Monday, June 30, 2014

Elopement/Wandering Safety Information

I received this newsletter today. It contains alot of very important information about how to keep your child safe when dealing with elopement and wandering. It's a great newsletter and I recommend you subscribe.



From Positively Autism
June 2014 Topic: Autism and Wandering/Elopement
Elopement refers to a person leaving an area without notifying others, which may place that individual in a dangerous situation. Elopement, which is similar to the term wandering, is a common issue faced by the families and educators of people with autism.

This month, we'll continue our series on Autism and Safety by focusing on resources and information to help with elopement and wandering among students with autism.

Articles, Tips, and Resources

The Danger of Elopement/Wandering -

Why is My Child Eloping and What Can I Do? -

Tips to Help Prevent Wandering and Wandering-Related Tragedies -

Wandering Toolkits for Families and First Responders -

Create a Family Wandering Emergency Plan (Includes a Plan to Fill-In) -

Sample IEP Letter to Help Your Child's School Address Wandering -

Research on Autism and Eloping/Wandering -

Safety Products for Autism and Wandering -

Social Stories for Wandering/Eloping -

Caregiver Checklist Tool for Wandering/Eloping (How to Minimize the Risk) -


Summer Downloads

Positively Autism's Summer Page! -

  • "What to Expect on Summer Break" Social Story
  • "Travis the Train Visits the Beach" Vocabulary Story
  • "Travis the Train Goes on a Summer Picnic" Vocabulary Story
  • Sunny Vocabulary Flashcards
  • "Train in the Sun" Vocabulary Story
  • Summer Songs Videos
  • More!


June 2014 Positive Autism News Stories -

You can find a list of the articles and resources in this newsletter issue here:

Sunday, June 29, 2014

OK...One Quick Update

Yeah yeah yeah Hiatus...but I had to share this with everyone.

CM2 went from having no jobs two weeks ago to having one job and one internship last week. He started last Wednesday at his paying position. Friday he went to his internship. In the JOB he is doing data entry for the our Town. It just so happens that he is imputing parking ticket information. The para told me that he had to "shush" him when he started getting angry at all the people who don't pay their parking tickets. I feel sorry for anyone in town that CM2 runs into who is in arrears on their civic obligations. I think they are going to get an earful. Something tells me that while CM2 might not remember what is due when, when it comes to school, this societal negligence on the part of the denizens of our town is going to get remembered. CM2 doesn't like liars and to him this is lieing. (Update: turns out the town has a confidential information policy which they had forgotten to have CM2 sign on his first day of work. They remembered on the second day. When hubby asked him at dinner that night about his day. He told his father that he couldn't talk about it due to everything being confidential. We smiled and changed the subject. Seems the scofflaws are safe from being reprimanded by CM2 for now.)

The internship is at a historical society and he is going to help them go through photos, upload and catalogue them. He is also going to have to make a spreadsheet containing specific information about the photos. The town he is going to work for was incorporated in the 1600s, and while there are no photos that go back that far (of course) some of  the pictures are from the 1800s. For me the history buff this is quite interesting.

Best part is that the para gets to go with him to both the job and internship. I sent emails and even called to explain the situation after the job interviews. The emails were extensive about the need for a job coach and what purpose they serve.Turns out that no matter where you go everyone seems to have a relative with autism or some form of learning disability in their lives. It's amazing what people will tell you when you are honest about your own reality. Not only wasn't it a problem to send the para, but he was greatly welcome as support.  And yes, they also are going to put the para to work if they can. The other day, the para helped CM2 carry boxes of files to storage for the town.

Oh and for the historical society, since it doesn't pay for me to drop CM2 off, go home and come back, I was planning to hang out for the few hours each week he goes there. It's a nice little town with shops, and cafes I could explore if I wanted to. I could sit and read a book or play on my blogs. Of course, the director mentioned that she had some projects for me too. Well why not? I hope its with some really old documents. As I said history is my hobby and touching items loved and cared for by persons gone by is something that simply thrills me. Yes, in another life,  I should have been an archaeologist or archivist.

And most importantly, CM2, since he started everything last week, has gone around singing. Really singing. I haven't heard that in a long time. While hubby isn't quite certain what his younger child plans to do with his life and this concerns him, the idea that CM2 is happy working is a great boon. School is one thing, real world endeavors is another. If CM2 had to be pleased doing something, better its real world productivity than school, even though he knows that its school that will eventually get him that foot in the door.

