03 March 2008

Sick, and Other Thoughts

Club Rush is this week, which means I'm going to represent the clubs I lead (including Gay-Straight Alliance and Autistic Rights Advocacy). Hopefully more people will join and attend this semester, now that I've got things a little more organized.

I got a new magnifying glass from the Braille Institute this Friday, so I can actually read my textbooks now! :) I can now get to a backlog of work I have for some of my classes.

For the Club Rush day, I plan to have at the table a jar where people can put a dollar bill or coins into, to go towards our club's book fundraising drive to donate positive and informative books about autism to the local libraries. I am thinking of calling it Education For Autism.

I also want to hand out stickers, and I intend to have some informative videos playing on my computer. I am also putting together flyers and information sheets.

An interesting thing about being sick, I've noticed, is that it takes longer for me to execute certain actions, such as brushing my teeth or going to the bathroom or fixing tea. My skin is really very sensitive right now, much more so than usual, and it is very difficult to coordinate my thoughts.

Hense the rambling nature of the post.

The other night I got frightened because I had had hardly any sleep, and on the ceiling I saw this circle of reflected light on the ceiling. I couldn't figure out the source, though, so I started walking around the room and the hallway, looking to see if I was blocking out the light source and making the ceiling reflection disappear. Twice I succeeded in this, but it wasn't until the second time that I realized what the light source was.

It was a light from the laundry room, which I soon discovered was bounding off of a CD left on top of the sofa. I put it in between the pages of a notebook, as my eyes would play tricks and make me think the light was moving.

It reminded me of when I was very little, maybe about three or four, and I would sit with these small rectangular mirrors, and bounce light from them onto the walls. My dad would join me, and one of us dubbed them UFOs.

A funny thing about the IEP meeting a few weeks ago -- apparently autism isn't even listed in it! They had just listed Speech and Language Impairment. The actual IEP report also has some other glaring omissions, such as saying that adaptive/daily living skills are "not an area of unique need" (even though I'm 18 and in less than a year supposed to live on my own).

It has some mention of social skills difficulty, and states that I have "difficulty to maintain detailed organization with [my] papers and materials". True enough, at least for the latter, but I find it ironic that the difficulties I have that are quite common among people my age get mentioned specifically, whereas my more unique needs are completely ignored, despite my specific input.

In fact, my only social skills deficit (that I can think of) is in cutting into a group that has already formed. My main thing is with figuring out what and how I need to do things in order to get around. How to maintain daily living skills. Why nobody but me (and occasionally, my parents) has been mentioning these things, which are the most important as I'm going to be living independently, I don't know.

My primary issue: Trouble organizing, I can get help from the tutoring and help center available for disabled students. Trouble getting into groups, might impact in lab work or if we have to choose groups for small discussions, but I can usually get around that by approaching the teacher and asking to be placed in a group.

But there isn't going to be a teacher in my dorm room reminding me to brush my teeth and take showers and eat and drink and do laundry. So far, my efforts in these things, even if starting successfully, have deteriorated and I stop doing them.

And so, being sick, I now factor in the additional difficulties of when I'm sick. These things take longer, and get done with far less frequency, when I'm sick and also alone. I usually spend a few weeks to a month or two out of the year sick to some degree (usually only 3-7 weeks a year of really bad -for me- sickness, which is what I'm in the middle of).

I also missed my astronomy class tonight. It's really too bad, since we're starting on new material, and I would've learned what my grade was on the last test.

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