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Merry's Not-So-Funny story
[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]BROADUSC
Thu, 2 May 1996 15:01:06 -0400 (EDT)
After reading Merry Wilcox's 5/2/96 posting concerning the masturbation
incident with her student, I had so many feelings going through my mind. The
most important one, however, was frustration with a minor hint of rage.
I work constantly with preservice art education students trying to
help them have a better understanding of the needs of special students such
as those with autism and other physical, mental, and emotional challenges.
Autism is one that comes to heart! While a doctoral student at OSU, I had
the absolute pleasure of working with a little autistic boy who opened my
eyes, ears, and heart to this tragic disease. I, too, experienced the same
exact incident - numerous times - that you did in your classroom. However,
before working with him, I did take time to learn about autism, the unique
characteristics of this disease, and the common challenges that I might face
while working with him. One of those characteristics is self-pleasure.
According to education and experience, masturbation is a common self-pleasurable
experience for some autistic individuals. So, I was prepared for this kind
of thing when it occured. On the other hand, I didn't look at Greg and say
"YIKES" and consider it a "funny story".
I write this note because I think that Merry's email is a red flag
for all of us in art education and other educational areas. It is our
responsibility, as educators, to become informed in areas such as autism.
On that note, I recommend that readers visit the WWW site of the Autism
Society of America at the following address to learn more about this
OR, use the Search Engines on Yahoo to assist you.
Merry, thank you for opening up a "can of worms" for which all of
us should be attentive!
Asst. Professor of Art
Central Connecticut State University