Monday, August 18, 2014

Researched: Autism and Puberty for Girls

Once in a while I get questions and I don't always have the answers. What that happens, I do research. When I do research, I bring you what I found.

In this case, I was asked about autism and puberty, specifically for girls. While I have three daughters, none of them live with me and I wasn't with them for this part of their lives. Hey, I live 14 hours away from the closest of them, okay? And I'm a DAD, not a Mom, so that really sets me aside on the matter. But I take it seriously when someone is looking for information, so this is what I found. From just these three links, I think you'll have the basics well in hand, plus some good tips.

How to help girls with autism through puberty is a blog post at Fourplusanangel.com by Jessica (last name unknown). Yes, that's a link up there^. It's a great starting point for no nonsense advice. It doesn't hit on the attitude dangers, but it's a pretty important starting point all the same READ IT.

THIS POST from musingsofanaspie.com is "What else autistic girls need to know about puberty". I found the section on hormones very informative. Heck, it's all informative. So read it next.

Finally, I bring you to Abilitypath.org with THIS. It's not as personable as the blog writers above but it's clinical advice seems applicable.

Still looking for info? If you are on Facebook and have lots of friends, there are several popular ladies with autism online and I'm sure any of them would be glad to lend advice on what they did or do to deal with puberty and it's pitfalls.

Hey, puberty at its base scale is enough to make you want a six month vacation on the moon. Just remember that this is no picnic for your kid either. I can only imagine what a nightmare it must be for girls. Cramps, bleeding, using pads; all lead to so much more than what boys have to handle. Just hope that your child has the easy going kind (if there is such a thing) and go from there.

What I get from all that I saw is this: EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE. Teach your child early and often. Remind and reapply over and over again. Do your best to be patient and non-accusatory.

Finally, remember love and caring. Let them know that it will get better and they will eventually get used to dealing with this annoying aspect of life.

Good luck, parents!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

When all else fails between school and parents

They're just not listening to you. You've begged, pleaded, and tried to explain your child's situation and the cooperation just isn't there. With your child's IEP there is supposed to be a sheet sent home every day to tell you about behavior (for the doctors and therapists) and homework (so you can be an assisting parent with it and make sure it gets somewhat done). But, even if they say they will, it just doesn't happen.

The excuses are mountain high and they may say things that are pretty disturbing for a parents ears. They'll even blame each other.

"I gave it to Mrs. X and I don't know why she didn't do it."
"I can't get any of the teachers on board. I don't know why." (from a special ed teacher)

Or they'll blame the child (who has a IEP). "Joey is very manipulative and only acting out to avoid doing any school work."

Now, past the disappointing comments there are reasons that schools struggle with IEPs. Overcrowded classrooms come to mind. The implementation of Common Core doesn't make anything easier. Don't even get me started on what Common Core does for our special needs students. Just don't.

So what do you do when it gets to the point that they have made up their mind about your child and just WON'T cooperate with you? There are several steps you should take.

1: Seek out an advocate and get their input. Are you really being that unreasonable in what you seek for your child? It's possible to get help to talk to the local school system. There are advocates who may be willing to come and sit in on an IEP meeting to hash out the details of what's needed for your child. Be sure to have a working list of your concerns all written down before you go in. Have a solid game plan and be courteous.

If you have a knack for screaming at teachers, your problems will worsen. They will block you out mentally and disengage. It will hurt your child's chances of a fair education. It should always be from the ground point that you are trying to be helpful and active in your child's education.

How do you find an advocate? Well, when it comes to autism, you can contact your state Autism Society and ask about leads to people who can help you. Your Health and Human Services office may know someone too. I also suggest the website for Parents Helping Parents where they have a database of advocates and attorneys who may help you. You can also look up your local "community support team" for mental health and ask them. Sometimes, they will come to an IEP meeting after assessing your child. Seek out parent support groups in your area and ask them.

