Friday, February 24, 2017

So Your Adult Children are Living At Home and Raj Finally Has to Live on His Own Income

Here in NY State the statistics say that 65% of all adults between the ages of 20 and 29 live at home with their parents. I was discussing this revelation with a friend the other day and she actually said he thought that the numbers were fudged. She thinks its actually higher.

If the only job you can get while in school and right after you graduate is an internship, that  if you are lucky pays minimum wage, how will you afford rent, even if you have 4 living in a one-bedroom apartment? How will you buy food, pay utilities, student loans, and even afford to buy that bus or train ticket to get back and forth to work? The truth of the matter is that unless your parents are subsidizing you, you live at home.

It has become so expected of young adults that once they finish college that they go out into the world and never set foot back in their parents home until Thanksgiving or Christmas. You can then you come with all you laundry for mom to do, and sleep in your old room without a care in the world. If you don't live up to this particular expectation your child, and by association you as their parent have failed to launch them properly into the adult world.

Many people talk about millennials. Just yesterday I had a conversation with my pharmacist about them. He's also the parent of several of this generation and he can't figure it out either. These kids are brilliant. I mean off the charts brilliant. They know more information, and are more adept at figuring out major questions than any group of people before them. But they can't figure out how to go from point A to point B in real life without your help.

Truthfully, some of this is our fault. Parents of our generation did do a lot for our kids. I'm not even talking about parents of special needs kids, like mine. I remember one day a friend was going into the City to let in the maid she hired to clean her daughter's apartment because the girl and her roommates were going to be at work. She had gone on a visit and the apartment was a pigsty (actually that's an insult to pigs), so she hired a maid to clean their apartment. Then of course, since the girls had to be at work, she went to let the maid in to clean.

It is one thing to help them buy new clothes they need for work, or to help them pay for trips for interviews that they can't afford. It is quite another thing to pay for their apartments, their cleaning lady, and anything else that is not an essential.

Hubby said, what she should have done is buy cleaning supplies for the girls and taught them how to clean for themselves. I agree. But I am not sure my friend ever made her daughter clean when she lived at home either. My boys know how to take care of themselves and clean a house. Now if they ever do it when they go out on their own will be another matter. That is one that we will have to wait and see.

In fact i remember the day I got rid of the maid. Yes, I had a maid for awhile. Between two autistic boys, running them everywhere, volunteering at schools, organizing everyone's life, I needed help. So I had a maid come help with the clean up every two weeks. Then I realized that they were doing a really lousy job and fired them. Mr. GS2 was very mad. he didn't want to start cleaning the house.

"It's your mess," I told him.

I got a glaring eyeroll.

"Besides, you said you want to live on your own someday. What makes you think when you start out in life, you will be able to afford a maid. I'm certainly not going to pay for one for you, so learn how to clean up after yourself."

Funniest thing was it had never dawned on him that he wasn't going to be able to afford a maid on his own or that one would not be provided for him. Needlesstosay,  he learned what he needed to learn to help keep the house clean. Also as the boys grew, we decided that they should earn video games or playing cards or whatever other fun stuff they wanted. So monetary amounts were added to chores. No allowance for just living. By high school, if they wanted something that was not an essential they had to save up chore money to buy it.

Interestingly, we were watching The Big Bang Theory and Raj has just been cut off financially by his father. His father told him he was spoiled. We all agreed. But now Raj who has been living an extremely extravagant lifestyle needs to cut back. He asks Sheldon for help, and is not really liking the reality of being on the lower rung of the economic ladder. Raj can't afford to go to their beloved Comic-Con. However, his friends are being supportive. The entire group just gave up going to Comi-Con, well all except Sheldon, he's still thinking about it.

Interestingly enough, Raj decided to finally cut his father loose, because he came to realize that girls really do only want a man who can stand on his own two feet. Women, not girls, want someone who is capable and competent to spend their lives with. Mr. GS2 told me his goal is to be independent and to live on his own one day. Which would make us happy. The boys being self sufficient is definitely one major goal. So maybe seeing a TV character with whom they identify, will put it in the back of their mind, simply what that means.

