Monday, December 31, 2012

Chavez in 2013

The biggest story at the end of 2012, which may well be the biggest Latin America story of 2013, is the Hugo Chavez saga. What a mess. From the AP:

"The president gave us precise instructions so that, after finishing the visit, we would tell the (Venezuelan) people about his current health condition," Maduro said. "President Chávez's state of health continues to be delicate, with complications that are being attended to, in a process not without risks."

So Chavez gave precise instructions not to tell the Venezuelan people anything of substance about the state of their president's health. Instead, they are told by the government that the constitution--which Chavez wrote--will not be followed.

It's no wonder, then, that Chavez specifically addressed the military from his hiding place. It is entirely possible that in a few short days, the military will be asked to accede to the government's demand that the constitution not be followed because Chavez didn't want it to be (for the relevant constitutional issues, see this previous post) because ultimately it didn't say what he really wanted it to.

If Chavez cannot be sworn in, then this boils down to the army, sadly still the last arbiter in so many Latin American countries. Cabello, not Maduro, has the military ties, but how much does that matter? Where does the institution's allegiance lie once Chavez is gone? We'll find out in 2013.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Iran's Laughable Response

Many, many times I've criticized those who exaggerate the Iranian threat to the United States in Latin America. The Iranian response, however, is no better. From Iranian state press:

Ahmad Reza Dastgheyb, a member of the Majlis Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, said on Saturday that the United States “used to adopt every measure to achieve its own interests” in Latin America.

The Iranian lawmaker censured Washington’s stance on Latin America and said today, people in that region will no longer let the United States continue with its ambitious policies there.

Iran is a source of inspiration to Latin American people in view of the “freedom-seeking, revolutionary and anti-imperialistic thoughts” it provides Latin America with, Dastgheyb stated. “This is unbearable to the United States.”

This is beyond laughable, and ironically plays into the U.S. rhetorical framework. By all objective measures, Iran has virtually no influence in Latin America, and it needs Latin America much more than the reverse. Yet the U.S. insists it is a major threat, and Iran insists that it is a major influence. Neither is true.

Let's be clear. Iran is not a source of inspiration for anyone beyond the fringe in Latin America and no one beyond the fringe sees it as freedom-loving. Hugo Chavez moved closer to Iran, Syria, etc. for leverage against the United States, not because of brotherhood.

On one point he's right. The U.S. is indeed trying to achieve its own interests. But so is every other government, and pursuing those interests does not necessarily mean supporting Iran. In other words, that support is skin deep.

Unfortunately, though, we'll have to keep hearing all kinds of counter-productive bluster.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Why Not to Get a Ph.D.

I get emails from the American Political Science Association's discussion page on Linkedin, and would like to offer a small piece of advice: be very careful about taking any advice people post on there. This one is particularly bad.

Do NOT pursue a Ph.D. just because no one can take the degree away from you or to "feel well educated." Holy cow. What that really means is that you get a Ph.D. just to put it after your name in every piece of correspondence you send in order to impress people. When you just end up unfulfilled and unhappy, don't blame me.

Also, NEVER take advice about a Ph.D. from someone who does not already have a Ph.D. because they have no idea what they're talking about and should not be dispensing advice. One important exception to this is getting advice from someone who got a job they love without a Ph.D.

I think APSA should have a free PDF right on the front of their homepage with short essays on the pros and cons of a Ph.D. in Political Science. Undergraduates and MA students want to know more but don't know who to ask and can't find reliable advice online.


Paranoia about Venezuela

The Strategic Studies Institute published this report by Max Manwaring on Venezuela. It can best be characterized as a meandering and conjecture-laden rant. Its main point seems to be that if you repeat the phrase "Marxist-Leninist," and sometimes also "Leninist-Maoist," then your reader will understand what you mean even if your narrative makes no sense.

Like many other paranoid accounts of Venezuela, the report is based on the premise that even after over a dozen years in power and countless threat assessments, we are still having the wool pulled over our eyes by Hugo Chavez, who is an evil genius of almost supernatural ability. He will destroy all we hold dear and maybe even steal our precious bodily fluids.

I admit, I had to start skimming. What rational person would dive deep into rhetoric like the following?

