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Posts Tagged ‘aspergers’

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

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I especially appreciate this awareness because of personal family experiences. Sometimes these awareness may seen trivial or just too many, but no one is asking you to get a degree in each and every issue. They are just asking you to become familiar with it, to have a little understanding, and to not be judgmental toward people you don’t understand. Many mental and physical illnesses and mental and physical differences are not seen so people don’t understand them.

I have children with high functioning Autism and like others like me I sometimes get frustrated with other people who don’t believe my kids are facing challenges because they look “normal”. I am not trying to downplay people with physically obvious disabilities. While things are better for them than when I was a kid, there is still a lot of ground to cover. I’m just writing about my own families personal experiences.

When I say people don’t believe my kids face challenges due to having Autism, I want to explain that it isn’t always someone being obstinate, but often it’s just ignorance. My kids don’t mind telling folks they have Autism, but it’s not something they announce everywhere they go. They don’t have a special mark or a tee shirt with it written on it. So when they act odd or say something socially unacceptable people just assume they are rude, mean and so on.

This is where raising awareness for Autism and other mental and physical comes in handy. If people actually take some time to learn about it, listen to those talking about it and not assume they already know everything, then more folks won’t just to conclusions so quickly.

As a mom of Autistic kids I fail at this from time to time. However, the more I’ve learned about Autism and various mental challenges the more I stop myself before judging and wonder if the person acting oddly has Autism or something unseen they are dealing with. That doesn’t mean I excuse inappropriate behavior, but it does mean I change the way I deal with it. I can point out a problem or correct an issue with kindness and the readiness to learn more about the person.

Many people with high functioning Autism can learn to “act” normal and even come off as neuritypical, aka normal. The rate at which they learn this differs and is more challenging for some then others. Even the ones who have mastered it work harder mentally then they appear. Rather then things coming natural to them they have to mentally work at it.

As a mom knowing the progress of my autistic kids isn’t easy. How they conduct themselves at home, at school, at work, etc can vary. While they may behave well at home, there are so many possible triggers at school and other places which can drastically change their behavior and their ability to maintain calm and keep their manors.

When it comes to working, so many things affect them. For instance Walmart. My daughter was looking for work and a lot of folks brought up Walmart. Problem is, it’s too large, it has big bright florescent lighting. Both issues for her. Often the easy to get jobs have issues like that for people with mental challenges.

My children work with the local job services. The job services provide training classes, sometimes clothes for interviews and so on. They also help their clients find work and if the work place will work with them the services will pay the clients instead of the job place for a certain amount of time. After the time is up the job place can say good bye or hire them on themselves. This way the client gets training, work experience and something to include on their resume.

My oldest daughter, Hannah, now 18, got her first job through the services at Pet Co. It seemed like the perfect place because she loves and is good with animals. They started her off stocking shelves. Over time she began to ask about learning other jobs but they insisted she continue stocking shelves. She did learn about fish but that was because she asked. When the services person came in to check on her progress she heard one of the supervisors tell the services person that Hannah wouldn’t take initiative and do anything else. This of course upset her because she had tried. The job ended when summer was over.

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Cotton and Candy. Our hamsters.

The next job the services found for her was at Biggby Coffee Co. It’s a coffee shop like Starbucks but not quite as pricey or high end. Again she was excited about it. Things started off well. The owner told the services person he was very happy with her. He liked that she was artistic and everything seemed peachy.

Now these employers whom the job services are working with are told about what ever disability their are dealing with. However, it has become very clear to us that that doesn’t mean they have any idea what the “disability” entails and that they will inform or even educate their other supervisors and employees about it.

While working at Biggby’s, Hannah didn’t see the owner much. He had several other Biggby’s he owned and spent time at. Most of the time she worked with a young lady I will call Beth. Beth’s older sister was the manager and the managers best friend was either the assistant manager or another employee. Neither of them were there much either.  Mostly when Hannah worked she worked with Beth and no one else.

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A cup of coffee I had likely from McD’s.

 

Although my daughter started off with a positive bang, she had trouble learning the various specialty coffees. She learned the simple ones but for some reason the manager got annoyed with her and told her she was not allowed behind the counter. So she spent the rest of her time working there moping and cleaning tables. No one explained to her why and they never told or complained about her to the services.

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One particular day Beth was not working so Hannah worked with a young man who had been away for a long time. A rush of people came in and the drive through became full causing a lot of trouble for the young man. Although Hannah was told to not go behind the counter she felt bad for the young man and decided to help by only making the easy drinks she knew how to make. After some time the manager and her friend arrived. They quickly shewed Hannah out of the way. Hannah didn’t have time to put the shot glass she had in her hand down in the correct place so she put it on the near by counter before finding a place to stand that was out of the way across the room. This resulted in either the manager or her friend knocking the glass off the counter and shattering it on the floor.

When Hannah told me what happened I told her to call her services person and tell them what happened right away. When she did the services lady told her not to go back to work and that she would contact them. When the services lady contacted the coffee shop the manager told her that Hannah dropped a glass, got glass in a costumers coffee and tried to serve it to them. I don’t believe the services people believed Hannah at first. But after we met with them in person and Hannah told her side of the story they seemed to be more convinced since her account actually added up.