Honestly, we did have this incident with MrGS2 that he thought being independent meant he did what he wanted without our input, but that we simply paid for  everything for him because he is still in school. We had to disabuse him of that notion quickly. I don't mind him wanting to be independent one day. I don't mind him consistently reminding me that he is an adult now. But while I am happy to help him with his education and what goes with it, he needs to do what is expected of him, not simply what he wants to do, when he wants to do it. And he needs to know him being independent means, financially as well. (Yes if there are emergencies you help. That is what family does. That is what we have done in the past for others, and others have done for us. But the day to day, under normal circumstances, is all up to that independent self-sufficient adult.)

By the way, I think this new Raj arc is a great lesson for my guys. Listen, we have no problem paying for what they need. The oldest one only gets minimum wage at his internship, and the younger one didn't even get paid, it was for school credit. They help around the house in other ways, which they should. And honestly, as I told them once they get a real job, they should live at home and save money for a downpayment on an apartment. Why pay rent, if you can buy and start building something for yourself? Yes, I think parents, as long as you can afford it yourself, should help give your kids a leg up. Why make it as hard for them as it was for you. What's the point if you do that? But from what I read, millenials don't want to buy. They rent. So we shall see with that too when the time comes.

Truth of the matter is, I don't know if the boys will be independent one day. That is our goal. Our goal is for a full life for them. I know many aspies have it all, so why not my boys. We still work at it. To that extent we even found a local social program for aspies that they are going to try. Maybe make some friends, and realize that they can do more than work, school and home. It would be nice.

Meanwhile,  the issue though that we are facing, and that many families are facing, is how to create a harmonious environment in the house when everyone is an adult? Your children are no longer children, but it is still your house so its your rules.

Now the boys have had chores since middle school, and they continue to do them. They do laundry, clean, and help outside when weather permits. Their job is to do well in school, and at work. They go to bed when they want. They talk to whom they want. They interact on social media with whom they want.

But we do have a rule that dinnertime you must eat at the table. Except, if there is something special streaming. we give MrGS2 that, since he can't interact with others if he simply watches it in video rerun. And interacting of course is half the fun. That does lead to MrGS1/MrYM wanting to watch his show on TV during that time too. Hubby said to let him, even though they are not really the same thing, but you know you have to give a little too.

We don't have the issue of them coming and going at all hours of the night. I wish we did, and maybe one day we will. But the way to handle that is for everyone to remember that there are people who will worry about you. Staying out all night is not fair unless they tell you they are sleeping at a friends. They have to answer when you text them. They do need to let you know where they are going and withwhom. It's not a spying thing. It's a safety thing for young men, as well as young women.

I think the answer is simply curtesy. Be courteous of those you live with. Get them to understand that yes you see them as adults, but that you will still worry about them when they go out. They need to simply let you know where they are going. Get them to understand that by coming home at 3am, you will still be up worrying about them. It's not being a helicopter parent. It's simply that they are still part of a family.


See also:

Parenting and Practice

Practicality: Chores and Preparing for the Future


Thursday, February 9, 2017

GREAT ADAPTIVE BIKE GIVEAWAY CONTEST 2017

Yep, its that time again everyone. 

If you are in need of an adaptive bike for someone in your family check out the information below and join in the contest.






Friendship Circle Presents the Great Bike Giveaway
Every Child Deserves A Bike!

Friendship Circle is kicking off its 6t h annual Great Bike Giveaway on February 15, 2017. Great Bike Giveaway is an annual national campaign that strives to provide as many bikes as possible to children and teens with special needs. Participants will have one month to earn an adaptive bike through fundraising efforts using an online crowdfunding platform.

More than 74 million kids across the U.S. ride bikes. It’s a quintessential part of childhood. Sadly, a key group of children are excluded from the joy and independence of bike riding. Many children with special needs miss out on that essential childhood experience because their physical or cognitive limitations make riding a traditional bike impossible.

The high cost of adaptive bikes makes the dream of riding a bike unreachable for many children with special needs. Many families cannot afford to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a bike and unfortunately, insurance companies refuse to cover the costs.

Friendship Circle works with adaptive bike companies from around the United States to secure discounted pricing, making it cost-effective for families to earn appropriate bikes for their children. Adaptive bikes range in size, capability, and price making it easy for every family to find the bike that best meets their child’s needs. In just 5 years, Friendship Circle has provided over 900 children with adaptive bikes and the experience of riding their very own bike.

In order to participate in the Great Bike Giveaway families, or participants, will be required to complete a registration form and choose the bike they wish to fundraise for.