Interesting recent event: On the subject of how vast is the network of special needs parents ...CM2 and his behavioral therapist were verbally abused by a sales person at our local Post Office. The person had a very think foreign accent, and as usual with our children and their auditory processing issues, son couldn't understand what was being said. When the therapist politely asked her to talk slower, because my CM2 couldn't understand her, the postal worker yelled at her that there was nothing wrong with her accent and that they need to learn to listen. At that moment the next window opened up and they asked someone else for help. Which they received with respect. (Now I wasn't surprised that this particular person was so nasty. There are adults in my town who avoid the local post office simply because this person works there. I didn't send them to the post office to set up CM2 that he shoudl have to deal with this loser, there are many others who work behind the counter as well and anyone of them could have helped him from the beginning. Truth is, it didn't have to happen, but it did.) In discussing this incident with the therapist, who by the way, was very upset by the entire event, I told her that in real life one of the things that the boys need to learn to do is deal with assholes. Not everyone you meet is going to be kind and understanding, so in learning self-advocacy skills you need to also learn how to circumvent the creeps. Truth be told, the incident had to have been really something. This is an experienced therapist who is used to dealing with all manner of people to get her students the support they need.

Then I went to the post office and got the person's name. I filled out a complaint form on-line and dialed the 800 number to report her. In discussing the incident with the customer service representative and telling her that CM2 has an autism spectrum disorder, she became mortified. It turns out her daughter is working towards a degree in special education and privately tutors autistic children. She fast tracked my complaint. It's amazing, as with the job situations above, just how many people are effected by special needs and especially autism in our world today. It seems that the more open you are about your child's issues and disabilities, the better it might be in the long run.

What if anything will happen to the person behind the counter I can't tell you. Do they need to fire her ass? You bet they do. But there have been numerous complaints against her over the years and they have done nothing. Nothing may be the way they plan to handle our complaint too. Except that in my written complaint I added in that this was a violation of the ADA and human rights statutes of my state. Her attitude made it difficult for son to access the post office, especially if she had been the only one present, and her berating him in public held him up to public ridicule.

Let's see what they do with that. But I won't hold my breath.

OK, back to blogging hiatus. Sort of. Well until something else interesting happens at least.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

#NoKidHungry Text 877-877 to find meals near you #SummerMeals

Pass this on. If you know, or think you know, any family with hungry children (18 and under), find a summer meal program near home.

Yeah I know, hiatus, but this is important info to get to people.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Hiatus Time - Taking Care of Me

I want everyone to know that I am going on an autism writing hiatus at least for the summer. I realize that I have nothing more to add to our autism journey at the moment. But please read my blog and search for topics you need help with. Don't forget you can still email me with questions if you need support. This really isn't goodbye as I will be keeping my Raising Asperger's Kids and personal FB page open for anyone who needs to contact me as well. It's more a mental health exercise for myself.

Meanwhile, I will be posting on The Rediscovered Self and even thinking outside the box on Liberty's Spirit (much to the consternation of many). I realized that I need to concentrate on a different direction at the moment. I think I need to rediscover more of myself.  Is this vapid, selfish or taking charge of my life? Probably.

I realized I need a change of environment and atmosphere. Some new directions and hobbies. Something new to work at for myself. A new personal goal in life. Not sure what that is right now. As I always say, I am now 53 years old and still haven't figure out quite what I want to be when I grow up. Will I eventually figure it out? I don't know unless I try.

Also know that the boys are OK. This hiatus is not about them having  problems. They are in a good place and working towards their goals. As with everything about their progress there are ups, down ins and outs. But they move forward and that is what is most important.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Beware the Oracles of Doom: Internet and Narcissism, Nothing New

I have basically lost track of how many studies tell us that our children are going to hell in a hand basket because they spend so much time on the Internet. These studies tell us that our offspring have no social skills, that they cannot think, reason and expand upon ideas all on their own. That twitter, Facebook, instagram is all about being stars in our own reality TV show. That what this younger generation needs is instant gratification in their existence. When they don't get that reaction in the real world  clinical depression and a level of dangerous nonfunctionality ensues.

To that I say, bullshit. I wonder, did it ever occur to those doing the study that THEY are the problem and not the Internet or our children? Listen with each new leap in technology there are bound to be societal problems. Technology creates a new way of thinking about the world around you. Those who cannot keep up are left behind. The truth is the Internet opens up the entire world to those who live in non-tyrannical nations. Information abounds. Don't tell me that young people do not know how to assimilate and understand all the information at their fingertips. It's the only way they know how to survive and function on a daily basis.

To also say that somehow there never were predators, racists, antisemites, and any manner of perversion known to man, before the Internet, is ridiculous. To say that the Internet makes evil things easier to find, I would say, "Yes." But it also makes the good easier to find and provides the ability to defend against degradation for some of the most misbegotten societies of the world by offering a huge lifeline. It makes access to goods and services easier to locate and provides so many, especially in the special needs community, a tool of interaction and communication that never existed before. It brings so many out of their isolation and allows for some modicum of normalcy in their lives.