Regardless of Hannah being wrongfully blamed and treated (like a cleaning maid) there is always something to learn and take from the experience and improve on.  Hannah’s mistake was not contacting the services more often and letting them know about how she was being treated. It’s possible some of the conflict could have been avoided if the services knew that they were not allowing her to work behind the counter. After all, the point of it all is for the clients to learn the different aspects of working at the work place and be taught as well as being helped with improving things like communication, social issues and so on.  As far as Biggby, well, they also should have called the services and kept them informed about Hannah’s progress instead of just having her clean and learn nothing. And maybe hire managers who are not clickie and don’t lie about their free employees and maybe have a owner who regularly attends how to manage people seminars, and so on and so on. Oh and maybe take a few classes or read articles online about autism or what ever mental challenge or disability their employees or free labor people have so they can help them and work with them better. And also teach their managers and supervisors about such things. Thus, the point of this months awareness and this blog.

I may have wrongfully indicated that the manager was “clickie”. She just sounded that way to me. She also lost interest in hiring someone we knew when she learned she knew Hannah. So, maybe I’m right, maybe not.And maybe it just sounds like I’m complaining and venting. Understand that I am using this as a true example of what life is like for people with disabilities in the work place. And I would guess it’s not even the worst story out there.

After Biggby the services found another coffee shop for Hannah to work at. This time it was a privately owned one and the owner and her husband are there working the place themselves. As a mom, I have a hard time knowing when it’s appropriate or not to intervene. I want my daughter to be independent but if things keep failing, then maybe I need to step in minimally. Seeing as the jobs are services paid experimenting with this is probably best now rather then later when she is hired and paid by her employer instead. So I went in on her first day, introduced myself to the owner and asked if she was familiar with autism. She told me her oldest son has autism. Right away I felt a sense of hope.

Hannah has been working there for a while now and so far so good. There was a miscommunication a while ago and the owner talked with the services about it, they talked to Hannah about it and it was cleared up and things were better then ever. They are actually teaching Hannah how to do just about everything. Some things take longer then others and they have been very patient and encouraging. It’s really wonderful to find a place that doesn’t take advantage of the free labor and actually puts time and effort into helping my daughter learn the ropes. I wish this wasn’t so odd. But people really don’t understand how difficult it is for people with various disabilities to get employment, then when they do find employment, to actually keep it.

The more people become aware and educated the more they can help others become aware and educated, the more people with disabilities can find a place in this world and take care of themselves and earn their own dollars and feel empowered. Many of these people have amazing talents to share with us, they often have a divergent way of thinking because their life isn’t normal and that sort of thinking can make huge necessary positive changes and additions to life. But if they are continuously misunderstood, not hired, easily fired, and so on, not only are they missing out and barley surviving, if at all, but so is everyone else.

So educate yourself. Encourage others to do the same. Step up when you see abuse and unfairness around you. Be a light, a beacon to those around you. Awareness is like a indicator light saying, “Hey, attention is needed here!”. And when it comes to people being hired, and not used and fired, there should be an big indicator light blinking because there is much improvement to be had.

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My daughter gave me permission to write about her experiences in order to help others. I think what she went through is an excellent example of why there needs to be awareness and how so many people are ignorant of the everyday struggles people like Hannah go through. I hope this will help others to improve themselves as well as reach out to those around them wither in person, online, through media, et cetera.

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Be sure to join the Facebook awareness event page for Oct. 2016 at https://www.facebook.com/events/1818899638328565/?notif_t=plan_reminder&notif_id=1475290786535584 and let others know about it. It’s an event that is all month long and beyond and it’s located everywhere.

You can help by talking with friends, family, co-workers and people you see here and there. Write about it or share helpful articles on social media and blogs as well as share on vlogs. You can use your Facebook banner a place to post awareness. You can ask for more ideas and information on the above Facebook link and you can get more info from the link below.

For more info from the US Department of Labor and for downloadable material go to https://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/.

I made a banner you may use of you like. Here it is for you to copy. –

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Hey Guys!

I’ve been blog gone for a while now and I apologize. I’m not saying I’m “back” but I will try to do better. I still am on Facebook but normally for only brief moments of time. Instagram has been my go-to because I can make quick clips and pics on my phone and keep going. (You can find me there at www.instagram.com/lorenakoran/) But even that apparently has challenges. I learned the hard way that my new Cricket phone has a limited high speed internet thing on it and I used it all up so I couldn’t post Instagram stuff until I paid my bill for the next month. I think I used up my high speed privileges by using YouTube music while driving, which I do a lot of. Oops! I’m not to happy about that. I’m already paying enough for me and my daughters phone services, (Her dad contributes a little for hers, but it still adds up.) I don’t need an added extra charge. I guess I’ll have to start downloading music. Another time consumer and not always free unless you use the free stuff which normally comes with viruses and spam.

So yeah, I have been busy. That’s not new. Hannah has a job that I get to drive her too. I am very proud of her and I want to encourage her and she will pay me for gas when she gets paid. Thankfully it’s not super far away. She got this one through the DVR and Aurora services and we hope the place she is working at will like her and hire her when the allotted time is up. Already it is better then the place DVR placed her in last summer. That place (PetCo) didn’t bother training her but insisted she stalk shelves. Then when her DVR person came in to check on her the manager said she wasn’t taking initiative. Hannah wanted to learn more but they wouldn’t let her! Ug! So, this place she is at now is all about training her. So much better!

Sometimes it’s easy to lose track of the struggles people with aspergers (now just called Autism) go through. When they are “high functioning” there are times it seems they can take on the world. But that just isn’t reality. Just because a person with aspergers turnes 18 doesn’t mean they suddenly have the skills needed to get, maintain and keep a job. Their pace is often slower. Given time they could master the trait and actually do better then anyone else, but not everyone understands they need time to really learn it. Then there’s the days when there is too much stress and they melt down. How may places of employment can understand when someone calls in saying they can’t work that day because they had a melt down. Some folks with ASD wouldn’t be able to even express that. Plus, not many folks really even know what a melt down is and the time it takes to come back from one. Spin around until you can’t stand, then try doing your job. Not only is it very difficult or even impossible, it’s a bad idea. I really appreciate the services out there that are in place for people who have disabilities or mental issues, yet want to work and have the most normal life they can. Yes, sometimes such services are neglectful or take “forever”, but sometimes they pull through and are just what you need.

