Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Hillary, Alyssa. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Hillary, A. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Preparation For China

This is a post about getting ready for China, and educational systems. In this case, it's higher education, though college is doing much better than high school or middle school ever did. [That doesn't mean they are perfect, just that they are better.]
I'm in the Flagship program, which means I have a Capstone year, which means I spend an academic year in China. The first semester I take classes, both morning Chinese language classes and one or two direct enrollment classes. The second semester, I continue taking Chinese language classes and I have an internship. If time allows, I can take another direct enrollment course. Direct enrollment means I'm in the classroom with other Chinese students, taking the same classes they do, conducted in Chinese. It's a bit of a parallel to inclusive education, though it's not a matter of special education or disability. It's a matter of language skill that most exchange students from the USA to China are in separate classes, but it's hard to get the language skill needed to take the classes without actually doing it. So we jump in a bit unprepared- it's not as if we've been doing it the whole way from elementary school or speaking the language at home like our classmates have.
I'm aiming to take Graph Theory, or 图论, and some engineering class. I don't know what the engineering class will be because Tianjin Normal University doesn't actually have engineering and I will have to go elsewhere in town. My professors are looking, and I think they will find it, but it's frustrating to know that once again, what I need doesn't actually exist at the place I am, and I will have to do extra work just to get into the classes I need. [This happened in high school, my senior year, too. I wound up taking online math classes through Stanford in order to graduate, and I took the final exams for those classes in my high school's office. That was an issue of being advanced, though, not of the program failing to exist where I was.]
The not having engineering is the thing I'm talking about. The program I belong in? Doesn't really exist where I am. But. My college is behind me, and they are actually doing a lot of the extra work involved in finding it for me anyways, wherever it is. Tianjin is a big enough city, and there are enough other universities there that they've already found some options. That's the key. They're putting in the effort to find what I need. It's summer, and my advisers are getting back to me about things within a couple hours on weekends to make everything work. I care a lot more about the fact that they're putting in the work, listening to what I say I need and trying to make it happen, than I do about the fact that it didn't initially exist. They're assuming I know what I need, and they're listening and making it happen. That's the general wide-sweeping picture of what inclusion and accommodation should belooking like in college; it's just applying it to a different person in a presumably different situation.

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