Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Autism Solutions Center, a great cause!

Friends and families in and of autism, I have something very special to talk to you about today. I want to talk to you about an amazing woman and her goal to help autism families across the nation. It all started in Cordova, Tennessee where Laura Corby started the Autism Solution Center.

What is the Autism Solution Center? Well, my first suggestion is that you take an online trip to autismsolutioncenter.com. Next I will tell you that it’s a place that offers no cost assistance to autism families and autistics in general. Then I offer you a quote from the site:

"AUTISM IS TREATABLE! At the Autism Solution Center, Inc. (ASC), our goal is to make sure that this phrase becomes a well-known fact. We are determined to make sure every individual with an autism spectrum disorder has access to the treatments, interventions and assistance needed to provide them with the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. We are passionate in our role as treatment facility, advocate, and educator. We are dedicated to providing NO COST, critically necessary, early intervention and life-long services to those with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD’s), and support and services to their families and caretakers. We strive to educate our communities about all aspects of autism and its treatability."

Laura’s long term goal is to put a center like this, minimum of one, in every state. The ASC offers assistance like I haven’t seen before from a non-profit agency, especially for autism. Unfortunately, every dream has it’s hurdles. Like any non-profit, it needs funding and sponsors. The ASC is a registered non-profit organization and all donation information can be found on their web page.

True, they are located in the Memphis area, but think of this, enough donations could see the full scale goal come to life. I hope that all of you will visit this website and donate even one dollar to help this cause. Don’t let a noble program like this go under. Help it keep going and better yet, help it reach your area. You can reach Laura Corby through her website via phone or email.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Meds for your child? What you need to know.

The decision to put a child on medication is never a light one. I can count many a parent who has said to me, “ I will never put my child on medication”. There is always some reason behind their strong feelings and usually it involves the fear that they will lose the person their child really is. They don’t want their child to be a zombie or controlled in “that way”.

Because of that, I find it bears repeating ad nauseam: The purpose of a medication is NOT to control your child. The purpose of a medication is to help a child control him or herself. If your child is doing well without medication, that is wonderful. However, I have had more than one parent, who gave me an anti-medication lecture trying to use my son as an example. They have actually pointed to him and said, “See? He’s doing fine right now”. This is a dead point to make because he takes his medications every single day. That means, at the exact time they pointed at him, he was under the effects of his medication. Were he not, I guarantee you “okay” would not have escaped their lips. Naturally some have given me the example of how well their own child is doing.

You cannot take example of how other peoples children are doing, with or without as concrete example of how your child will do. You must do the homework and research for yourself. That being said, here is what you need to know about applying medications to your child.

Trial and Error: Getting the right results from medications with your child will always, always, always be result of trial and error. There are no guaranteed results that will occur in every single child who tries any given medication. That goes for adults as well, for anyone who is going to start medications for disorders.

Time and Patience: Results don’t happen overnight, period. To gauge full effects of any med you may have to administer them for at least a week and up to a month. During that time, you will have to watch for side effects and give them time to either clear up, or show you that your child can’t use that medication. You will have to see how long the level of the med has a proper effect and talk to the doctor about whether or not to increase dosage.

Know your meds!: Read about them, research them, and know them inside and out. How long before you see results? What are the side effects? If they are wrong for your child, can you stop them cold turkey, or do you have wean them off? You need to know all these things for any form of medicating you intend to do with your child.

Don’t cut out the doctor: I don’t care what you are giving your child, over the counter or prescribed. Especially if you are using prescriptions and plan to add other chemicals from “over the counter”, you need to have a doctor on board to advise you on what those extras could do mixed with things your child is already taking. Things like Melatonin, food additives, and supplements can interact with existing medications and bring out undesired effects. Keep your doctor on board and close to what you are doing. Don’t hesitate to call and bug your doctors office with questions and make sure to do research.

No, medication is not for everyone but it is necessary for some. Not only should we not judge others for their use of medications (whether they do or don’t), we should educate ourselves before we do. Considering your child for medication? Get educated and know the territory. Remember that you are your childs best and most important advocate.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Neurofeedback, A Chiropractor for your Brain

Several years ago, I tried a treatment that I thought of as fairly radical. I felt skeptical but in need of something more in my treatment to control bipolar disorder and co morbid conditions of my Asperger’s Syndrome. The treatment; neurofeedback. Neurofeedback is a balancing treatment for your brainwaves, and it actually works.

Neurofeedback, also called neurotherapy or EEG biofeedback is a process of training conscious control of various brainwave patterns by showing the patient results of brainwave activity with a video screen and attachment to sensors on the scalp.

Imagine a white circle on a black screen. If you are over tense or tense at all, the ball floats off to the left of the screen. If you are too relaxed, it floats off to the right. You learn to control yourself by concentrating on keeping that big round blip in the middle of the screen. There are several different screen settings and “games” to pick from, but all of them come out with about the same results. They’re just plain neat to see. You can get a very detailed explanation of neurofeedback in wikipedia. There are also many good websites for your own research on the subject. I look at it like having a chiropractor for your brain.

My results in treatment? I found myself calmer in situations that normally would have made me angry. I found myself less confused and more capable of complex decisions than before. I didn’t stop taking my medications, but I certainly found the treatment to be very helpful to my over all medical care and control of my conditions. I advise it as worth looking into.

Neurofeedback is listed as treating ADHD, bipolar, and other mood disorders. Check out Neurofeedbacktherapy.net for a more complete list of conditions treated. I don’t personally advise dropping other treatments for the sake of this one, but I do advise using it right along with your existing treatments. Naturally, it’s worthwhile to consult a trusted physician.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm Driven

I feel I must explain myself. In some of my blogs I have been very harsh in my opinion and reports. I’ve been harsh on some professional places. Our police dispatch for example, yes I’ve been very harsh on them. But why? Am I just angry because things didn’t go my way? The answer is a devoted NO. The truth is that I am driven when it comes to matters of public safety, public awareness that contributes to safety and more. It’s a drive to me and I’ll tell you why.

First, what is a drive? What do I mean by using this word? A drive is an internal force that compels you to do something or act in a certain way. Our basic drives include eating, sleeping, and procreation (making babies). Our drives are triggered in various ways. When you are hungry, you are compelled to eat, for example. If you didn’t you would face consequences of getting sick or starving.

Personal preservation are not the only drives we can have. Some drives can hurt us, like the drive from an addiction. Some drives take more control of us like that of obsessive compulsive disorders (and other disorders).

Next I’m going to bring my autism into this. Autistics, especially in the high functioning zones, are often known for having special talents or interests that they have difficulty breaking away from. Dr. Hans Asperger coined the identification of Asperger’s children as being “little professors” (you can check that out by looking up Dr. Hans Asperger in Wikipedia). For what ever each child’s special interest became, they could be highly versed to the point of extreme trivia on the subject. They would also have difficulty, due to obsession to that interest, in talking to you about anything else. This can be overcome with practice and support, but I think you can see how this can be a drive.

Now, I have more than one special interest, but my greatest interest has always been in safety, security and protection fields. As a matter of fact, my past work history boasts over 19 years of experience. As one our Sheboygan officers said to me, “old habits die hard”. Well, mine certainly aren’t dead yet and I don’t think they ever will be. My field experience has been diverse. I’ve been everything from security guard to body guard, from soldier to duly authorized ticket wielding officer. For that matter, my military experience was serving with a military police company and doing some MP duties even though I was not an MP. That’s the Army for you.
So, I have a very strong drive from my interest and experience and when it gets triggered I am compelled to take action. Of late, that action has been in my blogs, but I have taken more immediate action before. I do not feel that my decision to act is one I make lightly because of how strongly I believe in my convictions. They are that driven.

So, that is just a small explanation of my drives and example of how such drives can work. I hope you have found it informative.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Stop the Madness, Stop Black Friday

Black Friday, arguably the biggest shopping day of the year every year. This year they’ve taken a spin with some early sales, but I doubt that will slow down the day itself. And people will die.

I can’t remember one year in more than the last decade where people haven’t been assaulted, shot, stabbed or trampled for the sake of some cheap piece of junk. Just last year Walmart had an employee get trampled and two people were shot at a Toy’s R Us. The year before that, three trample victims were reported. I also remember a woman getting shot for a laptop computer and the list of assaults is book worthy.

What’s worse than that, fair people, you are all being taken for a ride by the companies. Just check out this years CNN report about the dirty secrets of Black Friday. Apparently, risk of your life is still A-OK with the big corporations. “While supplies last” and “limit of 3 in store” are geared to make shoppers frantic.

Some of them boast new plans to help safety. They say they’ll hand out guaranteed purchase tickets to the beginning numbers of people in line or some such garbage. I wonder how exactly that is going to stop 4000 frantic shoppers again? Bottom line, too many people in too small of places, all on edge for some trinket, equals disaster. I don’t care what you promise them, you can’t alter reality.

So if you go out shopping on Black Friday this year, don’t forget your life insurance and bullet proof vest. Kiss your kids lil foreheads because if you don’t see their smiling faces on Christmas Day, it’s because you’re either in the hospital or the morgue. Yes, that’s brutal, but it’s a surging reality for a day with a death record from human greed. The madness needs to stop

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fan Fiction: Time Dies Chapter One

A fan fiction by DJ Wilde

The console hummed consistently to the satisfaction of it’s lone operator. The press of a button, flip of a few switches, and dusting with a hand kerchief gave the Doctor reason to nod approval. As he tucked the kerchief away he surveyed his surroundings inside the golden glow of the TARDIS. TARDIS, an acronym for Time and Relative Dimensions in Space, the transportation of a Time Lord. He adjusted his dark pin-striped suit and shifted a little in his red tennis shoes. His skin pulled tight across his authorative chin as he thought to himself. Yes, all seemed to be in order.

