Saturday, November 12, 2016

Modern-day Progressives are turning me Conservative.

I was certainly raised in a conservative family. At least by modern-day standards. My parents were gun-owning, Jesus-loving, pro-life promoting Republicans. To qualify, and unfortunately this must be said, they weren't and aren't racist. They treated everyone the same and we were expected to act the same. This being in part I'm sure to both my mother being a social worker, and my father being in the military for 22 years. It's rather hard to be racist when you've been in 32 different countries and seen different cultures first hand.

At any rate, I followed suit with their ideology as I grew up. I remember sponsoring some very conservative arguments at mock congress in high school. This isn't at all untypical. Most children do somewhat adopt the ideology or politics of their parents.

As I got older and saw more of the world, my ideology changed a bit. I wouldn't say that I completely gave up my conservative background, but I did become much more progressive. The gay marriage conundrum didn't matter to me. I had gay friends. It didn't affect me personally, so why would I care? And as a Christian, who am I to tell people how to love, how to worship, or how to live? It wasn't my place, and it wasn't wrong to me. So, I evolved somewhat. And eventually, I decided to liken myself to more of a Libertarian sort of philosophy. What people do behind close doors is none of my business unless it infringed on my rights.

I guess the social climate of this country changed after 9/11. I was in my mid 20's when the attack happened. What I noticed was an initial coming together of everyone in the nation. Other nations stood in solidarity with the US, and we all learned to lean on each other. It was a sad thing to see, but an incredible thing to see, this social consciousness.

Then things started to change rapidly. Suddenly, it became socially wrong to say things that hurt people's feelings. It started small. I remember dating my then boyfriend, who by the way was a Muslim, and I remember us talking about how the British were much more racist than Americans- his words, not mine. In the next breath, he would talk down about America in a way that was mystifying. Here was a young man who got a visa, went to school free in this country, and lived with his mother who stayed home and lived on public assistance.

Back then, in those early to mid-years of the 2000's, it was still acceptable to tell him the truth. To tell him that if he didn't like this country that was doing so much for him and his family that he was welcome to leave it. And he had no comeback, either. Back then common sense prevailed. If you disliked your situation, no matter what it was? You changed it. And you didn't bite the proverbial hand that fed you.

But the seeds were already there. Which is why I came to find out later on that he was allowed to get away with things at work that had anyone else done it they would have been fired. They just didn't want to offend him. And eventually, he was fired, but only because the evidence they had on him was physical proof and it couldn't be ignored.

Please understand. I don't harbor him any ill-will. I'm only speaking of a situation to illustrate the start of an ongoing agenda that has bled into modern day society. I wish and hope he is well.

As time progressed the agenda of "progressiveness" became stronger. A lot of it I welcomed. Granted, I didn't think free speech should be hindered, but I enjoyed that people were becoming more self-aware of what they were saying. I liked the openness to different lifestyles and ideas.

And then came the election year of Obama's first term. For the record, I feel that Obama is a man with good intentions. And I'm aware that many conservatives called him things like the "anti-christ", and they weren't joking. Of which I would roll my eyes. The man wasn't the antichrist. What he was was a man who reigned in the era of hyper-awareness. This hyper-awareness, however, was not being used for self-reflection. It was used to be aware of how others were acting.

Suddenly, it was identity politics all around. White CIS males didn't understand the dilemma, you see. And racism was everywhere. And everyone was oppressed that wasn't white. And feminism was about equality for all, but how about those conservative bigots, ehhhh?

And so Obama was elected into office, and things got worse. Small minorities of white folks acted dumb, and suddenly the whole white race was indicted by some. Then it was white privilege, which I agree with in some regard. It just led to white guilt and apologists for things that most people never did or participated in to begin with.

The problem with the above arguments is that it was rhetoric that took away from a very real issue. Is there still racism? Yes. Of course, there is, but when you hear about it constantly, and you're being told over and over that you're racist simply because you're either white or you don't 100% agree with the other side? The argument loses it's value because people tune it out.

No one wants to be told they suck all the time.

Black people felt oppressed. They feared for their lives. They were being shot by cops with what seemed like a constant rate. And it was understandable that they felt that way with the media finding any story they could to promote that. It generated headlines, brought people to their facebook pages, and made them money via hits. So they stoked the fires. Even to the point of showing up at the cities where these shooting occurred as they waited for rioting and poor behavior from black people.

