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Comment Tough to generalize (Score 3, Interesting) 289

First, I'll say that there's no one solution here. Autism is a tough thing to put into a single box and find a prescribed set of steps for. People with autism are still people, and we're all different in our approaches to the world around us.

That said, I totally get where you're coming from. My daughter is autstic, and we've spent an enormous amount of time and money on various therapies to help her interact more easily with the world around her. Notice that I didn't say, "change her," or, "cure her," or, "make her fit in." She's a wonderful person who just has a really hard time communicating with others and dealing with the sensory load that people live with all the time. I just want to help her develop the ability to compensate for that so she can have the opportunities to interact with others that she deserves.

But as you've found, it doesn't take long before you're a much better SLP, OT, PT, etc. than the people you're paying for that expertise and help. We've gone through countless therapists of various disciplines because while they had the credentials they had absolutely no practical experience or approach to dealing with autstic people. It's incredibly frustrating for me as a parent, and for my daughter, who really needs to build some long-term relationships with people but can't count on ever seeing the same providers because they either suck, are far too heavily booked because they don't suck, or burn out and go find something easier that pays better.

There are still further questions about whether any of the therapies are effective, since we've only got the one kid and there's no control group to measure against. She's smart and makes progress on her own, and we know how to effectively help her develop because we spend so much time with her. But is she getting any value out of a 45-minute OT session with somebody who's used to helping people learn to eat after a car accident? I have no idea.

But the one thing I do believe is important is to provide opportunities for social interaction. My daughter tends to ave more successful interactions with adults because they're patient and polite and understand that they're not dealing with a standard-issue kid. But it really breaks my heart to take her to a playground. She's cute and happy and wants to meet other kids, so she goes up to them and says, "Hi!" Then the other kid says hi. And then it all falls apart. She doesn't know how to get past that, and the other kids figure out that something weird is going on. They might say one or two more things, but then they give up and wander off. It's too big a barrier to overcome in a casual encounter, and they have better things to do.

Opportunities for mediated playdates are probably the best thing, and we're trying to do more of that. But at least for my girl, equipping her with a basic set of social skills to get past the introduction and on to some further interaction is the thing we struggle with most, and the one thing she needs more than anything else right now. Some of that is communication, but most of it is ritual and nonverbal queues. I think it can be taught - scripted at first, then more natural over time - and should be a priority.

In the end, as a parent, I want my daughter to be happy in life. She's destined to be weird/quirky/odd, and I think that's OK. Like many people here, I work in a field that has a large portion of people who fit that description and I appreciate that. If she chooses to be alone, that's one thing. But I'm going to do everything I can to help her get to the point where she can choose how and when to socialize and to find the people who make her happy and comfortable. Like the OP, I'm interested in hearing from those on the spectrum who are now adults, and their path to where they are now. But please remember that not all autistic people have that choice or capability. There's a selection bias that can't be avoided in soliciting that information, so interpret the responses accordingly.

Comment Well, I work at a bank (Score 1) 224

Fairly high up the food chain in IT, actually. And while it's too late in this case, I'd say that any bank telling you that they don't have a secure method for exchanging sensitive data is not a bank you ought to be doing business with.

There's a whole raft of regulatory compliance and audit requirements that US financial institutions are subject to, and the one in question here is GLBA (Graham-Leach-Bliley Act), which governs how sensitive information must be handled. I'd place a call to the FFIEC and either the FDIC (if it's a bank) or the NCUA (if it's a credit union) and file a complaint. Trust me, regulators don't mess around when applying the smackdown to a bank for something like this.

The CFPB doesn't really have much to do with a bank until it's bigger than $10 Billion in assets, and anybody that big isn't making these mistakes. This is bush-league stuff and the bank in question could use a wake-up call in the form of a fine of MOU so they don't screw other people.

Comment Fuck this guy (Score 0, Troll) 599

Seriously, fuck him. Having been on the receiving end of this kind of crap before, I'm fine with this clown going to jail. A public beating wouldn't disappoint me either.

People who set things up so they're the only ones who can make it work need to face the same kinds of penalties for malpractice in other fields. There is nothing that will make me get rid of an employee faster than job security shenanigans.

Comment Re:1.1 Mil? (Score 1) 103

Good points. The thing is that the KS isn't asking for seed money, although that's another part that's kind of shady-looking. What they're saying is that they'll build the game for $1.1M, but if they get more then they'll make more content. But realistically, I'd expect them to need to add a digit before they had something they could ship. I know there's some economy by using UE4, but they still need to license it and pay for development, QA, etc.

As for how much money they have, you're right - I don't know how much they've spent on keeping the lights on while they do....well, what have they been doing for the past 10 years? There's probably something more to this than what we see here, considering they still ought to have a little bit of cred with the industry. It makes me go hmmm.

Comment 1.1 Mil? (Score 1) 103

Honestly, that's not a lot of money to spend developing a game. I've run software projects on that much that were nowhere close to as involved as game development. So I'm a little suspicious about their projections there.