I’m happy the school year is almost over. I wish it was already over because we are moving next week. As far as the boys, whom I am homeschooling, I plan so far to continue at a slow pace through out summer. I’m glad RVA and my boys RVA teacher are set up for such things. The last two weeks homeschooling has gotten steadily more difficult. Mainly due to my youngest increased melt downs. Since he comes home so depressed from his dads home, Kyle’s therapist and I decided it would be a good idea for me to keep him home on the weekends for about three weeks instead of going to dads to see if things improved. We lasted two weeks. The depression did improve but the melt downs continued to get worse and worse. I believe he is depressed at dads because instead of throwing a fit, crying, saying horrible things and so on he holds it all in. He’s told me many times he is afraid of his dad which is why he “behaves” for him. So, when he gets home he pretty much explodes and has little control over his negative mood and depression. I’ve had several special ed teachers explain to me that often kids are bad for mom because they feel comfortable around her. It sounds wrong, but it’s actually right, as in the right thing to feel.

I have asked his therapist about what I should do in the case of him acting out or trying to act out his threats, (they are usually about himself). He pretty much told me to do what I planned to do which is to take him to the ER. But what I didn’t know is that the ER is trained to handle and refer issues like that to a mental health specialist. Hopefully it won’t come to that but it’s good to know.

The other night I did some research on Kyle’s symptoms. I found they match either a mental psychosis or a bad reaction to the meds he just happens to be on. One way or another it seems his meds are not right for him. He has been refereed to a child psyc next month. It’s a long way away but the alternative is to get one near by and wait a year. Next month already feels like a year away so I don’t mind the drive. One of the many things that sends Kyle into a melt down is his frustration with himself. His OCD is getting out of hand and that will set him off. It’s difficult to have to have to walk on egg shells around him but I also feel so bad for him because he is frustrated and upset with himself.

Then there’s the other kids. I have three older them him. (He’s ten, btw.) They have their own issues to deal with like aspergers, ADHD and Autism. I am relieved they are doing so well. But after having Kyle stay home from dads on the weekends for two weeks I saw them get so stressed out and tired and easily frustrated. It made me think about how it’s not just me that needs the weekend break but they have needed it as well all along. I don’t do favorites, it’s never been something I cared to do or put up with. But, in a way Kyle’s has been treated like a favorite for  a while now. So many things are in place to keep him from going off. Now with things getting worse the other kids have also had to walk on egg shells around him. That is not fair to them. Although it breaks my heart to see Kyle depressed, I have to keep sending him to dads for his siblings sake as well as mine. This evening I did explain the situation to his dad. I encouraged him, again, to see Kyle’s therapist. I told him that possibly the therapist would have some ideas for him to help Kyle not get depressed. I hope I got through this time.

I hope that the appointment for next month will be effective and we can figure out how to make Kyle’s life not just bearable but positive and no longer something he feels frustrated over. I would love to have my baby back. Sometimes I think about when he was a baby and I can’t help but cry cause I miss him. He was the funnest, alert, happy, curious and wonderful little (he really was a little guy) baby. Sometimes I see other people and their adorable happy well behaved baby and I can’t help think about how you just never know what that baby will become. But, then again, I also watch shows like Beautiful Mind and Temple Grandin and I remember that things can change for the better too. Even my own daughter Hannah is comforting when I recall how horribly difficult she was when she was younger and how wonderful of a person she has become now. She was actually a easy teen to raise. We had moments but compared to normal kids she was a jewel. It was before that that we had so much trouble. So, I know, sometimes, that there is hope. And I know for sure I will not give up on Kyle. We will figure it out.

One thing I am very glad about is that we are not still in that horrible cult we had been in. If we were I have no doubt they would be saying my son is demon possessed. The idiot church leader who titled him self a prophet said Hannah was demon possessed and had no clue (from God who he hears from and speaks for, or so he wants people to believe) that she was autistic. Although this is abuse, I must tell you that it’s something which Hannah now takes great pride in. Love her sense of humor!

Haha! Aww! I almost forgot to add, my own health has been challenged. My periods may or may not happen monthly but when they do they last anywhere from three weeks to a month and a half. On top of losing all that blood, I had a blood test done while I was not pms’ing and it showed that I was very anemic as well as some other issues. So, I was told to take iron. (It has to be the Ferrous Sulfate kind and not the “other” kind.) No wonder I was craving rare hamburger. Lol. That was a while ago. I have been feeling a little better as far as energy so it was no surprise today when I got the call from my newer blood test that my blood levels have improved but the doc still wants me on iron. I did have something else that was off so now I need to see a rheumatologist. I had had a lot of tingling and pain in my arms, mostly the right, whenever I tried to go to sleep for quite a while. It’s improved a lot so I haven’t really been thinking about it but I’m sure it’s all related. I also have been diagnosed with RLS. The meds help a lot. I can’t hep but wonder what’s going on and what I will learn and piece together once I get to talk to a professional about it all.

So I gota tell you about the other night, if you’re still reading this. Lol! Kyle continuously wakes me up as long as he is awake. Usually he doesn’t drift off to seep for quite a while. Some nights he zonks right out and some nights he stays awake for a very long time. Usually it’s the in between one and if I let him talk to me he’ll wind down and pass out. However, the other night it was a no sleep night for him. I was dog tired, like usual, and kept passing out. Each time he would wake me. I think most of you know how that feels. It’s quite unpleasant. Anyway, it happened over and over so many times that I finally woke up and jerked at begin startled by the daylight. It was kinda funny.