A powerful lurch threw him to the floor so that, for a moment, all that could be seen of him were his red tennis shoes up in the air.
“What?” he bellowed as he leapt to his feet and started smacking at controls and spinning dials.
Another lurch, harder than the first, threw him again. This time a shudder ran through the TARDIS that kept him on the floor. From across the control room he saw the distortion wave coming at him. The floor and walls rippled in it’s wake like the view of a funhouse mirror. He rolled under the console and slid a panel open with a whip of a wrist. He plunged his hand through a tangle of wires as the distortion closed in on him and grasped at a wide handle. He gave the handle hard twist and the center of the console glowed red. The baritone ‘bong’ of the cloister bell echoed through the room. The center column rose and fell with a grinding sound as a ball of red light grew in it’s center. With the distortion inches from his face he gave the handle a pull with another hard twist. The red light pulsed through the room and the wave dissolved. The Doctor rolled out and scrambled to his feet. His mind raced at what occurred. He didn’t have time to think.

“Hello, Doctor.”
At the center console a large image of a man’s head floated above it, smiling at him. He didn’t find the face familiar, but the chuckle haunted him to both his hearts.
“Who are you?”
“You already know who I am, Doctor. You have merely to say my name.”
“That’s impossible, you died in my arms. I watched your funeral pyre.”
“You know better than that! How many times have I thwarted death? How many times have I returned to challenge you anew? Say my name!”
“ You’re the Master.”
“Yes, Doctor, I am. I’m contacting you so that you know it’s time to come home. Come home, Doctor and see what I have done. Oh, but before you do, I sent you some information on your scanners, you should take a good look at it. Then come home, Doctor, I’ll be waiting for you.”

The image vanished with that chuckle still ringing in the Doctor’s ears. He stepped over to the main console and switched on a monitor. He hoped against hope, it wasn’t what he thought it was.
“No,” he murmured, “It can’t be. I didn’t think even you were capable of that.” He stepped back in a stupor. He shook his head and shrugged it off.
“Well, we can’t just stand by and let that happen can we?”
He virtually attacked the controls in a frenzy of turns, twists and flips of switches. He pounded a panel with a mallet and gave one side a swift kick.
“Well, come on then, show me! Show me!” he slapped a hand across the side of a monitor and it flickered before showing him an image. “Alright then, off we go!”

* * * *
The white lab coat he took fit a little snug across broad shoulders. He didn’t have time to be choosy, he had a job to do. He walked briskly past like-dressed workers in the big meat packing plant near Hamburg, Germany. He only paid attention to them with his peripheral vision as he needed to look like he knew exactly where he was going. He crossed the catwalks with hardly a second glance and made it to the sausage section. That’s where he walked up to a back door and swiped a stolen passcard for entry. He moved into a new sausage section and a place with a pair of large vats of swirling fluid. He brought out his cell phone and flipped it open. The press of a few buttons activated the mini Geiger counter. The high red reading didn’t surprise him thanks to the smell. Dangerous chemicals were processing below him, his mission was half realized.

“Well, well, well, who do we have here?” the voice came to him from an opposite catwalk, “James Bond, you are hard to kill. Well you won’t be walking away from here. My men around you will see to that this time.”

Someone gave him a shove from behind. The cell phone toppled from his hand and into the chemical vat below.

“I’m sure you won’t mind if I don’t stick around to see you cut up into little chunks. I have a delivery of our special sausage to make and about a hundred thousand people to kill.”

The current nemesis walked away as a chainsaw roared to life directly to Bond’s right. The man behind him backed away slightly with a revolver still aimed at the back of Bond’s head. The thug with the chainsaw made a wide swing, apparently expecting him to just stand there and get killed. When he ducked the saw hit the hand holding the revolver. Bond spun around behind that man and gave him a hard shove toward the chainsaw and the railing. Over he went and landed with a scream and splash. Bond immediately had to dodge another saw attempt that ended with the tool stuck in a piece of machinery. Bond kicked him in the back of a knee and shoved his face into the base of that machine. A narrow miss from a man swinging a long hook tore the lab coat and caught on it. Bond shrugged out of it and wrapped it around the man’s attacking hand. He jerked this new attacker into a line of machine gun fire. He threw the dead man down on the catwalk and raced across it with bullets singing off metal surroundings. The shooter kept well within good cover so he didn’t have a direct shot with his Walther PPK. Instead Bond took note of the hot pipes over the shooters head. One well placed bullet had the man screaming and leaping out of his hiding place. Another bullet finished the job. Bond ran down another line of catwalk, knowing he had to stop his target from making that fatal delivery. Outside, the truck already left the gate with his quarry in a sedan behind it. A man stepped out in the way ahead with another meat hook. A pile of chain made a good weapon of opportunity and it found it’s way into the new target’s face. Three men were gathering just below him. He threw the chain around a support pole and jumped on to it like a fireman with one leg around it and the other free to kick the closest worker in the face. The chain came away from the pole in perfect arc to hit the other two and leave them writhing in agony on the ground.

Just outside he found a motorcycle and jumped on it without hesitation. He did this with a kick to the owner and tore off for the gate. The security arm came down and a man came out with a machine gun. If he only had a dollar for every time someone tried to block him off this way. He revved the bike to as fast as he could push it on the distance. To block the machine gun fire, he pulled the bike into a wheelie and revved even harder. The small motorbike propelled off the mans body just enough to clear the security arm. This left the security guard moaning on the concrete. Bond still had to make up some serious distance in order to catch the shipment of toxic meat on it’s way to be shipped to dozens of unknown locations around the world. Only the mastermind of this crime knew those locations. Because of damage to the industry, Bond was supposed to destroy the operation like an industrial accident. It got a little out of hand. Speaking of industrial accidents, as Bond crested a hill almost a mile away from the plant, his cell phone vibrated at the bottom of the chemical vat. The resulting fireball engulfed that entire section, leaving none of the poison behind. Good thing that the division was able to test it first.

Bond’s reputation in a chase didn’t often involve caution. As he raced between cars, down the middle line and the sidewalks, he served it well. He actually caught up with the sedan and truck in fairly short order. He didn’t bother to note the expression of surprise on the mastermind’s face has he streaked past to the cab of the truck. With another rev of speed, Bond jumped a foot up onto the seat and used that to jump onto the side of the truck’s cab. He found a place to brace his foot on the back of the cab and ripped the door open. Before the driver could respond he found himself falling through the air to the road below. Bond entered the cab with a propelled double kick to the passenger’s jaw, rendering him unconscious. He took the first side road he found and pressed the gas. The sedan followed suit. No doubt, they wanted their shipment back.

They followed the truck into an open scenic area away from the highway. To their surprise it came to a stop almost calmly.

“Now, once and for all, we kill James Bond,” the boss said to his driver. They split up to either side of the truck and met on either side of the cab. They both threw the doors open to find no one within. “Impossible! Find him!”

The driver walked back along the side of the truck. About halfway, Bond landed on him from above. Fortunately, their approach with the car only allowed them to see one side of the truck. Bond climbed on top from the other side. In one swift movement, James broke the driver’s neck and rolled under the truck to his final target. A low kick to the leg brought the crime boss down and he dropped his gun. Bond set on him in a flash and punched him in the face several times. He yanked the boss to his feet and slammed the man against the side of the truck.
“Now I wonder, if you’d like to have some dinner with me? I wonder if you’d like a nice mouthful of the poison you were about to slaughter innocent families with?”

Suddenly the wind rose and stirred up dust around them. A helicopter? He didn’t hear any ‘whupping’ noise and the sky appeared clear. Bond punched out the crime boss and drew his gun. A strange grinding sound filled the air. For a moment he saw nothing, then, like a ghost out of the ether, the tall blue police box materialized. Bond shook his head and rubbed his eyes. Maybe it was the chemicals? He kept his weapon trained on the box as the door opened.
“You won’t need that,” said the Doctor as he stepped out.
“Who are you and what is going on here?”
“I’m the Doctor. You are James Bond and I need your help.”

Bond paused, still trying to process the fact that an antique police box just materialized out of thin air. As a general rule, not much startles James Bond, but the TARDIS would test that to it’s limits. He put his gun back in it’s holster and walked back over to his original quarry, lying unconscious on the ground.
“What are you going to do with him?” the Doctor asked.
“He was about kill thousands of families with tainted sausage to crash the meat industry. I think I’m going to send him off with his precious poisoned meat.”
“Don’t kill him.”
Bond spun with a jerk, “Are you kidding?”
“No. I don’t kill and for a while, I don’t want you to kill either. Call your people or who ever and have them come and get him, you can destroy the meat any way you like.”
The fire Bond set could be seen for miles. Once he set everything up he couldn’t deny his curiosity about the Doctor and his machine. He stepped up to the door and the Doctor opened it.
“So what did you do with him?”
“I tied him up.” Bond paused to take in the sight of the interior of the TARDIS.
Outside, the crime boss woke on the hood of his car, tied spread eagle with a sausage in his mouth. He spit out the meat and cringed at how close the flames where.
“Mr. Bond!” he screamed, but the TARDIS had gone. He felt something vibrate at his beltline, a cell phone. “What? MR. BOND!”

