Madam, Your Son is Autistic.

Professor Charton, Mrs. Charton, your son is autistic.  My recommendation is you institutionalize him, there’s nothing you can do for him.

By that, you should not be reading this post.  Of course the usual response is the Bill Cosby skit about HIS dad.  “I brought you in this world, I’ll take you out and make another one JUST like you!”

Recently, my mother typed up for me what was going on in my young life.  How I started talking normally, but then suddenly stopped.

My father’s response to this was an emphatic NO!  (There may have been times later where he regretted that, but that’s another chapter).

Dear Reader, at this point, you need to understand something.  Dad was going for his PhD in Organic Chemistry, had a teaching load at Pratt Institute, and now had a son labeled autistic to cope with.  This was the early 1960′s.  You get the drift.  He could’ve just as easily thrown up his hands and walked away.  He didn’t.  That’s why he was my hero.  I said in my memorial to him, “If I could be one tenth what he was, I would be doing well.”

Dad made me come out of my shell.  Suddenly, I started talking again.  We will never know what or why.

My wife Elaine wonders, if what I really had (have)? is a mild form of Asperger’s.

I borrowed a new book from the library about this, by a psychologist named Tony Attwood, called The Complete Guide to Asperger’s.  I read the book, and gulped, thinking, “Most of this could be autobiographical.”

You can read about it, but now I will tell you some of what happened to me, and the observations I’ve made.

I got bullied a lot, until later I got big enough to BE the bully.  Whether human beings like it or not,  we are part of the animal kingdom. Other kids recognize the one who’s different.  Not saying right or wrong, more saying what I think is.

Also, you develop more slowly.  One thing I read about people with Asperger’s is enjoying travel.  It makes sense.  I tend to explore cultures, almost like an Anthropologist.  If I commit a faux-pas in Italy, I’m just the clumsy Yank.  If I do it at home, I’m a jerk.  I almost had to be an Anthropologist, in my own culture.  The social cues you get through growing up, for me were learned.  When to learn you are being overbearing and/or, boring someone.

It made me learn, why I could get interviews, but not hired and when I was younger, problems in workplaces.  Better late than never, or the French version of the phrase I remember from French class, “Mieux Vaux tard que jamais!”

Asperger’s was only discovered as a separate syndrome in 1981.  I realized if I’d been form from 1975 on, I would have had a very different life.   There would have been more support systems.  There would have been more of a roadmap.

Should you tell your young child (s)he is autistic and/or has Asperger’s?  From my own insight (I am no clinician, can only give you my own experience), it could cut both ways.  The child could use it as a crutch to not achieve, or with proper guidance will end up in the right place.

I ended up in the right place.  All I can think of is the humorous things I see on Facebook, about growing up, we didn’t have all sorts of safety devices and we made it through.

How did I develop this insight?  I was arrested and sentenced to anger management, (which I playfully refer to as “Naughty Counseling).”  That one is not a freebie, you will have to buy the book when I write it. :)

I’ve been reading about Temple Grandin, an autistic woman who became a researcher about the subject.

With what scientists are learning about genetics and the brain, I wonder what else will be learned?  Was autism once a primitive human defense mechanism?  We are always learning something.

I used to be ashamed.  Proud of what I’ve accomplished.

Advice for young people who read this?  I know how hard it is, not to be the popular kid in the herd.  Be yourself!  Know what you have to offer.  I’m thinking about this, because of my father.  The second anniversary of his death was this past Saturday, April 12th.  He always told me, be yourself.  As a teen, it was hard to believe him.  He was right.  When I spoke at his memorial, I mentioned much of what’s in this essay.  It turned out three people in the audience could relate to it.

This is why I am writing this.  My goal is to help others.  I may not be wealthy, but I can type. :)    Please feel free to respond and ask questions.




Posted in A Sarcastic Look at Life, A Silly Look at The World, Asperger's, Autism, Marvin Charton, Philosophy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Some Brits Think the US is in Decline.

When I asked my friend why she and other British people thought the U.S. is in decline, this was her response:

its because the US are involved in so many foreign wars, so frequently, and mostly in oil rich territories Michael..and the US govt and UK govt are in collusion to get as many resources as possible.This is why Putin has been made to look like a tyrant, same as Sadam, Gaddafi,Syrian president, et al in the last few decades. Every body is bad and the US is saving everybody from themselves evidently? thats the viewpoint here, but obviously the US public are told differently, that Al Quaeda threaten world peace. We understand that Al Qaeda are a CIA creation.