To view a full list of available bikes and rules, or to register, please visit bikes.friendshipcircle.org

HOW IT WORKS


LINK HERE FOR THE LIST OF BIKES





About Friendship Circle
Friendship Circle is a non-profit organization that provides programs and support to the families of individuals with special needs. In addition to assisting individuals with special needs, Friendship Circle brings together teenage volunteers and children with special needs for hours of fun and friendship. These shared experiences empower the children, our special friends, while enriching the lives of everyone involved. Learn more and see our available programs at www.friendshipcircle.org 





Thursday, January 26, 2017

Lessons in Anger Management, Behavioral Management, and Social Convention in the Present Political Climate

So you try to teach your child that it is not appropriate to have a meltdown in public. That as they age, there are societal requirements for behavior. That as they age when they are angry they need to learn how to process that anger effectively and channel it into something positive. That social convention stipulates that at a certain age, usually when they get to be adult tall, or reach adolescence, societal expectations are that they are to follow the rules, the law, and the norm.

Now enter present day politics.

What the hell?

We have grownass adults, rioting, setting fire to private property, smashing windows, attacking police officers and creating mayhem because they are not happy about a democratically held election. The ridiculousness of these acts, is that like after the Fergusion riots, there are people trying to compare these jackasses to the Sons of Liberty and the Boston Tea Party.

Well here is the truth:

The SoL did dump tea overboard. The tea was privately owned, but by a government monopoly. They were protesting the tax on tea among other imposed laws, where they had no voice in the matter, and the fact that the tea could only be bought from this monopoly. 

The SoL did not go through the streets of Boston, willy nilly and destroy people's private property. They did not go through the streets of Boston and attack innocent people. The SoL had a plan of action. They attacked, for lack of a better word, the epicenter, and symbol, of a government that did not allow them to vote, to have a say in their daily lives, and took from them their rights as natural born English subjects.

I do not think that the limo owned by a Moslem immigrant that was destroyed during the inaugural had anything to do with the political outcome of the election. The driver, who was injured, did not. The owner of the Starbucks that was trashed, most certainly was only trying to make a living. It's really not like Starbucks has a monopoly on coffee, and you can only buy coffee from there, never mind that the people that work there, who earn minimum wage, may be unemployed until the store is fixed from the damage done. Besides, no one stopped these tempertantrumming anarchists from voting. Like in the Portland riots, just after the election, it was proven that 90% of those arrested DID NOT VOTE.

So who is to blame for the outcome of a democratically held election if you do not exercise your Constitutional right to vote?

In other words, this was simply an excuse for those who have been taught that they are entitled to behave as miscreants to actually act out in inappropriate ways. Yes, there were over 125 arrests. I hope they throw them all in jail for a good long time. Then I hope that the Limo driver, the limo owner, and the Starbucks owner, find out the names of the groups that partook in these actions, and sue them for damages, along with civil rights violations, interference with  commerce, assault and battery, and then the wonderful all encompassing pain and suffering.

I hope the Justice Department goes after these anarchist groups for the civil rights violations of anyone who wanted to watch, walk or go near the Inauguration through the area that was trashed. I hope they charge them with civil rights violations for destroying the livelihood of the Moslem man, and the assault on the Irish driver. Considering the number of police officers hurt, I hope they go after these groups under charges of domestic terrorism.

It is time that society stood up and said enough.

If our autistic children, are required, under pain of expulsion, detention, or some other kind of punishment, to behave in a certain acceptable way, then  others need to be required to do the same. And not simply give the thugs a slap on the wrist.

Yes, I used the words thugs. I am tired of beating around the bush and not being able to say words that aptly describe someone because of political correctness. Thugs are violent, evil people. And simply because you think you have a political cause that enables you to behave inappropriately, doesn't mean you do. You are a thug. In fact, when you use violence in order to try to get your way politically, that is called terrorism. Maybe its time we started using appropriate labels to those that think they can run riot through towns even if they are members of the "Left."

Besides, how do we teach our children, who learn by example, that this rioting behavior is not ok if there are no major consequences to the rioters actions? How do we say, that there isn't two levels of treatment. One for the anarchists, because they claim a political redress, and one for our children, who actually are dealing with developmental delays? Which of the two groups actually should be given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to punishment and lack of comprehension? 

