Sunday, October 25, 2009

Reflections on Eye-tracking

Reflections on Eye-tracking

Reflecting on this study done by Dr. Klin of Yale’s Child Study Center, we can begin to relate the way early childhood television watching could affect a child predisposed to autism spectrum disorders. Upon typically socially developing people take for granted that they assume/fill-in the gaps of what televisions figures (like cartoon characters and representations of real people and animals) are and what they are socially doing and socially meaning. They are either live recordings of people and animals, or they are movies, shows, and cartoons that use the audience’s prior social knowledge to interact with people watching television. But with toddlers growing up with autism, Klin’s study suggests that those toddlers understand television figures as only or mostly as moving lines, shapes, and dots with corresponding sounds. But the toddlers with autism are not able or it is extremely difficult for them to understand or begin to fill-in what those figures on-screen mean socially.

Let’s note what a child, who has a predisposition toward this social developmental disorder of autism notices as they become more involved with television watching and what the typically developing children notices as they become more involved in television watching. To understand the sounds and motions of the television as providing typical social cues, the typically developing child has to be able to also pick up on social interaction cues with other people. If the child has a predisposition towards the autism spectrum then they are learning what the television’s actions are doing rather than learning what the television is socially relating to the viewer from a broader social sphere, their young developing mind is still zealously making connections, and eventually the young child will begin to settle on the socialization habits of the television programming itself.

So the child who has a predisposition towards autism, would trend towards
the more limited social development provided by the television, and the typically developing child would have more access to broader biological and physiological socialization along with television programming. So, the child with a predisposition toward autism would become, first much more attune to what television’s on-screen actions are, which lack the biological and physiological structures of social development and then the child would become more attune to television programming’s socialization which provides a more confining social development sphere.

Since television watching cannot provide the same biological and physiological basis for the toddlers’ socialization as other humans can, and television watching cannot provide the same basis of general experience/exploration for the toddler to their world around them, a child who was prone to and became socialized by the television would experience a more difficulty interacting in a broader social sphere. Nor do I think the inventors and current developers of television would claim that television was meant to substitute a broader social sphere, since its programming is largely contingent on the happenings of the broader social sphere. Television viewing is intended to be understood, within the larger social and exploratory spheres, but it can go from a smaller context, to the main socializing context for children predisposed to autism. This brings up our concern that television may not be an acting impetus for autism, but simply an avenue that children with autism can tend towards.

This is a legitimate concern, but I think that this concern can be eased. Whether you believe that early childhood television watching is an impetus for autism or whether you believe that children with autism are predisposed to focusing on relating with television programming, or whether you adhere to certain qualities in both views; either way, there is a relationship and how much of this relationship that we investigate is not up to us, it is up to the how much it helps a person with autism.


Bruce Bower. “Autism Immerses 2-year-olds in a Synchronized World.” (Science News, April 2009,

Friday, October 23, 2009

Eye-tracking Devices Used in Autism Research

Eye-tracking Devices in Autism Research

Eye-tracking devices are being developed to do mainstream jobs; like replace the mouse sitting next to your keyboard. While those mainstream activities and distributions are still in the works, eye-scanning devices are already being used for medical endeavors. They have been used to assist in surgeries and also help record what the surgeon’s eyes are doing during the surgery .

The eye-scanning devices that are currently being used in autism research are like the ones being developed to replace your computer’s mouse; they record what the person’s eyes are looking at on-screen and measure the amount of time that the person looks at the object(s) on-screen . Before we proceed; a quick reminder for those who may be new to investigations about autism disorder.

Autism is a social developmental disorder, so developing a healthy social life and engaging in social interaction, such as a two-way conversation, is much more difficult for a young child growing up with autism. Researchers are curious as to how children with autism do socially develop and interact. So these researchers, such as Dr. Ami Klin, have been using eye-tracking devices to get a glimpse at what children with Autism are paying attention to at young ages, during their key social development phases. What Dr. Klin has found is of interest to the investigation of autism and its relationship to early childhood television watching.

The study took toddlers who were growing up with Autism and using eye-tracking devices, Dr. Klin and his research team watched what the toddlers with Autism were paying attention to on-screen. They compared what toddlers who were growing up with Autism were paying attention to with toddlers who had other developmental delays and toddlers who were typically developing.