“It will take some getting used to,” the Doctor said.
“I can see that. So what did you need with me?”
“I’ll explain all that once we’ve picked up just two more people. Ah! We’ve landed.”
They stepped out of the TARDIS and into a room of older style. Two comfortable looking chairs faced a cold fireplace. A score of d├ęcor and books lined up on the mantle. Between the chairs a tea tray held a container of pipe tobacco. A newspaper on a desk read 1880. The Doctor nodded at the sight of it.
“To what do I owe the intrusion?” The tall man in the doorway wore a red smoking jacket and held a cup of Earl Grey on a small saucer. His long narrow face housed eyes that made even Bond feel exposed from every angle.
“Hello,” the Doctor said, “we’ve come to ask your help.”
“With what?”
“Aren’t you just a little concerned with the big blue box in your study?” Bond asked, “You seem very calm for something this strange.”
“My good man, the blue box is what you arrived here in. It’s obvious. It’s also clear to me that you didn’t come here to rob or attack me, you would have done it by now and been gone. You are both a very long way from home and that tells me this is of the utmost importance. You in particular, (he pointed at the Doctor) wouldn’t have come here otherwise. I’ll get my things.”
Bond stared in confusion.
“James Bond, meet Sherlock Holmes,” the Doctor introduced them.

The dimensions of the TARDIS un-nerved Bond and he didn’t trust either of his new companions. Holmes came across as far too cool under the circumstances. He walked into the TARDIS and hardly batted an eye at the dimensional change. Walking into an object that’s massively larger inside than outside reminded Bond of gaining his “sea legs” in the Royal Navy. It’s a disconcerting thing that requires getting used to. With one more person to pick up, Bond couldn’t help but wonder what he walked into this time.

Africa, deep into the west coast, where the jungle knows no mercy. In 1910 and even to this day, there lies unexplored areas of these jungles that accept the foot fall of no common man.
“Look, we didn’t want any trouble, we’re just missionaries,” said the man, begging for his life. He and three others brought bibles and sought out tribes along a dark river to spread the good word. What they got was a crew of river pirates who could care less.
“It’s okay,” said one with a mouth of crooked teeth and breath that could wilt foliage, “We aren’t offended by you, we just want to watch you die.”
A long familiar jungle howl snapped the smile off his face and made him search the scene with frantic eyes. He pointed his sword at another pirate, “You said he doesn’t come here!”
“I didn’t think he would,” said the skinnier pirate with even less teeth and gnarled facial hair.
Before the missionaries could look to each other in confusion, a large muscular body landed on the deck with a heavy thud. The pirate who spoke of their dying was the first to fly off the boat to the waiting crocodiles. He stood tall and powerful with muscle rippling in places you couldn’t imagine. Long brown hair flowed about his shoulders with bits of vine and grass in it. A loin wrap and knife were all the beastial man wore. He beat his chest and threw back his head for another mighty howl that sent hardened pirates leaping from the boat in terror. None of them made it to the banks, thanks to the crocodiles. What kind of man could inspire such terror in hardened killers? Only one in those jungles.
“Tarzan! NO! Please!” begged the second pirate as he backed away and dropped his blade.
The man, known as the great white ape, glared. He back handed one charging pirate with the ease of shooing a fly away, sending a body tumbling across the deck. He leapt over and snatched that pirate into the air with one powerful arm.
“No? Please?” Tarzan asked in his fury, “You were warned, and now you beg? I told you to stay away, I told you to leave. It is too late to beg.”
He threw the man over his shoulder as if tossing away a piece of rotten fruit. Over the edge and to his end he went.
Tarzan walked over to the wide eyed captives, “Relax, I will not harm you.” He broke their bonds and brought them to there feet. “Now take this boat and follow the current of the river to the ocean. Leave, and do not come back.”
“Mr, Tarzan, sir, we brought bibles and we..”
Tarzan cut him off with a powerful glare that made the man wet himself, “NO, leave. I can only guarantee your safety for that. If you return, the jungle will kill you.”
Tarzan leapt from the boat and vanished into the jungle. He watched them take control of the boat and do as he asked. He followed them to the ocean, occasionally making his presence known to a predator that these people were not on the menu. Few things in the jungle ever crossed the will of Lord Tarzan. He watched the boat float out onto the ocean and that’s when he heard the strange grinding sound on the air. The sand on the beach stirred about oddly and the blue box appeared from nowhere.
“Sorcery!” muttered Tarzan and he continued to watch as three men stepped out of the box.

“So where are we now?” Bond asked.
“1910, the jungles of Africa,” the Doctor swept an arm in presentation.
“Do you think he will come willing to you?” Sherlock asked.
“Oh you are good, I didn’t even say who we are here for, Mr. Holmes. Very good indeed. Oh, I’m sure he’s around close, probably watching us right now. Unless I missed, and I usually don’t, he just sent a group of missionaries packing in that boat out there.”
“Who are you, sorcerer, and why are you here?” thundered a voice from the trees.
“Ah, there he is. I’m the Doctor and these men are James Bond and Sherlock Holmes. We’ve come to seek out the Lord of the jungle.”
Tarzan stepped out into view, “I am here. What do you want of me, Doctor?”
“Tarzan, I need your help against something more terrible than any one of us can handle. We need your strength.”
Tarzan walked up to the men, “Explain.”
“Alright, now that we are all standing here together, I think it’s high time I told you all what we are dealing with. Brace yourselves, because what we are dealing with is a murder, the murder of time itself.”

Monday, October 5, 2009

Remembering Heroes

I know I’ve mentioned that I grew up with no one knowing I had Asperger’s Syndrome. It made things quite a challenge for any who dealt with me and there were those who gave up. I’m not writing to talk about them today. Today, I want to pay my undying respect to those who took one extra step beyond and never, no never, gave up on me.

The first person I want to talk about, taught me in Boy’s Chorus at Irving Jr High in 1982. I have to say that Junior High years were the hardest on me. I had a heavy helping of bullies and general difficulty. Matters at home were no different and I felt depression’s grip icily on my heart.

I started storming out of classes because I simply felt so overwhelmed. I couldn’t handle the fact that I had no safe haven. I couldn’t process all of what happened around me and I had no idea why. So, I started considering suicide. No, no one knew of this, not even Ms. Paula Baack, my chorus teacher.

Ms. Baack gave me an example in life that made me change my mind about how long I wanted to live. She never knew this until I emailed her recently. One very special day changed everything and started me thinking. I got very upset that day and I stormed for that door, like I had several times before. What she said froze me in my tracks.

“David, if you go out that door, we are through!”

No one had ever said anything like that to me before and I couldn’t imagine what a dire consequence it meant I faced. All the same, it flipped a switch somewhere in me that no one else had managed to find. I turned and slowly walked back to my seat. The rest of the class could only stare in total amazement.

Ms. Baack is, to this day, a great teacher and powerful performer in her own right, but she can do one other thing better than most teachers I ever met. She could and still can reach the student. She reached me at Death’s door, even though she had no idea that such an event lay so close to me.

So I emailed her recently and explained the truth of all that I was living through at the time. I told her about the discovery of my autism and how it likely had great effect on my behavior and decisions. I thanked her for all she did back then. Then I got a surprise. As it turned out, my email went to her on a critical day in her life and affected a powerful decision in her life. Isn’t it amazing how one moment in a child’s life can carry with them forever. On moment can mean the difference between life and death.

God bless Ms. Paula Baack and every teacher out there who can be even residually like her.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fan Fiction Fun

I want to do something away from some of the normal scales of blogs that I have been doing. I want to give you all a little treat and I hope that you will enjoy it. This will likely last right through Christmas and so you can consider it my gift (haha).

I am going to share a fan fiction as I write it. The neat thing about doing fan fiction, is you basically write a story involving a character or group that you are simply a fan of. I do not own the rights or any licensing of any of these characters and this is purely for fun only.

If any of you know your westerns, and this won't be, you know the story of the Magnificent Seven. Seven legendary cowboys brought together to save a small Mexican town from a ruthless western crimelord. The movie brought together an all star cast and was just plain all out fun. This is not a new notion of mixing in stories by any means and in 2003 we saw a movie that took that style for all it was worth, with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Based on the comic series by Alan Moore, it brought together characters of historical literature as action heroes. The movie brought Tom Sawyer, Alan Quartermain, an Invisible man, Mina Harker (vampiress), Captian Nemo, and Dr Jekyl/Mr Hyde together to take on the threat of counter agent Dorian Gray working for Professor Moriarty. I have always loved crossover tales of this kind.

So, I am going to do my own fan fiction crossover in similiar stylings but with my own special twists. Four heroes are going to have to work together to save all time as we know it. If you know your literature, you may well know the characters. The heroes will be obvious enough, but will you be able to figure out the villains and the special twist before it's too late?

I certainly hope many of you will follow along and enjoy as I share some of my writing ability and what I think will be a very fun story. Part one of Time Dies is coming soon.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Understanding your asperger's child video

This is a video I made over a year ago, but it bears being brought back. According to the comments on my youtube channel, it has helped a number of families with new diagnosis.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Autism: Dissension in the Ranks

I’ve seen a lot of celebrity endorsements for one or another approach at handling autism. Green our Vaccines, Autism Speaks, Rethinking Autism and varied groups or advocates all have their own approach. They all have one inherent flaw holding back their progress. They all speak as if their way is the way to handle all forms of autism. There is no blanket approach to handling autism. That will not work and causes unrest in the autism community.

The best example so far is the divided lines with the organization Autism Speaks. Supporters of Autism Speaks want to see a cure for autism and support all medical studies make that happen. High functioning autistics see this as a par-racial erradication of their kind. Both sides have valid arguments. A cure of some kind could make non-function or low function autistics function for the first time. A child who previously could only rock in a corner, may go out to play and say “I love you, Mommy”. So why is this fight unrealistic? First of all no one can force a cure of any kind on anyone and it will likely be very expensive. So far they agree, that autism is not curable. It’s not even certain that all forms of autism can be detected before birth. Even then, only the most severe will likely be detected and that would leave out high functioning forms. While we all have the right to be heard and have a say in what’s going on, paranoid fear serves nothing. We should all support the idea of having kids able to run and play. We should also support what has contributed to some of the greatest minds in history.

