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Kodi Lee, Autism, and Real Meditation

31 comments

 

“I love you in a place where there’s no space or time.” — Kodi Lee

We saw the extraordinarily talented Kodi Lee the other night on America’s Got Talent.  Kodi reminded me of a lot of the very fine and wonderful students that i used to have when i was a teacher for the multiply handicapped (before i retired).  Seeing Kodi perform brought tears to my eyes.   The students that i had were a delight to be around.  Some were very gifted.  When i was a teacher, we had students, for example, who were very mentally handicapped but who could play the piano flawlessly.  One fellow could be shown a complex scientific book (or complex passages on whatever subject); the book could be opened at any section, with both pages flashed (even upside down) in front of his face for a fraction of a second.  He then would recite the entire content — from memory — of both pages… word for word, perfectly.  

Kodi has autism and autism is increasing worldwide (especially in developed countries) at alarming rates.  The adjuvants in vaccines, increasing pollution, fragmented-unhealthy GMO foods, and food additives are possible contributing factors to autism’s increase, i think.  

For many years, our classrooms were situated right within the elementary school building and it was a good thing for so-called “normal” children to often interact with those who had severe handicaps.  Such a close relationship between these two groups of children benefited those who were handicapped and helped the so-called “normal” population develop empathy, compassion, and understanding concerning the handicapped.  Some of my students, by the way, had regular IQs but, because of very severe physiological problems, were quadriplegic and could not control their arms or legs whatsoever.  (Real meditation is not merely sitting around being quiet.  Compassion is a vital component, and if you don’t have it, the sacred — that timeless enormity that man has sought after for eons — will never visit you.)

My wife and i went to Navy Pier, in Chicago, a few years ago, and we saw and heard some visiting classroom of kids making fun of (and taunting) some other children who were there (who happened to be handicapped).  Such callousness is sad and disgraceful.  The so-called president of the United States — before he was elected — in his ugly callousness, hateful nature, and typical nefarious manner, mocked and made fun of a gentleman who happened to be mentally handicapped.  (Google that!)  With his neglect for others having misfortune, and with his gross neglect about the health of nature and the environment, Donald Trump’s behavior is a disgrace to humanity.  

(See the short video of Kodi below.)

Gifted Sweat Bee going after the gold while surrounded by tons of adoring fans … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

 

 

 

31 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. That young man has a beautiful voice both in the lower range and his falsetto. I didn’t know that autism is on the rise. I guess we need to do more research on cause and effect. I would have liked to hear more about meditation since it was in your title and only alluded to in one sentence. I taught people with various abilities and remember one fellow who was a whiz at numbers, he would ask you birthdate and recite it to you weeks later, also anything else to do with numbers.There were many personalities that I won’t forget.

    Reply

    • Yes, Kodi is wonderful, Jane! 🙂
      Yes, autism is on the rise big time; it is increasing each and every year in larger and larger numbers.
      If you are deeply interested in meditation, you can find much more about it in my previous blog postings, especially in the ones that are written in prose.
      There are a lot of savants out there that are very talented and gifted in their own special ways!

      Reply

  2. Thank you for this one. And for all you’ve done (still do through posts like this) for kids with special abilities.
    Beautiful image as well!

    Reply

    • I’m so glad that you are very appreciative of it, Jazz. 🙂 It means a lot to me. When i was a student in grade school, there was a fellow in our class who happened to be very mentally handicapped. I was the only student who would help him. Too many teased him and tried to trick him into doing things that he shouldn’t do. More emphasis needs to be made, in schools and elsewhere, on compassion and integrity.

      Reply

  3. I don’t doubt that there are environmental pollutants that could be contributing to a rise in autism (along with many other modern health issues). However there is no documented connection between vaccines and autism. Studies making that claim have been thoroughly debunked. Anti-vaxxers are creating new health crises, so this is an important issue.

    I do love the photo!

