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WEDU PBS Autism Broadcast: Yadira Calderon Is A Featured Guest!

I thank everyone who is making these opportunities possible.

Town Hall — my intervention, segments from Autism and Employability parent panel —   min. 23:28 – 29:04 and min. 48:38 – 49:14

Webcast – min. 4:04 – 4:39

 

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About Sesame Street, Inclusion, Reality

The media is overwhelmed, reacting to the inclusion of a muppet with autism. If it only was that easy in real life…

@Ellen DeGeneres tweet is reflective of the vague words used by most media outlets – –  People make people feel included I dare to add, not a muppet!

The effort and expense used to create this new character is immense. Many fortunate individuals are a part of this project. I am very glad parents of individuals in the spectrum contributed.

My issue with the new characters lies with the words shared by my daughter in the spectrum. As soon as she saw the picture (I swear I had not made any comment to her or she had not heard me say a thing about it) she says:

 “Ridiculous! How can a frog have autism?”

She insists:  “Autism is not scary!” And reminds me she wants her own reality shown!

Continue reading About Sesame Street, Inclusion, Reality

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Say it with me: We the Parents Make it Happen!

Last January 19, 2017 at the Palm Harbor Library (FL) more than 35 families from Tampa Bay and beyond responded and confirmed the need to hold meetings with content created by, led and with meaning to parents.

Reality is, all families would have benefitted from the messages shared. The universal message of parental empowerment, commitment, dedication, restlessness applies to us all.

Continue reading Say it with me: We the Parents Make it Happen!

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Volunteer work in the Happy Kingdom!

Yes, at 8/9 years old doing volunteer work is extremely important.

But wait, at this age kids should be in parks, riding bikes, some may say playing computer games is part of being a kid these days. But T. and her friend S. were taken to the Thrift Store, part of the Homeless Empowerment Program in Clearwater.

T. and S. know each other. They play great together. They leave each other alone. They drive each other crazy. They are kids learning about life. They are kids and in most instances, they’d be regarded as one of the bunch. It is wonderful and as parents, we are so proud.

The kids wondered why did we have to volunteer. We explained in simple terms – We want to give back and be thankful for everything that is good in our lives because others are not as fortunate. Explanation accepted.

While volunteering, reality is more than obvious and we moms start realizing that 10 years from now our kids would not survive 5-10 min in any job. We were not there to play and personal interests confirmed how much work was to be done (sorting clothes and placing them on hangers). Once the personal interests were no longer thrilling and the realization that actual work is expected, this is when our duty as parents became really fun. Looking for entertaining explanations to keep them focused was a live rendition of every reason we’ve heard moms say for hundreds of years. Let’s sort by color, by specific item, do this number of items and we’ll do this,  we have so many minutes left, that’s enough I need you here right now. And you can imagine the rest.

Continue reading Volunteer work in the Happy Kingdom!

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#Autismisnotscary at the Women’s March!

As a parent, I realize I must constantly open more doors to assist the process of understanding what life can be about…  With a diagnosis like autism, on any given day, it can be so challenging to help your offspring understand the meaning of different situations we can witness. Today was a breeze. Today was all about being connected and wanting to be a part of the world.

Our presence at the Women’s March in St. Pete FL was so enriching, exciting.

Our sign said:

REMEMBER:  AUTISM IS NOT SCARY!

WE NEED MORE +MEDIA COVERAGE

My daughter was all ready to ask for pictures, to raise her megaphone voice and say it – Autism is not scary!

Continue reading #Autismisnotscary at the Women’s March!

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How to get the local media to report on events in your community?

As we get ready for our event Autism and Employability, we approach the press wanting to get exposure and let Tampa Bay know their involvement is needed.

Our latest experience…
– Sent note via FB to local reporters stating:

Help me invite Chick-fil-A HR folks!
They should participate in our event – Autism and Employability
They must #presumecompetence and realize that #Autismisnotscary
https://www.facebook.com/events/192420104495454/

Man with autism sues Chick Fil A for discrimination!  http://www.10news.com/news/national/chick-fil-a-discriminated-against-job-applicant-with-autism-lawsuit-claims

Continue reading How to get the local media to report on events in your community?

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I am an educated woman, I earn minimum wage and I get food stamps . Here’s why.

by Yadira V. Calderon

I am obsessed with traveling, discovering and understanding life. I became the editor of a trade publication for the baking industry and visited most Spanish speaking countries. I did Logistics for the cement industry. I taught American Government in China. Everywhere I went, as a tourist or as a professional, I sought the opportunity to interact with families, experience commitment and going beyond the expectations to achieve that goal. I saw my education and curiosity as the means to an end.

Six years ago everything was about to change and I did not know it. The drive, the push, the non-stop urge to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or ride the Trans-Siberian train all became futile and senseless when my daughter regressed into autism from one day to the next. December 2010 forever changed my life and perspective.

Continue reading I am an educated woman, I earn minimum wage and I get food stamps . Here’s why.

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The Happy Kingdom embraces Autism!

Blessings for all…
We complete 2016 with progress, challenges and plenty of possibilities…
We wish you endless amounts of beauty for every day of 2017 and that every decision made will be beneficial…

Each photo has a story, a challenging detail and beauty at the same time…
Those are our days and we welcome them, willing to overcome and love every instant…
Thank you for being with us in the Happy Kingdom!

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About the #media and its reporting, portrayal of individuals with disabilities

The #media and its reporting, portrayal of individuals with disabilities (obvious and non-obvious) is dismal.
Reporting of events having to do with pets or gory stories are prioritized over 15-30 seconds of reality from a disabled perspective.

 

** FACT: Stories with roles based on a disabled individual are not a part of TV shows/movies – As the The Ruderman Family Foundation White Paper states – 95% OF CHARACTERS WITH DISABILITIES ARE PLAYED BY ABLE-BODIED ACTORS

** FACT: Out of 8 events I organized – promoting acceptance, inclusion, awareness, parental empowerment — 2 received media coverage (greatly appreciate support from Natalia Rodriguez and Gaby Romero)
https://www.facebook.com/JustAutismNoPanicRight/events/…

How to correct this?