But, you've done that and STILL no dice. For that matter they won't listen to the professional who sits right next to you and tries to teach them about your child just like you tried to do. They believe what they believe and they are doing to do what they are going to do and that's that. Only now they are more dismissive than ever. It's time to file for Due Process. Hopefully, up to this point, you've been keeping copies of everything and anything that proves what you have to say. Unprofessional emails, blank behavior forms, report cards, and reports from Dr.s and therapists, because you will need evidence.

TIP: When collecting evidence on anything you may require for court, DO NOT TELL THE PERSONS YOU ARE COLLECTING AGAINST. You will send them into "cover ass mode" and things will get worse. You will lose evidence while things stay pretty much the same.

But also know this.... filing Due Process will make enemies for sure. It's not supposed to, but it does. Animosity will happen. So, just know that once this process is done, it may be harder to negotiate on the next year than before.

So, you contact your State Department of Education and let them know you wish to file for Due Process. This should not cost you anything, unless of course you've retained an attorney. Advocates are usually willing to assist with this process and walk you through it. This will trigger a series of events. The school will be requires to offer a meeting to work out the issues and settle them prior to a hearing. Go to the hearing and have someone with you (IE: advocate). This is where you and the advocate get into the dirt details of what you expect to correct the situation. Most cases are generally solved at this meeting, but not all. If you and the school cannot come to an agreement that will take you to the Due Process hearing and you may have to do some traveling for that. In my state, I would have to go to Baton Rouge.

TIP: Retaliation is illegal in any form and may be reported to the State Department before or even after the hearing. They're already mad at you, don't be afraid to report unfair or discriminatory behavior.

Alas, you get some things worked out, but they still act nasty towards you and it's still a migraine headache to get through the year. This is where harsh reality really comes into play. You still have options, and none of them are fun.

1: Tough it out. Just do the best you can and forego talking to the teachers. If you are on your last year with a given school, this may be the best play you have. Hopefully new faces and a new start will help you. Just be as nice as you can with those new people to abolish negative news they may already have about you.

2: Move to another school district. This is more common than you might like to believe. People have been known to move across state lines for autism assistance in any form because their state just didn't have it. Same goes for schools. Yes, you might have to give up a job or get a transfer if possible. You may give up close by family support. It will hurt. It definitely did for me when I left my hometown for better support for my son. But it's possible that you may have to uproot and move.

3: Start a movement to make changes in your school system. If there are enough parents who agree with you and are having the same trend of problems, this could be an answer. It will take tons of work and you are trying to teach people who may believe they have nothing to learn from you. You will have to be stronger than you ever thought possible. But it has been done! With parents, advocates, and an attorney or two, you could really make some waves in how things are done in your district.

4: File another Due Process. New violations of your child's IEP or new failings of it qualify for a new complaint! But boy will they HATE you. It's a simple reality. No one likes complaints made about them. You wouldn't either (even though you are within your rights, just be ready for the fact).

5: Go to a private school. It may even be possible to get it paid for by the school system (but that WILL require a filing and court orders to make that happen). It may also put your proposed school on the stand to be inspected and cross examined. They aren't going to pay for a school just because YOU approve of it. THEY have to. Your new school may not appreciate that. You will likely have to foot the bill and it won't be cheap. But if you can afford it, do it. Many do and they actually can't afford it.

Also know that you are not alone. School systems are hurting everywhere with the implementation of common core and you can google to get thousands of complaints. There are also plenty of schools that are just NOT equipped for what your child needs. So it's not that they WON'T do it, rather they CAN'T. On top of that, they don't have the money for your child's private school any more than you do.

And that's basically the jist of what you can do about a bad school situation on IEPs. With the school year about to kick in, what do you want to know about?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Things you should understand about the education system.

