Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Another Hurdle

We finally got John's military ID renewed today. Since he's 21, I had to establish his dependency on me. You'd think all I'd have to do is show he's autistic. That's one small part of it. I had to fill out this 5 page form and show all the financial expenses we've incurs for John for the previous 12 months. It may not sound all that difficult, but try going back through your checkbook and bills for the last year, add them up and divide by 5. Now 6 with the baby.

Since I'm such a procrastinator, I didn't get it submitted to DFAS (and processed) before his 21st birthday. Technically, his last ID card expired. I had to spend several hours on the phone trying to find the right person at DEERS to give us a temporary extension. DEERS is the system that holds the eligibility status and information for all service members and their families.

It all worked out in the end. The good people at DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting) processed his paperwork and we had an approval letter within a week.

Of Course, John didn't mind getting out of school early. He's been in one school or another for 19 years now. That's longer than most doctors and lawyers, but very normal for special needs people. We're still not sure about a follow-on day program after graduation. Our first choice fell through, so we're still looking.

John Crawford

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Stranger than Fiction

Fantasy Author Offers his Autism Story

It has been said that all geniuses must deal with the fate of being misunderstood. Perhaps that is also the fate of those dealing with autism spectrum disorders. Surely Caiseal Mór, bestselling author of The Wanderers Series, The Watchers Series and The Wellspring Trilogy would agree. Diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder around the age of 9, Mór developed a strategy for dealing with the world by assuming different personas—the Mahji, Charles P. Puddlejumper, Marco Polo and Chameleon Feeble—all of whom appear in his autobiography, A Blessing and a Curse: Autism and Me (April 2007; Jessica Kingsley Publishers; $18.95; 978-1-84310-573-2).

“My symptoms aren’t the problem,” Mór writes on his website, “the perception you have of my symptoms is the problem.” His early preoccupation with pretending to be different characters allowed him to deal with the “problem” of perception which manifested itself in the form of ignorance and abuse, but became an invaluable contribution to his fantasy writing. Mór’s captivating autobiography poignantly demonstrates the struggles those living with autism must endure but offers the reader hope that those on the autism spectrum can ultimately accept themselves and live creative, productive and satisfying lives. Though this book is not fiction, A Blessing and a Curse blurs the line between personal experience and fantasy.

Mór’s autobiography is as compelling as any novel and a must read for those dealing with feelings of isolation or disconnect as a result of autism. The depictions of his various personas offer insight into the minds of those dealing with autism and also make clear the tremendous creative potential of those on the spectrum. The progress that has been made in understanding autism since the time of Mór’s childhood during the 1970s is also evident. Remembering the abuses and neglect of his youth, Mór paints a picture that is, in the words of Donna Williams in the book’s foreword, “as beautiful and magical as it is shocking.”

Caiseal Mór is the well-known author of two non-fiction books, twelve fantasy novels, including The Wellspring and Watchers Trilogies, and the composer of six accompanying musical CDs. He lives in Australia with his wife.

Further information about this book may be found on the JKP website:

Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 116 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9JB, UK
Tel: (+44) 020 7833 2307 Fax: (+44) 020 7837 2917 email:

In the US: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc. 400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Tel: (Toll free ordering) 866-416-1078 Tel: (main office) 215-922-1161 Fax: 215-922-1474 email:

Jessica Kingsley Publishers - 20 years of independent publishing 1987-2007
Independent Publisher of the Year
Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year

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