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Railfan vs. Foamer

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RME
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Posted by RME on Sunday, April 16, 2017 11:10 AM

As noted in the other 'foamer' thread: watch the videos in the right order to get the full effect.  I think it is 'telling' that most of the mundanes involved in the 'viral' spread of that "train spotter video" had no idea it was in fact a parody.

tree68
I think most folk's concept of a foamer is summed up in a video posted several years ago.

 Watch this one first (the problem with the URL was that it was some image- browsing scam 'utility' SEO-optimized to appear early in searches as if it were the actual video - now I know to watch for that stuff...)

 

 and then watch the 'famous' one

Now you know why the over-the-top tropes are so funny.

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, April 16, 2017 11:57 AM

RME

 Watch this one first (I don't know enough to edit the URL so Kalmbach will display it inline in a post here)

Here is how I do it: Click right into the running video. Click left on copy video-url. Copy into post. https://youtu.be/RhYXNwvcl6A
Regards, Volker (germany)

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, April 16, 2017 11:59 AM

Well, when he gets a little older and more mature I'm sure he'll realize he should save that over-the-top enthusiasm for big steam! 

Although that BL-2, the "Basset Hound of locomotives" is pretty cool in it's own right.

To paraphrase General Robert E. Lee, "It's glorious to see such enthusiasm in one so young!"

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Posted by Semper Vaporo on Sunday, April 16, 2017 12:13 PM

 

I could call someone brilliant, or Brilliant, or "brilliant", or BRILLIANT.

 

The first one probably means the dictionary definition of being intelligent, or shiny, or witty, or distinguished, or possibly the way some diamonds are faceted.

 

The second one, because the first letter is capitalized, might be a person's name or the name of a commercial product.

 

The third one, because it is enclosed in quotes, might mean that I am calling into question a person's intelligence or intent.  As in, ‘That posting was "brilliant"!’

 

The fourth one, because it is all capitalized, might mean I am shouting it, which may or may not mean that I am praising some action or complaining about it, you would have to infer the real meaning by the context it is in... it also might mean it is an acronym, but without context, one would probably have no idea what it means...

 

Let's see what I can do as I write this:

 

Brainy Rigorous Intelligent Locally Literate Innovative And Novel Teacher

 

Boneheaded Rascally Illiterate Little Louse In A Nutty Tiff

 

 

 

Take yer CHOISE!

 

However, you cannot know my meaning because there is no context to apply here.  You cannot see if I am smiling, or in a snit, or ... ???

 

You can call me a foamer if you wish, and I will only be insulted by the way you say it.  Say it in a friendly manner and I will smile, hang my head and admit that I do get excited by the visual of a Steam Locomotive moving fast.  Say it in an unfriendly manner and I will probably respond in kind... but I will try to refrain from repeating your hand gestures.

 

 

 

Semper Vaporo

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Posted by Norm48327 on Sunday, April 16, 2017 12:20 PM

@RME:

Been a railfan since I was a kid. Old enough to remember the sometimes lonesome wail of a steam whistle and could recognize the signature of engineers who played them well almost making them a welcome tune. I lived just a few miles from the nearest crossing (could hear him blow for three or four crossings, and DAMN, those sounds were sweet) I laid awake some nights hoping to hear the sound that only a well tuned steam whistle, properly played, could generate. Yes, it's a trip back into my childhood to hear one of them today. They dominated the years of my childhood, and although I was excited when Diesels hit the rails, somehow the "BLAT" of their horns held no comparison to the sweet sound of the steam whistle well played by an experienced engineer.

It was sad to see the behemoths of the rails disappear in favor of efficency. Those engines were magnificent beasts, and the sheer size of some of them was something to behold. Technological progress takes no prisoners, and sadly, steam was inefficient enough it lost the battle for survival.

I can't help but wonder what  progress will bring to the rails in the future. Will the younger generation even realize steam existed without visiting a museum? Doubtful in my mind.