Another example is the campaign to Green our Vaccines. I agree with what they are trying to do and believe that there are ways to avoid pumping mercury into our babies. Once again, this will do nothing for those who have a form of autism right from birth, having nothing to do with a vaccine. Unfortunately the message is delivered in such a way that it looks like this is what they are claiming. While autism is what caused these celebrities to start endorsing, it’s not accurate. They are against vaccine poisoning and autism is just one result of that. Generation Rescue, who invented the “Green our Vaccines” slogan is heavily endorsed by Jenny McCarthy. In one media event I saw her exclaim on stage that “autism can be cured!” and such a broad statement is laden with error. Once again, it may be that some forms of autism can be reduced or avoided, but certainly not all. And it bears repeating, there is no cure for autism. To make such a claim is very irresponsible and gives false hopes to millions.

We need to remember that autism is different in every person and that there are five forms and multiple causes. We need to support each other and be more understanding to the broad scale of the autistic community.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Don't click that!

If the interenet is an ocean, then we are all the fish. Who are the fishermen, the advertisers are. And we need to watch out for them.

Sadly, the internet is a jungle of corruption, scams, and outright lies. You can find anything you want on the internet, but it could cost you more than just a few dollars. I could cost you your identity, your financial future, and even your life. You are bombarded by ads everywhere you go, even where you are reading this. What's worse is that they will prey on your every indulgence and flaw.

Overweight? There are thousands of diets and miracle pills for you on the internet. Too bad not a single one will help you. They'll take your money and send you their product but you won't lose weight. That or you'll kill yourself by taking diet pills and not eating anymore. If they're lying, why are they so successful? Because they know you want it easy. You want to lose weight and not lift a finger to pull it off. So they have your miracle diets, miracle pills, colon cleansers, super nutritions and not a single one approved by the FDA. Not a single one with proven case trials or a track record of any kind. All you see is paid actors spouting about how their life changed. But there is no Easy Street in losing weight. The hard truth is this; quit inhaling food, get off your butt, and exercise somehow every day. Stop giving your money to the internet theives and take your health into your own hands. These are lies, these are scams, don't click on them.

Need money? Get yourself a grant or post links, or better yet go to loan sharks and owe forever. I have taken a good close look at several of these supposed miracle money makers and I find that, once again, there is no easy street. Don't you think it's interesting that the guy who wants to give you his big secret to get millions doesn't have millions himself? Oh he claims he does, but if that's true, it's because of you. Sure, he gets a thousand people to pay him fifty bucks for his "miracle information". He may not be a millionaire, but fifty grand is nothing to sneeze at. And that's just for one round of cheap advertising. And there isn't a goverment stockpile of money laying around in a garage just waiting for you to walk in with a bucket. It's a lie. Stop giving your money to the scam artists and put it to some real work for you somewhere. Like paying your mortgage. Once again the word easy pops out, it's a mythical fairy creature, it doesn't really exist. Don't click on them.

And those are just the two most popular. Hey, whiten your teeth, make spots disappear from your skin, be beautiful and while your at it become a werewolf or Santa Claus.

I've seen dozens of reports online from the authorities with FDA, FBI, BBB, and a bunch more, saying that "if it looks too good to be true, then it is too good to be true". Evidently, from what I have witnessed, this message is not enough. So let's get more blunt on it. See those little ads floating all around the things you are reading? DON'T CLICK ON THEM! And if you do, know this: there is no regulating authority making sure that all these scammers are legitimate. You click at your own risk with no possible recourse to save you. Your money will be gone, and you will have something for your dumpster to show for it.

So, that ad you were just glancing at? That miracle, easy, free for your money, secret? DON'T CLICK THAT!

Chew your food!

My son has become a pocket gopher. I'm already wrought with worry because he's underweight and we need to get some pounds on him. He's not an overly picky eater, but he's developed a serious habit. He stores food in his cheeks and not just a little of it.

When his dish is empty he shows it to me with pride and I commend him. Then it's off to play. But not so fast. I have to make him sit back down and finish the bulging mouthful he has. On a couple of occasions I have found him playing with his toys 15-30 minutes later with a golf ball sized bulge on the side of his face. He never finished that last bite.

So what is he doing? Storing it as a snack for later? I asked him about this, curious to his logic. Well, asking him only upset him. He doesn't know why he does it, he just does it. He also doesn't like talking about how he feels. So all I can do really is just make him sit at the table until his mouth is as empty as his plate.

Past that, we may never know completely why our children on the autism spectrum do everything that they do. Most of it has to do with sensory of some type. Maybe it just feels good to have something stuffed in his cheek? Needless to say, our kids can come up with some strange habits. If you don't wind up scratching your head in wonder at some things your child does, well, you're likely not paying enough attention.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Autism, How do we do it?

When you see that supposedly disobedient child in public, having a meltdown and you wonder about that behavior. You really should pause and consider the parent who sticks by that childs side. That's the parent who may have to leave a cart full of groceries because of an autistic meltdown. That's the parent who may have to full body hug their child on the spot to keep them from biting or hurting themselves or others in an outburst. They're the ones who have to put up with harsh public opinion when their hands are already full. In short, parents on the spectrum deserve a freaking medal.

It's not easy when your child can't concentrate enough to get dressed in the morning. He'll be starting to get his jammie shirt off when he erupts into this ear splitting "eeee" siren noise while shaking his head so hard you think he'll knock himself over. At the same time he'll whip his hands back and forth like he's trying to shake something off them at hypersonic speed. Being an autistic adult, this triggers my own sensory issues and I have to try and get him to stop. I say his name louder over his high droning sound and put my arms in the way of his superfast flapping. I distract him so I can bring him back to task of getting dressed. I will have to bring him back to task a number of times. I may even have to put his clothes in his hands while repeating myself over and over to put his shirt or pants on.

Often he will just get angry with me and we will have a short temper tantrum- mini meltdown that I have to "not" respond to. My refusal to engage in some of the behavior can also prompt him to get back to task and be back on course for the morning. Once he's dressed we can get to the next part of our morning. If you look through my blogs on my Myspace page you will find dozens of parents who can say they deal with exactly the same thing. I am certainly not alone in what I deal with. Some have to be dressed completely by parental hand so I count my lucky stars where I can.

This morning he considered breakfast more of a plaything as he smeared his scrambled eggs, spilled his milk and purposely dribbled from his mouth all over himself. Wild laughter ensues, much of it forced because he wants to hear his own voice. I clean up, correct him best I can and make him go without his milk to drink until his eggs are all eaten. I get another tantrum that I have to ignore and soon we are back on track again. Not every morning is this intense. Mornings with erratic behavior of this magnitude tell me it's time for a med check, but I still have to get him set up for the day before the phone calls can be made.

Next it's time to take daily meds and that is a new chore in and of itself. He hates his medicine, and what kid doesn't? We do our best to get it down, but he's in a devil of a mood and more dribbling ensues. A good morning sees meds down in about 3 minutes. Today it takes 15. And there's plenty of kids who have to be fed by hand on the spectrum because they just can't process the world around them.

People have commented to me on how much I can handle him since I have a condition myself. But they only see a fraction of our life in each others hands. They don't see our morning trials or the things we do together when he's able to go out and have fun. Then there are those who look at his odd behaviors when he is ON his meds and ask me how I do it. I bite my lip, I really do. I shrug and say that we just do the best we can. We have our routines and I work with him on proper social behavior. But it will take time. And I bite my lip because the person who asked me that is only seeing the lighter side of his eccentricities and already feel overwhelmed.

That's okay, because parents on the spectrum can't afford to get overwhelmed. We don't have that kind of time. We do what we do and we do it every day. On top of that, we love our kids and wouldn't trade them for the world. We don't write these blogs to say woe is me, we do it for those who just don't get it yet. I'm writing my blog for YOU, parent who doesn't have a special needs child. I want you to look at the next kid having a "fit" in the store and think of these words. And before you judge that parent, ask yourself what they already have to do for their child every single day. Then ask yourself if you could do it.

I consider our morning trials just part of life and we get through them and go on with our day. That's how parents on the spectrum are. It's just part of our lives and we deal with it. Just something to think about. You can search for me on myspace or facebook by my email, thewildeman2@yahoo.com. All are welcome there because you just might learn something new.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Live in spite of it all

You are losing your home and your job is already gone. You're getting a divorce and all the foundations of security in your life are crumbling. You look at your kids and wonder what you are going to do for them. Uncertainty and chaos are the only things consistent now. So what will you do? Will you put that old Bobbie McFerren cd in the stereo and crank up "Don't worry, be happy"? There are some who may.

Some people rebound okay and start over, some don't. Some people cry out for help that they may or may not receive, and some just bottle it all in and try to tough it out. Both sides of those tactics have their pros and cons and some win, some lose. It's a dastardly world out there right now and no matter who or what we look to it all comes down to this, we must live.

So you hope the President fixes the economy and gets the working world back up and running again. You hope the factory might open its doors back up so everyone can go back to work. But then something else happens and the politicians don't deliver quite they way they said they would. Now what? Live in spite of them. You don't have to forgive them or even put up with them, just live on. Live in spite of what was taken from you. Live in spite of the failures of your government, what ever they may be.

Live in spite of losing your job, your spouse, or your house and car. That's not to belittle what you've been through, I've been there too. I'm just saying you still have to live. If not, all the thumps and lumps you've taken have won. So live, live in spite of it all. That's what we have to do. Stop letting your money troubles put holes in your heart. It's no where near what it used to be worth and they can only take so much away from you. You can find a better way, but no matter what you do, you must live.

