Who Else Does it Hurt?


Autism is a mental health disease that affects the development of children, specifically areas that are affected by the disease are the communication and interaction of these children with other children. The children who have autism require a lot of attention and they are very complicated children.

I have a neighbor, Maddox, who is eight years old and he has autism. I often have to babysit him and I have never realized until I stated babysitting him that children with autism require so much attention and exactly what goes into having or caring for a child with autism. Maddox has to get therapy everyday to help develop his social skills, and this therapist has to come to the house. Maddox needed to attention a special schools because the schools in our area were unable to accommodate his mental illness. He needed to attend a school for special needs kids that had the teachers who had the proper training to help him become more social as well as teach him things that the kids his age were learning. This disease affects to much of his life, and will for the rest of his life. He is often very shy and is awkward when placed in a situation in which he has to communicate with others, including with his own family.

After I had babysat Maddox for a year, I wanted to learn more about autism so I went to a hospital and asked one of the pediatricians what exactly happens to a child with autism and what the process of diagnosing a child with autism means. She then told me that most parents will bring their child in because they notice that their child isn’t as social as other children. These parents, more often than not, talk about how their children seem to develop a bit more slowly social but then are very bright and develop intellectually much quicker than other children.

After this visit with the doctor, I decided that this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a pediatrician so I could help children like Maddox and be able to watch them grow and develop. I would be able to help change the way they live, for better or for worse. This is when I decided that this was exactly what I wanted to do.


Works Cited

Sam, Hall. “School Eases Transition into Mainstream.” Illawarra Mercury 29 Mar. 2011: 20. Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 13 Apr. 2016.

This article “School Eases Transition into Mainstream” by Sam Hall discusses the different ways that schools have changed the way that the students with autism are treated, without having to send them to a school for special needs kids. The children have started to be able to attend schools and normal classes in which they have teachers that work with the kids with autism without taking away from their learning abilities. The article talks about how in 2009, 119 students with autism were transitioned into the elite eight schools without any issues and were able to learn without any problems.

Moon, Jill. “Autism: Getting Help Early for Your Children is Essential for Development.” Telegraph, The (Alton, IL) 10 Apr. 2007: Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

This article “Autism: Getting help early for your children is essential for development” by Jill Moon discusses the different statistics of children with autism and how autism affects the child’s development. According to Jill Moon, one in 500 children is affected by autism.

The article then goes on to talk about a specific case in which a child by the name of Brendan McRae is diagnosed with autism at the age of of nine, when most children are diagnosed before the age of three. The reason that Brendan was diagnosed was not because he had a low IQ, he, instead, had a high verbal IQ and a significantly lower performance IQ. Brendan has a form of autism that is considered a high functioning form of autism, known as Asperger Syndrome.

As far as Brendan’s development as a young child, he developed quickly. He was speaking at six months and he had a large vocabulary by two years old. Brendan’s mother recounts that when he was twenty months old she had placed the foam letters from his bath out of order and he reordered them in the correct order. Even though he was very smart, his teacher when he was 3 asked his mother if he was deaf. As he got older, they noticed that he was often more withdrawn than the other kids. When he was five, he would hide in the bathroom during free time instead of interacting with the other kids.


Whitehead, Katherine, Diana Dorstyn, and Lynn Ward. “Psychological Adjustment in Families Affected By Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Journal Of Developmental & Physical Disabilities 27.5 (2015): 703-717. Academic Search Premier. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

In the article “Psychological Adjustment in Families Affected By Autism Spectrum Disorder”, Katherine Whitehead discusses the effects that a child with autism has on the caregiver and the rest of the family. Some ways that a caregiver can be affected are through the social aspects due to the amount of time that they spend with the child that has autism. This time can be used to take the child to therapy or whatever else the child requires.

Another way that the caregiver can be affected is by changing their personality to fit one of a caregiver. The child that has autism requires a level of patience, compassion, life purpose, and selflessness that not everyone has. This is best defined as resilience.

This article then starts into the experiment that the preformed in which they took 438 female caregivers and looked at their depression and anxiety levels as well as looking at their resilience level based on the Connor Davidson scale. The results showed that the caregivers stated that the variables are “out of their control” and these caregivers are more often than not avoiding their own poor mental health.




Cats, Dogs, and Hedgehogs: Oh My!

Paul Muldoon writes a poem titled “Hedgehog”, Muldoon then came to Lenoir Rhyne as a Visiting Writer in the Spring of 2016. Muldoon talks about a hedgehog’s personality and the tendencies that hedgehogs have in his poem. He refers to the way that the hedgehog “gives nothing away” and how the hedgehog is distrustful to others when they are afraid of the outside world.

The author, Paul Muldoon, talks of how hedgehogs are very secluded and how when they fear for their own wellbeing, they ball up within themselves underneath their sharp spikes and they hide away from anything on the outside.

The reference to hedgehogs and how they are very shy and are unable to connect with the outside world in an analogy to how it is hard for humans to connect to something specific and how if we have a fear, we would rather hide away than confront our fears. For me, one of my biggest fears is spiders, so when I see a spider I ask someone else to kill the spider to avoid the issue all together. This connects with Paul Muldoon’s overall poem because the analogy that he is making is that we are like hedgehogs, and when we need to confront our fears we are like the hedgehog and we hide from out problems.

Work Cited

Muldoon, Paul. “Hedgehog.” Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 4/13/2016


Step by Step

Anne Lamott, writer of Shitty First Drafts, shares with us how she goes about writing her first draft to all her writing. She discusses the steps and how she thinks that it you should just be able to write down the thoughts that cross your mind.