In the Sixties I was working a fire station near a crossing. One of the last steam engines to use the road blew for crossings in late evening while he and I were playing Cribbage. I and the guy I was working with commented on the sound, the engineer's skill with the whistle, and the realization it would likely be the last time we heard that performance. Sadly, it was not to be heard again.

Times change: memories remain.

Railfan? Always. Foamer? Never. Always respectful of those doing the job.

Norm


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Posted by schlimm on Sunday, April 16, 2017 12:42 PM

 

 

Speaking professionally, I am certain many "foamers" are not on the spectrum.  Additionally, I  believe the condition is badly overdiagnosed.

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Posted by Norm48327 on Sunday, April 16, 2017 1:15 PM

schlimm
Additionally, I believe the condition is badly overdiagnosed.

Agreed. The degree of excitement varies considerably between individuals.

Norm


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Posted by P-LineSoo on Monday, June 12, 2017 11:59 AM

On a somewhat related note, I've noted that those of whatever faction they'd fall into that photograph trains all seem to think that they're Ansel Adams and get their undies bundled about the photo rights as if it were a bloody Picasso.   There are very few really good rail photographers.  That is not to say that everyone else is bad, but it's not terribly difficult to just snap pictures of locomotives, and most of what I see is just that.

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Posted by Semper Vaporo on Monday, June 12, 2017 1:27 PM

It is just like some occupations that get bandied about here...

 

90% of all railfans give the other 10% a bad name!

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Posted by cx500 on Monday, June 12, 2017 2:29 PM

P-LineSoo

On a somewhat related note, I've noted that those of whatever faction they'd fall into that photograph trains all seem to think that they're Ansel Adams and get their undies bundled about the photo rights as if it were a bloody Picasso.   There are very few really good rail photographers.  That is not to say that everyone else is bad, but it's not terribly difficult to just snap pictures of locomotives, and most of what I see is just that.

 

While I hear what you are saying, and agree that the majority of rail photos are essentially average rather than valuable works of art, the fact remains that the rights to that image remain entirely with the photographer.  Where they get annoyed is when somebody else feels it is valuable enough to steal and use without crediting the owner.  I have seen somebody granting permission to a third party to repost one of my pictures that was on his own website.  In fact he had grabbed it off the web and was now claiming it to be one he owned.  Is it any wonder that those who care about their better images get p***d off and become careful about how they share.

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, June 12, 2017 3:05 PM

P-LineSoo
That is not to say that everyone else is bad, but it's not terribly difficult to just snap pictures of locomotives, and most of what I see is just that.

"Historic Records" and roster shots notwithstanding (Gee, I wish we'd gotten a picture of....), your run-of-the-mill 3/4 wedge shot is rarely anything extraordinary, as noted.  Far better are the images in which the train/locomotive is but an element in the overall composition.  

The issue of stealing images/calling them your own is an issue.  I've heard of people cropping an image to remove the watermark placed there by the original photographer.  That's pretty bad...  Yet some seem to persist.  Generally speaking, once it's discovered what's going on, the users of whatever forum/photo site the thief is posting on usually come together and go after him (it's usually a him).

The "fair use" doctrine probably applies to the use of images here, inasmuch as this forum is hardly a commercial enterprise (ie, the posters are not trying to sell a product or the image).  I would argue that as long the original creator of the content (print or image) is appropriately credited, all is good.  Whether the fact that we must link to the image constitutes due credit might be a gray area.

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Posted by RME on Monday, June 12, 2017 3:24 PM

tree68
I would argue that as long the original creator of the content (print or image) is appropriately credited, all is good. Whether the fact that we must link to the image constitutes due credit might be a gray area.

There are exceptions.  Much of the information in the T1 Trust repository is understood not to be 'for republication' and, in fact, some of the items placed there are under copyright which has not been waived.  Simply because an image has been posted on an Internet-accessible source does not put it in the public domain where simple naming of the photographer makes publication OK.