The toddlers watched point-light cartoons (where a moving human figure is shown only as points of light; the elbow is a point of light, the knee, the foot, and so forth are points of light). The typically developing toddlers, along with the toddlers with non-autistic developmental delays favored viewing the point-light cartoons of people playing when the people were facing upwards. Toddlers with autism did not favor the people facing upwards, they favored both the point-light cartoons of people that were facing up and the ones that were upside-down. The toddlers with autism did not favor the movement of the human body, what they did favor was the movement of the points of light corresponding with sound. When the sounds did not match the upside-down video, that was also playing in reverse, the sound did not correspond to the repetitive movements and the children with autism favored the video where the sound matched the movements.

Dr. Klin’s study suggests that while toddlers growing up with Autism pay attention to the details of the corresponding relationship between sound and movement, they do not pay attention to the details of social cues from body movement. Also the toddler may not notice the social meaning placed in the detail of the look in their parent’s eyes, instead of being naturally inclined toward eye-contact, Klin’s study points to toddlers with autism being more inclined to pay attention to the movement of the parent’s mouth corresponding with the sound of their voice. And although other studies find adolescents with autism (8-12 years old) paying attention to people’s eyes as much as typically developing adolescents, it is clear that the adolescents with autism still have a much more difficult time discerning what social cues that eyes are giving mean, and that still points to not being as engaged with, simply the meaning of social cues in peoples’ eyes when the adolescent was a toddler with autism.


Jose Fermoso. “Six technologies that may or may not kill the mouse in five years.” (Wired News, July 2008.

Administration Post. “The future of Eyetracking.” (Web Analytics Book, September 2007.
Jose Fermoso. “Six technologies that may or may not kill the mouse in five years.”

Bruce Bower. “Autism Immerses 2-year-olds in a Synchronized World.” (Science News, April 2009,

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Autism Prevention Letter Revised

Hello Parents, Families, Neighbors, and Doctors ~

I’m sure that many of you are feeling are sorts of joys, hardships, hopes, pressures, and victories as you wake up each day to help your child, friend, and patient who is growing up with autism. Each of you are helping children, teenagers, and adults growing up with autism; I pray this letter to you will be an encouragement to keep moving steadfastly forward in your individual, family, and community efforts to help your neighbors and loved ones who are growing up and living with autism.

I would like to share with you some ideas that about Autism prevention that could also effect early Autism treatment and more general treatment; ideas which have come about from the research and hard-work of concerned parents, professionals, and news-writers.

The ideas that I’m sharing with you are about the relationship between television and autism. I have been connecting the dots between television and Autism using statistical and symptom-based evidence, along with concrete real-life examples. I’m sharing with you some useful, practical, and personal connections of this relationship.

The purpose of this letter is to encourage: parents, families, neighbors and doctors to investigate the relationship between television and Autism. And that investigation has already taken place, from the clues provided in your own:

● Homes
● Communities
● Schools
● Research Centers
● Autism Societies and Networks
● Medical Offices

And the investigation continues, Lord willing, here and now, by reading this letter.

Dear Friends,

I began growing up with epilepsy at the age of 15. It was December in Southern California, and I had been playing Frisbee all day, I didn’t each much more than a burger and soda, and I stayed up all night playing video-games.

Now the triggers for seizures can be: a fall or car crash that causes brain trauma. Simply being born. The triggers can be flashing lights, television, and video games. Or the trigger for a seizure can be a striped shirt. The triggers can also be lack of oxygen or lack of sleep and epilepsy can be coupled with other disorders like Autism. The triggers for epilepsy vary from person to person and from situation to situation.

My first seizure could have been due to: lack of sleep, lack of nutrition, too much video game playing, or a combination of those, or even something else. And while those were the possible cases for me, I can say that video games were not an impetus for the seizures of the boy that Jesus Christ healed. But video games have been linked with enough people’s seizures that warning labels are now being placed on video games about their relationship with epilepsy.

And now with Autism there has begun an investigation that is largely dealing with early childhood television watching. My own investigation with Autism and early childhood television watching began off-handedly, and almost stopped where it started.

I was walking with a friend, some months ago, and among the topics we discussed, we landed briefly on the Baby Einstein video-learning products. I had probably mentioned to my friend that my sister, who had recently married, was pregnant. As we walked, my friend said something to the effect of, “Did you here about those Baby Einstein videos, that they’re showing little kids and infants? And he said he had heard about their relationship with autism. So I listened, and gave a concerned call to my sister in Virginia, and told her what my friend had said. I didn’t give the Baby Einstein warning much thought afterwards.

