Tag: Autism

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Content to Be a Cog, Part Two: Pursuing Opportunity

 

I scored the job interview–the one vetting me as a candidate to work with kids who have autism–but I almost canceled it. The process looked intimidating: thirty minutes to read and respond to questions, followed by an in-person meeting with multiple hosts. And honestly, if driving were to be a big part of the job, I wasn’t sure I was up to that level of responsibility behind the wheel. I was also considering a lucrative role as a dog sitter and childcare provider for a couple of doctors, one that would leave me free to work on my online job during the day. Why put myself through a rigorous interview process and waste everyone’s time if I didn’t plan to take the job? I felt tired just thinking about it.

However, I decided to keep the appointment for several reasons. First, I had learned that being open to experience was often more rewarding than not. I knew I was vulnerable to narrow judgments that, should I hearken to them, could result in missed opportunities. Second, plain old inertia had me considering action soon before the interview, and I thought it would be bad form to cancel so late. Besides all that, I was a second-stringer in the doctors’ home position, waiting on whether the young candidate they were currently trying out would sink or swim–and that was a job where I’d be regularly ferrying the professionals’ precious cargo to and from school. So, I opted to pursue opportunity by getting my car professionally cleaned (a small drama in itself) and following through on the invitation to talk further about the autism position.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Content to Be a Cog, Part One

 

In the afternoons, I have been leaving my online work for a second job. This supplemental employment is a change from typing up documents at a keyboard, and that’s what I needed after fourteen years. In this job, I drive a half-hour into town. I wear a small apron around my waist, with pockets that hold small toys, containers of crackers and sweets, and my phone, which comes in handy in this line of work. After an active several hours of leading a small person about by the hand, I go home with snatches of nursery songs in my head and put off the required quarter-hour of note-taking until late in the evening. Now and then I think, “I’m sure glad it worked out this way.”

It started a year ago; the need to earn a few hundred bucks extra per month and get away from the glowing screen for a few hours a day. It just did not seem healthy to spend my life in a chair, straining my eyes mercilessly, reading and writing, and fighting distraction. Substitute teaching, which had been the attempted supplement for the past decade, was just not cutting it. While often satisfying, including riffs of real teaching and enjoyable relationships with colleagues, substituting not only did not pay enough for the required outpouring of energy and time; it also sapped the resources I needed for my online job. It was time to look for a regular source of income, but I couldn’t see myself at a grocery store or working retail. I answered ads for tutors of young kids; these seemed hopeful, and then fizzled to nothing after promising phone interviews and even a meeting with a family. My photographer sister sympathized, all too familiar with the phenomenon. It’s called “ghosting.”

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Mask Wearing: Must it Be So Complicated?

 

While some people comply with wearing masks with a degree of resignation, others are angry and frustrated when required to wear them, as the controversy about the need to wear them drags on. But for some families, mask-wearing is especially difficult for certain children with autism. I suspect that other conditions also create emotional and physical difficulties when wearing masks. In particular, the Ross family with a seven-year old daughter with sensory processing disorder as a result of her autism traveled to Disney World.

Understanding a little more about sensory processing disorder might be helpful. The condition and its manifestations can vary from child to child, and includes (but isn’t limited to) not wanting to be touched, eating only certain foods, wearing only particular clothes or cutting the tags out of their clothes, or having meltdowns in crowded public places. As an example, a balloon popped when the Ross family were at a local fair and the daughter was triggered and ran into a four-lane highway nearby. The potential for this extreme behavior requires ongoing management.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Freedom and Child Locks for Mentally-Challenged Adults

 

As many of you know, I am the single father of a mentally-challenged, severely autistic, speech-limited adult man. It should be noted that my son has an extensive history of elopement (running away – see also here, here, and here), self-injurious behavior, and occasional aggression. My son has escaped without detection from every school he has attended, including preschool at the age of three, and with the exception of high school when he was retrieved as he was attempting to leave the campus, which was situated on a hill one block from a toll-road where cars travel sometimes in excess of 65 mph.

At age 10, he escaped from our house and made his way up to the same toll-road when some motorists pulled over and managed to detain him until the authorities arrived. About three months later, he escaped from his caregiver’s home and ran across several streets until he was hit by a two-ton truck that nearly killed him. He spent a week in the hospital and a few days in pediatric ICU. He sustained a broken jaw, contusions, and over the next six months fully recovered. He continued to elope as he got older and has been returned to our home several times in the back of county sheriff’s cars. He is not traffic-safe.

Member Post

 

And take in other moments that are important and speak to the value of each individual life. Enjoy. Read More View Post

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Fox News is reporting that a man with reported cognitive disabilities managed to get out of his seat on the Space Mountain roller coaster which is completely housed, while the ride was in progress: A Disneyland attraction was shut down after one park visitor jumped off mid-ride Tuesday afternoon, Disney confirmed to Fox News. Read More View Post

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and and Greg Corombos of Radio America find themselves drowning in crazy martinis again today. They slap their foreheads as a new GOP congressman from Tennessee – who is also a doctor – appears to tell a constituent that he’s hesitant to accept the government’s denial that childhood vaccinations cause autism and says he thinks the Centers for Disease Control have “fraudulently managed” data on the issue. They also rub their hand with glee at the possibility of political inroads with young people as Democratic regulators in California consider a tax on text messaging and then consider some far more annoying aspects of modern communication that ought to be taxed. And they can only smile as Nancy Pelosi somehow jumps on the bandwagon for term limits in the Democratic leadership in exchange for four more years as Speaker of the House.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Collision at the Intersectionality

 

Time to put some flares down. Just a little something to infuriate you today. Saddleback College in south Orange County, CA (the same school my Autistic son attended for their Adult Transition Program) refuses to back down on its claim that Marcus Knight, an Autistic student with cerebral palsy who asked a female student for a fist bump and another for a selfie, violated the young women’s Title IX rights because they were essentially “inappropriate” (read: sexually intimidating) acts. The more you read this article, the angrier you may become (emphasis mine below).

