kitchen table math, the sequel: news hour

Sunday, February 11, 2007

news hour

So yesterday I went downstairs and found Andrew sitting at Christopher's computer watching Nancy Pelosi on YouTube.

Then he scrolled up to the top of the screen and tried to watch Noam Chomsky, but the video was taking too long to load so he typed newshour in the search window and hit Return.

When I went back upstairs he was watching some show on housing prices and the economy. I don't know where he found that one.

This child scares me.



Catherine Johnson said...

For Andrew Barney, Kidsongs, and newshour seem to be on a par.

Catherine Johnson said...

A couple of nights ago when I went downstairs Andrew was watching the Kidsongs video with the orangutan in it.

He was laughing.

LynnG said...

Kind of keeps you on your toes doesn't it? How old is Andrew now? He's not very verbal, right?

Unknown said...

Pelosi? Chomsky?

That would scare me, too.

Catherine Johnson said...

Pelosi? Chomsky?

That would scare me, too.

So meanwhile Ed is egging him on....I'm shouting this info up the stairs and Ed's shouting back down, "Good politics, Andrew! Good work!" and I'm saying "You loathe Noam Chomsky, you do not want an autistic person reading Noam Chomsky!" and Ed's saying, "I don't like Noam Chomsky" etc., etc.

I'm actually concerned about this because autistic people, almost by definition, don't have common sense. (Though Temple has vast stores of common sense so there's an exception to every rule..)

No autistic 12 year old should be watching Noam Chomsky videos.

My best friend from CA told me her son might want to work for the U.N.

I said, "That's good, because if Andrew is able to function independently at all when he grows up he's going to be a crazed, backpacking radical who's going to chain himself to the U.N. gates. So at least he'll have someone inside who knows him."

Catherine Johnson said...



Catherine Johnson said...

He's started writing sentences on his AlphaSmart, though.

He says things like, "Daddy ride bike yes."

"Yes" is his word for "I want this to happen"; it signals something happening as opposed to something not happening; "yes" as Andrew uses it is "positive" in a broad, philosophical sense.

I have to keep notes on how his language develops. It's pretty interesting.

Back around the time of the Afghanistan War Andrew was writing words all over the house in blocks.

One day he wrote "Interpol warning," which he'd seen on his videotapes.

But I'm sure he was writing it because the war was impending.

Christopher started laughing when he saw it, & Ed said, "Don't laugh. He spells better than you do."

He also wrote "Osamy" and "Somaly" on the refrigerator in letter magnets.

Catherine Johnson said...

Andrew is 12.

I assume he tests retarded, though I don't know.

His teachers and aides have always said, "Andrew is so smart" -- I think it's probably true.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...our little Andrew is always a surprise.

You should definitely keep notes on his language development (with all of your free time!). He's a fascinating kid.

Catherine Johnson said...

He really is fascinating - and I know you all know I'm not doing "doting mother" talk here.

I don't think Jimmy and Christopher are fascinating (SORRY JIMMY & CHRISTOPHER!)

Jimmy barely even has a mother these days (fortunately he's still got a dad) and while I'm totally preoccupied with Christopher's education I don't think he's sui generis.

Actually, that's the problem.

He's not sui generis!

If the school doesn't teach him, he's not going to teach himself.

But Andrew.....he really is an interesting case.

I've never heard of anyone like him.

I don't know what to do with him, either.

He has a fantastic teacher, thank God, and a good speech therapist, terrific OT.

That's the irony.

We now have excellent special education for our two special ed kids.

Fighting all the time for excellent education for the regular one.

(We do some battle on Jimmy's program - but that's about resources, getting the school to provide the bus, etc. Teacher is fantastic.)

Barry Garelick said...

Are there any Marshall MacLuhan videos he can watch?

Catherine Johnson said...

Are there any Marshall MacLuhan videos he can watch?

good idea

I bet there are!

SteveH said...

You have to see the Pelosi SNL skit with "palomino", and the blinking eye contest with Dick Cheny. I think they are both on YouTube. I'm sorry, I've spent all of my political angst over the years on Nixon through Bush. I can't take it seriously anymore.

Catherine Johnson said...

the Pelosi SNL skit with "palomino", and the blinking eye contest with Dick Cheny. I think they are both on YouTube. I'm sorry, I've spent all of my political angst over the years on Nixon through Bush

I seem to have reached the same state.

Ed may be getting there with STATE OF DENIAL.

I got it for him for Xmas on the strength of a Peggy Noonan rave review.

He was scandalized I'd gotten him a Woodward book - he's never read one - but he finally cracked it open and he's been reading sections out loud.

It's FANTASTIC (regardless of your politics, I think): it's ALL insider ball.

You get a vivid view of governmental morass and infighting.

He's not quite ready to hang out at the Small-l Libertarian Truck Stop, but if he did he wouldn't think the patrons were speaking in tongues.

Catherine Johnson said...

YouTube has Marshall McLuhan.