I know that even today, I try to continue to teach my youngmen the right way versus the wrong way to interact with people. I try to teach them the right way and the inappropriate way to channel your grievances and your disappointment. They don't always listen, but there are also consequences when they don't.

Here's another lesson: the Women's March. There was NOT one incident of violence, harm, or breaking the law. I may not have agreed with the march (I thought it was premature, and rather stupid with their pussycat hats and vagina costumes). But there were millions that walked, chanted, sang and interacted on a healthy, socially appropriate level. Now I don't think that swear words, insinuating that the President is incestuous, or that it is ok to call for the destruction of an ally (several of the speakers were known virulent antisemites), is the way to actually be intelligent, but legally they did not a thing wrong. It would have been nice though if they did find a way to clean up after themselves, instead of leaving garbage strewn all over the place, costing taxpayers thousands upon thousands to have to have someone clean up after them. Not illegal, just unthoughtful, and quite frankly not very eco-friendly either.

So you can point to the Women's March as an exhibit of legal, social, and even appropriate anger behavior management. Show your children that there are ways to get your ideas across that are acceptable in society. That group marches can, and do, come off without harm to another person. That large groups of people can come together and kvetch all they want about something that hasn't happened yet. This march was the exercise of the First Amendment in full exhibition.

Listen I know I am being specious. But I have no use for wasted time and effort. In life you have just so much political capital. Choose wisely how you use it. If you complain too much, even people of good conscience, will simply turn you off.

I also think that is a good behavioral management lesson for the boys as well. Pick your battles. Pick what you are going to fight for and work on at the time. You cannot work on every issue you have all at once, no matter what your child's IEP may say. 

Personally, for the special needs community, I think the really big issue right now is the fact that the Department of Education nominee, doesn't know what the IDEA is, and how it is applied to school districts. Now my boys are out of public school, and are not dependent on that piece of legislation. But that doesn't keep me from being concerned for others. 

If we need a march, that is the march we should have, along with letting the Congress know that there are certain aspects of Obamacare that in truth is keeping many of us alive. Moreover, under Obamacare so many of us finally are able to even get healthcare for ourselves or our children. Whether it is the preexisting issue clause, the autism related supports, allowing children up to 26 to stay on your insurance, and stopping lifetime caps of payments, getting rid of these provisions are the things that worry so many of us. I do know that many are also worried about going back to a block grant medicaid program. They believe this will cut funding, since the states will not supplement, and hurt supports for the disabled. Also though, it would be good if they did something about the cost. 

My premiums, which we pay out of pocket, have gone up by 1/3 and we now have to pay Mr.GS1's COBRA as well.  Moreover, because we chose the less expensive model for our son, the deductibles, for his policy are out of bounds. We took a shot that he wouldn't need major surgery, or have major health problems this year. We will see if we chose wisely. I will let you know in  December. (Honestly it was the difference between $500 a month or $1000 a month-I kid you not.) The boy also only makes minimum wage. What is he supposed to do with that first? And the Obamacare policies here in NY are abysmal.

So here are my final thoughts:

We have seen within less than a week, anger management, behavioral management and social convention in actual play. We have seen much of it fail, but at the same time we did see a successful application as well. The lessons are immense for our children.

Depending on their age show them and talk to them about what happened. 

Point out the pluses, the minuses and explain how everything does apply to them. Teach them a better way to behave when you are upset about a political outcome than rioting. Show them that sometimes there is power in large groups coming together.

Use the present political climate, which in truth, none of us can really avoid, to explain how the lessons they are learning today, are actually needed throughout their lives.

Then secretly crack open a bottle of Jack Daniels. I think we are going to need alot of that in the years to come.













Monday, January 23, 2017

Not only was Barron Trump bullied by adults, he was bullied about his "supposed disability".....think about that you defenders of political correctness

I simply can't believe that this has to be said:  because you dislike the parents' politics, you do not have the right to bully the child. 

It wasn't ok when Rush did it to Chelsea Clinton. (In very nice fashion Chelsea tweeted out telling everyone to leave Barron Trump alone.) The Obama girls were, and still are off limits. Even those who picked on the Bush twins, although at the time of their father's presidency were technically adults, were really thought of as déclassé. So what is wrong with some Leftists/Progressives that think it is fine to pick on Barron Trump, a child no less, that many even think might be on the autism spectrum?