    Reply

    • Thanks about the photo, Eilene! 🙂
      Well, so many of the vaccine companies (i.e., all but one) went out of business because of lawsuits, in the past — because of all of the very serious side-effects and abnormal occurrences — that the government decided to interfere and make them free of liability! This should not occur, especially when children are involved. The vaccines do, indeed, i feel, cause long-term systemic damage due to unnatural inflammatory agents (including mercury and aluminum) being put in bloodstreams.
      Check this out:
      http://sonorannews.com/2017/07/03/vaccine-manufacturers-exempt-liability/

      Reply

      • This anti-vax company and “scientist” named in the article are funded by a religious group with an agenda. I don’t see anything to indicate rigorous scientific methods being used to establish a link between vaccines and autism. I do not claim that vaccines never have side effects – all drugs have side effects. The determination to use them measures the benefit vs. risks. The diseases that have been prevented by having the populace vaccinated has been an overwhelmingly positive public health benefit. Here is some rebuttal about Dr. Deisher: https://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2015/08/24/more-horrible-antivaccine-science-from-theresa-deisher

      • We could, Eilene, go back and forth on this forever. 🙂 Frankly, it’s the aluminum and mercury adjuvants that cause most of the concern for me. They say that it (i.e., aluminum) is rather quickly assimilated by the body and excreted; i wonder though whether sufficient research into that claim has been done. The neurotoxicity of aluminum is well established in the scientific community. A pet cat that i had years ago would not drink out of an aluminum bowl. https://worldmercuryproject.org/news/a-lone-fda-scientist-could-end-the-autism-epidemic/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwxMjnBRCtARIsAGwWnBOJvBtQfV9-qWOOtaobgPEzryWYsCP8TA9lC_eUz8QHo05A-xH19RMaAt8WEALw_wcB
        Personally, i rarely get the flu with or without vaccines. I eat natural, whole foods… and more emphasis needs to be done on that (and on pollution of the environment); not all the vaccines in the world will help us with a malignant, truly sick environment.

      • I understand, Tom, and I’m not trying to be belligerent, but when people don’t vaccinate their children, it does become a public health problem – and even more people suffer for it, not just the un-vaccinated child. The rise in autism is a serious problem, but correlation is not causation. There are many, many problems with pollutants in our environment. Let’s not add measles and whooping cough epidemics to the other things going on.

        I think it’s great that you live a healthy lifestyle and I wish everyone would. We can do a lot to take our good health into our own hands. I rarely take any prescriptions of any kind. But if chemotherapy would save my life, I would submit to the poison – side effects and all – and take it.

      • Yes, i take herb supplements but would also definitely take chemo if i had to. 🙂 I am not fond of taking man-made synthetics, however. Too many people frequently take Tylenol, for instance, which damages the liver in many people — and scientists don’t even know the exact mechanism as to how it works for reducing pain. We all have to rely less on synthetics, i think. Natural herbs have way fewer side-effects, but they don’t make big $ for the pharmaceutical companies.

  4. I love the photograph, Tom, and your story! Sad how people are treated just because they don’t fit someone else’s idea of “normal” or whatever! Saw a stop sign today that had a sticker below the STOP which said Trump. 😊 Unfortunately I couldn’t pull over safely to take a picture. Autism is definitely on the rise, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the toxic environment we live in is a contributing factor. Instead of being hateful and hurtful, I wish people would be supportive. Life’s hard enough without the extra nonsense!

    Reply

    • Yes, Sabine, a lot of people have handicaps; mocking them and “looking down” on them only makes the world a more hellish, cruel place.
      Wish it was the Stop sign near our home! tee-hee 🙂
      Thanks much about the photograph and the story! This really touches my heart deeply as i’ve seen so much suffering going on for those that are handicapped… and so much stoicism and joy in their personalities!