The dominating characteristic of a war of this kind is political-military, economic-commercial, or cultural- moral. Within the context of these combinations, there is a difference between the dominant sphere and the whole, although a dynamic relationship exists between a dominant type of general war and the supporting elements that make up the whole. As an example, Qiao and Wang state that conventional military war must be strongly supported by media (propaganda/information/moral) warfare and a combination of other types of war that might include but are not limited to psychological war, financial war, trade war, cyber war, diplomatic war, proxy war, narco-criminal war, and guerrilla war.

Anyway, so what do we do about a genius as evil and conniving as Hugo Chavez? Given the scope of the argument, the recommendations surprisingly don't address Venezuela at all. Instead, they argue that the US Army should be remodeled to combat new types of threats. They suggest that once Chavez destroys states--apparently his goal--then we should be prepared to step in and "coordinate" their rebuilding. Okey doke.

The sad thing is that members of Congress will undoubtedly take this and wave it about as "proof" supporting their outlandish claims about Hugo Chavez.

h/t Steven Bodzin, who I guess I should blame.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Kerry and Latin America

I haven't bothered to comment on Mary Anastasia O'Grady opinion pieces for quite a long time because she is so insistent on avoiding common sense. But a former student emailed this one to me, so I can't resist.

The essence, and I promise I am not making this up, is that John Kerry is not fit to be Secretary of State because he opposed the Contras. Yes, correct, we're talking the illegal Nicaraguan war of the 1980s that resulted in the Reagan administration selling arms to Iran. O'Grady is locked in that era, apparently lamenting the fact that Oliver North ever got caught, and quoting a random 1996 article in The New Yorker to make her case.

That's pretty much it, with a little Honduras sprinkled in, and that is why I've tired of commenting much on O'Grady.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dealing with Latin American Corruption

Here is the chart of the day from LAPOP. It's especially notable because there are plenty of corruption measures, but it's much less common to ask people how much they think their government is doing to combat it.

What you immediately see is that ideology is not relevant. In fact, having Nicaragua at the top of the list is surprising, given how famous and brazen Daniel Ortega's corruption is. But clearly Nicaraguans view it in a different context, comparing the situation to other governments, for example. That context--the one much less visible from the outside--matters a lot.

And take a look at the United States. That's just embarrassing, but it's a post-crash reality.


Media and blogging

I'm quoted in this Brazilian paper's article on Paraguayan President Federico Franco's popularity. I never spoke to the reporter, who must have read a blog post. This happens periodically, and I think it's great because it reflects a goal of this blog, which is to connect academia and the broader world. It actually works better than an interview in some ways because I am writing precisely what I mean rather than answering questions off the top of my head. Quote away!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Character and Baseball

I read about efforts by Dale Murphy fans to get him into the Hall of Fame. The rationale? Not performance, which even they admit is only Very Good. Instead, they argue that if Barry Bonds and all the other players with steroidal clouds over their heads are being punished for bad behavior, Murphy should be boosted for good behavior. There was hardly a nicer guy in baseball.

This is a terrible idea. I think MLB's best solution is to rewrite the HOF rules and get rid of the character part entirely.

5. Voting: Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.

It's really a sham. I know Murphy is a legitimately nice guy, but just read Jim Bouton or Dirk Hayhurst for a glimpse of what baseball players actually do (e.g. Greg Maddux is really creepy). Right now we're even punishing players who we're convinced took banned substances even though we have no proof.

As many people have noted, what Bonds et al are accused of doing is nothing compared to the real actions of many HOFers. Ty Cobb is famous for being a racist pig, universally disliked. But we forgive him because it was another era. We need either to forgive it all, or be strict with it all. I lean toward the former. It should not be the Hall of Nice People.

Pete Rose is an arrogant jerk. So is Barry Bonds. Rafael Palmeiro is a self-righteous dope. They belong in the Hall of Fame. Dale Murphy is a really cool guy, and he doesn't.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

"Countering" Iran in Latin America

Back in March I mentioned the Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act of 2012, which has passed the House and now has passed the Senate. Here is the text.

It is a piece of red meat for a vocal minority, and generally seems harmless unless I am missing something. Within 180 days of enactment, the State Department must write a threat assessment, which will be interesting to read. For the most part, neither the Defense nor State Departments see Iran has much more than a potential threat (a category that could fit a lot of countries) so it may not generate the kind of outrage the bill's authors desire.