So, there ya have it. Why I have been internet AWOL.

Now for the move which I am mostly looking forward to it. The trailer we are in now has such tiny rooms and it’s cold in the winter. I don’t know if the house we are moving into will be warm, but it is bigger. Here’s the crazy thing about houses. In each area or state there should be required things in a home. Like in tornado alley all homes (including apartments) should have storm cellars. I have heard California has codes that building have to be built earth quake proof. At least they get it! Here in Wisconsin homes should be required to have mud rooms. All the people in the homes here have big snow boots, big giant jackets, big snow pants, hats and gloves that get wet and so on. A little tiny coat closet or door way can not handle even one persons snow stuff let alone a family of five! Yeah! So, that’s what I think! If you’re gonna build a home here, or an apartment, or even a trailer, for cryin out loud include a mud room!!! Okay, I ranted. Thank you! Lol! Oh, yeah, another think I am looking forward to is not living in a small town with nothing to do in the winter which is most of the time. Moving is a pain in the back, and feet … and I will miss the porch and the neighbors, but, that’s about it. I’m ready to go!

 

On the lighter side, let me tell you about out hamster, Hanz. He’s a little hooligan. I just expect him to die, those little things get tumors and die so easy that I just expect it. This little dude likes to throw me off and appear dead sometimes. Today he was laying sideways on top of his floor stuff and twitching. OMG, really! I said something to Hannah and Levi about it but they are used to his antics and are more pessimistic about it anyway. So Levi calmly says, “touch him”. So I did and he just laid there twitching. So I touched him again. This time he got up and ran away to the other side of his tank. Twerp! Hannah and Levi thought is was so funny that he scared mommy, …again.

Life will get better because we will make it so. I sometimes wonder how friends and folks I know and have met have dealt with and how they have felt going through similar or even worse things then what I am going through with my son right now. I think of them and think they likely have the same thoughts and feelings I have and I understand that there is no way to really understand what it’s like unless you go through it. Yet I don’t wish it on anyone either. Once again I hope that by expressing myself and telling my story maybe it will help people understand at least a little and maybe it will help other parents or care givers like me know they are not alone. While you don’t have to hold on to fairy tales, you do have to hold on to hope. But I must say, fairy tales do provide a temporary escape from time to time. Although it partly pains me to send my son to his dads on the weekends I believe he is in a safe place and it gives me time to do something for myself and as I have recently come to understand, a break for the other kids. I feel very lucky to have this. In the past it wasn’t possible because my other kids were too young and had their own problems I had to be present for. So, as negative as things have gotten there is a ray of light. I read and watch inspirational things when I find myself getting to negative. It helps pull me back up. I also have a mental bucket list and ideas for my future that I can use to look forward to. I finally started a vision board. It took me a long time because I felt seeing pictures and words about what I want to do would be too depressing. But it’s actually not. It’s quite pleasant looking at those pics. I need to do more but at least I got it started.

Hey, come by my Autism, etc page and hit “like” and join the conversation, if there is one, or start one. Just be nice. If you wanna not be nice there’s a ton of other ASD groups that are fine with that. It’s at – https://www.facebook.com/autismrisesabove/.

 

And now for some funny pictures! 

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This one is not funny. Lol!

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Okay, I’ll stop now. 😉 

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Image found on Google Images. 

I screen captured the discussion. Here it is!

Also, if you wish to click on a recommended link or see a posted pic better I re-included those at the bottom so they would be easy to click on and see.

 

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The link I refer to from my friend is at:

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/UCM101580.pdf

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Although this immunization is no longer used here is a  list of side effects:

http://www.rxlist.com/tripedia-side-effects-drug-center.htm

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Links mentioned in the comments are:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23063829/

and

Argument by Vaccine Package Inserts – debunking myths

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Pictures used in the comments are:

picture 1Picture 2

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Acknowledgements: I want to thank the Facebook community called Things anti-vaxers say for providing a place to chat and become smarter. 

I also want to thank the people who commented on my Facebook posts. I took their names out before having the chance to ask them if they wanted to remain nameless. I color coded the block outs so I could keep track. Chantal is the one in brown.

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A few other links you may find useful:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2015/02/01/anti-vaccine-movement-causes-worst-measles-epidemic-in-20-years/#64eb4eca7ef9

http://www.cfr.org/interactives/GH_Vaccine_Map/

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE1407/S00007/northlanders-urged-to-get-vaccinated-against-measles.htm
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4 Diseases Making a Comeback Thanks to Anti-Vaxxers

 

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Hi Friends and followers and just awesome people in general!

I finally got an Instagram profile! I am still learning how to use it but eventually I may just become a pro, who knows!

Here’s the link to it. Please click Follow! Thank you!

https://www.instagram.com/lorenakoran/ 

 

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And while your at it you can also follow me on Twitter at

https://twitter.com/Lorenakoran

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And, FaceBook at

https://www.facebook.com/lorenakoran/?fref=ts

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A few other links you may find interesting at

 

My FB live aboard page (About when I lived on a sail boat.)-
https://www.facebook.com/MoonShadowDays/?fref=ts

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My FB fun page – https://www.facebook.com/BecauseTheWorldNeedsYetAnotherFunPage/

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My FB photography page –
https://www.facebook.com/lorenakoranphotography/?fref=ts

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My FB page for parents of people who are into fandoms – https://www.facebook.com/aparentlyfandom/?fref=ts

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My IBS support group –
https://www.facebook.com/LorisIBSsupportgroup/

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Heart Health –
https://www.facebook.com/Heart-Healthy-Living-179846325392907/?fref=ts

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Autism Rises Above –
https://www.facebook.com/autismrisesabove/

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My Mrs. Hawaii 2008 –
https://www.facebook.com/MrsHawaiiInternational2008LoriRevels/?ref=bookmarks

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My RLS support group –
https://www.facebook.com/rlssupportgroup/

 

 

I’ll stop there for now. Lol!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What is Autism? (ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder)

According to Google definitions Autism is; “a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.”