Yet it is not even the idea that information accessibility is the issue. The powers that be deride social media platforms as the tool in making our lives into a dramatic show. Everyone gets to be their own Kardashian-like reality show. Did it ever occur to these braintrusts that dramatic shows are the norm in human relations? People had drama in their lives from time immemorial.

Peyton Place is not a modern book, but a look at the American suburbs of the post WW2 era. Jane Austen writes about the machinations and rules under which people lived during the Napoleonic Era. Defoe writes about the trials and tribulations of Moll Flanders. Before these authors those who looked and commented on the human condition of self-promotion and human excess was Shakespeare, Chaucer and oh, yes, that little text called the Bible. Needless to say anyone could also look at the ancient Greeks and Romans for their plays concerning inter-family squabbles, human frailty and narcissistic self-importance. Go HERE for a full list of the commentors and social critics from back in the day of togas and the ancient Olympics.

I wonder what the issue is with those that decry the Internet and its social media use? Is it that the average person no longer has to feel average? That the average person is allowed to have media attention for any number of reasons and that we as a culture do not have to see the celebrity/political pundits as the only avenue of recognition? Is it that we are no longer a nation of followers, or serfs, who blindly follow a leader, or that there are those in this world who research, seek out and cut through all the crap that someone is telling us? Is this the reason that so many who seem to be loosing power, even here in the US, want to curtail the Internet and pull back on its access? Is this the real reason for the assault on Net Neutrality? Is this the real thinking behind the recent push to curtail political speech in this country?

First, they tell you that the technology is invading the family.
Second, they tell you that your child will not function in the real world.
Third, they tell you that the Internet has more sway over your child than you do.
Fourth, they tell you that the information you child puts out into the real world will harm them for the rest of their lives.
Fifth, they tell you as a good parent you need to stem the flow of information.
Sixth, they propose a bill to save the family and restore balance to the world.
Seventh, the bill passes and access to the Internet is denied or only permitted at government largess.
Eighth, the public is supposed to be ever grateful that the pundits have curtailed our freedoms in the guise of protecting us.

The powers that be couch their assault on free access to the Internet in terms of solidarity, family, health and the future of mankind. But in reality it is only a vehicle for tyranny and oppression. It is the ultimate narcissism of politicians, social engineers and Statists that will destroy our world. Ultimately it has nothing to do with the ability of the individual to freely be the center of their own life story. It has to do with control of our society by those who decide that they know better than the average person how to run everyone's life.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Summer Television Season

Now something for the adults in the room:

Growing up, when the regular TV season was over, you only had reruns for at least four months. In fact as television became a larger part of the popular culture it seemed that the rerun season got longer and longer. Now, however, with the advent of cable programming the entertainment Gods have decided to create programs that have shorter seasons, but may have several incarnations throughout the year. That is why the summer is now the season of original programming.

Some of the summer shows have already begun:

A new season of 24. Jack Bauer once again is saving the world from evil.

An interesting show I picked up last summer called MOTIVE. Here the crime is known, the fun of the show is figuring out why.

There is a new pirate drama Crossbones with John Malkovich. It does bring in history and the search for the ability to denote longitude on the high seas. I can see this period drama being interesting for a awhile, but unless it gets a little more intriguing real fast, the continual scowling of Mr.Malkovich is not going to be enough to keep me watching.

Now in June some of my favorites are returning:

Rizzoli and Isles: interesting crime drama with female buddy crime solving duo,  based upon the
novels of the same name.

Perception: brilliant neurobiologist who struggles with mental illness, helps the FBI solve crimes (I have mixed feelings about this one. I think in many respects showing a schizophrenic, albeit a high functioning one, who lives without meds and therapy is not particularly responsible.)

Royal Pains: doctors who deal with the rich, spoiled and obnoxious in the ultra-wealthy enclave of the Hamptons. Less Peyton Place and more Animal House. Non-serious fun.

Covert Affairs; spies unleashed. And of course, its the bureaucratic powers that are the real enemy, not just the terrorists, and evil doers in the world.

Defiance: Post apocalyptic Earth after a huge intergalactic war. St.Louis is now the town of Defiance. A conglomeration of aliens and humans trying to get along in one town. Intrigue, machinations and typical scifi out of the box goings on. (It got a little wearing by the end of the first season so I am going to see if the writers can regrad my interest.)

Longmire: modern cowboy police drama in Wyoming, based on the novels of the same name. Brings in the culture of flyover country. Liberals won't like the show; everyone has guns, pick-up trucks and believes in independence from government control.

Musketeers: a new BBC America drama. I am gong to try it. Anything based upon the legend of the Musketeers has the potential to be diverting.

If there are shows you are looking forward to over the summer list them in the comments below.