Fire-Man / Spider-Man Rescues Autistic Student

The first day of school proved to be too scary an ordeal for an autistic student in Bangkok, Thailand. The teacher from a special needs class alerted the local fire department that a boy was on the third floor balcony and could not be coaxed back inside. After a few failed attempts to coerce him off the balcony, his mother mentioned her son's superhero- Spider-Man. A quick witted fireman rushed back to the firehouse for an outfit change and returned as Spider-Man to rescue! To much relief, the boy succumbed to the safety of Spidey's arms. Kudos to the fireman for using his ingenuity and his costume collection to save the day!
To read more on this story see the links below.

Obama Goes For the Gutter with his "Special Olympics" Bowling Joke

It hasn't even hit the 100 day mark for the new President and already the honeymoon is over. It's way over for me and thank you very much I'm Canadian!
This morning I received a few e-mails containing links concerning President Barack Obama's recent stint on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. To say the least I find it very disappointing and somewhat surprising that Obama would be so insensitive to the learning disabled community. In an attempt to make fun of himself, Obama commented that his low bowling score was suitable only for the Special Olympics. If a world leader finds it acceptable to be so callous then how can we expect the rest of society to be more sensitive when he sets such a poor example? In his effort to come off as self deprecating he ended up insulting a large segment of people and their supporters. As the mother to an autistic young man who participates in Special Olympics Bowling I find the President's comment to be offensive and disparaging. All I can say is, shame on you Barack Obama. Shame, shame, shame!!!

See the story and video links below.

Fantasy and Mystery in a Sea of Self-Discovery Second Edition

The Anastasia Project by Loren John Presley is a science fiction fantasy that is both heartwarming and heart wrenching. The author takes us on a fantastic journey told through the eyes of a dolphin named Anastasia. The reader is introduced to Anastasia as a lost, lonely, and confused dolphin who awakens from a strange sleep. She can’t retrieve her memories or recall her name and doesn’t recognize her surroundings.

On the surface the story is presented as a dolphin’s mysterious adventure but there is a deeper meaning to be found in this dolphin’s tale. The author is also giving the reader a glimpse into his struggles with Clinical Depression. The dolphin travels deep into the ocean in search of her home, which is a metaphor for the author’s experience dealing with depression that sent him descending into the depths of despair “…all the way down to the dimly lit ocean floor.” Anastasia and Presley draw upon their strengths and courage to persevere and navigate through their strange new worlds. Both the dolphin and the author are on personal quests. As Anastasia searches for her lost memories and the safety of home, Presley is on his own mission of self-discovery and on his way to self-acceptance.

Presley portrays Anastasia feelings of hopelessness with her futile exploration of the ocean, “She almost would have liked to give up, not thinking of what she would do with herself if she did, but she felt inside she had to keep going. She must see herself through. Her innate determination would not let her give in so easily.”Presley’s rare insights can be attributed to his unique personal perspective living on the autism spectrum with the diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome. The author describes a common autistic trait through the dolphin’s experience with auditory sensitivities,

“The shrill ring pierced her sound-sensitive brain and throbbed sorely in her head.”The author expresses Anastasia’s loneliness and her desire for a sense of belonging, “Although a sense of serenity and beauty suffused the water and the reef, a disquieting sense of fear began to rise in her core; she found that she was alone.”

The Anastasia Project is written for young readers but I would recommend it to any adult who feels young at heart. The book is well written and eloquently descriptive. A delightful attention to detail can be seen with the bonus of wonderful illustrations sketched by the talented artists, Loren John Presley and Robyn Olague. If you have an appreciation for science fiction or you have a particular affinity for dolphins then this read will keep you riveted. If you are interested to learn from the author’s mixture of creative interpretation and personal experience dealing with Asperger’s Syndrome and Clinical Depression then this book is a definite must read. Loren John Presley is a unique author and artist with a brilliant mind, a creative spirit, an artistic flair, and so many insights to share! Fans of Presley’s writing will be looking forward to more stories from him in the near future!

Visit Loren John Presley's web page links here:

Drug to Cure Learning Disabilities on the Horizon?

A Canadian research team discovered a link to a missing protein in the brain and the development of learning disabilities. The brain cell protein is known as Neto1 and it's job is to help the brain cells communicate with each other. Toronto researchers have also been testing drugs known as ampakines on Alzheimer's patients and witnessed promising results. The patients show improvement in the same area of the brain called the hippocampus which deals with learning and memory. It is undetermined which learning disabilites could also benefit from the drug but the researchers have expressed their guarded optimism.

For more information about the research see the CTV news health article at the link below.