Aren’t labels bad?

They certainly can be, but, they don’t have to be.

Labels are part of our culture and communication. Without them companies would lose customers and groups members and finding your favorite book series would become very difficult.

Labels are a quick description and should be treated that way rather then looked at as the whole idea.

If a label is condescending, well then yes, it would be bad.

Some labels are just misunderstood. That is why things like dictionaries are so important. So we don’t all end up with different definitions of things and lose our ability to communicate. If there is doubt, look it up in the dictionary and then we can all get back on the same page.

In some places labels like Autism, Aspergers, ADHD, Bi-Polar, Manic Depression and so on get used negatively and people see them as bad and demeaning labels. But that isn’t how it should be. Labels like those are just descriptions of how someones brain is wired or of an illness someone has to face off and on or even on a regular basis.

If the person with such a label uses it to demean themselves or make excesses not to better themselves or sees it as a way out of doing things they should be doing, then the label is being used in a negative and even harmful way.

However, if the label is being used to understand ones self, better ones self, learn how to cope or over come or discover talents, if the label is being used to get the help they need in school, work and the community, then it’s a good thing. In many schools a child can not get an IEP or a 504 plan and so on without a descriptive label. Those sort of plans can open up all kinds of learning aid that can help the child catch up, get ahead and become a successful student which will matter later in life.

Should we be looking for a cure?

Some people would like the medical researchers to find a cure while other people are insulted by the very thought. Peoples opinions on this matter are often influenced by their own experiences. For instance someone with a child that has high functioning autism may feel proud of their child’s special talents and accomplishments which they may not have been capable of if they weren’t on the spectrum. While another parent may have a very low functioning autistic child who needs constant care and supervision and can not handle daily tasks in their own. These two types of parents will likely view autism very differently. Understanding and respecting that each person has their own perspective is important.

Where does Autism come from? Do immunizations cause it? Is it passed down in the genes?

It is 2015, researchers are still trying to understand Autism and where it comes from. Many folks believe it is genetic because they can trace it from one or both parents and on back.

There is no proof that immunizations cause Autism. The idea came from Dr. Andrew Wakefield who is now disbarred. He falsified documents and abused developmentally challenged children. Sadly his false claims were told to high profile people who then spread them and influenced a lot of people to not immunize their children as well as made people who already gave their children immunizations to feel unnecessarily guilty.

Some people believe it is the result of pollution and chemicals in the air, water and the products we use.

There are some folks who believe Autism is part of human evolution.

It is best to not pick what you want it to be from. It is human nature to need answers. Thankfully there are many researchers looking into this.

Why is the number of people with Autism growing?

Researchers are still trying to understand this and there are a lot of theories.

Some people believe it is because we now have a better understanding of Autism and can recognize it and diagnose it better then in the past. Years ago people were often called socially awkward or socially handicap and other names that may have really been Autistic traits. Sadly some were seen as dumb and bullied terribly because of being misunderstood.

Do both girls and boys have Autism?

Yes, both boys and girls can be on the spectrum. At this time studies show that it is more prevalent in boys then girls. But there is still much to learn about Autism.

It isn’t always Autism.

Many people with Autism have co-symptoms. A lot of folks see the co-symptoms as part of the Autism which is not always the case.

IQ and Talent

Most people in the spectrum have an average to high IQ but there are some exceptions and co-symptoms can make this very as well. If a person has an average or high IQ they may still be seen as less intelligent because of mental blocks that cause them to shut down or cause some learning disabilities. Children who are bullied often will likely have failing grades. This is not a sign of low intelligence, but of abuse.

Many people on the spectrum may appear to be genius in certain areas. Wither they were that way naturally or not it is often because of their obsession with the subject that they have become or appear so. Because they often obsess over certain things they tend to learn as much about the subject matter as they can and from every angel possible to them. Finding an Autistic persons obsession(s) can be very important to their well being and even survival. It gives them a sense of purpose and accomplishment and a way to regulate themselves instead of having a melt down. It is ones hope their obsession will translate into a career but it isn’t always the case.

Manga, Anime and other Fandoms

Not all people in the spectrum are into manga and anime. However, it is common. It isn’t surprising since many Japanese cartoons use extreme facial expressions making it a sort of “brain break” for people who have had to spend long hours trying to interpret what other people really mean.

Star Trek used to be, and for some people still is, another favorite due to Spock and other Vulcan’s who are very Autistic like and easier for Autistic people to relate to. More and more shows now days are including positive images of either Autistic people or Autistic like people.

Many people on the spectrum like to attend manga, anime and comic cons, (conventions). Again it can be a brain break for many people on the spectrum. They can dress up as their favorite character and play act along with other people who do not judge them or expect then to “act normal”.

Can you tell if a person is Autistic by looking at them? Do Autistic people have feelings?

People with Autism do not usually look any different then the average person.