And then Progressives REALLY began to lay it on thick. The time for discussion was over. Either you get with the program, or you're the enemy. Refrains of someone being a racist, or a bigot, or a woman hater sprang up thru the land. You were wrong. They were on the side of the oppressed. The people who supposedly couldn't speak for themselves.

Except they weren't. The same people, black people, STILL felt oppressed. Furthermore, not only did black people still feel this way, but almost everyone who was not left leaning felt the same, too! Suddenly, a literal nation of people felt marginalized and insignificant. Except the Liberals/Progressives. They felt fine. And they were "fighting the good fight". And that was either by patting you on your head like a pet if you were black, or insulting and looking down on you if you disagreed with them.

Then the 2016 election cycle started, and shit really hit the fan.

Of course, it started with Donald Trump. This is not the first time he has contemplated running. Honestly, when I heard he was going to run? I rolled my eyes. Then 16 other candidates for the GOP nomination. It became a circus, and Trump became the ring leader. People mocked Trump and said he would never win the nomination. Almost every competitor being an "establishment" republican.

Then Donald Trump won the nomination.

He didn't win it because he was a great candidate. He won it because of everything I've written about so far. People were tired. They were tired of the placating and the lip service. They were tired of the same ole, same ole. And they were sure tired of being told how awful they were. So, they voted him in as the nominee.

Meanwhile, a more "civilized" nomination process was happening on the DNC side with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Bernie started a movement within the DNC. Hillary, on the other hand, represented everything that people didn't want, which was interestingly enough very similar to their GOP counterpart's complaints. She was "establishment". Not only that, but she was seemingly corrupt. She was investigated by both the FBI and had to go in front of congress for both Benghazi AND her emails. She represented cronyism and everything people were so against in the 2016 election cycle. At least she wasn't like Donald Trump and she kept it nice and clean.

Except she didn't.

Thru the marvel of Wikileaks, we found out the truth. We found out that the Clinton campaign along with the DNC worked adamantly to discredit Bernie. To malign him and to take his movement away. Not only that, but we learned that Clinton's campaign WANTED Trump to win the nomination because they felt he was easy to beat. That's right, they encouraged and promoted him to win the nomination. Let that one sink in. They wanted him to get the nomination.

Then we get on the subject of the media. Clinton is now partially blaming the media for her defeat at the hands of Donald Trump.

Is she kidding?

First, we know this isn't true because again, Wikileaks showed emails of major news organizations openly colluding with her campaign. Up to and including giving her actual debate questions. Giving her news articles before they were even sent to the "journalists" editor. I literally couldn't go thru a DAY without seeing some article on Trump because he didn't wash his hands after he peed- that's really how bad it was. Sometimes, I'd see media pages post three and four articles a day about him. Sometimes, they'd wait a few days, and then regurgitate the same article again. Meanwhile? Wikileaks, emails, or comments from Hillary? Very little coverage. To say that she lost because of the media being unfair to her is like me saying I'm overweight because companies make food.

Hillary lost because she was a bad candidate. Period. Because people are tired of any oligarchies with the name Bush or Clinton attached to it. Because she knocked out the most viable candidate who could have beat Trump with her own lust for greed and trickery.

Mostly, she lost because the Democratic Party has lost touch with the American people and is living in a bubble. They have lost their way.

So, now to everyone's surprise- mine as well, Trump has won.

And now I see a basic "sea of white" protesting the results of a legitimate general election. Mostly White and Hispanic protesters- I feel that this is probably in part to the Black voters not only feeling oppressed still, but knowing that protesting does little for their cause- and Democrats only help them every four years when it's time to cash in on their votes. Also mostly Millenials, which by the way had the lowest amount of voter turn-out in this election, are treating this country like we're a 3rd world country. They're vandalizing property. They're burning mannequins of the President-elect. There's even been shootings. All because things didn't turn out how they thought they should.

And now our "Progressives", who hated Donald Trump because he was going to bring violence to this nation, are being violent. Worse, both Clinton supporters and Progressives are attacking people who voted for Trump. Calling them racists and xenophobes. Blaming them for Trump's victory. You horrible, nasty deplorable!

Blame yourselves. He won because of you.

He won because you stopped trying to help people, and started judging them. He won because you shamed anyone who said they'd vote for him, and they kept silent- and that's why your polls were so off. He won because you didn't take him seriously. He won because you talk a good game, you act sympathetic, but do nothing to change it. He won because you think your righteous indignation of what is right and wrong is the only way.