What I'm talking about is an attitude that we all just need to develope. We're doing the best we can and we're taking care of our kids and families. Maybe we can't do it the way we wanted to now, but we can still live our lives. We can use this to teach our children and give them the backbone to live as well.

You see, I've decided that I no longer care about the politicians. My creditors, oh I'll pay them, but they can get in line while I fix life and take things one at a time. Yep, stuff em all, I'm going to fix my own life. No matter what they do, no matter where anyone goes, I can only go forward and so can you. Go forward, live in spite of them.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Back to school means new routines

So a new school year begins and we find ourselves getting up early in the morning and scrambling to get all things ready. Or do we? Well, I get up fine in the morning, Denver on the other hand, not so well. Even though I started getting up earlier and waking him up, the routine isn’t fully instilled yet. So, it will take some more work. Our first item of business in the morning is to get dressed. I meet with some resistance here but I set a timer to challenge him. It’s worked once so far, but we’re only two days in right?

Next we need to get our breakfast. Denver get’s to pick what he wants for breakfast so long as he gets moving in the morning and doesn’t create a crunch for time. We have plenty of Cheerios and that’s the fall back. So if he wants something else, he gets up and gets moving.

The only major challenge we’ve had with getting the new school year started, I could have avoided if I thought about it. Shoes. Denver has been wearing sandals for most of the summer. That became his routine, much like not wearing a coat or jacket. So when I brought out his shoes, we had a near meltdown. Oops. I slowly explained between protests that we weren’t wearing sandals to school and it’s time for us to wear our shoes. That means no more sandals for me either, until after school. Offering him the chance to wear his sandals after school seemed to help the situation and we were rolling once again.

New classes and new teachers are always a possibility for angst with autistic students. Denver get’s full props. He met his new teacher with a smile and friendly talk. He tackled his first day with flying colors. But this was just the beginning and I felt pretty nervous. Is it just the parents that get really nervous about these things? Maybe I worry too much.

When the time came to pick my lil man up from school. I waited outside the class room for the bell to ring. When he came out, the report was of a good day. I asked him what he thought of his first day. He used the word awesome with major exclamation. So we are off to a fine start for the school year. He likes his class and he’s with kids he knows.

Denver has been through a lot of heavy duty changes for an autistic child, but at least this didn’t have to change. With the school year off to such a great start, I find myself looking forward to the rest. I hope it’s just as good for the rest of you.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Autism: Public Meltdown

I want to tell you about something that happened in the midst of moving to our new place. We loaded up everyones vehicles for our first trip. The volunteers were ready to go. Denver and I stopped at a gas station for something to drink and I offered Denver the chance to pick a donut. He felt pretty good about that and started looking over what they had to offer.

Then frustration set in. He didn't feel that he could make a choice. He felt overwhelmed. No doubt, the moving and all the extra activity around him helped to make that happen. I tried to make suggestions and even tried to just pick something for him. No, that wouldn't do. He just wanted to leave and started to get rather loud about that. So, with plenty of witnesses already, I paid for my drink and we went outside.

I opened the van and turned to wait for Denver to get in. He stood by the front of the vehicle crying. Now he wanted to go in and make a choice. By this time, I knew the volunteers had to be there, waiting for us to come open the door. I informed Denver that he would have to wait for the return trip now to make a decision because now it was too late. WHAMMO! Instant meltdown. He flailed, punching and kicking the side of the van and sank his teeth into his arm.

This required fast action on my part. I grabbed him up, taking assault myself, and put him into the seat of the van. I held his arms and legs down as best I could while endeavoring to avoid teeth and headbutting. His screaming, I'm sure could be heard two blocks away.

Well, in walks Joe Public, who thinks he knows what's going on, but doesn't. This guy comes up from behind me and sticks a spiderman toy into the midst of the fire. I took this as an outright intrusion. I turned to the man as best I could and said NO, I'm sorry but that won't help. I tried to explain that he just needed to calm down. Does the guy take the hint? NO. He tells me when a kid wants something that bad, I should just give it to him.

I told him he had no idea what was going on, that my son was having an autistic meltdown and he proceeded to argue. So I ordered him to get away from us. I even had to say it more than once. He did, but he called the police. Fortunately for me, a very kind lady, who witnessed the entire ordeal stepped in and spoke with the police officer as a witness.

I want to mention that the sight of the officer also scared my son. He thought Daddy was going to be taken away from him. I spoke with the officer and had Denver show his arm where he bit himself almost to the point of blood. The officer took down my information, listened intently, then said he was going to talk to the ones who made the call. That's when he said, "You can go".

Denver did get his donut, just as promised to him in the beginning. Too bad that man couldn't have listened. He only risked himself. In the midst of such a meltdown, spiderman doesn't mean jack. He risked having it thrown at him or getting bit. This is why public education and understanding are so important. Don't we get enough public embarrassment with a meltdown of an autistic child? The only thing we can do, is let it pass while preventing our kids from savagely hurting themselves. Can you imagine what it would look like if we didn't?

Autism, Public Meltdown

Autism: Public Meltdown

I want to tell you about something that happened in the midst of moving to our new place. We loaded up everyones vehicles for our first trip. The volunteers were ready to go. Denver and I stopped at a gas station for something to drink and I offered Denver the chance to pick a donut. He felt pretty good about that and started looking over what they had to offer.

Then frustration set in. He didn't feel that he could make a choice. He felt overwhelmed. No doubt, the moving and all the extra activity around him helped to make that happen. I tried to make suggestions and even tried to just pick something for him. No, that wouldn't do. He just wanted to leave and started to get rather loud about that. So, with plenty of witnesses already, I paid for my drink and we went outside.

I opened the van and turned to wait for Denver to get in. He stood by the front of the vehicle crying. Now he wanted to go in and make a choice. By this time, I knew the volunteers had to be there, waiting for us to come open the door. I informed Denver that he would have to wait for the return trip now to make a decision because now it was too late. WHAMMO! Instant meltdown. He flailed, punching and kicking the side of the van and sank his teeth into his arm.

This required fast action on my part. I grabbed him up, taking assault myself, and put him into the seat of the van. I held his arms and legs down as best I could while endeavoring to avoid teeth and headbutting. His screaming, I'm sure could be heard two blocks away.

Well, in walks Joe Public, who thinks he knows what's going on, but doesn't. This guy comes up from behind me and sticks a spiderman toy into the midst of the fire. I took this as an outright intrusion. I turned to the man as best I could and said NO, I'm sorry but that won't help. I tried to explain that he just needed to calm down. Does the guy take the hint? NO. He tells me when a kid wants something that bad, I should just give it to him.

I told him he had no idea what was going on, that my son was having an autistic meltdown and he proceeded to argue. So I ordered him to get away from us. I even had to say it more than once. He did, but he called the police. Fortunately for me, a very kind lady, who witnessed the entire ordeal stepped in and spoke with the police officer as a witness.

I want to mention that the sight of the officer also scared my son. He thought Daddy was going to be taken away from him. I spoke with the officer and had Denver show his arm where he bit himself almost to the point of blood. The officer took down my information, listened intently, then said he was going to talk to the ones who made the call. That's when he said, "You can go".

Denver did get his donut, just as promised to him in the beginning. Too bad that man couldn't have listened. He only risked himself. In the midst of such a meltdown, spiderman doesn't mean jack. He risked having it thrown at him or getting bit. This is why public education and understanding are so important. Don't we get enough public embarrassment with a meltdown of an autistic child? The only thing we can do, is let it pass while preventing our kids from savagely hurting themselves. Can you imagine what it would look like if we didn't?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Protect yourself, don't use quick loans

The Consumer Protection Predatory Lending Act is one I hope to see pass here in Wisconsin. I think quick loan stores are a financial trap out of control across the country. Interest rates are so high on these loans that you have to pay enormous ammounts to clear the way to the principal. Take my situation for example.

I didn't just go out and get this loan without taking anything into consideration. I did my math and planned out when I could pay off the 600 dollar title loan I got from Payday Loan Store. I didn't expect my finances to take a whopping change at 65% of my income. This didn't matter to the loan store though. There are no fall back clauses for hardships, even the sudden ones.

Thanks to my condition and the interest rate I made $170 dollars a month into the pockets of the lenders and just $5 on the balance of the loan. On a couple of occasions I had to roll over the loan, borrow for the payment amount and that suited them just fine.

They've collected over $2000 from me on an $600 loan that I now owe over $1100 on. My next interest payment will be about $221 and won't put one dime on the principal.

Far more desperate people get these loans for a variety of reasons as well as those who are just plain financially lazy. The loan looks good and covers a short term need or want. After that, however, you have monstrous interest to pay and you better hope you can cover it and not have to roll it over at all. Thousands of people are hopelessly trapped in these pitfall quick loans. Many of them for the titles of their cars. That's my loan, if I can't keep up the interest payments I will lose my van.

So this is a special message for all of you out there. Watch out with quick and easy payday loans. You might just throw yourself into a financial hole that you can't get out of.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Helping others can move you

I figure it's high time that I share about the great moving experience. I know, we all know what it's like to move. Packing and shifting and moving all the heavy furniture are all par for the course. It's a headache and no one enjoys it. As many of you might remember, I put out a message to my local community and asked for help to move. Being disabled and a single parent without local contacts made a move look near impossible.

I started contacting local agencies and asking around at churches to see if anyone could help a guy out. The Center on Aging and Disability put me in touch with Cheryl. Cheryl runs a small volunteer group called Hands of Hope. She came out to my apartment and looked over the job. She took note of what kind furniture I had and how much there was to move. She then made an appointment with me on when she would return with volunteers. She came out with some people who were kind and helpful. They got me moved.