First let me answer all the foreign wars.  That’s a major issue to Americans now.  Many in this country still believe Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and we did the right thing by going in there.

Are the chickens coming home to roost with Al-Qaeda, from arming many of them to fight the Russians in Afghanistan?  Probably.  As for the oil, we are developing enough of our own resources, so we will need foreign oil less and less.

We can’t play world cop any longer, even if so desired.  I have a book for my readers.  Amy Chua (Known by many as the “Tiger Mom).”  The title of the book is Day of Empire.  Would you consider the United States an empire?  Probably not, we only had a brief, limited colonial empire (Philippines, mainly).

Do I think the United States is in decline?  We’ve had setbacks, but we’ve had them before.  I hate being a futurist, because you can only go with the evidence you have.  I think from our history, we will pull through as long as the American Promise is still there.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Shooting in the Kansas City Jewish Center.

The day before Passover begins.  I’ve been past synagogues in Europe, that have cops with machine guns in front of them.  Never thought of having to have that here.

Just because this sort of hatred has become rare, doesn’t mean there aren’t lone crazies out there, who may carry out such an attack.

Begs my next question.  As the National Rifle Association has suggested armed teachers, and still thinking about what happened in Murrysville, PA last week, could trained people with firearms have prevented this?

Need to do much examining of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.



Posted in A Sarcastic Look at Life, Jews, Judaism, Philosophy, Uncategorized, United States | Tagged , | Leave a comment

New York Pizza in Tucson

There is a New York Pizza across the street from my home.  Inexpensive and the best pizza I have had here.  Two slices will fill you and I can get my anchovies on them.  (I already hear many crying ewwww).  My choice.



Posted in A Silly Look at The World, New York, Pizza, Tucson, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton and the Shoe.

George W. Bush with a shoe thrown at him looked like a deer in the headlights.  Different circumstances, though, having it done in Iraq, where in the Arab world, that was a major insult.  No telling what another Arab would’ve done, under those circumstances.

Now we come to Hillary Clinton.  She had lots of humor for it and fun with the shoe thrown at her.  A fashionista might have said, “What, no Loboutin’s? “

Hillary handled it well.  There’s also the line from Monty Python’s Life of Brian when he runs out of his shoe and they grab it.

If the shoe fits.


Posted in A Sarcastic Look at Life, A Silly Look at The World, How Monty Python Ruined My Life | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Chicagoland, Episode Six. Gunshot Victims, Gunshot Repairmen, School Attendance and New Beginnings.

In this episode of Chicagoland, you got to see the survivors of being shot in South Side gang violence.  Then, down the assembly line to Dr. Dennis at Cook County Hospital.  It was nice to see Dr. Dennis and his wife attend the concert in the park.  Then Riccardo Muti, director of the Chicago Symphony spoke about Chicago as a great American city and bringing music to the entire city.

So, yes, I started this with gunshot victims then the gunshot repairmen at Cook County Hospital.

The school attendance goes back to Fenger High School, where Principal Elizabeth Dozier may have to cut positions, because they have lost so much money from too few students attending.  Will have to see if there is an eleventh hour rescue.  I hope so, for her sake.

Eric Wilkins, a gunshot victim himself struggles to keep the peace in his South Side neighborhood and prevent others from getting shot.  One scene made you realize how quickly anger boils over.  These kids have to make the decision to step back from the edge.  I get that it isn’t easy.  I’ve toyed with that edge in my younger days.  So this isn’t abstract for me.  The change has to come from within.  You have to know what you have to lose.

Mayor Emanuel was working to expand the Chicago Transit Authority Red Line and bring stores to neighborhoods without them.  It means jobs and places to shop.

Mayor Emanuel hit the nail on the head, when he said Chicago has to work at it to be a top level city.  It helps that the President of the United States went from Hyde Park Chicago to the White House.


Posted in A Sarcastic Look at Life, Barack Obama, Chicago, Chicagoland | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicagoland Episode 5. Back to School.

The Fire Department is helping to escort kids in the designated safe zones.  The cops are keeping the gang members at bay.  Principal Dozier is looking for kids who aren’t in school, because she’s losing money per student.


At the 1871 High Tech building, there is a show for companies to meet investors.


Posted in Chicago, Chicagoland | Tagged , | Leave a comment