Don’t be a hater Spectrum

That Spectrum commercial where the woman gets cable and her husband turns out to be a dish employee, shows the dish guy as fat slovenly .  It correlates stupid with dish, but also with obese people.

Notice that the spectrum cable guy is slim and cleancut.  He has his shirt tucked in.  Spectrum wants us to like that guy.

Spectrum doesn’t want us to respect the husband who turns out to be a dish network installer. So they make him silly, and chubby.

Its subtle because nowadays they have to be.  But it is there, isn’t it?

 

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Stories of Grandpa

Saturday, dad and I traded songs via youtube.  He showed me who put the overalls in mrs ___ chowder.  We also listened to Nellie Jack and my blue heaven.  Dad talked about how his dad would come out of his bedroom dancing and singing these two songs.  My dad was emotional as he remembered this. He said Grandpa must have been a romantic.  Other men didn’t want to get married, but he always wanted a family.  Dad said he did too.

I replied that’s what I always wanted as well.

What a gift my father gave to me.  To share and to be vulnerable. And to be emotional.

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Adult Supervision

 

John Elder Robison, author of Look Me In The Eyes, talked about his Asperger’s syndrome going un-diagnosed until adulthood. A great book and in it he talks about the adults being the only ones that interacted with him due to his social skills.
People with autism can be challenging. However, as adults, we can handle it. When behaviors get on our nerves, we need to be the ones that keep them from isolation.
Their behaviors are not a choice to be naughty. They can be organic and they can be learned. They may make comments that are insensitive because they cannot predict how it will be taken.
Those behaviors do not need to be ignored. Depending on the person with autism, they may be thankful that you took the time to explain to them how to be social or why something may be off-putting.

Some problematic behaviors just have to be ignored. However, we need to make sure the person behind those behaviors are also not ignored. You do not know how important you might be to someone without positive relationships. We want people with autism to have friendships. Caring adults may be the only thing keeping them from loneliness.

 

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Know the child

The one thing that bugged me the most at my sons IEPs were the experts that liked to spout information about autism. He needs this as children with autism are low toned. It’s important that you have a lot of knowledge when working with autism. We need experts.
However, it does not help that much in making decisions. In deciding what is best for the child in question. Because every child is different, you need to know the child.
Teachers are taught to respect and include parents in planning meetings. I think they still often fall short. Educators have studied disabilities and accomodations. However, parents are vital because they know the child the best.
Professionals, I think, do not look to the parents for information enough. Research and such is great for guidance, but for every generalization made (yes by me included), there are just as many exceptions.

I know this because at my son’s IEP, I saw how the professionals talked. They did not know that I had that same information. I did not confront them, but I did not need to. They were able to get my child’s educational needs met.
However, at times they missed the mark. The last few years, he did not need an IEP, but frankly, I wanted the school district to get that special education monies.

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All Lives Matter

Would black people be better off focusing on what they have and the blessings in their life. To always be thankful they live in a good country? I believe so.
However, I see a direct correlation with those that believe that blacks should stop complaining and how much they think white men are the new minority. What I mean is the more certain people believe that the white male is a target of unfairness, the more they say black people should be grateful.
To a certain extent, all people have things they struggle with. However, racism is real. Facts are facts. More black men are killed by the police. More black people are incarcerated. The simple act of profiling makes them angry as it should. It would make them angry.
So, too many people are whining that white males don’t have it fair. That other people have it more fair. Besides being wrong, it is weak. It is babyish.

Yet people get mad over black lives matter. They say all lives matter. In this they see reverse racism. However, they are not using violent rhetoric. There are people calling for black people to be eraidicated from the country. To be sent back to AFRICA.
People that are not racist, but want black people to quiet down, are an echo of our recent racist past.

Sensory Overload-

Everyone can get frustrated at noise or lights. People with autism are especially sensitive to it. Your mind has the ability to filter out an extraneous sound or a slight flicker to a light. However, a person with autism may not. It may be a trigger for them and it may not be obvious to neurotypical person.
People with autism may not have a mind that can filter out what is important. They put as much attention to the electric fan going as the sound of your voice. The chair is as important as your face. They take in sensory input and cannot prioritize.
That is why they cannot identify social cues. Everything is coming at them. So you can see why a child with autism may have a tantrum or act out to avoid something. They are as tired as we might be if we attended a long boring conference all day.

They then might need some time to recharge. Avoiding social contact may not be anti-social. Kids with autism are often video gamers. They can forget about everything else and focus on what they can control.

Advocate- Special Education

Advocate

You are your child’s advocate in any level of planning meetings, the professionals do want good things for your child. But it is within the framework of what is best for themselves and their institution.
My son required quite extensive interventions when he was younger. In home therapy, early childhood, speech, OT, etc. We were so blessed that he made so much progress that his needs fell away. At one point, the only thing addressed on the iep was speech and he did not really need that. It was clear that they wanted to keep him in special education to keep that special education money.
Sometimes, it works the opposite. Professionals want to do what will save money and manpower by not giving your child what they need.
Sometimes the plan they want to enact is simply not a good one for your child. Even if they begin to cringe when they see you, you have a strong voice in the plan. If they are not working in the BEST interests of your child, there is a process and ways to fix that.

Charlottesville’s White Supremacy Rally

Violence was not the right response. It only fueled the hatred. Yet the alt-right were chanting for the end of Jews and the beginning of ethnic cleansing. I am trying to think of a good analogy. The best I can think of is what if OJ’s children went to the Goldman’s house and began chanting that someone needed to exterminate the rest of the Goldman’s. Or would people not want to react angrily if the Muslim’s rose up in our country and called for the end of all Christians. Would there be no Christians waiting for them with weapons? To me, it was wrong but understandable. And the protestors didn’t run people over with a car.

A Great Read about Autism

Wonderful. Challenging. Beautiful. Frustrating. But so worth it. My boyfriend, Kyle, and I have been dating for around a year and a half now, and he has been diagnosed with autism, ADHD, and dyslexia. I’m often asked if that makes a relationship difficult, and my honest answer is always yes. Of course it does. So […]

via What is it like to be in love with someone who has autism? by Amy A — David Snape and Friends – The place to show off your hidden talents

Everyone is The Same

“I am different not less.” – Temple Grandin

People with mental illness and people with a disability are no different from anyone else. They do the same thing everyone else does. It is only that life and chemistry makes their actions extreme. A person may hear voices. You may not, but you do have an internal monologue that talks to you. There are many people in a mental hospital that cut themselves. Many people do not. But they do self-destructive things. Everyone thinks of suicide. Because of depression. Chemical imbalances make that desire stronger.
Children with autism may twirl their fingers. It is self-stimulation. A way to calm down. If everyone took note, they would see something they do similar things. Hair twirling. Pen cap chewing. Beard stroking. A child with autism may become violent. People have violent tendencies. Because they know of social conventions, they suppress it. A child with autism may hit a teacher. His or her reactions are extreme, but everyone has physically fought with a sibling (maybe at age 2). But they are in school, they know that is not social correct to hit a teacher. That they will get in trouble.
It is difficult, but everyone needs to learn that mental illness is just that. An illness. We don’t make fun of a person with cancer. We do not shun them or think them as weird. Mental illness is not the person’s fault.