The other thing is this: these guys don't have a million dollars to drop on this? And no publisher was willing to give the guys who did Myst $1M to build this? Hoe about half? Something just doesn't sound right here.

But I'm in for $45. I'm loyal that way...they have definitely given me a bar tab's worth of fun over the years. I just hope they don't do another Uru.

Comment Different approaches to aid (Score 5, Interesting) 196

About 4 years ago, I took a trip to Ethiopia. One guy I talked to there was the head of an aid organization that helped build infrastructure in the more rural parts of the country. He explained to me that while the Western countries like the US, Germany, the UK, etc donated money to local organizations, the Chinese preferred to come in and do the job themselves. It saves on the corruption and waste, and they get to build a positive impression themselves. So you see lots of Chinese companies there building roads, burying cable, building farms/industry, etc.

He told me they had the right idea. The Chinese are *investing* in Africa as opposed to donating to it. That's going to have a long-term impact on who has more influence in Africa. So yeah, they're going to build surveillance...they're building the infrastructure. If we wanted to stop them, we'd go start building too.

Comment Re:Plead the 27th (Score 1) 1167

+1 dude. Anybody who thinks they're going to protect themselves, family, friends, or property from the government with their guns is living in a fantasy world. You might take a few cops/soldiers with you, but you're still going down. There's simply no scenario where you fend off govt forces and they go away and leave you alone.

Comment Re:Or perhaps... (Score 1) 327

I hear ya. We just had the initial eval for the IEP today, and while the school district people mean well it's pretty clear that we know more about treatment than they do. Based on my discussions with other parents, I'm not optimistic that the school system will do an adequate job. We're going to push for a lot in the IEP and then document actual delivery very closely. If they fail to deliver, NC has a law that says we can put our daughter in a private program at the state's expense. I don't like that option for a lot of reasons, but in the end my goal is to get my daughter the best care and services I can. I've got very few regrets in life, and don't want one of them to be that I didn't do everything I could to give her the best chance at a "normal" life.

I'm not sure what state you're in, but you may have a case if the school says that can't provide care for budget/scheduling reasons. That may be the reality, but the law as I understand it (IANAL, nor do I play one on TV) doesn't permit limitation of services based on availability. In short, if the IEP says your kid needs X speech therapy sessions/week then the school has to provide that or there are steps you can take to get that level of assistance. It's a pain, and it's not going to help you make friends with the people in your school district, but that's not the point. There's a pretty good set of rules and procedures in the IDEA act to make sure the right level of accommodation is being provided.

So I hope it works out for you and your girl. Thanks for doing all of that for her.

Comment Re:Or perhaps... (Score 2) 327

My daughter was diagnosed with PDD-NOS a year ago and turns 3 in January. She's adopted, so I don't know if her birth parents were "smart" or "geeky" but I can second everything else here. My wife and I are smart and geeky, respectively.

After talking with a lot of doctors and specialists over the past year, my feeling is not so much that the incidence of ASD is higher as much as it is that we're identifying it better now. But there are two things I know for sure: that early, intensive intervention is extremely important and that dealing with this disorder is just fucking heartbreaking. Our daughter is at the "mild" end of the spectrum, and we are very fortunate that we're able to afford the speech, occupational, and physical therapy as well as the many specialists who have been involved over the past year. My insurance through work is adequate for regular stuff, but totally sucks for getting treatment for Autism. As a result, we're out-of-pocket to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars just for the past 12 months and it's not looking like that's going to change. All we can do is advocate for her and make sure we exhaust every possible legitimate avenue for treatment and hope we can pull her far enough out of the hole she's in to make a difference.

Still, I can't stress strongly enough that early diagnosis and intervention is the best way to mitigate the effects of Autism. A lot of parents don't want to admit that there could be anything wrong with their child, which just makes things worse for everybody. We all want to think that our kids are perfect and all, but denying that there is a problem leads to bad decisions, lack of care, and much worse outcomes.

So good luck, anonymous dude. Make sure your kid gets a good IEP and starts in the school system at age 3. And keep up the work on all the therapies. Try to get as much ABA therapy as you can afford and stay away from the snake oil "amazing cure" crap. Like you, I have no idea what the future holds but I'm determined to do everything I can to help my daughter be happy and healthy.

Support Desk Software for ITIL-Based IT Department 80

Wasteofspace asks: "At my current workplace (local government, 250 user site) we are currently working towards achieving a more structured IT department using guidelines set by ITIL. Currently we are using a very poor call logging system running on a Lotus Domino Server, that has no tracking, incident management, problem management etc, and does not integrate into our current directory services (Novell NDS, soon to be migrating to Microsoft AD). Does anyone have any suggestions on a provider of an ITIL compliant support desk application, that is reasonably easy to use, has integration into an LDAP compliant directory service, and has self service functionality for users?"

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