 Every state and more so every city has their own way of running education and handling IEPs. What you could do for your child in support and educational experience is literally a great spectrum of its own. It's important to know that, if you have a problem, you can't just bring federal law down on their heads. You have to go through proper channels and that means the State level. How that state handles or enforces federal law is entirely up to them and yes, that's mostly considered legal and accepted by the "higher authorities". So if you are in Florida and have an IEP complaint to make, you have to make it to the State of Florida Department of Education. You don't get to just jump to the White House. Some places may cave to the threat of a complaint, but that will be the exception rather than rule. Because of the process you will have to go through,, many of them will be pretty calm about the issue.

Florida is a state of nightmare tales of abuse against children in autism (or other disabilities) and you can find tons of news media all over the internet. States like, Wisconsin are generally more successful. If you want to have some fun take a trip to Greatschools.org and see how schools in your burg measure up to others around the country. Check anywhere you want. You'll be amazed. For even more comparison, compare that to the 2009 NAMI grading of the states. You can pretty much see how things will be for your child in school on the comparisons. But influences go deeper than that. What kind of things go into affecting how your state and city run their system?

Politics: Where do you think common core came from? Politicians. It's all done with Ordinances, Acts, and other nonsensical business you may not even get to vote on.

City Size: Are you in a major city or small town? Small and isolated towns can be the most differential in school from the rest of the state. Even that may be small differences, but I'm sure I have readers with stories.

Local Beliefs/Traditions: What are of the country are you in? Are you in the Bible belt? Maybe you live in Tornado alley or way up north? Beliefs and traditions of the place you live in will have a direct impact on education and how it's run. It's not supposed to, but it does. In Utah, the Mormon Religion is majority of the population. That means most of the teachers are Mormon too. Their distinct beliefs carry over into the class room. I know this because I lived in Utah for my 9th grade year after being in Nebraska. Totally different worlds.

What they personally think of YOU as a parent: I've had one school commend me, one judge me as a parent (and they all do but I mean harshly) and one label be as a difficult parent, all for doing the exact same thing. It's common knowledge that you can't get along with everyone. But we are supposed to be professional too, right? Well. Definitions vary. One thing that is for sure, if the teacher really doesn't like you, it will affect his or her point of view toward your child. The common thought on parents of  special needs students is that we are a colossal pain in the ass. That stigma (and not all teachers are like this) can make it hard to establish a good parent/teacher rapport.

And all of that is just in Elementary school.

The reason I post this is because, as I look over stories on the internet; I see people lending advice about federal IEP Law as if it's exactly the same in ever state, county, and city. Yes, I know it's written the same, but getting it enforced is a totally different universe. And situations vary so that the law may not be broken by some technicality. It's always best advice to consult a local attorney. Consultations are usually free.

If you are a parent of a special needs student with an IEP, you owe it to yourself to find out exactly what your state's procedures are in handling complaints and education in general. How do they enforce their policies? Too often we wind up surprised and that's never a good thing to be.  But what do you do if you are in a bad situation? In my next installment, I'll tell you.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bringing the blog back to life

It's time to bring back Wildeman's Words! I'm going to be doing some very special works here. It will be a variation of the things I work with and causes I believe in. It's all going to be interesting without a doubt, so I hope you'll be watching.

About those causes. Just what are they? Well, if this is your first time on this blog and you don't really know me, I'm DJ Wilde (author, artist). I have Asperger's Syndrome (no I don't care if its not in thediagnosis manual anymore) Multiple Sclerosis, and a Traumatic Brain Injury. Life is a challenge on the best of days, but I press on and that's an important message I want to convey. Now, I am also the parent of a child with autism (he's 12 as I write this). I grew up without any of the supports you see today and without diagnosis. So those things are extremely important to me, especially for my son. I also want to see more of our autistic youth get the support they need. When someone with autism does something awesome, you may well find it here. Support news? Yep. And every once in a while a rant on some wrongdoing to someone.

As an independent author and artist kicking off his own universe, I'm bound to mention that here. But there's also Galaxy Zento, the blog to consider. I'll be doing articles on independent comic or fantasy artists. People who's work I admire and want to share. Being and independent isn't easy. It's hard to get word out. I'm willing to give some word. Independent authors? Them too! Especially if they have anything to do with the causes above.

