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Showing posts from April, 2005

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A + for The A-Word: The most authentic look at Autism on screen.

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I worked for several years with a succession of autistic children—which mostly means boys—kids who were mainstreamed in regular education classrooms, with a classroom aide assigned to shadow them. That was me, the shadow. 

We also lived next door to a family who had an autistic son who became one of our son’s closest playmates, until we moved away at the end of elementary school. Chris, with his funny idiosyncrasies is the source of some very sweet memories, as well as moments of high drama. That’s what you get with autism, children who can be deeply involved when their needs and passions are directed and shared but who can sometimes find it frustrating when those needs are brushed aside. 

It’s typical for an autistic child to want to talk about dinosaurs—or whatever the passion is—and be frustrated while the rest of the kids have moved on to another topic. The autistic child is focused on that stegasaurus and exactly how cool it is, just not quite getting that the others don't shar…

Top Ten Things I bet you didn’t know about L.A.

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1) So how come they’re not on the postcard?
Most of us picture palm trees when we think of L.A., but the coral tree, not the palm, is the official tree of our city. Sometimes called Tiger Claws, the coral trees found along the median strip of San Vicente Blvd in Brentwood, that stretch of the boulevard from 26th Street to Brigham Avenue where once a rail track ran, and now everyone on the Westside runs, are actually designated cultural historical monuments.  The Coral Tree is the official tree of Los Angeles There ought to be a plaque
2) Hot Dog!
We baseball fans love our Dodger dogs as much as we love the boys in blue. More hot dogs are eaten at Chavez Ravine – over 2 million a baseball year—than in any other major league ballpark in the country!
3) How much by the glass?
We take for granted that when we go to the Getty, we’re going to get one of those great L.A. city views. What’s unexpected is what we see as the museum’s tram traverses the hill— a six acre vineyard growing on a steeply…