That is why he won.

And I find myself in a precarious position. I'm socially progressive, but I find myself at odds with the same people who deem themselves the same way. As the media continues to report of current racism, they conveniently leave out the group of people that gleefully beat up a Trump supporter. Or my friends who have told me personally that they're afraid to even admit who they voted for. Or my friends who say they have been verbally attacked for voting for Trump- and not on social media, either. They're being attacked in the streets and on college campuses. Or the children who are being attacked and criticized perpetuated with half-truths from the media driven "hate squad" to invoke fear or loathing.

At this point, I would much rather prefer to call myself a Conservative if this is what being a "Progressive" has turned into.

Enjoy the good fight, "right fighters"....but before you do? Perhaps you should think about the fact that the Democrats lost the House in 2010, the Senate in 2014, and now the Presidency in 2016.

Perhaps a little self-evaluation is in order.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

This Isn't My Country Anymore

I'm not usually one to journey into hard politics on my blog. My page is designed for jokes, and I also write about disabilities.

Today, I'm going to write about my country.

More specifically? How I'm being lied to in the name of, "what's good for the country".

Now, I'm sure people will assume that I'm going to write about either Trump, or Clinton. I will talk about them, too. They're just not the biggest problem we're struggling with right now. We have a far more insidious threat to this country right now.

It's the media. And by "media", I mean not only actually the news outlets, but social media as well.

These are the trending items that I woke up to this morning on Facebook. I want you to pay close attention to how many people are talking about each item. If you notice, "Gloria Alfred" is the top trending item on Facebook. Notice that she only has 12,000 people talking about her. Yet, she is the top choice on "trending items". Why is that, exactly?

Now, I'm sure if you were to ask Facebook, they'd have many reasons as to why this is on top of the trending items. They'll say because it's trending quickly. Or perhaps they'll say that what trends on Facebook is based on my profile. All somewhat valid arguments.

Here's what I do know: placement matters. Statistically, people pay more attention to the first few line items on both searches and lists. Google knows this, which is why it offers businesses the chance to pay for their web pages to be at the top of internet results.

I actually did a short stint at a company that operated a job site. One thing you were able to do was place your resume at the very top so that employers would see it first. Employers don't start at the bottom. They start at the top.

So, let's look a little bit more at what has the highest number of people "talking" about it:

The first item would be Melania Trump. Specifically, her "trolling" of the Clintons by wearing a shirt with a very interesting name. Second would be Anderson Cooper, and his drilling of Donald Trump during the last debate. By comparison, Bill Clinton is the 5th item down, despite it having more people talking about it than the top three items combined.

This is a common phenomenon. When the Trump video leaked, I noticed that Wikileaks, which had one million people talking about it? Was at the dead bottom. To be fair, they eventually moved it up. Still, I never saw it become the top trending item on my Facebook page. This was despite it having more people talking about it than any other single item on Facebook.

Now, I'm sure that people who read this will say that I'm a "conspiracy theorist". I'm also sure I'll be told I'm a horrible Trump supporter. I'm neither, for the record.

I'm a right fighter, and I don't enjoy being lied to.

Trump is an inflammatory, big mouthed misogynist. If you don't believe that? Then I have some swampland in the desert to sell you. He is a horribly flawed person. With that being stated, so is Clinton. She is a horribly flawed, corrupt person.

And the media knows this. And they use every tool at their disposable to make sure Clinton's flaws are kept out of the public eye as much as possible. And this isn't a conspiracy theory, either. It's been proven. Not only does the media assist her in looking as clean as possible, but her own political party, which is supposed to be neutral towards all candidates running? Well, we know they're not. They openly conspired against someone she was running against.

In those same emails that show the DNC colluding with Clinton's campaign? We see major news outlets sending articles to the Clinton camp before the articles are even sent to the paper's editor. We see news outlets sending information about running mates and opposition to the Clinton Campaign.

And this behavior still continues today.

I watched the CNN debate on Sunday. I watched three people debating Trump. Following that, I saw a "focus group" of undecided voters. Unfortunately, the reporter running that "focus group" got caught on a hot mic (aren't those a bitch) priming an "undecided" on what to say. She gently reminded the voter what to say, and then I sat and watched the "undecided" voter regurgitate exactly what the reporter had just said to her.