Some people with Autism do appear outwardly to have something like Autism due to lifelong habits. For instance, if they have sinus problems, like any child they may tend to leave their mouth open in order to be able to breath well. If not taught other wise they may continue this habit into adult hood making them look odd to other people. This can actually happen to anyone, not just Autistic people. Many Autistic people rely on their own logic which will often over rule other peoples ideas in their own mind. So, if looking odd in order to breath better or move about, etc, is more logical to them then the outward appearance might not matter in that regard. All Autistic people are different and have their own personality so there is no pat answer for such things.

Sometime you can recognize an Autistic person by their ticks, melt downs, what stimulates or over stimulates them and so on. But, it isn’t a good idea to assume ’till you learn more about that person because there are other things that a person can have that have similar traits. Melt downs are a common occurrence for children with autism. Many parents have been judged as bad parents and many kids have been labeled demon possessed due to melt downs and what others see as odd behavior. Common problems for Autistic people are florescent lights, certain noises, crowds, and other things that cause over stimulation. Because many Autistic people do not know how to properly express themselves or are not allowed to they will invert and withdraw or they may start screaming, wave their hands, spin circles, rock and many other things to try to regulate themselves. Once they are in a melt down it is very difficult to communicate with them, they are mentally shut off. Punishing them, hurting them and so on doesn’t translate into help, but even more stimulation and makes the matter worse.

They normally do not naturally read facial language and body language and they usually do not get hints. It is common for them to not use facial or body language and they are often very blunt and forthright with no verbal filter. Because of these things they are often misunderstood and misjudged. Some people may see them as psychopaths because they can appear to not have emotions. However, that is far from the truth. They usually express their emotions differently then the average person and often find what others see as funny as not funny and what others see as serious as not serious due to their different perspective on life. They usually feel as deeply as anyone else, just in different areas then the average person.

Many Autistic people can learn to emulate facial and body language. They can also learn what is and isn’t appropriate in our society. If they desire to fit in, they can excel at this. Some Autistic folks have done so well at this that they seem to have phased out of Autism or overcome it. However, it is still something they have to deal with mentally while the typical person doesn’t have to even think about it. So while they are in the public they are likely mentally working harder then most the people around them.

The Spectrum (ASD) and Mental Illness

There is a full spectrum of people with Autism which is one of the reasons they are all different. The outer edge of the spectrum used to be called and still is called in many places, Aspergers. On the inside edge of the spectrum there is high functioning Autism and as you get closer to the center of the spectrum there is low functioning, etc. Then there is the co-symptoms adding even more angles to each individual.

Many people do not consider Autism as a mental illness. However, many folks with autism can relate to people who have mental illnesses because they often face similar issues both mentally and socially. Plus, some people with Autism have mental illness co-symptoms.

Therapists, School Counselors and IEP’s

It is good for a person on the spectrum to have a therapist or someone who they can talk to and get their frustrations out as well as learn coping techniques and social skills. However, therapist, like everyone else, are all different. One therapist may relate to a certain type of person but not to another type. Some people find a helpful therapist right away while for others it may take a while.

School councilors are often very helpful to students. It is wise to introduce your child to their school councilor and help them become comfortable with talking to them and visiting them when they need help and do not know where else to go.

Getting the school to give your child an IEP (individualized education program) can make a huge difference in their educational success. IEP’s can open the door to many resources they would not other wise be able to use as well as options for how and where they take tests, where they can go to regulate themselves, and so on. Plus is causes the teachers and staff to communicate with the parent(s) or guardian(s) and keeps everyone responsible for any actions the school staff may take.

Support Groups and Resources

While people in the Autism spectrum may all be different, they usually have some things in common that can cause them to relate and understand each other better. This is also true for parents, guardians, family and friends of people in the spectrum. It is good for both the person in the spectrum as well as those around them to have people around who understand what they are going though, people who can relate to the frustrations as well as the joys without prejudice.

You may find there are many resources in your area. While searching online can help it can also be frustrating. Often the local Autism support group will have resource contact information making finding such things less stressful. Some people qualify for state and government aid. You may want to contact your local Social Security office and ask them for information on help they may provide as well as resources they recommend.

Being a friend to an Autistic person.

People in the spectrum need friends and a social life like anyone else. Some of them may have even shut down and given up on making friends in order to protect themselves from being mentally hurt.

Knowing that someone has Autism sometimes helps but people in general should be given a chance and not hastily judged. You just never know what a person may be going through and what they have had to deal with as well as how their brain works and interprets what is around them.

Though Autistic people are all different there are things you can assume until otherwise notified. Don’t crowed them and enter their personal space and don’t touch them without permission even if it is a kind gesture like a hug. Some Autistic people loved to be cuddled and hugged, but many do not! Do not hint around, say what you mean to say plainly. Do not expect them to read your facial or body language and vocal ques. Many Autistic people have a wonderful sense of humor, but it may not be like yours and they may not “get” your humor. Be ready to be offended at first and challenge yourself to get over it. Many people on the spectrum say what they are thinking and do not mean to cause harm. In a way, they do what so many people say they wished people would do, they are honest and forthright. Sometimes it’s okay to tell them what they said hurt your feelings so they can learn more about you. But give them time because if it isn’t logical it may be difficult for them to grasp. While Autistic people often have a reputation for not lying, don’t assume either way. They are human just like you can can learn to lie just like anyone else. But, just like anyone else, give them a chance!

If an Autistic person is having a melt down, give them their space. Don’t try to fix them. While children may not know what to use to regulate themselves, an older child or adult likely will and may just need time in order to do so. If they need to be alone, respect their need.