For many years, and I strongly suspect to this day, there are many images that are 'traded' as prints between railfans which have never been published, posted or shared outside that community.  Some of these, like the original GE cab unit demonstrators, eventually see print; many more, like the front-end coal firing arrangements in a question on the Classic Trains forum, may remain hidden indefinitely ... until you have something of equivalent perceived value to trade.  If you think that scanning and uploading one of these images to a Web site and then linking to it will be "OK" as long as you credit the original photo trader ... you may have another 'think' coming.

Numerous sites do NOT like, or approve of, the practice of 'hotlinking' (instead of copying and uploading, aka 'stealing', a physical image) as it involves what used to be considerable bandwidth each time the hotlinked image is used.  No amount of crediting the original source will make a proscribed hotlink somehow more acceptable.  In those cases it might be argued that securing posting permission from the original source is in fact 'better'... but I would not think that mere attribution would substitute for permission in many, perhaps most, of such cases.

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, June 12, 2017 4:41 PM

RME
Numerous sites do NOT like, or approve of, the practice of 'hotlinking'...

And more than a few block the practice entirely.

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Posted by challenger3980 on Monday, June 12, 2017 11:53 PM

geomodelrailroader wrote:

Hot Water does not like the term at all his real name is Doyle McCormick and you know who Doyle McCormack is he is the preservation manager at the Oregon Railroad Museum in Portland.

 

Okay, I need to set this part straight, right here and now, Hot Water is NOT Doyle McCormack(Please at least spell Doyle's last name right).

Hot Water's real name is Jack Wheelihan(I think I got that one right) Jack is a very well known member on the OGR(ogaugerr.com) forum. Jack is very involved with the 4449, and has fired for Doyle many times, and has been involved with the 844 program in the past as well.

Now I don't know what geomodelrailroader's real story is, but he is definitely WRONG about Hot Water's real name, I don't believe a word of his rambling about the word FOAMER being an insult towards those with Autism, I don't know if he really IS Autistic, but I am starting to suspect that he is nothing more than a TROLL.

Doug

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Posted by BLS53 on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 7:55 PM
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Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 8:19 PM

BLS53

Certainly a far more reasoned explanation than was advanced here.  And certainly one I'll buy into.

It's funny that the writer mentions spinning objects, given the current fad of fidget spinners (which is not to say that they don't have value as a theraputic device, only that they've gone beyond that and into fad territory).

A ham radio site had a picture of a morse code key, calling it the original fidget spinner...

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Posted by BLS53 on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 8:53 PM

There's a half dozen or so other credible links that come up through a Google search. 

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Posted by BLS53 on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 9:16 PM

schlimm

 

 

Speaking professionally, I am certain many "foamers" are not on the spectrum.  Additionally, I  believe the condition is badly overdiagnosed.

 

I agree with it being overdiagnosed. My daughter's a Special Ed teacher, and her classes keep increasing in size. Asperger's Syndrome appears to be the "trendy" one.

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Posted by Saturnalia on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 11:28 PM

BLS53

 

 
schlimm

 

Speaking professionally, I am certain many "foamers" are not on the spectrum.  Additionally, I  believe the condition is badly overdiagnosed.

 

I agree with it being overdiagnosed. My daughter's a Special Ed teacher, and her classes keep increasing in size. Asperger's Syndrome appears to be the "trendy" one.

Speaking for personal experience here, being one who has grown up with Asperger's, having a sibling with it, and knowing several others with it as well, some of whom are also into railroading. Allow me to make a few points. 

First the "overdiagnosis" debate is hard to quantify. That is, because science and society still aren't quite sure how to treat "mental disorders". The finicky thing is each case is vastly different from person to person. For many, the "disorder" is really just an abnormality, while for others, it is dibilitating. So the question of this is nearly impossible to resolve while this is unsettled. Many are "overdiagnosed", but at the same time the definitions are somewhat loose, and the symptoms of the issue are really over-treatment than the diagnosis (as in the special ed example above). At the end of the day, the steps taken post-diagnosis are the most important. Many end up taking medications for things such as improved focus. Like the "disorder" itself, sometimes it helps, other times people search for years and years, even when there isn't a huge issue. That's just bad parenting and medical care. None of this is to say that there aren't any bad diagnostic cases - but the majority are onto something, generally speaking.  