Don't get me wrong. Along with the Huffington Post "articles" on how small Trump's hands are, I see conservative outlets doing the same thing. I recently saw an article about Obama using offensive language. Well, he WAS using offensive language. He was also reading a passage from his book that was about a conversation with someone else. So, many conservatively minded outlets do the same thing.

That being said, conservative news sources don't have the voice that the "liberal media" does. They don't control the media as a whole. They don't control Facebook's trending items. In fact, most things conservative outlets write about aren't taken very seriously. Which is why when they post something like Wikileaks, which should be incredibly damaging to the Clinton campaign? It's buried.

In the recent drop from Wikileaks? Clinton literally said that she has a public face that she shows the American people, and a private face that she shows to Wall Street. One million people were talking about it. Not at the top of the page. Not discussed by most media outlets. Virtual media black-out.

This is NOT my America. The mainstream media doesn't have a right to make their own narrative and force me to swallow it. We are not a state-run media source. They have a responsibility. The media has a responsibility to report on ALL news. Not just the news that fits into their narrative.

Lying by omission is still lying. If you have some damaging information on a candidate, and you refuse to write about it because of who they are? You're a huge part of the problem. And no matter how noble you feel your intentions are? You're still not giving people the choice to make their own decisions based on all the information.

Hate Trump. Hate Clinton. Or love them with all your heart. I don't care. Just hold the media accountable for how they present the news. Don't allow them to tell you who you should be voting for.

This is not what I want for MY country. Do you?

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Mighty! Thank you!

Thank you again to 'The Mighty' for posting my article on ableism.

Many people are upset by this article.

I assumed this would happen.

It's okay. I'm a big girl, and I can take it.

All I ask is that you think about it... consider it.
People with a disability don't want you to feel sorry for them. Or to use them to get hits on an article. Or to use their circumstance to pat yourself on the back.

They want acceptance, and they want to be treated equally. They also don't want the world to perpetuate stereotypes.

P.S. I don't believe the football player did anything wrong. He was being a kind human being. As well, I understand WHY the mother posted it on social media. It's the media, who clearly used this child's autism as "inspirational porn" to get hits.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

An Open Letter to Carleen Turner (Brock Turner's mom)

Pretty much everyone that has an internet connection has heard about your son, Brock Turner. It's been trending everywhere. I'm sure a simple google search would supply me with hundreds upon hundreds of articles about your son- complete with his smiling school picture. No mug shots for him- not unless you dig for them, that is.

When your husband's letter to the Judge Pesky became viral (, many of my friends wondered out loud what you thought. How you, a woman, would feel about your son raping an unconscious woman on January 18th, 2015.

Well today, I found out:

First, I'd like to say that your love for your child shines thru out the entirety of this letter. Hey, I get it. This is your son. You love him. You don't stop loving your child, no matter how atrocious their actions might be.

Still, not one sentence in your letter is dedicated to the pain and lifetime suffering that this young woman will have to endure, and all because your son raped her. And please say it with me, Carleen. Your son is a rapist. I know it, you know it, and the whole world knows it. He was caught by two other men raping her. There is no doubt of this. I know this is a hard pill for you to swallow, but that doesn't make it any less true.

Your son ran when he was confronted, Carleen. He tried to flee the scene.

Reading the context of your letter, I know you're an educated woman. I know that should you think logically on this? You'd know that innocent people don't run. Your son ran for one simple reason. He ran because he thought he would get in trouble. Which means that he knew his actions were questionable at best. He knew that his behavior was wrong, and this is why he ran.

As you explained to the judge, and now the world, that your son does not come from affluence, you take many things for granted.

First, you speak about student loans and debt. In the same letter, you speak of being able to stay home with your child. This, Carleen, is indeed a luxury that many parents don't have. I too am a stay at home mother. No, I'm not wealthy. Yes, I make sacrifices. I also understand that staying home with my daughter is a luxury that many people can't afford to do. There are parents working multiple jobs to make sure their children are taken care of. To you, this isn't affluence. To many, it absolutely is.

You speak about your home that you sold. To be closer to your son. I don't have that luxury, Carleen. I rent my home. This too is a luxury that you seem to overlook. You sold your house because of the added expenses of Brock being in school. There are people out there that don't even have such an option. They work multiple jobs. They have to live off their student loans. They don't have a mommy and daddy to help them with their schooling at all. They're on their own. So, yes, Carleen. This is also affluence, whether you care to admit it or not.