As I wrote back then, one important point to keep in mind is that the bill stipulates the creation of a "multiagency action plan" in Latin America, a place where Iran is not considered a threat. Forcing this on Latin America could backfire.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Football and Academic Fraud

The report on academic fraud at UNC Chapel Hill is sad to read about for several reasons, aside from the fact that I am an alumnus.

First, the idea of a "student-athlete" is terribly abused. Rich, and often white, people want young men, often black, to make them a ton of money playing football. Very few people care what happens to those young men. Give them fake grades and keep them on the football or basketball team. They won't make a dime out of this multi-billion dollar industry. In fact, if they receive any tiny gift they'll suddenly be investigated.

Second, we see the development of a culture of corruption surrounding athletics at the departmental level. An administrative assistant gets a $100,000 inheritance. A department chair makes fake classes to keep justifying his budget and gain new faculty lines after there is an investigation at Auburn about football players. (As an aside, the author of this much anticipated report did not bother interviewing either one of those individuals, saying he just left messages!).

Third, there was an amazing lack of oversight at the college or university level. Loads and loads of grade changes, plus a high number of independent studies (about 300 per year in one 5 year span, which is mind blowing), in a department known for attracting athletes, clearly should have brought attention from higher up. But see the first point about that.

Fourth, and perhaps the worst, no one is talking about overhauling the system. Slap Carolina on the wrist and keep things the same, pretending that this is all about education and not money. There will be another scandal like this somewhere. Given the system and the money involved, it's just a matter of time.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Memory and Tourism in Chile

A colleague called this to my attention. Clío and Mnemósine is an organization dedicated to "heritage tours."

The purpose of our project is to become one of Chile’s main promoters of heritage tours centered on Memory, Recent History, Cultural Heritage and Human Rights.  Moreover, it aims at becoming the primary provider of training in the matter, and a point of reference for research projects on Memory, Recent History, Cultural Heritage and Human Rights.
They are Chileans who want to make some of the most controversial and sensitive issues more accessible to foreigners. Without knowing anything about the organization itself, I like the general idea. There is a growing number of human rights-related museums in Santiago (e.g. see previous posts on my visits to the Memory Museum and Villa Grimaldi) but they are not really tied together. Getting some background, then visiting each in turn would provide valuable insights in Chile's political history.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Erik Loomis

Erik Loomis is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Rhode Island and blogs at Lawyers, Guns, and Money. Now he is in hot water for tweeting, as his metaphor of "head on a stick" is being taken literally as a call for murder, prompting a visit from the police. This is not reasonable.

Crooked Timber has a good rundown. Here is Erik's own take. Especially if you've read Erik's posts over the years, consider joining me in writing an email to the administrators of his university in his support.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

CV Don'ts

Eszter Hargittai has a discussion of CVs at Inside Higher Ed. For those of you outside academia, a CV is different from a typical resume because it centers only on scholarly pursuits (e.g. no mention of any jobs not related to academia in some way). There is no statement of purpose or the like. Just the academic facts. Reading that post prompted me to add some don'ts. Especially for a job search, you need to remember that the CV is the single most important document because it is your career in an easily digested nutshell.

--Don't bury the key facts of where you received your degree and where you are now. They should be close to the top.

--Don't give a lengthy list of works "in preparation." "Under review" is fine because it signals activity and the ability to complete something, but "in preparation" gives the impression--to me at least--that you are compensating for a lack of accomplishments in hand. I have about 20 things in preparation in my head, but most will stay there.

--For a job search, don't forget to emphasize your accomplishments that fit the job description. If the job involves more teaching, then move up the teaching section. If the job requires someone to teach the politics of restaurants, then be sure to note that class you taught on The International Politics of the International House of Pancakes.

--If you are ABD, then don't forget to provide the expected date of completion. And remember that it looks really bad if a search committee calls your adviser and finds out it's wrong.

I'm sure there are more, but these came to mind immediately.


Holiday in Honduras?

This story seems to be based on the statement of only one person. It argues that the very serious Honduras political crisis will take a backseat as all sides agree to stop doing anything over the holidays.