      Reply

      • I hear you, Tom! I never worked with the handicapped, but put in my time as a home health aide, working in nursing homes and also doing end of life care for dying people. It was hard work, and extremely rewarding to be able to be there and help care for human beings, regardless of their differences.
        I’m going back out to the beach tomorrow with friends and if traffic permits, I’ll ask the passenger to snap a photo of the stop sign from the car! 😂

  5. I’ve never seen that show (I don’t have TV/cable) and this video clip of the performance blew me away. Kodi’s speech was halting in the beginning and yet when he began singing, his speech/singing was flawless. Just amazing. So Kodi would be an autistic savant like Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rain Man? I like that he got a standing ovation and the celebration of the “gold buzzer” … his mom was overcome just as the judges and audience were. I thought it was horrible and hateful when Trump mocked that man during the presidential campaign … wrong, wrong, wrong – always put yourself in that person’s shoes and then maybe you know how to show compassion for them. I like your photo as well Tom and I saw my first bumble bee yesterday at the Park. I was kind of surprised to see it but it was pretty warm and humid yesterday before our storms dropped the temp 20 degrees. As to bees, I forget it is June as it has been so chilly throughout May.

    Reply

    • Yes, Kodi is autistic and is definitely a savant. Personally, i do not like such labels much, but they can be useful for helping a person (and even for understanding a person), at times. I could write a book about all of the different students i have had over the years; some were both blind and deaf… which was very challenging. Others were quadriplegic but quite intelligent and couldn’t talk… so we would put remote electronic computer cursor-moving components on their foreheads to help them show us things on a computer screen. Additionally, there were touch-sensitive computer screens which were super for working with certain other students who had verbal communicative problems. (Back then, such screens were usually unheard of.)
      It’s so sad about Trump and the insidious things that he does.
      I saw a big wasp on our neighbor’s mailbox yesterday, but by the time i got my camera, he was gone. Oh well! 🙂

      Reply

      • You needed and had a lot of patience for your work Tom and I admire you for that. My friend Carol is the same age as me, 63, and is the legal caretaker of her sister, who is about 7 or 8 years younger and whom she describes as developmentally disabled. Their father died many years ago of cancer, and their mother had a sudden fatal stroke in June of 2012. Mary Beth has lived with Carol since then. The mom let Mary Beth attend a day program but never forced her to do anything for herself. My friend decided that Mary Beth should have some responsibilities in/around the house – it has been a constant war. Mary Beth says she can’t, won’t or does not know how to do things or “you can’t make me!” Even simple things she says she cannot do, but Mary Beth is an avid sports fan and can rattle off player’s numbers and stats for every sport that she follows. My friend Carol says it is pretty amazing considering Mary Beth can’t sign her name, read or write. I know of Carol’s struggles with her sister – I admire both of your patience. Her husband recently retired so he can help out a little as well now. He worked in North Carolina the last ten years after being laid off by GM. I am amazed at what technology can do for handicapped people today and they would not have had that technology when you first began working with developmentally disabled students – had it been available, it might have made their quality of life better. I follow a blogger here at WordPress. Zena is legally blind and writes of the joy of having a seeing eye dog and how it has changed her whole life. She writes about Munch, her Labradoodle and how he is somewhat of a prima donna. Her posts are funny – she is a good writer and uses “Narrator” to write and read posts and she will have a book coming out this Fall about her and Munch. That is pretty amazing to me as well. She has never let adversity stand in her way.

        I don’t speak out often about Trump as I am a Canadian citizen living over here on a green card since 1966, so I cannot vote and figure that I therefore cannot criticize, but I am sickened every day by actions like mocking a disabled person, or pretty much anything that comes from his mouth, even today – the name-calling of the mayor of London.

        I haven’t seen any wasps yet – my neighbor had them in a hole leading to his bedroom years ago – I pointed out the nest to him – I saw it when cutting the lawn.

      • The technology with working with the handicapped evolved by leaps and bounds during the time that i worked with the handicapped. A lot of the hardware and software was just amazing toward the end of my teaching profession.
        Interesting about your friend’s sister. Two of the students that i had, that were quadriplegic, loved baseball and knew way more about it than i did.
        I lived in Canada for six months, working at a place called Family Pastimes (in Perth, Ontario). They made cooperative (non-competitive) games there. I could have stayed there but went back to the states. Bash Trump all you want; malignancy needs to be pointed out to people. We are one globe anyway; none of us really belong to a country or place.

  6. I did see and teared up for Kodi’s amazing performance. I just watched it again…..WOW, what beautiful talent. I have to wipe my face again. His love for music is a true blessing.

    Reply

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