Second is the interesting point about Asperger's in particular. Remember here, I've been diagnosed with it for a decade, have grown up through school with it, and it is really the driving force behind my interest in this industry, and is already leading me into the industry as a clear career path. The thing about Asperger's is that it is a spectrum, and really appears, more than probably anything else in the "autsim spectrum" to be more of a different way of thinking than something mentally "wrong". A good way to describe it is being "wired differently" up top, as far as a metaphor for it goes. 

This sort of thing, as a medical diagnosis, no doubt annoys some because it again isn't like polio or cancer where the diagnosis is "yup, x y and z are the issue, here is how it is fixed or isn't". Truth be told, it is nebulous and the "solution" could be just about anything, on a case-by-case basis. 

So long story short, Asperger's generally impacts two things: social skills, and acedemic/mental capability. The spectrum starts with increased mental "skill" as far as things such as studying or picking up skills, and comes with some social skill holes, which make these people, especially in school/adolescent years, seem "odd" or "different". But, there are a LOT of very smart people in this part of the spectrum. In fact, many experts believe that many of the "big names" in the STEM fields in particular had Asperger's, with the hallmarks of social weakness yet brilliant minds (think Archimedes, Da Vinci, Edison etc). Essentially, these people generally spend much more time interested or focused on one particualar topic in life (enter trains here), and generally do very well in school or picking up new skills. Farther down the spectrum, this increased acedemic capability trails off as the social issues get worse. This is where it becomes debilitating. 

Third: So we know it is a real "thing". Again, huge amounts of debate as to whether it is a real "disorder" or is just "different", or where on the spectrum the boundary lies. In either way, many benefit from the use of medication of various forms. And for Asperger's particularly, railroads are often the "one big topic" people pickup on which guides much of what they do from a personal standpoint. It can help them to focus on one particular area of interest.  

Fourth, for example: Now maybe this is too much information about myself, but for the sake of the discussion, here we go: 

As I said, I have Asperger's. I'm on the part of the spectrum where I do really really well in school/acedemic settings - many would consider me part of the "gifted student" crowd - a label which is misplaced in many contexts. Great GPA, 99th percentile in most subjects, the ACT, etc. On the flipside I tend to struggle in social settings, most noteably those with unfamiliarity. Generally speaking, once familiar with the people, myself and others like me tend to do alright, but can be very uncertain in new places with new people. For me, the two balance each other out, by and large. 

So, looping all of this back to why we're here: trains. My "one big topic" is railroads. Since as early as I can remember, it is been a burning interest. Many people are able to turn this "disorder's" burning interest into a career, providied they have the skills and ambition match. That is why currently, I'm studying Civil Engineering, minoring in Railroad Transportation, and this summer I'm working an internship at a railroad engineering firm, out of my freshman year in college. For others, they might become auto engineers/mechanics/custom designers for example, following an interest in that industry. Yes, people generally gravitate towards things that move, that's just how it is, nobody seems to really know why. 

So when it all comes back to railfan versus foamer, you're going to find a significantly increased amount of "autism" in this hobby. No doubt, many people are "normal", who just happen to have an interest. But you're also going to find the type who probably has some social handicap but an interest beyond even their comprehension. Some of these people are going to fit right in, others will be driven to do bad things in their prusuit, or be "annoying" to many. This can be frustrating to those who are "normal" and don't understand how the thought process works for somebody with Asperger's in particular. 

As always in life, the best solution is just to be respectful at all times, even in the face of disrespect. We're all here because we enjoy the hobby. For some it just is, for others it is a product of different mental continuity. That shouldn't change how we treat other people. 