True or just the mocking of a U.S. media intent on perpetuating an image of sloth and siesta? A scan of the Honduran press says nothing about any such arrangement.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Populism and the Future

The Guardian makes a brief comparison between Chavismo and Peronism, arguing that even if Chavez dies now he will leave a long shadow.

True, but it is useful to remember that a movement's direction can be unpredictable. If you had told an Argentine in the 1950s that in 30-40 years Peronism would be the party of austerity and international capitalism, and that a Peronist would tie his country's economy very tightly to the U.S. dollar, they would not have believed you. It's also worth remembering that Juan Peron personally groomed Carlos Menem as an up and coming political leader. The Kirchners then brought the movement back more in line with its origins. Who knows what the next batch of Peronists will do?

Once the charismatic, outsized leader is gone, all bets are off. There will always be Chavismo, and its leader--or even competing leaders--will invoke Hugo Chavez and his revolutionary triumphs. But its precise nature will evolve and at times may not resemble today's Chavismo at all.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Finishing Your Dissertation

Megan MacKenzie at Duck of Minerva has a good post about finishing your dissertation, with a 10 step process. You can really boil down all such advice posts down to write, write, write. I set myself a daily word goal and became fairly reclusive. You can work out whatever incentive structure you want, but keep writing even if you think the writing is not so good. I had also read a long time before about Ernest Hemingway's advice--perhaps apocryphal -to leave an idea for the next day when writing. Whether or not he really gave that advice, I liked that because I found it much easier to quickly get going.

Did I mention keep writing?


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Talking About Immigration Reform

Despite all the talk that the Republican Party "must" embrace immigration reform, even supporters seem concerned about being too supportive. John McCain, for example, has long been an advocate for reform, though of course he had to pretend otherwise to win the presidential nomination in 2008. And now he is afraid even to admit he's talking about reform.

Politico is reporting that a group of eight United States senators, including Arizona's John McCain and Jeff Flake, is discussing immigration reform. 
Flake's office would not confirm the report and McCain's office did not return calls.

I think it's great they're talking. It is sad, though, that nativist pressure is strong enough to make the whole thing furtive.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

CMS and Autism: Does Anyone Care?

Picture this scene. The Dean of Students at a top CMS school, Irwin Elementary, openly mocks a 10 year old autistic child by calling him a two year old in the hallway. The Dean of Students then gets angry, indeed very vocally angry with the parents, at the child's response to the insult, and conveniently omits what he said to provoke it. Later the principal admits in writing it happened, but dismisses it as unimportant.

Just happened last week to my son. And no one in CMS cares.


Parsing the Venezuelan Constitution

David Smilde and Hugo Pérez Hernaíz comment on the Hugo Chávez transition issue. Here's one thing that struck me:

It seems likely that Chávez’s fourth surgery is risky enough that he is not sure he will be able to assume his fourth term on January 10. And Article 233 also says that if a president-elect were to die, resign or be declared physically or mentally incapacitated before being sworn in, it is not the Vice President but the President of the National Assembly that becomes acting president. Currently that is Diosdado Cabello. 
What is more, the Constitution does not specify what would happen if the president-elect is alive, has not resigned nor been officially declared incapacitated, but is not able to be sworn in. Presumably in such a case it would also be the President of the National Assembly who would assume the presidency, since cabinet positions such as the Vice Presidency do not automatically carry-over from one term to the next but must be reconfirmed.

This, of course, is why Chávez felt the need to name Nicolás Maduro as successor with a dedazo. Chávez is afraid he may die before January 10, which would make Cabello the interim president. However, it seems to me that if Chávez is in terrible shape but has not been ruled incapacitated, then he can be sworn in if the Supreme Court is amenable. From Article 231 of the constitution:

Artículo 231. El candidato elegido o candidata elegida tomará posesión del cargo de Presidente o Presidenta de la República el diez de enero del primer año de su período constitucional, mediante juramento ante la Asamblea Nacional. Si por cualquier motivo sobrevenido el Presidente o Presidenta de la República no pudiese tomar posesión ante la Asamblea Nacional, lo hará ante el Tribunal Supremo de Justicia.

Morbid, to be sure. But if the judges come to a hospital room--perhaps even in a foreign country?--the constitution is being followed. Get sworn in, then step down, and Maduro is interim president.