Unfortunately, Cheryl is having trouble finding volunteers. I find this disturbing. Let's think about this for a second. Consider a senior citizen who has no local family and no family coming forward. He has to move. What should he do? In situations that I've seen, it's been too bad so sad, leave it all behind and get out. The problem I have with it, is that it doesn't have to be that way. As a community we can take care of our own and help that person move. Why not? What if it were you? Sure, you're an able bodied person now, but you have a 50% chance of becoming disabled in your lifetime. So think carefully, what if it were you?

What if you really needed help, and no one would step in? Yes it does happen, all to often, but we are supposed to be a society that is better than that now. How can we continue to make such a claim with an every man for himself attitude like that?

Yes, I know there are undesirables out there and people who cheat the system and want to be leeches. I know this all too well, but what are we going to do. Turn a blind eye when even our religious teachings and historical teachings say not to?

What kind of example do we set for our children? I think communities should step up and help. I think what Cheryl is doing is moral and right. I think we should take it into consideration just a bit more. I'm not saying to give handouts to the guy on the street corner, but if you know someone who could really use a hand. Why don't you help them? Just a thought. If you want to volunteer and help out those in need. Check with the Hand's of Hope or contact places in your neighborhood. Give a helping hand to someone in need.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Back to Bullying

Well, it's school time yet again. To me, that's high time to take a look at the issue of bullying once again. We need to remember not to just pass off what looks simple to us and remember that growing social and emotional minds are at stake. We can't say "just toughen up" any more, it doesn't work for those who are socially and emotionally disabled or "behind".

True we have taken great steps in stopping physical violence in schools, but bullying doesn't stop at the physical. It's non-stop harassment from which there is no safe haven. It's covert and cruel and makes it's victims feel helpless. That's not good natured ribbing I'm talking about, it's mental assault and it's vicious.

Sometimes the child who complains becomes a target of the teacher as well. "Why are you such a weakling?" Well, hey, if an adult can do it, so can I; becomes the attitude of the rest of the class.

Think about this, do you let your child put down the boy in the wheelchair or on the permanent crutches? No? Then why allow it at all? It's just as bad to do it to anyone else and I mean anyone. I don't care what the reason is. If you don't like someone, stay away from them, but don't victimize them into a state of depressed oblivion.

Remember, what would they be thought of as adults if they treat others that way? What if they do that to a client of their business or a family member? What do we think of that? I don't know of anyone who likes it.

We all want our children to be successful and lead good lives. We can help make that happen by stopping bullying, protecting our children and teaching them too.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Moving Day

This is a day coming up for me fast. Because of things like divorce and the fact that I didn't know the finances well enough yet (my ex-to-be was handling that before me), my rent check got shorted and returned. By the time the bank was done with me there was no way I could pay my rent. I had to close out the accounts and start over again. That's not good enough for these landlords and frankly they just aren't very nice people to begin with. So it's a good thing I have to move.

The gas for things like hot water and laundry have been shut off downstairs, I can only presume in retaliation for having bad luck. It's illegal in just about every state and they have had me served. That's too bad for them because they've done just about enough to legally hang themselves. I can't say much more than that for legal reasons.

The new landlord is very understanding about the fact that I have to wait for our next disability checks in the mail before I can pay him for moving in. After that, my finances will restart anew.

Currently I'm trying to find people with strong backs that don't have permanent head injuries like me. Trying to recruit help in a place where I know precious few people. I've talked to a church and put a blog on one of the newspaper sites I go to. I'll be talking to people all week

I'll be okay and soon I'll be back to blogging full force but my hands are kind of full with things at the moment.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Honoring the Fallen

Well, on July 2nd I went to my father's funeral in New York. Ever since then my head has been filled with concepts and I've been contemplating. First of all, the Wisconsin Patriot Guard took care of my expenses for the trip, thank and bless them very much. I also understand that some of other chapters road with my Uncle part of the way to bring the Urn from Kansas to New York.

My father's last wish was for one last long ride on a motorcycle. The man had Harley Davidson in his veins and he was a true biker of true bikers. Better yet, since he had the mind of an engineer combined with a Vietnam vet of Special Forces, he always had something cool someone could do to make their bike just a tiny bit better. Or whole lot better depending on who you ask. Well, my Uncle gave him his wish and a funeral procession to end all.

In the carrying bag for my father's urn were five flags for the service, or was it four? In any case, somewhere a long the trip, he switched the flags so that each one spent part of the trip around the urn. Awesome in my book and very thoughtful.

At the service in Woodlawn Cemetary in Elmira, New York; the Patriot Guard came in a force of at least dozen and circled around us holding flags. They also rode in with us and it was quite a sight. My Uncle made all the arrangements and I don't think he could have done it any better. It was a great service that honored my father very well.

I had to leave for home after the service. I couldn't stay and I had a lot on my mind. I learned from my sister that my aunt also passed away within around 2 months of my father. I didn't know her as well as my Uncle per se but I gave to the contemplations that carried me through a twelve hour drive. Yep, I turned grief into energy and it took me all the way through.

This has to have been hard for my Grandparents and Uncle. It's a hard hit to the family no matter what, but still. They meant so much to so many. I have to say, after seeing it happen a few times over, I hope I don't outlive my children. I've already outlived a god-child. That's enough for me or so I pray.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Morning Trials 2

As I've mentioned before, mornings are a special time of day. Before Denver gets his meds in the morning he can be a very random child and way off task or focus. I will repeat myself several times and may even have to take him by the hand and lead him to what he needs to do. He hates that, by the way.

A simple task, like putting on a shirt, could take several minutes to a half hour to get him to do. I can get him to move on it if I give him a time limit. Yes, there is part of it where he's just plain oppositional. He really isn't a morning person.

He gets lost in fantasy and strange erratic behavior. He puts up his hands like a small animal and sort of "flutters" around the apartment. He even has to be reminded to finish chewing food that's in his mouth. He stores it in his cheeks.

This morning, he sat at his little desk for breakfast and perched on his toes on the seat. I can't stand this and you're about to see why. He went into "little animal" mode and dumped his bowl of cereal all over himself trying to eat like one. So, start the morning all over again. New clothes, new breakfast and hopefully that doesn't make us late to summer school.

As an update, Denver actually gained 2 pounds! Guess those shakes work after all. He is still under weight. Yes I feed him.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Destroying Lives

In this post I want to talk to you about stigma and discrimination. These are just words, but they carry the power to destroy lives.

Stigma is a negative attitude toward any given characteristic of a person. This is often a broad and community issue fueled by discriminatory behavior of even a few and belief in untruths about those characteristics. Stigma is considered to be a negative portion of discrimination.

Discrimination is the treatment or consideration of a group by way of class or category rather than individual merit. It is the assumption that all persons of a particular class or condition are the same whether a negative or positive idea. Discrimination follows the ideas of stereotypes created by stigma in society.

There is an assumption that all people with bipolar disorder are dangerous or "crazy". The key to recognizing discrimination for what it is, is the broad and all encompassing assumption. The key is the word "all". It could be substituted with "every" or other similar words. This is how you recognize the falsehood that is discrimination. It is an unrealistic idea and belief in it hurts innocent people.

It just isn't possible for every individual with a medical condition to be the absolute same. Just like we have had to learn for race, religion, sex and age. So when are we going to learn?

I am going to use myself as my own best example once again. I worked in a career I loved dearly. I was an Animal Control officer and I was looked to with great trust and appreciation of my work for five years, until I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Suddenly, I could do nothing right. I was written up and threatened constantly with disciplinary actions. They were even taking steps to have me put before a comittee to have me even more punished and stripped of my rank. They even decided who they were giving that rank too, long before they got there. If you don't think that's ridiculous yet, try this; on my last review, a reason for me not to get a raise was that I was suddenly afraid of dogs. Never mind the hundreds of them that I had taken in regardless of their attitude or demeanor. Never mind that I handled some of the most dangerous animals the city had to offer. Suddenly and out of the blue, being afraid of dogs (which was not any part of city policy) meant I should not get a merit raise.

They lurked over my shoulder on the job and even took complaints they never would have given a thought of, to use against me. They accused me of being sneaky and trying to cover my tracks. Tracks from what? Oh they came up with all kinds of fantastic things. Things that you might take for granted on any given day, but may have been "construable" to appear against the rules.

I went to the Equal Opportunity Commission and it took them a full year past the time I had to give up my job. Why did I quit? Because my Union attorney said I was going to be fired if I didn't. The EOC did very little to actually investigate, they barely considered any paperwork I offered and didn't question a single one of my witnessess. They gave me a right to sue letter though. Very flimsy and gave me little chance of justice. After a year of searching, I found an attorney. We filed suit and after a great deal of paperwork a judge decided he just "didn't like it" so threw it out of court. See how they all line up for the same belief? Don't think so? How about the assumption that all city offices must be honest?

Yep, every single one worked in and lived in the same city and had practically the same beliefs. I was sunk before I even began. Now it's too late. I will never see justice. I suffered an immense breakdown before the discovery that I actually had Asperger's Syndrome which quickly explained everything they thought about me. Not that they cared, they didn't want a crazy person working for them. One of my therapists called what I suffered as "loss of identity". Now, because of them making all of my conditions worse with traumatic levels of stress, I will never work a normal job again.

Did I deserve that? Maybe I deserved a write up here or there, but not permanent disability. No one deserves that. So here I am, at my home in Wisconsin because I couldn't stay in Nebraska. And I can tell you that there are plenty who are treated this way for no justifiable reason who take their own lives. I almost did.

They are in my nightmares, to this day. Do you know that the laws on discrimination for mental disabilities do not accurately cover anyone who has them? You have to show that your condition actually disables you. Otherwise it is considered perfectly legal to discriminate against you and that is what they told me directly and word for word in Nebraska.