What is wrong with these people? I wouldn't say adults, because adults with any kind of upbringing, do not bully, pick on, or try to hurt a child at any point in their lives. I get it, they don't like what his father stands for. So be the grownass adult you claim to be, and direct your anger at the father.

Or in the alternative, if you are that hard up for someone to bully, because you disagree with Trump's politics, then say something mean about Barron's mother. Of course, the Left did try that with the slut-shaming episodes against Melania from months ago. But you see, that didn't get them the attention they apparently crave, so forward went the brave Lefties to picking on a ten-year-old child.

A child, by the way, who sweetly played with his little nephew, while his father signed an executive order.

The best part of the attacks were that these so-called comedians, one who writes for SNL and other who writes for Comedy Central, is that they were making fun of Barron's possible disability. They hooked into his lack of engagement. His quiet demeanor. His standoffishness. They decided that he has mental health, and social issues, and this became fodder for laughs.

Interestingly, during the Obama era, when someone went on social media, and made racist, or inelegant jokes that caught fire, they had their lives ruined. When a communication director for a congressperson chastised the Obama girls for their clothes, she lost her job. We became cognizant of how we spoke, what we spoke, and the effect it had on other people.

It wasn't a bad thing. Words have meaning, and words do hurt.

From a libertarian perspective, of course, politically correct speech is terrible.  (Don't send me emails) But people also need to remember that your rights do end at the tip of my nose.

Yet, from a human perspective, is it really so bad to pay attention to the words you use, and to think how those words really would affect others around you? It is really so bad to have just a little compassion? Is it so bad to think beyond yourself?

But somehow these two sad excuses for jokers who picked on Barron Trump, are still employed. (See update below)(They are the primary example, not the only ones. There was the general nastiness you see on twitter or social media. It was a fire storm of piggishness.) Yes, they should be fired. Fired not simply because they thought it was ok to pick on a child, which is bad enough, but also fired for thinking it is ok to demean another human being because they have a disability, or a mental health issue.

Remember, you may have the right to say anything you please, but your employer also has the right to fire you when you hold them up to ridicule, derision, and opprobrium. Employers are not the government, they can, and do, expect that you do not put their reputation into question. Employees cannot cause an employer financial loss, or potential disgrace.

Funny that, though, no one seems to have chastised SNL, or Comedy Central for employing such losers.

In truth, Comedy Central is no longer funny.

And the only thing SNL has going for it right now is Alec Baldwin.

What I think it also says about this show or TV station, though, is that somehow they have decided that it is ok to demean certain other human beings they disagree with. No one and nothing is off limits. But if in the alternative, you ever demeaned them, or their child, they would raise holy hell.

Heck, you can't make fun of their icons or idols either. How many jokes were ever really made about Obama? Ironically, in an almost North Korean like exhibit,  SNL had a tribute to Obama on their last show. You would think that the world was burying the Messiah all over again.

The truth of the matter is that in our world today, there seem to be very few true grownups.

The Left complains about Trump's classlessness, and yet they themselves are just as classless.

But the most convoluted part of the entire situation, is that the Left, which prides itself on standing for human, and civil rights, thinks nothing of picking on a child, and picking on that child's supposed disability. Think about it. The self appointed watchdogs of humanity, think that the disabled are fair game for derision, censure, and hate, as long as they don't like your family.

Yes, hate. They used supposed disabilities as fodder for their hate.

Again, there was much talk about Trump and his mocking of a disabled reporter. Pages, and pages, and pages were written about his horribleness, his carelessness, his disrespect for the reporter's humanity.

But how many on the Left actually laughed at the jokes mocking a child's probable disability? That is the question that needs to be answered. That is also NOW the question you need to ask yourself, next time anyone on the Left chastises Trump for anything.

The Left really is no better than the things they despise about Trump.

Hypocrites, and losers. The lot of them.



UPDATE: From the Washington Free Beacon

SNL writer Katie Rich issued an apology on Twitter at 3 p.m. eastern Monday calling her joke “inexcusable.” She sent the Tweet about 30 minutes before the announcement that she had been suspended from the show indefinitely. A source at SNL told Deadline that the suspension occurred “immediately” after the offending tweet.

This was nice to see. All children are off limits. Finally. Good.