Sunday, December 09, 2012

Chavez and cancer

Hugo Chavez says his cancer--still undefined--has returned and so once again he will go to Cuba.

He was absolutely masterful in making himself appear sufficiently healthy during the campaign that the cancer ceased to be a factor for the presidential election. He made a major effort to make just enough public appearances, deny rumors and, above all, avoid secret trips to Cuba. Henrique Capriles framed himself as youthful but ultimately that didn't matter. Chavez was vigorous enough to take the issue off the table.

But he held on and won the election, and so the question is no longer whether the opposition can take electoral advantage of the situation, but rather just how a potential chavista transition would look for the next six years. That's a lot of political breathing room.

When the government refuses to tell the truth, then rumors will fly even more than usual. At this point, there is no reason at all to believe any public declaration denying Chavez's health problems.


Friday, December 07, 2012

People Who Should Not Have Signs

From Rob Neyer's Twitter feed. I had no idea Nashville had erected a sign to William Walker, who ranks very high on the list of the most arrogant and stupid Americans trying to screw up Latin America.

And the state of Tennessee calls him an "idealist." Oy.


North Carolina Immigration Policy

Very nice to read this report from the North Carolina House Select Committee on the State's Role in Immigration Policy. What it indicates is that the state legislature is not going to pursue punitive policies a la Arizona and other states. It emphasizes over and over that a wide range of stakeholders will need to provide input, and urges the federal government to enact reform.

Finally, the Committee recommends a renewed focus on economic development potential and opportunities to increase North Carolina's regional competitiveness through pragmatic approaches to immigration in this State.

Good. This doesn't preclude an individual member from introducing a wacky piece of legislation, but the leadership wants pragmatism aimed at promoting economic development. That means avoiding legislation that either deprives businesses from getting workers or burdening them unduly with regulations.

Also nice to read this from House Speaker Thom Tillis:

“It’s a very emotional issue on both sides, and we’ve got to try and hold that rhetoric off and look at things that benefit the economy, treat people respectfully, and in some cases, address some symptoms now whose problem is really rooted in federal policy. I just think we need to be very careful with it,” Tillis said.

Let's hope the leadership retains that attitude.


Thursday, December 06, 2012

Michael Lewis' The Blind Side

I am late to it, but just read Michael Lewis' The Blind Side, the story about how Michael Oher went from homeless to NFL left tackle through the intervention of rich people in Memphis. It's an unusual and intriguing story--Lewis makes the evolution of the left tackle really interesting--but ultimately the book didn't uplift me much, and Lewis didn't intend it to. It's a reminder that sports plays an absurd role in our lives. Oher is essentially a large piece of meat, viewed primarily in financial terms, as is the case with all his teammates at Ole Miss. Almost no one cares about them at all. They get sucked from the ghetto to entertain rich white people, and then go back to the ghetto once their playing eligibility ends. Absent his amazing size, strength, and speed, Oher would've gone nowhere. Lewis talks to men in the housing projects who once were phenoms, and now are drug dealers.

Therefore it's also a story about the strong racial divide that still exists in Tennessee, Mississippi, and elsewhere. Football brings the two together in ways that reinforce de facto segregation. So the "feel good" story is depressing. It's a reminder of how many lives are still being wasted.


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Ranking and Placement in Political Science

So how does ranking of your Political Science program affect job placement? Today this topic seems to be the definition of viral. My dean emailed me the Chronicle of Higher Education article first thing this morning. A similar article appeared in Inside Higher Ed (without a paywall), and suddenly I see responses in Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. Responding hours later makes me very late to the party.

The money quote:

The median institutional ranking of institutions in the study is 11, which Mr. Oprisko said implies that 11 institutions contributed half of the political scientists who filled tenured or tenure-track positions at research-intensive universities in the United States. That means that graduates of the more than 100 other political-science programs competed for the remaining 50 percent of job openings.

I'm still chewing on this a bit. It implies that "job openings" only appear in those particular institutions being studied, which obviously isn't true--there are lots of good jobs outside the purview of the study. But still, this is a pretty serious concentration.