As you wax poetic about Brock, I can't help but notice that you have a daughter. A female child. Out of everything you wrote? This one fact bothers me the most. That you have a daughter.

I feel that if this was your daughter instead of your son, we'd be hearing a very different argument from you, Carleen. No doubt you'd be outraged. You'd feel that your daughter was violated, and you'd want justice for her. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that you'd want the strictest sentence for the person who hurt your child.

Instead, your son is the perpetrator. As such, your vision is clouded on this matter...but it shouldn't be.

You are a woman. A woman with a female child. A woman that unless you've been living under a rock, has had to endure some level of unwanted sexual advances in her life. A woman who if she spoke to her own daughter, would probably hear the same thing from her.

I sincerely hope that above your protection of Brock, that you're letting him know what he did was wrong. I hope you're holding him accountable for his own actions. I hope that you understand that it doesn't matter how much she drank- that she shouldn't have to worry about being raped because another person has such a lack of self control. That considering what he did, that being registered as a tier 3 sex offender and getting three to six months in jail is a cake walk. Especially considering what his victim had to endure.

I really hope you're letting him know how wrong his actions were, Carleen.

I have a daughter, too, Carleen. She's only 5 years old, but the anxiety and fear is very real for me. I have to protect her from the "Brocks" of this world. As I'm sure you'd protect your own daughter in this situation.

Part of protecting our daughters from this behavior is holding those who would hurt them accountable for their actions.

Don't stop loving your son. Just love yourself and your own daughter enough to hold your son accountable for the actions he took on that night In January.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

The " in my day" Myth.

It happens without fail. Consider yourself lucky if you haven't had some know-it-all Judgey McJudgerton tell you how your child with autism, or a sensory disorder are simply "misbehaved". It's almost as if they'd pee themselves if they couldn't get their verbal vomited opinions out. It's as if they feel they're providing a public service by telling you that deep down... it's all your fault.

You see, " in their day", children like that would be considered brats. Perhaps if you disciplined them more, they'd behave better. If there were more spankings, there would be less problems with your heathen child. Autism, Smutism. Doesn't everyone have that now? You just want to label your child. There's nothing wrong with them that a good ass whooping/dietary change/rules and structure wouldn't solve.

Now, I could go into the fallacies of these statements. How crime is actually on the decline. How even though I'm not really an anti-spanking person, that research shows some very negative consequences to spanking- especially if done in excess of weekly.

What I'm going to do is go into WHY many people believe this myth. Especially if they're over the age of 40 or 50.

When a person who is middle aged or older tells you that they didn't see this behavior much when they were kids, they are in fact probably telling you the truth. They didn't. The reason why is not because children were better behaved, or because of the "autism epidemic" that people so enjoy flashing around. It's because most children that had these sorts of issues were institutionalized. In fact, people with neurological disorders like autism and sensory disorders are still institutionalized. It just isn't as prevalent as it was in the past.

The first person to use the term "autism" was Eugen Bleuler, a Swiss psychiatrist, in 1911. It was in the 1940's that American researchers started using the word "autism". It was during this time that Leo Kanner, and Hans Asperger started to identify the true elements of autism, and aspergers, respectively. Primary therapies for the time were, electroshock therapy, LSD medication, and some behavioral therapies. Most mothers were blamed for it (refrigerator mothers), and institutionalizing was a common practice.

Temple Grandin's parents were told to institutionalize her. People incorrectly believe that Temple Grandin was diagnosed with Asperger's, which people commonly equate to "mild" symptoms (this isn't always the case). Temple Grandin actually has classic autism, and she was by no means mild in her diagnosis. Her parents refused to institutionalize her. Since then, she has been listed as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2010 by Time Magazine.

It was also suggested that Daryl Hannah be institutionalized. She was also diagnosed with autism as a child. Since modern methods for autism treatment weren't in existence, medication and institutionalization was suggested for her. Her autism impacted her so much that she took a long hiatus from acting because of it. That being said, she is heavily involved in activism. She lives green, including having a truck that runs on vegetable oil.

What is my point in all of this? My point is that people from older generations, or less educated circles, were raised to believe that people with things such as autism were undesirable. Not only that, but they very seldom had to associate with someone who had classic autism. If they did, usually it would be someone with lesser symptoms who could "pass" in society. You know, those "weirdos"? The "creepy", or "nerdy" types that were picked on so mercilessly in school? Those were some of your undercover autistics. Otherwise, people with more severe symptoms were commonly not in the public eye.