So now I'll alight my soap box. If you don't like what I said, if you think Autism and Asperger's is a total sham, then you're probably going to have ongoing issues with members of the hobby, who mean no harm, and just think differently than you! 

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Posted by challenger3980 on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 12:38 AM

BLS53

Not shooting the messenger, that was interesting, but geomodelrailroader is still the first person that I know of to claim that the term FOAMER, has any derogatory conotation towards AUTISTIC people, yep it IS considered a derogatory term to rail fans.

 It MAY be used regarding Autistic people, but if it is, I am not familiar with it in that use. when used in a railfan context, I have never heard of any connection to Autism. The word FOAMER, like MANY words, may have multiple meanings, and in the Railfan context, there is no reason for an autistic person to feel that it is being used to belittle their condition.

 Unfortunately, Trolls are very common to internet sites, and I am still not convinced that geomodelrailroader is anything more than a Troll, whether he is Autistic or not.

Doug

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 7:02 AM

challenger3980
Unfortunately, Trolls are very common to internet sites, and I am still not convinced that geomodelrailroader is anything more than a Troll, whether he is Autistic or not.

I've seen folks who take things all too personally.  A local woman here is so vehemently opposed to windmills/turbines that she can't be in the same room where they are being discussed.  She had to be removed from one such meeting.

I suspect that geomodelrailroader rather falls into that category - he's bought into the idea that the term foamer is specifically derogatory to the autistic.  As we've discussed, that's not the case.

There can be no question that there is crossover - those on the spectrum who like trains may be indistiguishable from those who are simply very interested in trains.  

Unfortunately, we seem (as a society) to want to categorize everything - kids can't just be kids.  They must be ADD, or ADHD, or autistic, or whatever.  Rambunctious isn't a medical diagnosis, so we can't prescribe any medications for it.  The old cure, a hand to the bottom, is no longer socially acceptable.

I did a search on "foamer" plus "autism" and the only truly related link that came up was this thread.  Everything else was either about foamers or autism.

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Posted by Norm48327 on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 12:47 PM

On another forum on which I participate I have known Saturnaila for some time. I havn't always agreed with his posts but given his revalations on this forum have developed ne found respect for him. It takes intestinal fortitude to out one's sel as he did . Alex, I participate on both Michigan railroad forums and have read your posts with interest and wondering where you were coming from. Thanks for the explanation of autism. You taught me much in your post; more than I would have found researching it on line. I've always been one of those who walked to his own drummer, and upon graduating high school spoke with a few teachers who recognized that I was not one who wished to be one of "the crowd". One of them said it was those of us who stood out were the ones he remembered rather than the all A students who filled his memory at graduation.

Alex, all I can offer is get the best education you can in the field of your interest. I personally know a civil engineer who is employed by BNSF. His advice, get educated int the field of your interests, then take it and run with it. I know a signal supervisor with Cn who is a railfan. You may know of whom I speak. The company hired him knowing hs background but acknowledging he gets the job done. I've met tha5at man several times; been to his basement recreation of the C&O in the ninety sixties  and can only say he has a mind for detail, current or past.

 

Alex, Now that I know where youre coming froming, hang in there.

Norm


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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 1:23 PM

Saturnalia
First the "overdiagnosis" debate is hard to quantify. That is, because science and society still aren't quite sure how to treat "mental disorders".

Perhaps this is because we're in a big hurry to find "mental disorders."  Just because a person has a strong interest in [name your topic here] and isn't a people person, are they mentally ill?  Somewhere on the "spectrum?"  If that's the case, we reach the point at which everyone who doesn't think like the editorial "me" must be mentally ill.

"Normal" is what someone determines it to be.

Teachers are seeing this on a regular basis.  Parents want the teachers to determine that their rambunctious seven-year-old needs medication.  Maybe he just needs a little discipline (and I'm not necessarily talking about physical discipline - maybe junior just needs his Xbox taken away a little earlier each day - or entirely).  But it's a lot easier to just pop a pill in the kid than to be an effective parent.

