How Guinea Pigs Could Help Autistic Children

The article “How Guinea Pigs Could Help Autistic Children” by Audrey Carlsen, published by NPR, is based off an Australian study, that found a link between children with autism and guinea pigs. They discussed how it is easy for dog walkers to strike up a conversation with someone, while they have their pet present, and correlated that to smaller pets, with children who need support building connections with peers in social contexts. They placed guinea pigs in a classroom, and found that the children were more likely to look at faces and participate in conversation. This was the result for both autistic and non autistic children. Animals give people a common interest, and interaction to focus a conversion around. They create a calming environment that has the potential be stressful and hectic in the classroom. This is important to our field of Child Development in multiple ways. Autism, as well as other social disabilities, are becoming more and more common among young children. Often times parents are looking for alternative resources that can implement positive interactions for their children in the classroom. Classroom pets provide the opportunity for students to interact without singling out any child with an exceptionality.  The author expresses the idea of how animals make a great contribution to individuals with and without exceptionalities. In any situation where one needs to build rapport with an individual, having an animal greatly helps. This can include public places, classrooms, therapists, etc. She continues to describe the positive reflection animals have on people. When one is seen with a “pet” they are typically viewed as kinder and friendlier. Overall Carlsen supports the idea of classroom pets, to support social interactions. 


How to support AB 1266

Here is the Facebook page that supports the AB 1266 bill:
By liking this page, you will receive information regarding the progress of this bill, and ways to support AB 1266, in an effort to deny certain organization’s attempt to repeal it.

Another way to take action and support his bill is by printing this letter and mailing it to Governor Jerry Brown:

December 3, 2013 – Change date if necessary!

The Honorable Jerry Brown

Governor of California

c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173

Sacramento, CA 95814


Dear Governor Jerry Brown,

I am writing to commend you on the signing of Assembly Bill 1266 (Ammiano).  This bill is a highly influential change in our state in supporting our youth.

A.B. 1266 allows for students that identify as transgender to be treated with respect and have their rights honored along with those of all other students.  It is a step forward in ensuring that our youth are supported in their school environment, which will reap greater benefits for California in more ways than one. I support the choices you have made in advocating for equality and justice.  I will continue to spread awareness of the bill and fight for its support.

Thank you for your time and efforts in ensuring a more positive future for children and families.


Sign Here

Your Name


Phone Number

A level playing field for transgender students

“Discomfort is not a valid reason to allow discrimination…”(The Times editorial board). This line, I feel, defines our progressive era of equality. So much discrimination is centered around the discomfort of others. The right to be treated equal without feeling threatened should be guaranteed to everyone. A lot of organizations are fighting this bill to go through in the fall. However listening to the impact it has on these students, and the hardships they have had to go through to be their own person, is incredible and will hopefully find support throughout the community of California.

The Coming Storm: ‘Controversial’ Transgender Stories


This article definitely touches on a lot of different areas. I can appreciate the idea of complicated “grey areas” other parents may need to address when introducing this gender neutral law into California. It is a little disappointing that  some parents rather not have these tough discussion with their children. I feel that lack of communication strongly correlates to the amount of discrimination that is still present in our society. This law encourages a lot of discussion among all people, however it is important to understand the facts and effects of this law. Allowing individuals that identify with the opposite sex they are documented as, allows for a hopeful future of acceptance of everyone, and freedom to express yourself without the fear of being discriminated against or categorized as “different”. There are various groups that are working toward the repeal oF AB 1266, and stories like this, help the general public to understand personal success this law has on individuals within the community.

Ab1266 Pupil rights: sex-segregated school programs and activities.(2013-2014)

I have provided the bill that allows individuals to use the bathroom for the gender they identify with, rather than what it says on their records. This allows those in the California community, who identify with the opposite gender, in public school to use the bathroom they feel most comfortable in. As an advocate for this bill, I wanted to introduce the facts, what this bill stands for, and who it will effect. Further down the road, I will post more about the changes that might be made, due to a group of students fighting this bill. It is important the the general public, first and for most are familiar with the facts, before getting too deep in biased opinions. This will lead to a more educated support system, and for a community of educated awareness.

Shackled and pregnant: Wis. case challenges ‘fetal protection’ law


I thought this article was really interesting, especially since we were talking about a lot of pregnancy rights. This brings up an interesting concept that I did not really know about, where pregnant women can be detained for drug use, and or any signs of abuse to the fetus. This women in particular was not taking any addicting drugs, which resulted in her loosing her lawyer, and one being granted to her fetus.

Iraq inks $6 bln refinery deal


Iraq inks $6 bln refinery deal


A handout picture released by the Iraqi prime minister’s media office shows PM Nuri al-Maliki touring military posts in the outskirts of Baghdad on August 6, 2013

Credit: /Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office/AFP/File
Iraq on Thursday signed a $6 billion deal for the construction and operation of an oil refinery with a capacity of 150,000 barrels per day, a government statement said.

The statement on Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s website said he attended a signing ceremony for the deal between “the oil ministry and Swiss company SATAREM.”

“Today, we sign a contract for an important investment project… which will contribute (to) filling the country’s need for petroleum products,” it quoted Maliki as saying.

The statement did not specify whether the contract was an initial or final agreement, or if cabinet or parliamentary approval was still required.

Contacted by AFP at its Swiss headquarters, SATAREM said no one was available for immediate comment.

While Iraq is among the top producers of crude oil in the world, it still imports billions of dollars of refined petroleum products every year.

Crude exports account for the vast majority of Iraqi government revenues, and the country is seeking to dramatically ramp up its sales in the coming years to fund the reconstruction of its battered infrastructure.

Officials are aiming to increase production capacity to nine million barrels per day by 2017, a target that the International Monetary Fund and International Energy Agency have warned is overly optimistic.


Summary: I felt as though this article was important, because the oil industry is a huge source of money that countries rely on. The country of Iraq is one of the top producers or the oil business and generate a lot of money in that area. I found it interesting because they seem to be making a lot of money in this industry while we were over their to try and better organize and stimulate their government and our government is the one that is on shutdown to decide whether or not to raise the debt ceiling.