So, when someone tells you, "Back in their day, kids like this were considered brats.", you should believe them. Then you should roll your eyes and move on. They are nothing more then relics of a generation that hid their children away instead of helping them. It isn't necessarily their fault that society indoctrinated the world with such a view, but it's their fault that they choose not to evolve and educate themselves on it.

Friday, August 14, 2015

How to spot an abuser or enabler.

Several years ago I was in an abusive relationship. The relationship started out nicely, with a strong dominant male who described himself as “just old fashion”. By the end of our relationship, it had escalated into actual domestic violence. My abuser was arrested for choking me so hard that I got whiplash, and for headbutting me in the face.

Right after he was arrested, as my sister-in-law and I were packing up my things, my sister-in-law found a kitchen knife stashed in my bedroom closet. As I looked at that knife, I realized that my abuser had preemptively placed that knife in our bedroom closet as I fled from our apartment. He had actually refused initially to let me leave the apartment, or use the phone in our apartment after he had beat me. Once I finally got out, I went to the apartment upstairs and called my mother. Based on my appearance, and what I said to my mother, it was our neighbor who actually called the police.

The last thing that my abuser ever said to me was, “ Who the hell would want you now?”

This is the anatomy of an abuser.

Would it surprise you if I told you that that was the first time he ever laid a hand on me in almost 5 years? It was. It doesn't matter. He was an abuser, and had I known what I know now, I would have realized that far earlier than I did.

So, what exactly is an abuser?

An abusive person will:

1. Use any tactic they can to maintain control and make themselves feel superior and dominant. These tactics don't always involve using your fists, either. Verbal abuse is an under-acknowledged tool that abusers use to gain control over another person. Holding people accountable for their behavior is one thing. That being said, if you're screaming in someone's face, you're being abusive. If you purposely try to publicly humiliate someone else, you're being abusive. If you're throwing things around or at people, you're being abusive. There are many ways to be abusive without touching someone directly.

2. Blaming others for your lack of self control, or behavior. Everyone who has ever lived has either lost their temper, or said something they shouldn't have to another person. What makes a person abusive is when they not only refuse to hold themselves accountable for their own behaviors, but blame others for their lack of self control. No one can make you act a certain way. You are the one who is responsible for your own actions.

An abusive person will manipulate the situation to make you feel like it's your fault. They might even say, “ Well if he/she didn't say/do this, then it wouldn't have happened.” That's not the way it actually works. My four-year-old daughter frustrates me with her behavior, too. Does that give me license to scream in her face, hit her, or try to humiliate her? If your answer is no, then that mindset should extend to the adults you interact with as well.

3. Relies on the enabling of others to justify their behavior. An enabler is an abuser's best friend. Abusers will likely enlist the help of people who don't necessarily agree with them, but will either stay silent, or actually actively side with the abuser as to not make waves. Sometimes an abuser will actually garner sympathy from other people in an attempt to discredit the victim's feelings. Family members will often attempt to make excuses for the abuser, and they'll try to justify their bad behavior. Sometimes this backfires on the enablers since this tactic is in essence teaching the abuser that their behavior is acceptable.

What can I do if I know an abuser or I am being abusive?

1. Be honest with yourself. Everyone has probably done some of these things at any given time. The difference is whether one holds themselves accountable for those actions or not. Do you use your anger instead of your words when someone does something that bothers you? Do you ever apologize for your own behavior? If you don't, it doesn't necessarily mean you're an abuser. What it does mean is that there is some room for self awareness in your life.

If blowing up at people is a common theme in your life, then ask yourself why. Is it because you feel that you need to be in control of the situation? These are honest questions to ask yourself if you see any of yourself in this situation. If you can't figure it out on your own, then speak to someone that can help you- like a licensed therapist. People who have these traits tend to feel insecure and are generally not in control of their life. Let someone help you get control back in your life- without the anger and anxiety.

2. Don't enable poor behavior. Does this sound like a person in your life? First, has this person ever treated you the same way? Do you remember how you felt when that happened to you? If they have, then why would you want someone else to experience the same hurt and pain you have? If it isn't acceptable for you to be treated that way, then the same rules should apply to others as well.