Again - that's not saying that there aren't folks who do suffer from autism - but pretty much all of us know someone who didn't utter a word until they were almost three - but then came out with full sentences (and haven't shut up since).  Nowadays, they'd be treated for some mental affliction because they aren't "normal."  

There lies the rub.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 1:51 PM

In a world of 7 Billion people - Normal just isn't normal.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 2:18 PM

Yes, Larry, there are children who say little until they see a need to. There  is the story of the boy who said nothing until he was three or four, and when he did speak, he was asked why he had not spoken before--he said, "I did/t need to."

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Posted by 54light15 on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 2:25 PM

Fidget Spinners are sold all over Toronto but I have never seen anyone play with one. Not at work, home or play as it says on the package. Not on the subway, in a car, in the check-out line at the supermarket, weddings, funerals, confessional booths, nothing. So what gives? Not to change the subject. 

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Posted by RME on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 2:33 PM

54light15
Fidget Spinners are sold all over Toronto but I have never seen anyone play with one.

I have several, including one of the ones with the flashing lights in the 'arms'.  My two kids have them and love them.  On the other hand, I think this was one of those fads, like Footsie or Clackers, that will be mercifully over as soon as the requisite number of generations of knockoffs and derivative products has been peddled and/or remaindered out on the bargain shelves.

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Posted by schlimm on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 5:47 PM

tree68

 

 
Saturnalia
First the "overdiagnosis" debate is hard to quantify. That is, because science and society still aren't quite sure how to treat "mental disorders".

 

Perhaps this is because we're in a big hurry to find "mental disorders."  Just because a person has a strong interest in [name your topic here] and isn't a people person, are they mentally ill?  Somewhere on the "spectrum?"  If that's the case, we reach the point at which everyone who doesn't think like the editorial "me" must be mentally ill.

"Normal" is what someone determines it to be.

Teachers are seeing this on a regular basis.  Parents want the teachers to determine that their rambunctious seven-year-old needs medication.  Maybe he just needs a little discipline (and I'm not necessarily talking about physical discipline - maybe junior just needs his Xbox taken away a little earlier each day - or entirely).  But it's a lot easier to just pop a pill in the kid than to be an effective parent.

Again - that's not saying that there aren't folks who do suffer from autism - but pretty much all of us know someone who didn't utter a word until they were almost three - but then came out with full sentences (and haven't shut up since).  Nowadays, they'd be treated for some mental affliction because they aren't "normal."  

There lies the rub.

 

 

 

[/quote]

I'm not sure how this got revived.  There is a lot of misinformation here and on the internet. Speaking as an experienced professional I will simply mention a few points.

1. We know more about spectrum disorders than before but there is a great deal we do not.  I have seen children and adults on various parts of the spectrum and they differ more from each other than they are alike.  I have never heard any person with that diagnosis mention the term "foamer" in any context.  There is no simple treatment and medication is not generally useful for it.

2. ADHD is better understood.  Like the spectrum disorders, it may be mildly overdiagnosed, especially by pediatricians, but this is not because of lack of treatments. Although there is still no single diagnostic test, a combination of tests by an experienced clinician can produce a valid diagnosis.  Medication is helpful.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 5:48 PM

RME
54light15

I have several, including one of the ones with the flashing lights in the 'arms'.  My two kids have them and love them.  On the other hand, I think this was one of those fads, like Footsie or Clackers, that will be mercifully over as soon as the requisite number of generations of knockoffs and derivative products has been peddled and/or remaindered out on the bargain shelves.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

RME
  • Member since
    March 2016
  • 2,073 posts
Posted by RME on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 7:10 PM

Thanks, Balt, you're restoring my faith in America: crankin' up the nitrous in an enclosed space as we channel the spirit of Benjamin Silliman Jr.

'

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