When I read the chapter Shitty First Drafts something that stood out to me was when at the end she uses the analogy about the first, second, and third drafts. The first draft is the “down draft” where you simply just need to get everything down. The second draft is the “up draft” where everything from the first draft is fixed up. Finally, the third draft is the “dental draft” where you go over it carefully and determine if the work is good or if you should go back over it again.

In some ways, this process reminded me a lot of the process that I often use where I brainstorm and write down any and all points that have to do with the topic. I then add details to the main topics and cross out thing that I feel as if aren’t throughly developed. I then write down all these things in paragraph form so that way I have an idea of where the holes are in my writing. I then go over and reread and go over it with a great amount of detail.

Lamott, Anne. “Shitty First Drafts.” College of Arts & Sciences Writing, Rhetoric & Digital Studies. U of Kentucky, n.d. PDF. 5/6/2016.

Why even go?

Garrison Keillor, author of “College Days”, wrote the short story about the reason behind why he went to college and what he experienced while he was there, starting out with talking about the first couple of days and the things that followed. These included the jobs that he had in college and the experiences he had in some of his classes. When I read the story for the first time, I took careful notice to the moment in which he says that he talks about why he went to college in the first place and who where the people that motivated him to go. In the story he says that his biggest motivators were some of his high school teachers that had seen that he would do bigger things, shown by when his teacher paid him to write her obituary before she died. I can relate to this story because when I was trying to decide if I want to play soccer in college I found people who motivated me to want to play and who thought that I would do big things if I continued my soccer career. My sophomore year when I started to make the decision of it I wanted to continue my career in soccer after high school, a former coach reminded me that I play because I “love the game for all it has taught me and for the things it had given  me”. This made the decision easy, I would play to continue to receive the gifts that the game has given me. I have not once regretted my decision, even through the pain of the conditions my team has had to endure.

Housing: New or Old?


A blogger by the name of Anna Altman decided that instead of only writing blogs, she would branch out to a wider community when it came to the topic of college housing. Altman wrote the blog “A College Education Should Include Rooming with A Stranger” in September of 2014. In the article, it talks about how if you room with a stranger then it forces so many students out of their comfort zone and they start to branch out with the different types of people that the students would normally become friends with. Altman also says that being in such close proximity to so many people that they don’t know, then they will start to make friend within this group of people, and some will even find life time friends.

When I came to college, I had picked my roommate from the soccer team and it had been someone of which I had gotten to know before we decided to room together. My roommate and I had seemed so similar and we thought it would be a perfect match. Little did we know that this would not be the case at all. When we met through soccer we had connected instantly. We were able to talk everything without ease. It felt as if she was getting to know me for me. It soon changed when we got to school. Being in such proximity constantly, on the field, in the classroom, and in the room, was driving both of crazy. We both started to sleep elsewhere at least three times a week to give the other some room. We started to realize just how different we were from each other and how many things that the other one did that drove the other person crazy. She later ended moving out a couple months in to save a friendship that was well developed.

In the article by Altman, she states that “Who you live with can change your studying habits, influence how much alcohol you drink and encourage (or prevent) weight gain and mood disorders.” Even if you know your roommate and you know that they are extremely smart, for example, it can still affect you in a negative way. In my case, my roommate was extremely bright and such a good student that she reminded me of the things I failed at and I started to doubt myself so often when it came to my school work. My grades then took the toll because I was unable to just do what I knew I needed to and I focused so much on what my roommate was doing. If we had been more on the same level then I feel that we would have helped to motivate each other, instead of one of us doing the motivating and the other feeling useless.

On the other hand, my best friend is someone that I did not know when I came here and her and I became very close very quick. Sarah and I come from very similar backgrounds and we have similar interests and we think very much the same. Since I did not know her when I got here, I didn’t have any expectations on how our relationship should or would be. When you come to college and know someone, you have the expectation that they will stay the same person that were before they went to college and they feel the same way. Instead, what normally ends up happening is that when students get to college and realize just how much freedom they now have, they change in major ways that you didn’t expect. That is where some of the stress and frustration comes from.

In the article, “A College Education Should Include Rooming with a Stranger” by Anna Altman talks about the positives of rooming with a stranger when you get to school. She states that rooming with someone you didn’t know before you went to school gives you a push out of your comfort zone so you can start to become friends with someone that you wouldn’t be friends with on a normal basis. In my case, I was able to get along much better with someone that I didn’t know before I got to school than the person that I knew when I got to school. In this sense, the article was correct in saying that it is better to have a college roommate that is a stranger instead of someone you know.


Works Cited

Altman, Anna. “A College Education Should Include Rooming With a Stranger.” New York Times. New York Times, 7 Sept. 2014. Web. 20 Jan. 2016.


“Snow Day”

There is a poem called “Snow Day” by Billy Collins, the schools have all been closed in the area, which means snow day. The author first wakes up to so much snow that they can’t see what they would see on a normal day, such as the trees and  the grass, the sight before them is foreign compared to what they normally see. They then end the poem talking about young girls plotting what seems to be a snow ball fight against some other young lady, and they are attempting to choose their victim. For my word choice that I looked at, I looked at the word “prisoner” in line 16. The line says “But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house” (line 16). The word prisoner normally has a negative connotation in which you think of someone who is being held against their will in either a prison or somewhere that resembles a prison. The author is trying to express the fact that normally they do not want to spend all their time in the house, but yet on this snow day that is exactly where they would like to be. The word prisoner allows the reader to see that normally the author would prefer to not stay in the house but since there is snow everywhere, they are willingly staying in today.