Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Autism Educational Challenges, Thomas Henry Huxley, Blaming Illness, and Taronga Zoo

1. Read article about how parents in Australia are being forced to homeschool their autistic children because there are no better alternatives.

Though I love homeschooling and think it's great for families dealing with autism, I think it shouldn't have to be a choice made out of desperation.   

I don't necessarily blame the schools.  Classroom management is hard, and it gets even more difficult when there are children with behavior issues.

Well, maybe I should say I don't blame the teachers for having a difficult time with it.

I think maybe the government should provide families with shadow teachers. This way the child can have a one on one experience while also having a classroom experience. Does that help? I'm not sure.  I've heard of families using one, but I'm not sure if they found it very helpful or not.

I'm also not sure of the cost. There are a lot of autistic children out there. Is is realistic to imagine they can all be provided with intensive one-on-one help in the classroom?

Probably not.

2. Felt maybe homeschooling has to be the way to go. Maybe there's no other solution. 

I know there are certainly families using the school system, and it IS working for them. I just don't think there are funds and resources available to help all the families with autism. But maybe it would work to help homeschooling families instead. What if parents kept their children at home, but the government provided them with a stipend for educational materials, and therapy a few times a week?

3. Wanted to say that we're having the same problems here too.

It's probably a struggle for families, schools, and governments all over the world.  

4. Looked at a website about financial assistance for families with autism in Australia.

Early intervention seems to be the keyword. There's a government initiative called HCWA (Helping Children with Autism).  They provide $12,000 worth of early intervention therapy that can be used until the child's seventh birthday. Then there is medicare stuff for ages (7-13), but I don't really understand that.  I mean I don't know how much money it involves. I also don't know how much intervention $12,000 provides for a family.  It sounds very generous, but I don't know how much therapy $12,000 pays for. 

5. Felt early-intervention is probably important, but families still need help as their children get older. 

6. Saw that Netflix doesn't yet have the last season of Rake.

I hope they get it. 

7. Started to watch Netflix's last episode of Rake.

8. Saw Australia mentioned on our biology Crash Course. It's about comparative anatomy. There was a British guy named Thomas Henry Huxley—very important guy.  Hank Green says he's the father of comparative anatomy and modern paleontology; and he's also the one who came up with the bird-dinosaur connection. 

At one point, he went on a ship to Australia.

And maybe he actually stayed in Australia for awhile. I don't know, because I paused the video to write all this.

I'll keep watching.  

9. Confused a bit, but I think the point is that the trip to Australia is what pushed him from being a physician to being someone who studies animals.

10. Bemused that multiple characters on Rake blame mental illness and/or medication for their illegal behavior.  Meanwhile, there was a character (Adrienne Pickering) who truly was depressed. She endured her depression; then managed to be okay again.  She didn't use her depression as an excuse for bad behavior.

Yeah. I know. Sometimes mental illness DOES cause bad behavior. The characters I refer to, though, were not mentally ill, as far as I know.  I mean the show gave no evidence of it. The first I heard of it was in the courtroom scene when they were testifying.

People really do have various medical and mental conditions that cause them to act illegally and immorally...or just annoyingly.  But other people without such conditions will sometimes fake the conditions or exaggerate conditions in order to avoid being blamed for something.  Then there are also people who truly have medical/mental conditions, and use them as a crutch.  I think it's hard to deal with this, because if you're their victim, you don't know if it's okay to be angry.  If your mildly schizophrenic friend screams at you or sexually attacks you, should you easily forgive them because they're ill?  Does being depressed give a man an excuse to kick his wife?  

11. Finished watching season two of Rake.  

I loved it as much as I loved the first. I hope Netflix will have the third season.

12. Went to Random.org to pick my next show.

It's The Boys are Back, which is one of the movies I found the other day.

Now I don't remember anything about it.

I also have to figure out if I found it on Hulu or Netflix.  

13. Found the movie on Netflix.  

I'll watch that on Thursday and Friday. I'm usually going to break movies up into two parts.

14. Looked at the cast.

Clive Owen is the star. He's the one from Saving Mr. Banks, I think. I get the Clives confused. 

15. Saw that Clive Owen is not from Saving Mr. Banks. Shit. 

16. Saw that it's not Clive anything in Saving Mr. Banks. It's Colin Farrell. 

Shit again.

It's not the Clives that confuse me.  It's the Colins! And now I'm also confusing the Clives with the Colins.  

17. Wanted to mention that Clive Owen is British, not Australian.  

The movie is Australian-British. It's filmed in both South Australia and the United Kingdom.   

18. Saw that the movie was directed by Scott Hicks.  Hicks began his life in Uganda; moved to England as a child; and then later to Australia.

19. Saw that Scott Hicks directed Hearts in Atlantis and Shine.

20. Saw that Erik Thomson from Packed to the Rafters is in The Boys are Back. 

Also, there's Emma Lung from Wonderland and The Straits.  

21. Saw Nathan Page in the credits. I know him from The Secret Life of Us and Underbelly.  

22. Learned that the movie is a single-father kind of thing.

I wonder if it will be a tear-jerker.

I think it's supposed to be.

If I don't cry, I'll feel the movie has failed me.  

23. Found an Australian video for our World War I curriculum today.  It's called "Bogan Explains Anzac Day". I listened to the first minute or so. It sounds informative and thought-provoking. He talks about how World War I feels unreal because we live in a colorful world, and we look at photos of this black and white world. I think sometimes it's hard to believe that people from 50+ years ago lived in a world of color.

People living on farms in Kansas actually had color in their lives BEFORE they got swept away to Oz.

24. Started watching an episode of Upper Middle Bogan.

It might be hard for me to have love for Julie Wheeler (Robyn Maxwell) for awhile, because now I associate Maxwell with her scary-bitchy character on Rake.

25. Could understand Bess's (Annie Maynard) anger at her husband Danny (Patrick Brammall) for lying after promising her he doesn't lie.   

He tries to defend himself by pointing out that he lied about small trivial things. She responds by saying that if he lies about small things, what's he going to do when there's a need to be honest about big things.  

I think it's hard to trust someone after they lie, even if it's about trivial things.  I'm not talking about polite lies like yes, you look good in that hat.  It's more about lies people tell to prevent getting themselves in trouble.  The worse is the person who lies about what you've seen with your own eyes. 

Why did you do that?

I didn't!

But I just saw you.

And they insist it didn't happen.

Either I have bad eyes or someone wants me to believe I have bad eyes.

26. Went to palg1305's Flickr account.

Today I'm going to look at his Taronga Zoo album.

27. Saw a crocodile photo.

That image is something that I'd love to see at a zoo or any other protected situation. I wouldn't want to encounter that while swimming or hanging out near the water.

28. Thought this was a great giraffe photo.

If I get reincarnated as a giraffe, I hope I'm a Taronga Zoo giraffe. They have such a fantastic view of the Opera House. It's major prime real estate.  

29. Wondered if zoo animals could be counted as expats.

Then again, most of them are probably descendants of animal born in Australia.  The giraffes might be second or third generation Australian.  

30. Thought this lizard was cute.

But really. When are lizards not cute?

31. Thought this was a unique and gross photo of a frog. It looks like a vegetable. 

32. Decided it looks like a demented avocado.

33. Thought this photo could be used for public service posters about depression.

34. Wondered if this snow leopard is trying to be cute.

I think he is. 

It looks like he's posing.