If you've never been a victim of abusive behavior, how would you feel if you were? If you were in the same situation, would you feel that it was justified? It doesn't even matter if you agree with the abuser's opinion, either. If it were you, would you feel that this behavior was an acceptable way to treat you? If the answer is no, then you have some food for thought.

As an aside, if you're physically fearful of saying something to someone because you're fearful of their anger, or of making the situation worse? Then no further explanation is needed. You are an emotional hostage to that person. At best, you have a dysfunctional relationship. At worse, you're in an abusive relationship. Get out, now.

When my sister-in-law found that kitchen knife in our bedroom closet, the closet that my abuser and I shared, we stood there in stunned silence. Before the cops had arrived, he had begged me to stay (before his parting shot of, “Who the hell would want you now?”). It meant that he had took that knife and put it in our bedroom closet while I went upstairs and called my mother. It meant that he had every intention of using it against me. It meant that I was very lucky to walk out of that apartment alive.

If you're living this life, please do something about it. Get out. Leave. Or if this sounds like you, get yourself help. Don't allow yourself to be a victim, and don't allow yourself to treat someone like one.

Your life or another person's life could very well depend on it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A few suggestions on getting help for children with disabilities

Have you ever been to the Facebook page, "Shut up about your Perfect Kid!" If your child has a disability, this page is the place to be. First, they post questions from real people, with real problems. Second, the group itself tends to be a generally supportive group, and a great place to get information. Every once in a while, you get a Cranky McCrankerson commenting, but it's generally a really great place to participate in. If you need support, I would highly recommend them.

That being said.............

The reason I posted this question was because I wanted to address some of the statements I read in the comments section of this facebook post. I'm no expert on the world of childhood disabilities, but I've had to wade very deep into the waters. What I've noticed is that there are services out there aren't exactly advertised. As such, I wanted to address some of the statements I saw in hopes of spreading some information on WHAT services are available to you, and to clear up some incorrect information I saw posted.

The first thing I wanted to address in the comments was the assertion that the public school system can't "diagnose". Now, in term of what this person was asking... yes, that's true. A public school teacher in the United States CAN NOT diagnose your child. Might they be right? Perhaps. I can tell you that I've seen children that I've thought probably had some flavor of autism. That being said, my opinion will get you a big fat nothing in the world of autism. It won't get you services, and it won't get you a true diagnosis. That's because I'm not licensed to diagnose people with disabilities, and neither is that teacher. HOWEVER.........

Your public school psychologist CAN both administer, and give your child an autism rating on the spectrum. They are indeed qualified to do this. In fact, if that school psychologist were to leave the school and go into private practice, they could 100% diagnosis your child with autism. What a school psychologist will give your child is what's called an "education diagnosis". What does this do for you? It gets you services. Usually that means speech, special education services, and possibly even occupational and physical therapy. If your child is more severe, they might be placed in either an autism classroom, or placed in an actual autism school outside of the public school system. It all involves whether your child is in the "least restrictive environment"- which is what the school is required to do by law.

So, here's where this gets a little dicey. Let's say that you have a child who rates mild to moderate on the autism scale. You've went to the school, they've given your child an IEP, and they want your child in a special education classroom. The "least restrictive environment" for your child might not be the autism classroom. They might not need to go to a specialized school outside the district. Perhaps the schools believe your child doesn't need any other services. While they would get something like ABA therapy in other settings (autism classroom, or an autism school), they might not get it as much in a special ed class. Perhaps they don't think he or she needs occupational therapy. This is where your medical diagnosis comes in. To add, I'm NOT insulting the school system. My daughter's SPED team has been nothing but a delight. All I'm stating is how this often works. It involves many things, including: laws, resources, and funding.

A "medical diagnosis" will get you more services. I'm going to list a few of them below:

1. Additional services in general. Does you child need ABA therapy, or occupational therapy? Here's where you might get it much more easily.

2. Medicaid, and Medicaid waivers. If your child needs ABA therapy, or some other therapy, medicaid can be your life line.
  • Often, your private insurance will not COVER ABA therapy, even if they say they will. Medicaid can help with that.. especially if you can get a waiver, which I'll get into a bit in a moment.
  • Did you know that Medicaid will cover pull-ups and diapers past a certain age? That's right, they will often cover incontinence supplies. Just think about all the money THAT will save you.
  • Did you know that Medicaid can cover traveling expenses for your child? They'll often even pay you back for gas to doctor's appointments.