Well, months passed and the Baby Einstein comment faded. I did have discussions with my girlfriend, as well as her parents, about autism because her parents’ nineteen year old son, Gregory Smith, has grown up with high-functioning Autism. The discussions gave a lot of insight into the life of parents growing up with an Autistic child. From public schooling, to more specialized classes, and then to home schooling, many students saw the differences in Gregory Smith as he grew up with Autism and teachers were able to record the nuances of autistism behaviors in Gregory Smith’s life. My girlfriend’s parents have learned a lot about treating Autism and helping their son Greg live life, they have given a lot to their son Greg and to the Autism community. My girlfriend’s mom, Sherril, worked with combative children who were diagnosed along the Autism spectrum and my girlfriend’s dad, Bob, is a trained psychologist who works at Riverside Adult School. My girlfriend’s mom, Sherril is a trained anthropologist, and both Bob and Sherril spent time in Egypt doing anthropological studies and they have been doing the more than full time work of raising two children.

Since my girlfriend’s parents are well-versed in autism research, I would ask my girlfriend’s parents about possible causes of autism. There was mention of genetics and mention of vaccines, and there is also room for a relationship that substantially correlates with the symptoms of autism and there should be preventative investigations into the social developmental factors, since autism is not medically testable the way diabetes or high cholesterol are, and autism has to do with brain development (The Brunei Times, May 2008.

Honestly, I think to limit the research just to genetics or just to environmental factors would be short-changing Autism research. When I think of, for example, asthma, there are definitely environmental factors like: cigarettes, coal factories, smog and other air pollutants that serve as an impetus for asthma, but there also seems to be a disposition to asthma in certain individuals that causes one child who grew up in a smoking household to have asthma and another child in the same household to not have that same predisposition to asthma.

So let’s not make it a competition of genetics versus environmental factors; let’s put them on the same team, so that they can both investigate together for Autism prevention; the way doctors investigate the various factors involved with epilepsy triggers and epilepsy prevention. This teaming of various factors allows us to 1) explore environmental factors and to 2) investigate why certain individuals are more predisposed to Autism. Why sometimes, one sibling has autism and the other sibling does not have autism and why, in other cases multiple siblings are diagnosed with Autism.

Admitting that finding why one family member has a certain disorder and another does not have same that disorder, has proven to be helpful research at times. So, since the gene theory of Autism is currently an avenue that medical researchers are looking down and environmental factors, such as vaccine research is another avenue that medical researchers are looking down; both avenues are investigating the cause(s) of autism (The Brunei Times, May 2008. There are also practical treatments available for people already diagnosed with autism. But what other practical correlations can we make with the symptoms of autism and the epidemic rate at which Autism is spreading?

There are three main aspects that I will focus on: the first is environmental factors, the second is the symptoms and behaviors of a child with autism, and the third aspect is the interests of young children with autism. All three aspects tie together and we should from here, be warning people, putting warning labels on children’s videos, and looking for children who are predisposed and help them to view television responsibly. Spreading this warning is an avenue, Lord willing, to possible prevention, and a safe reason to help kids during an epidemic that needs prevention awareness on a practical plane.

The first aspect, environmental factors, is one that I would like to explain practically. We live in surroundings; we sleep in houses, walk in parks, and talk with people around us. How often we walk, who we talk with, what we watch and read effect how we develop and what we think. If you hang out with people long enough, they influence you; humans are big on relationships: our relationship with God, our relationship with people in general (souls, human nature, and such), our relationship with the weather, our relationship with our friends and family, and our relationship with television effects us, effects our children.

As a nation, our relationship with television has grown exponentially over the past forty years. In the 1970’s cable television was on the rise, in the late 1970’s and early 80’s the VCR became mass produced, and in the early eighties children’s programming began gaining popularity (Waldman, “Does Television Cause Autism?” Pg 11-12.).

In the 1970’s autism grew 30%, and in the 80’s the amount of people with Autism doubled, and doubled again in the 1990’s (Waldman, “Does Television Cause Autism?” Pg 11); now Autism is an epidemic (The Brunei Times, May 2008. at the forefront of many American's lives.

Now this correlation seems like an interesting relationship, but needs more backing to go from a correlation to a strong correlation, and even to a connection.