The bottom line is that it is hard to argue with the idea that candidates in lower ranked schools find it more difficult to get a job, especially a job without a really heavy teaching load. All things being equal, someone with a more prestigious Ph.D. is viewed--rightly or wrongly--as being less risky in terms of getting tenure. This isn't fair, but it's true. If you advising people who want a Ph.D., or are thinking of one yourself, you need to acknowledge this reality.

See also:

--The Monkey Cage

--Mike Munger

--James Joyner


Going paperless

The Chronicle's ProfHacker blog has a lot on going paperless in some form or another. I started trying to do that more this semester. As I mentioned before the semester began, I used iAnnotate to grade papers in my U.S.-Latin American Relations course. I really liked how it worked--easy to use a stylus or type to write on the term paper, plus voice comments--but it does not mesh well with Moodle, which is the online course platform that UNC Charlotte uses. I generally like Moodle, but if the students turn their paper in through Turnitin, there seems to be no way for me to upload their graded paper back as a PDF. Ultimately I had to email the papers to each student individually, which is doable but a pain. I am hoping to figure out something better.

My next step is to take attendance without paper. I do so most days not only to keep track of attendance but also to keep connecting names to faces in the class.


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Chile and the Pact of Bogotá

Following up on yesterday's post about Chile and Peru, recent controversies surrounding the International Court of Justice stem from the Pact of Bogotá, which requires signatories to resolve their differences peacefully, with the ICJ as a potential ultimate arbiter.

A key question is what types of disputes one state can require another to mediate. It can become a reductio ad absurdum, where states could demand changes to all boundaries, going back centuries, so that virtually anything can be contested. In the case of Bolivia and Chile, the boundaries have been well set with a series of treaties.

Here is the text of the pact. For the Bolivia-Chile dispute, Article 6 is important:

ARTICLE VI. The aforesaid procedures, furthermore, may not be applied to matters already settled by arrangement between the parties, or by arbitral award or by decision of an international court, or which are governed by agreements or treaties in force on the date of the conclusion of the present Treaty.

In 2011, Chile noted its concern about Bolivia's reservations with the treaty, which are as follows.

The Delegation of Bolivia makes a reservation with regard to Article VI, in as much as it considers that pacific procedures may also be applied to controversies arising from matters settled by arrangement between the Parties, when the said arrangement affects the vital interests of a state.
And further:

To file an objection to the reservation made by the Plurinational State of Bolivia with regard
to Article VI of said American Treaty on Pacific Settlement, “Pact of Bogotá,” and declares that, in accordance with the principles of international law, this objection precludes the entry into force of that Treaty between the Republic of Chile and the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

Unless I am missing something, what this means it that Chile will not enter into negotiation or mediation unless it is voluntary.


Monday, December 03, 2012

The Chile-Peru Show

The Chile-Peru show at The Hague begins today. An interesting tidbit.

Bolivia has also said it will send a delegation to the court and plans a lawsuit to try to reclaim its ocean access from Chile.

So if Chile loses, Bolivia will file a lawsuit quickly, and the delegation may well already have a copy on hand. The problem is that the ICJ requires the participation of both governments, and I cannot imagine a scenario whereby the Chileans would agree. They are participating now primarily because they are convinced they will win.


Sunday, December 02, 2012

Autism at CMS Part 2

Very big news on the autism front is that the term "Asperger's" will no longer be used. A new term for autistic kids like mine who have behaviorial problems will be Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, a mouthful boiled down to the acronym DMDD.

Hopefully this will help officials at Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools understand autism better. At this point all we hear from the school system is that meltdowns are the child's choice, and we are told repeatedly just to talk to our son so he will understand he's making bad choices. Despite the fact that meltdowns are extraordinarily common in kids with high functioning autism--so common they now are part of a special label--CMS officials insist that they are not characteristic of how they understand autism. Update: reading more closely, the article doesn't explicitly link autism and meltdowns but rather just mentions them together. So we'll have to wait and see.

The problem is that CMS makes virtually no effort as an institution to understand autism. Teachers and EC teachers alike tell us how little training they have, and we know there are no programs--absolutely none in a huge school system--for kids with high functioning autism. I will not hold my breath, but with luck the DSM-5 shift will force CMS to acknowledge certain facts. Aside from a few committed individuals in some schools, there is incredible resistance to acceptance.


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