It's a good thing they don't do it like that for any of the other categories, otherwise you might have to prove that you are black enough or jewish enough to be discriminated against. Just an example folks. Think about it.

Education, it's the answer.

Denver's Blisters?

Just to get started, I have to say that my father's funeral honored him perfectly. Just so I can say it.

We went to Elmira, New York on the second of this month for that same funeral and stayed at the Mark Twain Motor Inn. A lot of things in that little town are named for the famous author who was born on the passing of Haley's comet and died when it passed again. Just a little trivia for you. In the nearly endless front yard of this establishment, stood a large gazebo. In it, Denver found some childrens toys and one of them was a little red bicycle.

I have had some difficulty in getting Denver to ride his bike at home because of balance issues that we autistics have in major scale. He wants to, but then doesn't want to. Well, as he often does, he took to his own schedule of learning and being prepared and started riding the little red bike. I was only too pleased to let him.

The area boasted a large placement of concrete around the gazebo so riding wheeled toys was a snap. However, it wasn't until my uncle and cousin arrived on their Ducati motorcycles that he made an interesting change.

Denver has always been scared of motorcycles. That has changed. My cousin Scott let him sit on the back of the big bike and he reached out and held the handle bars. He became even more fascinated with bikes when the Patriot Guard arrived for the funeral the next day. The Patriot Guard is an organization of bikers for the respect of fallen soldiers and veterans. Look them up on the internet, they are incredible.

Now, did I say he was fascinated? I had no idea. Just yesterday, here at home, Denver told me his thumbs needed to be trimmed. I thought he meant his nails, but I was wrong. Bits of dried skin stuck out from an equal reddish area on each of this thumbs. I asked him what they were.

"I had bubbles on my thumbs, and they popped, and stuff came out, and now they're all dried up."

Blisters, he had blisters. I always found those little buggers quite painful, how had he put up with them? I told him he had to be rubbing something an awful lot to get blisters. What was he doing.

"I was playing motorcycle at the hotel in New York."

Motorcycle? Then I knew. He must have seen how the riders revved up their bikes by turning the parts of their handlebars. The motorcycles enthralled him so much that he played at this on the little red bike until it gave him blisters. His thumbs are fine and I certainly don't want anyone to feel bad. These things happen with kids who can get stuck in a rut on an activity so much that they can't let go.

That's just something that autism of his kind can do. An interest can become so intense that it overwhelms any other distractions. I did have a hard time getting him off the bicycle so it makes sense.

I do have to get him to stop twisting his hands on his bike, but I'm glad he's so excited to ride it now.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Seeing myself in him

Have you ever looked for yourself in your child? I'm not talking about eyes, nose or other physical features, or even intelligence or attitude. I'm talking about behaviors. As a parent who has autism, I guess I have a semi-unique perspective on this. Most parents of autistic children are not such themselves.

Denver can get very aggressive with his toys to the point of breaking them. This is because he's trying to make what's happening with the toy as much like what ever he saw on television or somewhere else.

Take action figures for example. If two heroes are fighting, it's not enough to pretend the punch and effect. He will actually haul back and slam one figure into the other with force and conviction. He often does this with things that are not meant to be hammered into each other. He wants to feel the force of it all. It makes it more realistic to him. "But, Dad, punching isn't like that." Neither is crashing when it comes to his toy cars.

This often causes broken toys and those get discarded with a small lecture on being rough on toys.

So how does this fit in seeing myself in him? I did that too. I used to play all star wrestling with my vast assortment of stuffed animals and I didn't hold anything back. I punched them so hard they flew across the room. I did the jump from the turnbuckle and body slammed them into the floor. This caused tears and such that my grandmother would fix. I would get a lecture though. Crashing? Oh yes, my cars crashed with force that cleared other object off the table. That got me into a lot of trouble. "You had to see the ash tray! What were you thinking?"

I wasn't thinking, I was crashing. Didn't they know the difference? Apparently not.

It's important to remember the very literal sense that the Asperger's child has (along with other autistics to be sure). Look at a real crash. There's always force and damage and things go flying. Why would I play it out any differently?

Being able to see myself in my son has given me great hope. I know that I grew out of all the behaviors he exibits today. I did this without proper support, so he should do doubly as well, right? Well, that's kind of far ahead and he will have his own decisions to make by then. I will just have to do my job as a parent and remember, that I did these things too.

So take a look at the things your child does and try to think back. Did you do anything similar? What insight can you find? You might be surprised.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Dying City

Detroit, MI should be declared an emergency and disaster area. According to recent reports, there are hundreds of buildings standing empty from a million people fleeing the sinking motor city. 30% of it's residents are on food stamps, but barely have any place to use them. That's because all of the major grocery chains in Detroit have closed.

The human body needs three things to function or it will die. They are oxygen, food and water. You can go without clothing or shelter (depending on location) forever in comparison to those three things. Think about the grocery stores in your town, then think of them as empty lots. Sure, you have a few small places to go for minor food stuffs, but is that going to be enough for your entire town? I doubt it. Most of those places are generally more expensive as it is. How many people are in your town anyway? Think about it.

One way military forces defeat their opponents is by cutting off supplies. Starved soldiers just don't make as good of fighters. Granted, we aren't talking about a military coup here, but is the result going to be that much different?

And who says a disaster can only be declared for physical damage and loss of human life? True, this isn't an earthquake or tornado, but we're talking about a historical landmark. So there isn't loss of human lives, but their still gone to somewhere else arne't they?

Put this in perspective for a minute, we are talking about a landmark city that boasted nearly two million people headed for old west ghost town status? Just try to convince me that isn't a disaster of historical proportion.

The motor city needs help and support. They need supplies and a new purpose.

I've seen a lot of good people lose their jobs and now they struggle to keep their homes. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the people are the ones who circulate America's wealth, they are the ones that need a bailout. They were put in this position by greedy corporations who would have received the money anyway if it came to us. Give a family a bailout and they pay their mortgage with it, who gets that money then? Give a family a bailout and they pay off their credit cards and their car, who gets that money then? Giving a bailout to the people would provide relief at the very core of the damage.

Want to know what good the bailouts have really done so far? Take a trip to Detroit. Bailing out the companies didn't work because they still lack the one thing that keeps them going, the consumer. No customers, no businesses, it's as simple as that.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Autistic Opinion: Teacher Reinstated

Sometime last year, a kindergarten teacher named, Wendy Portillo decided she had enough of little Alex Barton. She didn't like his behavior, never mind the fact he was in process of a medical diagnosis. She didn't understand him and demonstrated that she didn't care to. She stood little Alex up in front of his class. She then instructed each student to stand up, look at him and say something they didn't like about him.

Alex has Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism that caused all of his irregular behaviors.

Wendy Portillo was suspended and had her credentials stripped away. Most fitting for committing child abuse in my opinion. But it didn't last.

The School board in Port St Lucie, Florida decided to reinstate her recently. Apparently, a reported dozens of parents and teachers, flocked to her aid. They said she just made a mistake and to give her another chance. A mistake is what they called it. I find that ridiculous and I'll tell you why.

Wendy Portillo emotionally and mentally abused Alex Barton because she just couldn't hold her temper with him anymore. What happens when a parent is caught abusing their own child, much less someone elses?

Not only that, but as a teacher, someone those children looked to for knowledge, she taught bullying as a way to deal with kids you don't like. That was bullying in the classroom.

Wendy Portillo hurt a child, used other children to do it and as a teacher that should be unforgivable. Unfortunately for the town of Port St Lucie, "dozens" of parents and teachers think thats A-OK or "just a mistake". What do you think?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Strange Play

It never ceases to amaze me the ways Denver, my son, will play. Children on the spectrum have unique ways of approaching play. The other night in his bath he reminded me of this. I heard splashing and naturally thought my bathroom headed for swimming pool status. I walked in and found the floor dry.
"Denver, what are you doing?"
Without hesitation he struck himself on the side of his face with his sopping wet washcloth. He didn't hold back either, you could have heard the slap outside.
"I'm playing water balloon!"
I could certainly see where the water laden cloth could simulate the effect of a water balloon to the face. Since he didn't flood the bathroom and had cleaned himself, I left him to it. Once he started water ballooning the walls, I had to step in and end the party.
I found it very creative that he simulated the sensation he wanted to feel. After all, he had no access to the real thing. That's not nearly as strange as the want for playing with toilet paper. Even at 7 years old he's fascinated with it. Recently he shredded some with a hairbrush. Confetti across the bathroom floor. I know it's the lightness and texture and how it can instantly absorb water that amazes him. He has to see it again and again until the stool is too full to flush. Don't even ask how I solve that one. You don't want to know.

Other tissue paper constantly meets the same fate so kleenex are a guarded resource in our home. I am known to time him in the bathroom now as well.

Kids on the spectrum are also known for running in circles, pacing, digging, licking things and all of those are simply based on how they feel and what they see in it. They see something we don't and it's important to remember that.

Denver's best of odd play is cardboard. He's incredible with it. Yes, all kids love to play with boxes, but Denver is articulate about it. He builds archways and floorplans. He makes full scale dungeons and is to scale without even knowing what that means.

So, even with the tissue play, is it possible that he will still see the intricacies of these materials as he grows? What will they mean to him when he's older? Who knows, but the possibilities are endless.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

To my readers

There was an issue recently with how I did my blogs at the newspaper sites. This is what I posted to correct that:

It has recently been brought to my attention that my readers do prefer to stay in one place to read my blog and article postings. I was truly unaware of how much of an inconvenience this might be to my readers until a fine fellow with Sheboygan Press sent me an email explaining the situation. Well, from now on, when you see my blogs and articles, you can be sure that I will have the whole story right here for you. There will be no link that you have to click to get the whole story.