There are statistics in this letter (such as the previous stats) which I received from a paper, by Michael Waldman of Cornell University, called “Does Television Cause Autism?” The reason that this relationship is of special interest is the practical sense that it makes. As we look at the developmental relationship of Autism as it is currently being compared with vaccines and air pollution, we do not need to dismiss those various factors, but we should take a closer look at what Autism could be telling us.

Autism is a nuerodevelopmental disorder, and more specifically a social developmental disorder. When we look at asthma, we connect the lungs with air-pollution. With autism it would make sense (and would not have to be definitive, other factors are possibly influential) that a young child, an infant, who isn’t as exposed to other harmful environmental factors, or at least as the physical stages of development are being passed through fine, this young child could have a relationship with a television that effects the child’s mental development. Why? Because who we hang out with effects how we are.

In the same way, when a child watches television, the way the television relates back to the child is different than normal human interaction and presents reality differently to a developing child’s mind than they would experience when the t.v. is off.

This relational account between the child and television largely accounts for, in a practical way, the autism epidemic and for the child’s brain development being affected apart from the child’s physical development. This is a possible impetus that makes a strong connection from t.v. to mind, the way air pollution to lung would make a strong connection with an asthma patient.

Waldman’s test include records from California, which has the longest running records for autism in the U.S., Waldman surveys places where it rains more and where as other factors were able to be removed- young children watching more television because of rain was correlated, and Waldman also looks at the Amish- who are not experiencing an Autism epidemic. Waldman admits that it could be genetic isolation or other factors in the Amish community, but this research still serves as strong evidence of the relationship that the young Amish children are not having with television in their community.

Waldman also cites how the appearance of Nickelodeon in the late ‘70’s and the Disney channel in the early ‘80’s along with the VCR in the early ‘80’s is strong evidence of the rise children’s programming and videos being a relational factor for more and more children with brain development disorders in the Autism spectrum (Waldman, “Does Television Cause Autism?” Pg 11-12.).

Next, in a unrelated article about autism by Todd McPherson, entitled “Autism rising at alarming, epidemic rate,” an article whose information has also been helpful and I have been using thus far, is an article which seeks to describe autism, and mention possible gene, vaccine, and chemicals as factors that have been explored, the article describes symptoms clearly and concisely.

McPherson says “Autism is best described as a brain development disorder that impairs social interaction and communication,” and the impairing of social interaction, is related to strong social influence of the television, preventing the human relationships from breaking through to the child as they normally would, without the t.v. providing an alternative social development.

This helps explain why it is 1 girl for every 4 boys that have autism (The Brunei Times, May 2008., girls tend to multitask better (and this does not need to be argued culturally), but the female, created to be able to be to multi-task with one or with many children and various other tasks at the same time, and the difference with boys who tend to focus more on specific projects, and tend to focus on more narrow pursuits; this would explain why boys have a much higher tendency towards autism than girls, and the explanation is practical, as well as biological and how those biological dispositions affect interaction in the environment.

The McPherson article goes on to say that, “As those with Autism become toddlers it becomes more apparent that they use much less eye contact, imitate their parents less, may not wave goodbye or hello, and fail to learn to take turns and communicate nonverbally.” Practically, we can go and look at someone who has been watching t.v. for a sustained period of time and try asking them questions from the other room, or engaging them in conversation while they watch t.v., or see if they look to watch us as we leave; we know that some people will interact normally, but we also know that many times these symptoms of Autism are produced in a much more temporary manner, by those who’s brains developed normally.

Also in a relationship with t.v., the relationship is very one sided, the infant or child under three is not encouraged to talk back to the t.v., imitation or interaction isn’t encouraged in the normal developmental pattern of person to person or of the normal baby exploring the environment around them, rather the child absorbs a much more limited environment that discourages normal human interaction. What t.v. does encourage is absorbing a lot of information, which children with autism often do, and verbal, children and adults, with autism are known to talk at, not with other people, the way a t.v. talks at and not with people. So t.v. hampers the social development and encourages information absorption for the child.

McPherson describes more developmental symptoms, “As children they frequently display many forms of repetitive or restricted behaviour.” The repetitive and the restrictive behavior fit in with what has been discussed so far, the restrictive behavior mirrors the restricted mental developmental growth that the t.v. offers, versus having a interaction with other people or being free to explore their surroundings. The repetitive behavior also mirrors the televisions’ behaviors with consistent commercial breaks, ritual times and days of television programs, an unmatched consistency compared to many variables in life, but far less personal than many other variables in life.