Trying to change an Autistic person, or really anyone, is an unnecessary stress on both of you. As long as what they are doing or what they are obsessed with is not causing anyone harm, learn to accept it, appreciate it and be happy for your friend. As a parent you may need to help your child learn what is socially acceptable in order to get good grades, not lose a friend and get and keep a job. But beyond that Autistic people are individuals and should be encouraged to be true to themselves and who they are, accepting their differences and appreciating their unique way of thinking. The odd character and way of thinking of many people in our past and present have contributed greatly to how we live today and the technology we use. Without their different way of thinking we wouldn’t be nearly as advanced as we are today.

Bullying

Sadly many Autistic people are bullied. It often happens to them as children, but it can follow them into adulthood.

Like any child some will become introverted and shy away from people while others will fight back by becoming bullies themselves. Neither is a good reaction. Ignoring the fact that a child is being bullied will not fix the problem and it will not make the problem go away. Even if it doesn’t seem like the child is really being bullied, if it is true in their mind, it still needs to be dealt with.

Once the child gets older they will have established habits making it more difficult to help them. It’s possible, but not easy and will depend on wither they want help or not.

It is wise to involve the school councilor and the child’s therapist to help the child learn ways to overcome bullying and thrive around their peers. Their obsession can also help. Having something they love to look forward to and to use to help calm and regulate them is very helpful. Another helpful thing to do is to look up famous people who have overcome bullying and are now successful. You will find there are a lot of famous people who also are in the spectrum. Seeing examples of people who made it through the tough times can give a child incite to a better future and a wonderful sense of hope.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

This article was written by Lorenakoran.

I am not a licensed professional. I’m a mother of four, two of my children are in the spectrum.

I encourage you to learn more about Autism by researching from time to time since there is still more to be discovered and understood. Please remember to be skeptical of new information and take the time to research it and it’s sources before accepting it as truth and sharing it with others.

I invite you to be a part of my FaceBook community dedicated to encouraging people in the spectrum as well as their families, friends and supporters. It is called Autism Rises Above, the web address is; https://www.facebook.com/autismrisesabove.

Please fell free to share this article and add links to your own local ASD support groups at the bottom clearly marked as yours, but do not remove my name and link or change anything I have written.

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After reading the article How Christianity Stunted My Relational Growth by Godless In Dixie on Patheos, my own similar experiences naturally came to mind. Of course I started this off as a comment but it became obvious quickly that I was writing too much and I wasn’t nearly done. So, thus, the blog instead! You can read Neil’s article by clicking on the purple words.

 

The beginning where Neil talked about how well he and his partner got along and so on really hit home for me. I was in a marriage like that. It wasn’t all Christianity’s fault, just much of it. My then husband didn’t like arguing. His definition of arguing included just simple disagreements. So even if we very calmly disagreed he would interrupt the conversation with, ” I don’t want to argue” and then walk away. At first it didn’t bother me to much because even if I wasn’t upset maybe he was and walking it off to cool off is supposed to be a good thing. It didn’t take long to realize it wasn’t what I thought it was. Walking away to cool off is fine but the idea is to get back to the touchy subject in a calm manor after cooling off and deal with it. For him it was just over. No matter how important the subject was and how much it had to be addressed, once he walked away he would never allow the subject to come up again. This meant he was the only one who would made the decision and he would do so either using what he thought was best or what he thought I wanted which he had no idea about since he wouldn’t let me speak about it.

 

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(Picture found on Google Images.) 

 

Though it bothered me I did what the Bible taught me to do, I submitted to him. Another mental growth stunting tactic.

 

So we appeared to be a loving wonderful couple for the ten years we were married. It wasn’t really a charade cause we did our best to buy into that idea as well. However, it would really bug me when I would over hear him tell folks that we never argued. In my mind I would scream, “but I want to!” I wasn’t actually the arguing type, but I did want to have a voice.

 

I had a problem, as it was, expressing myself. I was known for hiding my emotions and repressing them. Of course I was berated and told to let my emotions out and not let people walk all over me by the same people who would cut me down where I stood for doing what they said I should do. I did try my best to communicate with my husband but like I mentioned before he would shut me down. When we were going through divorce he used my problem with communicating how I felt against me as an excuse as to why our marriage failed. I wouldn’t be surprised if he still uses that as a reason why we divorced.

 

Since leaving religion I have put myself through communicating exercises. It used to be like walking through a hurricane. I had to keep putting up with the crap I received for being open and honest but I was determined to get through that storm even if it meant there would always be a storm. People love to use their sensitivity to try and manipulate others. Some know they are doing it and some do it aromatically without really understanding what an ass they are being. They feel offended so you are wrong and you hurt them and you need to grovel on the ground begging for forgiveness until they are done licking their wound that they blame you for causing when in reality, they caused it. They want you to be honest and express yourself and communicate as long as it doesn’t cause them to feel uncomfortable. In other words, they love it when you gossip and rail on people they don’t care for, just don’t bring what they’ve done into the conversation or you are a bad bad person and you’ve offended them and hurt them and your soul is in danger.

 

Superstorm Sandy Pummels Northeast

(Picture found on Google Images.) 

That sort of hurricane!

 

That’s what I was determined to walk through and learn to thrive through. I may have been harsh at times. After all I was suppressing my emotions and feeling for close to thirty eight years. Naturally I wouldn’t suddenly become an expert at communicating just right. But many of the folks who didn’t approve of my “harshness” were the ones who helped put the virtual duct tape over my mouth in the first place. The only way for me to free me was to just go on ahead and express myself and figure it all out on my own regardless of how hurt they let on. I also had to put on virtual realistic glasses that would remind me that wither they actually are hurt or not, they are manipulating and if I bend to them I am enabling.  It really did feel like a storm for a while.

