockbuster, and Sam's Club. They will also carry AT&T and T-Mobile. The logo to the left is clever. It incorporates The newest (radio) R-O logo without using their new moniker of "The Shack". Super Target already has such other stores as Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and Wells Fargo Bank inside their buildings. Having a shack inside for the electronics makes sense. It now has a bigger target.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Happy 1st Anniversary

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Friday, February 04, 2011

Lake Mary Water Tower

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