For that matter, if there is any link at all, it will only be to show you where else I can be found. None of the places that you can find me require you to pay to subscribe to my writing. If you find me on Myspace you can click "subscribe" to be alerted when ever I post a new blog. I would dearly love to have you there as well as here, but you don't have to. I can also be found on Facebook and USA Today. If you go to blogspot and have a blog there, you can click to follow my blog and I will do the same for you.

Sometime I just need to know what people prefer the most. If they tell me, I can understand better. I want to thank all of you for being here and following along with me. Thank you for all the great reccomendations and comments. Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere and I will have more to say in the very near future.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Autism and Divorce

I'm having a divorce. When you go through the big D you wind up going through all sorts of emotions. There is nothing to gain at this point as far as you're concerned. Only loss. Average folks do all kinds of crazy things when it comes to divorce. Desperation over property and children can drive you up the wall.

What can that be like for people with autism? I've explained before that autistics depend highly on their world being predictable and stable. I'm actually doing pretty well in this case, but that wasn't so true for the last two major breakups in my life. In today's case, we are splitting peacefully as possible. My wife wants to change her life and the best I can do for her is let her go. Unfortunately that means I'm not just losing a marriage or my wife, but my entire support system. I am my son's support system and that's no easy task with trying to apply damage control on myself. I'm thankful that I'm on medications for my comorbids or I might not be able to handle this. It's a scary situation because there is no one to help me if I have real trouble.

That's the unfortunate reality of divorce for anyone, but when you have medical problems that force your mind to depend on and view reality in a certain way. It's more than just an emotional issue. Denver is very good at observing, but he's not that good at decyphering. Now he worries when I drop him off at school that I won't come back. We have to make sure he knows, not only that none of this is his fault, but that not everyone goes away and stays away. He will always have both of us, just not in the same house anymore. That cracks the world he depends on right in half. There's no way around it, only through. Fortunately I do know what to do and what to tell him. It's going to take time.

Even with knowing, my brain still wants to go into a five alarm state because what I knew is no more. I have to will myself past that and resist it. I've had three major relationships in my life and not a lot of partners. I have children in all three relationships and try to stay in contact with them all. That doesn't always work the way I intend. Each one has lasted longer than the prior and I suppose that's a good thing. But back then, I wasn't on the meds and I had a really hard time.

The toughest thing is accepting the changes, then there's letting go. Autistics, as a general rule never embrace change, they naturally resist it. That's even if it's good for them.

I suppose all I've already survived has prepared me for moments in life like this. What an ironic and interesting point of view. I want to point out a blog I was introduced to recently. The person running it is a divorce lawyer who went through her own divorce involving her son who has autism. She brings up fantastic points of what such heavy changes can do to an autistic child and why the courts and all who work in them need to know. Her name is Pegi Price and you can google her or find her in my followers on my blogspot page. She recently published a book through the Bar Association called, The Special Needs Child and Divorce. Because I have trouble with posting links, I suggest you give it a google or search.

If you are new to my blogs, please subscribe or click follow on my blogspot. I'm glad to have you here. Also be sure to check out my other posts. You may find answers to questions there. You may pass on my information if you like, just make sure to give credit and hand out a link for others to find the source. Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Morning Trials

My son, Denver, does not like being woke up in the morning. He likes to wake up at his own speed. You can tell the difference in the mornings that he gets himself out of bed, he's simply a happier kid. Heaven help me if I have to wake him up in the middle of the night, he can get really angry then. Just a year ago he could go into a violent fit at being awakened. He's better about that now, but still doens't like it.

Today he got out of bed at the sound of me walking around the apartment. So out bounces a happy rested Denver. I get him some clothes, sometimes he picks them, and we have a race to get dressed. It's a great way to get him motivated to move in the morning or at others times as well. He usually wins, but not this morning. Next it's time to pick what he wants for breakfast. He get's his choice out of what we have, depending on if I'm up to making it. I won't make pancakes every day, after all.

After he has his breakfast it's time for the morning trouble spot. He used to be much better about taking his meds. Now, when I tell him it's time for both of us to take our meds, I get a screaming fit. He knocked his toy castle of the table and started kicking everything near him. He's learned to pull his punches on objects because he knows it will hurt if he lays into things at full strength. That's how I know it's a fit he can control. I offer him time out until he's ready to take his medicine for the day. He immediately comes over to me stomping, huffing and swatting at things near him. He takes his medicine and I take mine. I remind him gently that he knows what his day will be like if he doesn't take his medicine or I don't take mine. Then I send him to the couch to have a time out anyway because of the fit.

That earns me a loud, "I hate you" that I ignore and sit down to check my emails. He goes through a noise making stage and inevitably wants to know when he can get up.

"When do you think you can get up?"
"When I've been quiet."
"Have you?"
Back to my emails. He remains silent for several minutes. Normally time out ranges at one minute for each year of age. I give him a touch of slack on that sometimes, when his meds haven't kicked in yet. I'll go for three or four minutes. He pulls that off and I let him get up. Apology is given and we're off on the rest of our morning.

At about 7:30 I check his homework and sign his school papers. There's some reading done. He loves to read and it's quickly becoming as strong point of his. The only other thing about mornings is getting him to slow down. I swear he's going to wake the neighborhood. One of his stimming behaviors is to shake his head and hands rapidly while jumping up and down emitting a high pitched EEEEEEEE sound. This causes my poor eardrums (with my own sensitivity to sound)to go into a panic. I have found myself yelling STOP, more than once with my hands over my ears. It's hard to not do that, like trying not to let your leg kick when the dr hits that nerve in your knee. Most times, he does stop and he knows what sounds bug me. Sometimes he uses them on purpose, so I put him in time out on purpose.

As far as I'm concerned, using someones sensitivities to harass or harm is just like walking up and punching them. I won't allow it. If he does it to me, he'll do it to some kid at school. I won't allow that if I can help it.

Once the meds kick in he slows down and has much better control over his impulses that are very hyperactive up until then.

I give him time warnings before we are going to leave or I'm going to have him do his homework. That helps to keep from interrupting him from what he's doing. When I suddenly interrupt him from an activity he's absorbed in, I can get a stomping fit that just gets him into trouble and causes us a delays. So I give him a fifteen minute and maybe a five minute warning. If he gives me grief over those, it's time out. If he goes along with it all and does what he's supposed to, he gets a blue poker chip in the "go" jar for a reward later on.

At 8:00 it's time to put on shoes and make sure backpack is ready to go. Then, by 8:10 we are headed out the door. I'm very particular about when I get out the door to go somewhere. I hate being late or slow to get going. If we run late it means parking hassles and stress, I hate that. Yes, I do work with it and try to keep my stress down, but like most autistics I have my routines and I can be obsessive about them.

I wait with Denver at school until he's ready to go to class. Goodbye's are given with promise that I will be back when school lets out and the morning business is done.

As for non-school days, those are very relaxed and everyone gets to sleep in. Summer may bring some other changes in schedule, but we'll see when we get there.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Gifts of Autism

We can spend a long time discussing how things can be hard with autism. For the most part, I prefer 'different'. Some things are actually quite a challenge but today I want to take it the other direction. Is there anything good about autism? Actually there is a positive spin.

I believe just about every autistic I've met has had some kind of distinct special skill. Usually it's based on their special interest but some go above and beyond even that. Take Daniel Temmet for example an his book, Born on a Blue Day. Daniel is a mathematic prodigy and they're still trying to figure him out. He sees shapes and numbers as textures and composites. He's capable of doing fantastic problems almost instantly.

Check out Matt Savage, you won't believe it but he taught himself to play piano. A feat that famous player Al Stewart just had to see for himself. In this video he plays the compelx piece, "Year of the Cat". Check it out:

Then try Jason McElwain who has a 90% accuracy ratio in shooting baskets. This boy made the news for firing a successful 6 three pointer shots in a row. It was the last game of the season and I bet they wish they put him in sooner!

I took the Global Assessment Functioning test in Nebraska to see what my level of general function is. It came up at 40%, which is why I'm on disability. Don't let that fool you. I do have capabilities that I am working on to bypass my disabilities. I also took a test of my skills at Vocational Rehab. My strengths came up in protection jobs and writing jobs.

On the protection jobs, I have 19 years experience in working security and 6 of that was actual law enforcement with a national certification. Yes, that was in Animal Control, but let me tell you that, because of how they do it in Lincoln, I've been on everything from murder scene to drug bust. I have stories, but they'll have to come later. I've always been interested in helping and protecting others. On investigations, I became known for finding small details that led me to closing cases and finding people. Those details were overlooked by others, but seemed so much larger to me. My sensitivities to odors and even sounds gave me an edge when handling cases that could have been more questionable.

On my writing I have had a lot of wonderful comments and compliments. I am very thankful and the test showed that I had this capability. I always have, so far as I know. Mind you, I don't want to be a braggart, but if you have it use it, right? I guess this is why I've had the interest in writing stories since very young.

The one area they didn't test me on is art. I am an artist and a great deal of my work can be seen at my myspace page in photos here. Oh and here.

My son, Denver has quite a bit of skill himself. He likes to build things. He's constantly surprising me with what he can do with common cardboard. I have witnessed his excelling at this skill above all others. He makes dungeons complete with pitfalls and traps. I wouldn't be surprised if he winds up becoming an engineer like his grandfather.

Of course there's famous autistics like Bill Gates and Keaneau Reeves. You can find a long list of people either confirmed or considered autistic and all of them with their own interesting gifts. For that matter, I think that autistics should be given a chance with those gifts to do good things for their communities. For all we know, an autistic finance team could save our economy.

I know, not all autistic show a big ol gift, some never are very clear on it, but I think it's still there somewhere and if you can bring it out, who knows what could happen next?