So there will be a cool mix coming in the next few days. Tune in!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Criminal Idiots Steal Radioactive Equipment in Mexico

New this week, apparently a couple of real class crooks stole a truck in Mexico. On this truck, packed in a crate, was highly radioactive medical equipment being transported to storage. This equipment was used in cancer therapies using  a synthetic material called Cobalt 60. Fearful thoughts spreading say that this could be used to make a dirty bomb that could kill a lot of people. Uh, no.

Let me just put your thoughts to rest on this.

1: No one's ever made a Cobalt bomb before. Sure, there are theories all over, but no one has ever pulled it off. In truth there are way easier ways to make a dirty bomb than with Cobalt 60. So, theories are all over, but no one has ever done it. You may wonder why not, well...

2: Too much work to get to it.  Look at the picture. See the casing? That's going be damn hard to open. It's got inches and layers of metal shielding including steel and lead that won't be a fast job to cut through. It certainly won't be a job for a couple guys in a back alley shed (yeah they might be smarter than that, but hang on to that thought). Even once they do, they have a whole new problem on their hands.

3: Too hot to handle. What good is a bomb if you're dead before you can even deliver it, or finish building it? Think about that for a second. There's a reason this stuff is totally shielded without so much as a window to peek at the thumb sized portion inside. That's because it's gamma radiation and that stuff goes through glass, plastic, and yeah, pretty much all shielding like it's not even there. Even with all the shielding already on it, it's still radioactive. But that's just it, look at how much shielding it takes just to let it sit there. Trying to build a bomb with it means that you have to handle it directly. Even with robot arms and a plastic container, you may as well be working with it NAKED. Yes, naked; because none of that stuff will  protect you at all. Even then...

4: Likely to fail: Reports on Cobalt 60 state that it would be "extremely difficult" to get it to disperse over a large area. It's just a very difficult to work with compound for anything except its radioactive properties as they stand. Again, there are theories on getting it to dissipate, but no one has managed to pull it off. No one has tried that can be found. There are simply no reports at all. You can say "cover up" if you want but what's the point in that? Haven't we used and tested way meaner stuff on our own soil before?  If this could do that kind of damage, I strongly doubt it could be covered up or would be. It would leave a helluva mess (if it could even be done).

5: They probably just wanted the truck. That's what's most likely. These guys probably don't know they are carrying their own untimely deaths in that truck. Once they do realize it, they'll probably just dump it. The truck had a crane on it and other machinery. They may have wanted it to sell for scrap. Who knows. And what supports this theory?

6: Not the first time this has happened. Actually there is a long list out there of losses and thefts of medical equipment. None of them involved a bomb. In these cases, the thieves had no idea what they were in for. In one case, it was sold as scrap and several people got sick and a couple died. In another case, Petco had to recall metal dog bowls that had been made from scrap containing Cobalt 60 and were giving off dangerous levels of radiation.

And before you get all smart and ask why people didn't die making the dog bowls... that was all made by machinery after smelting processes and machines don't get radiation poisoning. Further, going through all that without killing a whole city of people just goes to show that Cobalt 60 just doesn't work that way. Otherwise, there would be a whole smelting plant of dead workers out there and, nope, there isn't. Never happened. Not going to. Now let's just watch the news and see what happens to the idiots.

(image from World News NBC)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chris Cox Rox on Multiple Sclerosis and YOU can help!

I was just about to go and work on an art piece I have scheduled when I saw that an online friend needs a hand. This isn't just any online friend by the way. This is Chris Cox.

What? You want to know who that is? He's the lead singer of Mudd Farm, but that's not all. Oh, you think this is just some Youtube band going for glory? You're wrong there, buddy. He's done been there and back again. He's been rocking the stage since before 1993.






He was even on MTV!



So he's not some wannabe or just some ranter online. He's the real deal. And he's gotten the moral support of people every bit as real if not moreso...