Lastly, as my girlfriend has witnessed her brother Greg grow up with Autism, Greg, and my girlfriend has also has been working with children with autism in northern Riverside County for the few months, working one on one with Autistic children at various locations: school, home, day camps and she has been receiving hands on training, learning terms and implementing methods of working with the kids. My girlfriend, Claire Smith, says that it is tough work, but the kids are very cute and she enjoys interacting with them. Claire has been telling me over the last several weeks what many of their interests are, and there is one common theme: entertainment. Claire even said that one child was writing “entertainment” over and over again on the board.

The theme is entertainment and the tool is television and dvds; the kids will quote movie lines and even quote “Coming Soon to dvd!” They will say lines from movies or be interested in movie companies and the children will find their interests from that source, it seems to be a strong correlation, even a connection that t.v. is not only a possible impetus, but also a type of alternative for brain development, leading to the child growing up with the disorder of Autism and/or possibly ADHD.

When watching t.v. profoundly impairs a child's nuerological and social development (as with autism) or impairs their relational concentration ability (as with ADHD)these relationships are a concern; as Autism and ADHD are a concern to many Americans and many people worldwide.

Now the kids will find other obsessions that, as I have heard, often stem from television, for example, from an obsession or interest in Thomas the Train Engine, an obsession or strong interest in trains, so the interest does not need to stay television, but this is strongly evidenced to be a disorder who’s epidemic growth’s impetus is early childhood television watching.

Again, this does not need be the only cause of Autism, there are be various other current factors being researched, and various other factors that may have been an impetus, a radio or various other factors involved with social developmental in the past that may have served as an impetus for Autism or Autism-like disorders before the t.v. was invented and even while the t.v. has been around it is possible that there are other strong factors influential in this disorder.

But the epidemic growth, characteristics of autism, and the interests of children with autism are strongly linked to childhood television watching. The prevention can be similar to the epilepsy warning labels on video games, but geared more toward socially developing children under the age of 4 years old; prevention can also be not letting your child watch t.v. until they are four or five. And even if childhood television watching is not a main contributor, at least young children are engaging more with people around them and are exploring more of the world around them; engaging in healthy developmental relationships. Awareness is what is important for prevention.

And that is why I write to you, because if you are dealing with autism on a personal level, you are dealing with autism on a research level and if you are dealing with Autism on a research level you are dealing with it on a personal level; and Lord willing, I would like to hear your feedback, and hear your opinion on how to contact and reach not only the autism community, but others as well, so that there is a strong a awareness of autism prevention for patients, people and the community. And the other day Claire reminded me of the Baby Einstein videos and that reminded of what my friend had said about Baby Einstein videos for children, and how that would be putting a child in front of t.v. even more than usual.
Here is what Time magazine reported in 2007:

The claim always seemed too good to be true: park your infant in
front of a video and, in no time, he or she will be talking and
getting smarter than the neighbor's kid. In the latest study on the
effects of popular videos such as the "Baby Einstein" and "Brainy
Baby" series, researchers find that these products may be doing
more harm than good. And they may actually delay language
development in toddlers.

Led by Frederick Zimmerman and Dr. Dimitri Christakis, both at the University of Washington, the research team found that with every
hour per day spent watching baby DVDs and videos, infants learned
six to eight fewer new vocabulary words than babies who never
watched the videos. These products had the strongest detrimental
effect on babies 8 to 16 months old, the age at which language
skills are starting to form. "The more videos they watched, the
fewer words they knew," says Christakis. "These babies scored about
10% lower on language skills than infants who had not watched these

And I think that word of mouth will be a very important tool for, Lord willing, Autism prevention, and a willingness to keep investigating and warning people, so that they are able to make an informed choice as well. You: parents, families, neighbors, teachers, researchers and medical doctors, you are the experts and your investigation and testing of autism’s relationship with early childhood television watching has already begun.

Thank you very much for reading this-

Ryan Burke

Monday, September 21, 2009

Notes, Quotes and Thoughts. part 1

Notes on “Friendship Camp…” article by Alicia Chang
And thoughts based around those notes.

Person to person relationships don’t come naturally for many children and teens growing up with Autism.