The first incident occurred in the first week of September when Marcus was in the Student Services office and asked a female student working there if he could “fist bump” her. She agreed but soon filed a Title IX complaint.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Dealing With The Angry Autistic Child – It Ain’t Easy

 

A video has surfaced on FoxNews from Florida about an officer who was fired for his apparent mishandling of the unruly behavior of an Autistic boy in a school which prompted me to respond with the following.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Court Ruling on My Special Needs Son’s Voting Rights

 

UPDATE for my previous post: “A New Democratic Party Vote Mining Initiative?” We (my son, his caregiver and I) have just returned from the Probate Court where the judge ruled in my favor rescinding the voting rights for my speech-challenged (non-verbal) mentally-impaired Autistic son. When I checked in with the court clerk before proceedings began, she expressed shock that I would be challenging my son’s right to vote. I made it plain to her, and to the judge later, that the court investigator had submitted false and fabricated information to the court declaring that my son was not only verbal (when he is clearly not) but also that he had responded affirmatively to a question (that she never asked) about his desire to vote. When I made this declaration to the judge, he postponed discussion on the matter for about 45 minutes so he could quickly rule on some other cases while giving the public defender the opportunity to communicate with my son before making his ruling.

When it became clear to the public defender that my son was unresponsive to her questions and not establishing eye contact with her, she agreed that he was indeed not verbal. She also realized that she had a court inspector working for her office that was fabricating information, and asked for her name which I cheerfully gave her. Whether that inspector will be reprimanded or even brought before a court for perjury isn’t clear. The cynic in me believes that she may get her hand slapped and continue to go about her work. The next general conservatorship hearing on the status of my son and his care and well-being won’t be for another 3 years at which time another inspector will be sent to our home to interview me and my son. I will video that interview.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America slam BuzzFeed, and to some extent CNN, for irresponsible reporting on alleged dirt that the Russians have on Donald Trump. They also rip Pres. Obama for his delusional farewell speech, including his patented move of urging Americans to understand one another while demonizing anyone who disagrees with him. And they wonder why Trump would meet with someone as loony as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on the issue of vaccines possibly causing autism.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The Accountant – A Movie in the Black

 

accountant-movieIt’s nice to pay for a movie and not be disappointed. I know that sounds odd, but in this day and age of Hollywood where more and more movies are created for foreign consumption, it is nice to be able to say it. Not only was I not disappointed–I actually enjoyed it.

I watched The Accountant starring Ben Affleck. Here are some more things to like. None of the characters are really unlikable, not even the bad guys. It doesn’t bash any group or take political shots—when it could. Even Ben Affleck’s character, a high functioning autistic, manages a small smile once in a while.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Autism and the Thomas Sowell You Haven’t Read

 

51CRJ5V7UfL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Most people know Thomas Sowell from his political writing. I came by Thomas Sowell differently: My kids didn’t start talking until they were well past the age of three. During those non-verbal months, plenty of parents, teachers, doctors, and others suggested my twins were autistic. Sowell’s book, Late Talking Children, was a reasoned counterpoint to that suggestion, not to mention my lifeline to sanity.

This lengthy post (and it IS lengthy!) is for any parents or grandparents with little ones that don’t hit their growth milestones on time, raising the question of autism. I sincerely hope it helps.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Unusual Intelligence

 

shutterstock_27901960Jeffrey Goldberg’s article last month in The Atlantic about the Obama administration’s disdain for Israel raised eyebrows with its now-infamous galline-related expletive. Analysts also highlighted a more substantial concern: that the administration was gloating that it had neutered Israel vis a vis Iran. But there was a third insult in the article as well, one that touched a certain group very deeply:

Over the years, Obama administration officials have described Netanyahu to me as recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and “Aspergery.” (These are verbatim descriptions; I keep a running list.)

Member Post

 

The following are true stories. After a few days in pediatric ICU, the boy was transferred to the regular pediatric ward on the same floor of the hospital. His parents took turns sleeping at the hospital overnight with him. One evening when his mother was with him and after she had fallen asleep, the boy […]

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Member Post

 

The following are true stories. The family lived in Orange County, California. The boy’s father had been working for a high-tech company with offices in Oregon; New Jersey; Vancouver, Canada; and Hong Kong. His father had traveled frequently to each of these locations and to Denver, Phoenix, Seattle, San Jose, Las Vegas, mainland China and […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Slugs and a Mother’s Joy — D.C. McAllister

 

I was in the kitchen cooking dinner when my iPhone rang. It was my son from college. I answered, and his face filled the screen, framed by gaming posters and a chart of the Periodic Table in the background. “Hi Mom,” he said.

“What’s up?” I asked a bit distractedly as I sliced a yellow tomato for the salad.