    3. Medicaid Waivers. The bane of my existence. So very difficult to get, but so worth it if you can obtain one. I'm in Virginia, so I'm not sure if everything applies, but I can tell you this..if it does, fight for it. In Virginia, there are three main waivers:
  • ECDC waiver- Elderly or Disabled with Consumer Direction waiver. This is the one my daughter is in the process of getting. It means she will get straight Medicaid regardless of our income. There's also some financial assistance it give to the family each year for home improvements for your child. An example of what constitutes as home improvements? Sensory items- trampolines, swings, locks? I heard of two people that had a pool put in their yards for their child because of this help. Seriously. Check it out.
  • The ID and DD waiver- Intellectual disability, OR the Developmental Disability waivers. In Virginia, we have waiting lists for these two waivers. That's why if you can get that ECDC waiver.. do it.

    *Now I know that I'm referring to what the state of Virginia offers with Medicaid. It might not be the same in your state. What I do know is that most states have some kind of waiver, or services like this for disabled children. Call your local social services. Call your community service boards. Get in contact with your local chapter for autism support and awareness, or whatever local group is around for the particular disability your child has. Also, find a Medicaid state approved hospital, and take your kid there if you can. Ask if they have a social worker on the staff that can help you with this. I believe ALL states MUST offer at least EPSDT (The Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit). Don't let the name fool you either, it's for any child under age 21. As per the site:

    "The Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit provides comprehensive and preventive health care services for children under age 21 who are enrolled in Medicaid. EPSDT is key to ensuring that children and adolescents receive appropriate preventive, dental, mental health, and developmental, and specialty services."

    4. Social Security- Oh, yes. You NEED a medical diagnosis from a mental health professional, or medical doctor to get SSI (Social Security Income).
  • Another thing that's a really huge pain in your tail. Very invasive, and you have to jump thru hoops.
  • You might make too much money. Their threshold is pretty ridiculous. you can't make over 40k for three people in your home.
  • Even if YOU DO make too much money, if you can get them to look at you.. here's why this works out for you.
  • a. Even if they decline you because of lack of income necessity, they might very well approve or acknowledge the medical disability.
  • b. That means your child is on file for being disabled.
  • c. That means that when your child is older, they'll have their medical disability on file.
  • d. Once your baby hits 18, then they can apply for themselves. They'll have a disability on file, and your income isn't SUPPOSED to to come into play at that point. So even if rejected for income, which is annoying, there's still some positives if they admit that your child has a medical disability. I'm sure they'll make your kid jump thru hoops AGAIN.. but there's a history now. That can't hurt.

    *I actually discussed this ^^^ with a SSA rep in person. This is what HE told me.

    Most of the things I discussed aren't exactly advertised. Regardless if this all applies to you or not, I think there is at least some valuable information for any parent looking at how to get services for their child. If I could give you one single piece of advice, I'd tell you to get BOTH diagnoses. Call your local public school, and ask that your child be evaluated. In the meantime, call your primary doctor and get a referral to a developmental pediatrician at the same time. Wait times (at least in Virginia) are long- better that you do it sooner rather than later. So, get them BOTH.

    Also, please don't get discouraged. Expect a LOT of phone calls, a LOT of home visits, and a LOT of run around- at least from the government aspect of this. The public school was actually amazingly quick at getting my daughter evaluated. Just saying that as frustrating and time consuming as it is, it can really pay off in the end with getting you help and services for your child.

    In closing, DON'T feel guilty about using these services, and DON'T let others make YOU feel that way. THIS is what these sort of things are for. If anyone gives you grief for getting assistance, I would suggest you ask them if they want your child to get help NOW, or do they just prefer to pay for your child for the rest of their natural lives? Truth is that many of these children have a high probability of having some level of independence if help is offered early. That usually shuts them up very quickly. Also, even if the above statement doesn't apply to your child, you can always ask them how they feel about children suffering because they have a problem with protecting those that can't protect themselves.

    This isn't a game for political idealogues. This is real life, and these kids need help. I used to feel guilty about public assistance too, but I got over it real quick. If you feel bad about being on the government dole because of your special needs kid... DON'T. If you happen to be reading this blog, and this is how you feel^^^... go away. No one anticipates having a special needs child. Just be thankful it's not you, and have a little compassion for those who are less fortunate than you.

    *Steps off my soap box*

    I hope that some of this information helped some of you, or at least cleared up a few things. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment. Any good information about this topic is also much appreciated.