 

I have not arrived but I have come a long long way. Most of the folks who were sensitive and took what I would say personally and try to manipulate me back to who I had been have either gotten the message and now they are mostly cool with it or they left.

 

I used to have a fear of people leaving which only added to my lack of life and when I started standing up for myself it only added to the pain I had to go through. I still don’t care for losing people, but I am able to talk myself down and make myself okay with it in the long run. It doesn’t actually make sense to want to keep people as friends when they refuse to respect who you are the way you are and when you are in danger of offending them with your honesty.

 

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(Picture found on Google Images.) 

By the way, when I say honesty and expressing ones self, I am not talking about rudeness and bullying and no empathy. That is just manipulating back. It’s the balance thing again. Along with finding my voice I have been on a path to finding balance as well. Not the kind of balance some friends and family try to tell you about where the “balance ” is you being honest and open as long as it doesn’t bother them. Yeah, no, not that kind cause that’s not actually balance. It’s ones own personal real balance.

 

Being a mom of kids in the autism spectrum I’ve learned a lot about this sort of need for balance. While I do my best to teach my kids to curve their honesty so they don’t get fired from every job they get and so on, I also try to teach them to keep their honesty but learn ways to soften it, wait to tell it, and sometimes even explain their difficulty due to ASD, and other ways to help them not come off so harsh and rude to others. I also let them know that many times they are actually in the right, but being so sharp with the truth can turn other peoples ears off and cause them to misjudge them. It’s a crazy balancing act. I want them to be confident, not resort to lying, yet to learn what others feel cause it is kind and then use that to communicate and build relationships.

 

Gosh, writing this makes me realize (again) how difficult this is. However, my kids have come a long way. My oldest, who is 16 and has aspergers, has learned to teach herself these things. It seems my job was just to get her started on the ideal path and once she got the idea to let her go from there. Not that I don’t point things out here and there but she is able to figure things out, she’s a smart kid.

 

With my kids it’s been important to me not to raise them the way I was raised in this area. While raising them to be good, I am also raising them to not be good. Cause what is “good”? Exactly! Kindness, empathy, love, forgiveness, and those sort of things are “good. But when people use those things to constantly take from the giver, to manipulate, then what some may call good is not good at all. And when people are the kind of good that allows people to use them, well, that’s not good either.

 

I was raised to be good. And I was good. I had a pure heart and I was good because I believed whole hearted in it Bible style. I was good all right. I was a very good door mat. I would never had said this then, and I certainly would not have said that I was better at it then most the folks I knew. I would never have even thought that sort of thing. That’s how damn good I was. I was really good at being really terrible and really good at being brain washed. Thus the needed time to get over that sort of good and learn how to balance it all out.

 

doormat Philippians 2

 (Picture found on Google Images and scripture from the KJV text.) 

Like I said before, I haven’t arrived. I doubt I will ever fully arrive because life is a journey and there is a forever amount of things to learn. Am I better? Most certainly YES! Well, not to everyone, but in reality it’s still a big YES. There are folks who don’t like what I say to the degree that they condemn me for it no matter how gently I may say what I say. Some folks are so closed minded even a lovely kind complement would cause them to feel the sting of rage or the heat of tears cause they have already made up their mind about what they believe you actually mean and there is nothing you can do about it but hope they change for their own sake or at least move on and leave you alone.

 

 

 lorenakoran photography wausau park(A pic I took in Wausau, WI.)

I would like to add something my dad told me a long time ago about assuming certain couples are the very picture of happiness and have what everyone else wants. He told me about this couple that were regulars at a bar he tended. They always came in together and sat close and talked with each other in the most pleasant way. They always were happy and friendly and the perfect picture of what many people hope to have in their lives. One day he expressed his positive feelings about that couple to an older bar tender he worked with. The older bar tender didn’t respond the way my dad expected. He said, “I don’t know. I’ve never slept between them.”  Maybe they really were the “perfect” happy couple. I’ll never know. But, it makes a great life lesson about not assuming. When I was still married and when my husband and I were actually together (he was away a lot) we often heard people comment about what a good looking couple we were. We also heard comments about how well we got along and worked together and so on. People assumed because we looked good together and we were peaceful that we had the “perfect” marriage. They had no idea thing were so serene because I knew what subjects to avoid and because I was a “peace maker” and knew how to keep the boat calm. It had nothing to do with real love and happiness. There were folks who were very upset when my husband and I split up because they just knew my husband and I truly loved each other and refused to believe otherwise. Funny about all that is I’ve been told what a good looking couple we are with most every boyfriend I’ve had. And, I’ve had folks get upset about the split with them as well because they assumed we were a perfect fit. Funny how people can be. I never minded being a good looking couple but I have always minded people who assume they know all about me and how my life is. It is better now that I have the ability to tell people exactly how I feel if I feel the need to. Not always easy, but better.

Well, it’s Tuesday so I wish you all a “good” week! lol  No, really, I do!

 

 

you are awesome

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I want to get into more vlogging and become more comfortable doing so. I haven’t done a vlog in a while now and I sure had a difficult time doing this one. But I was determined. Gotta start somewhere! I am convinced the next one I do will be better. lol No really! 😉

Also, if you would  subscribe to my YouTube channel I would really appreciate it. I’d really like to get 1,000 plus  subscribers so I could make a few bucks. They won’t do paid ads for channels with under 1,000 subscribers. So, it would certainly be helpful! The kids and I could use a few extra dollars.

Here’s the video –

 

Here are the quotes I read at the end of the vlog.

Dr. Shefali quote about our anxieties

 

Dr. Shefali quote on where it all comes from

 

Your children are your mirror

 

 

rob bell quote about palms open to receive

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