Thoughts (based on this article and other studies):

1) One kind of interaction-

Shows the early development period of the child (from ages 0-3) engaging in more person to person interaction and imitation, also more engagement with the broader world around them and finding meaning in these developmental relationships, in these interactions. Interactions with television can become increasingly artificial in comparison with other relationships.

2) Another kind of interaction-

Shows the early development period of the child (from ages 0-3) engaging in more person to television interaction and imitation, less engagement with the broader world around them, finding meaning in person to person and broader world exploration (beyond the narrower focus of the television relationship) is more difficult and these personal/ explorative interactions can seem more artificial.

- from ages 0-3 and onward, the child becomes accustomed to more passive data-

- from ages 3 and up, if language is acquired, language use becomes more so the
announcing of ideas (scripting), less reciprocal person to person social

Quote from “Friendship Camp…” article by Alicia Chang:

“Whenever she [15 year old girl growing up with Autism] gets stuck in conversation, she tends to stare, making people around her uncomfortable. She doesn’t mean to be impolite − it’s just her way of watching and learning.”

-you will find that the link to the full article is under my August 31st blog, entitled "Heartwarming Story..."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

1938-1944 (A Few Quotes)

Leo Kanner was a doctor in the U.S and described more acute cases of Autism.

"Television first became commercialized in the U.S. in the early 1940s, initially by RCA (through NBC, which it owned) and CBS. A number of different broadcast systems had been developed through the end of the 1930s."

-History of American Television, 2009,

"Autism was first identified as a condition in a paper by Leo Kanner in 1943. Kanner described eleven young boys he had seen as patients who had significant and similar deficiencies including deficiencies concerning language development, social interaction, and repetitive behaviors...

"Except for the related paper of Hans Asperger a year later in 1944, there were no other contemporary descriptions of the condition. So, although it is not necessarily the case, it seems reasonable to think that prevalence of the condition was very low both during and prior to this time period."

-"Does Television Watching Cause Autism,"
Michael Waldman, Cornell University, 2006

Hans Asperger was a doctor in Austria who described less acute cases of Autism.

"...autistic langauge is not directed to the addressee but is often spoken as if into empty space.." (70).

- Hans Asperger, Conclusions to "Autistic Psycopathology," 1944
website: Bill Long, 2007,

In the 1930's the radio became the major form of mass media in industrialized counrties. (Wikipedia, "1930s")

In context with the other letters so far, these events are interesting.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How can we Know the Way?

"How can We Know the Way?

There is a group out there called Commercial-Free Childhood and their bend, while having many helpful studies, seems to be more focused on “commercialism,” while I would like to focus more on Autism, ADHD, and other social development disorders.

Here is a quote discussing screen media for children from a press release by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, May 1, 2006:

“The industry, when pressed, acknowledges they have no proof these products do what they say they do,” said pediatrician Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a researcher at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle and the senior author of “A Teacher in the Living Room,” a study on educational media for babies, toddlers and preschoolers released in 2005 by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. “Their unfounded claims undermine the research-based advice that families in my practice deserve."

Autism is an epidemic and while "commercialism" is effecting society, there is always something in this life, trying to distract us from Christ, those distractions are cares of this world. The cares of this world, whether they are greed, or lust, or envy or selfish-ambition or even a cause that takes our eyes from Christ, distract from true faith, hope, and love. This Commercial-Free organization has pertinent facts, like this from the May 1, 2006 press release:

"There are clear signs that the marketing of baby videos is effective. To date, sales of videos for babies for children under two are estimated at more than $1 billion. Last year, Disney’s Baby Einstein alone took in about $200 million. By contrast, only 6% of parents are aware of the AAP’s recommendation of no screen time – regardless of content – for children under two."

But the Commercial-Free organization's focus is on "commercialism," and our focus should be on Christ. We should be loving our neighbor, such as helping someone in need, and in doing so showing them who Christ is and the grace and mercy that God offers; rather than the wrath we deserve. We are so constantly judged by imperfect people, but a perfect God is our true judge. Ask Christ to save you, to forgive you from your sins; believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, even the ones you are most ashamed of. Instead of getting caught up in the cares of this world, whether the care be "commercialism" or "anti-commercialism," trust in a personal God.

from John, chapter 14-

"Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." "

Monday, August 31, 2009

Heartwarming story...

A heartwarming story about teens with Autism at UCLA.

Pay attention to the social ins and outs discussed.

The article is personal and talks with and about the teens growing up with Autism.