Yeah, Dee Snyder as in Twisted Sister fame from the 80's. Don't tell me you don't know who that is! Oh fine;



If that's still not enough to convince you, check out his page where he has tons of supporters doing this:


Now that's moral support!


So what does Chris have to do with MS? Well, in 2006 he was diagnosed with this nerve eating disease. I know how he feels because I have it too. Since then, well, check THIS.

Chris wants to make a documentary about living with MS to educate others. He's currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise the needed funding. Now I just wish I had the capital to help him out like deserved, but I don't. So I'm doing this. You may further as why I'm kickin this blog article off the way I am. Well let me tell you about something else, something I stand against.

Seems like some people on Facebook still have twitchy spam fingers. Rather than drop someone from their page and just walk away, they have to call down the FB Police to have his freedom of speech messed with. So I'm posting this because I want you to see that Chris Cox is totally for real.

He could be doing a lot worse than something as positive as this. He's doing something right and I'm standing up for it right here and now. YOU can help. Tell people about his rocking Kickstarter campaign or toss a few bucks in yourself. You'll be supporting an education that really does ROCK.

Living with MS is no picnic and way too many people don't understand. They prove they're lack of understanding by telling us to go be mushroom people, sitting in the corner, sucking up our benefits; just to get out of their way. They prove this by then saying, "Hey you don't LOOK sick"! The misjudgment and stigma are hurtful and degrading. It's time for it to stop. Here's another tidbit for those of you who just want people like Chris and me to shut up; by today's statistics you have a whopping 50% chance of being just as disabled as me by my age. I'm 43 as I write this, so good luck to you.

And it's not just MS that we need to show some respect to, there's more that wind up leading to Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and then there's Autism, and way more. The numbers are growing, and it's time to start caring.

So rock with Chris Cox and be a hero. Help spread the word. It's not spam, it's a worthwhile project and way better than just sitting around waiting to die. What would you do? Never give up, people, never give up. Now come on and let's get the word around.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Why you should read Chessmen: Opening Moves

Hey, it's shameless self promotion time! But have no fear, I plan to make points of significant interest. So give me a chance here and have a good time.

It's a fair question. Why should you read Chessmen? You aren't interested in Chess anyway. Well, fortunately, it's not actually about chess. Click on the opening image to see what the back of the book has to say. Now I'll give you some supporting points on why you'll find this cast of heroes very interesting. The Chessmen are the Royal Guard of the planet, Chyssia. Imagine if Chess actually came from another planet and you'll immediately get the idea behind this amazing world. There are 8 members of the Chessmen (technically 9) and that brings us to our first point because:

In order for the most powerful member to appear, one of them has to die.  How's that for an opening point? And how does that work out? You'll have to read the book to know because telling would be a huge spoiler!

One of them could kill an entire planet. He's sealed in a containment suit of armor that can never be taken off; because he's a virus. Again, to see how that works out, you have to read it. I promise you he's one heck of a character. How does someone like that wind up being part of any Royal Guard?

Faith really can  move mountains.  One of them has a power you don't see in stories very much. It's the power of pure faith. You won't believe what he can do with it.

The comical doofus is one of the strongest members. You'll enjoy his amazing power and hilarious behavior.

The accused will earn your sympathy in spades. The member accused of actually killing the King, is permanently bonded to bladed gauntlets. He doesn't remember why he has them. For that matter, he's not even from Chyssia. He was found in the mountains with a severe head injury. Just what is his story?

A mystical falcon is in love with her partner. But how can such a creature pursue love with a humanoid?

It goes beyond just clearing their name. They discover that they have to save their entire solar system and the first book is only the beginning.

How can you read this?  Check out my author page and bookmark it   LINK

You can also keep up with all of the Galaxy Zento universe at my FACEBOOK page.

You can get it for Kindle cheap and paperback the same way. So I do hope you'll check out my universe and give Chessmen a read. I think you'll be glad you did.