Parents to Parents Panel: How to keep our teens/adults safe?

How to keep our teens/adults safe?

Our adults with a disability – mild or severe — what are all of the areas to consider to guarantee parents and community are doing their all?

Safety must always be #1

How can you, as a parent, avoid abuse, neglect and exploitation?

How can you avoid financial exploitation?

How can you avoid emotional abuse?

Join us. Let’s brainstorm and discuss this serious matter.  A Sheriff from Pinellas Sheriff Office will be present to answer questions!

 

The event is organized by three of the featured guests of the Regional Emmy nominated WEDU-PBS broadcast:

Autism Town Hall Meeting – Breakthrough to Hope ( watch it here: wedu.org/autism ):

Ann Millan
 www.autism-believe-future.com

Yadira V. Calderon
 www.autismhappykingdom.com

Filomena McDonald
 Gulf Coast Autism Assoc Internet: http://gulfcoastautism.org/

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TINDERELLA – A FREE E-BOOK!

Yes, a FREE e-book!

Get it here

Thomais learned to read like her peers in the period from March 2016-March 2017.

An incredible tutor made it happen… Mrs. K will remain in our hearts and lives for eternity…

Her patience, dedication and willingness to teach and learn from Thomais is unequaled.

Thomais’s autism behaviors challenged the process and everyone persevered.

Thomais’s dyslexia never hindered the process. On the contrary, Mrs. K’s multisensory methods, knowledge of a variety of existing interventions guided the process. Above all, a love for teaching.

 

Enjoy one of Thomais’s creations as she continues to express her emotions, curiosity and above all, her inventiveness.

Share the book. Please comment!

Contact: autismhappykingdom@gmail.com

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A diagnosis does not give anyone the right to insult others…

I will highlight and cheer for those who treat us with respect. Always! It is so important to give feedback and communicate with those who respect your needs, strengths and weaknesses.

I will also highlight those who do not respect the fact we are members of this immense planet and for one reason or another, seek special treatment.

What happened? Another learning experience at the park…

Kids all over, screaming, having fun, little groups here and there. My kid is by herself. Sometimes I can tell she’s fine with this reality. Other times she’s not and she goes out there and asks, do you want to play with me. My heart melts every time I hear her… 3-6yrs ago, she could not do this! Now she can. Now she has power. Now she has the tools to engage, socialize and learn from others, while they also learn with her.

She approaches this  group of kids… They all know each other. A couple of them were receptive to her request. Others ignored her – she does not like this! One flat out rejected her and began to make weird noises towards her. Of course, this bothers her and I remind Thomais — just ignore him. But she can’t!!

No one likes to feel rejected. In her case, as with many, instead of focusing on those who showed receptiveness to her request. She focused on the rejection. I let her be at this point. She has to learn to figure this out and I will not always be around.

She started to make noises at him as well and called him a bully. I laughed because I welcomed this original approach (that she can do now!) and she was being a kid.

It all turned messy when the boy decided to call her an idiot. Oh no I thought. And her reaction was pure emotion, sadness and she ran away from the group. She screamed: “No one had ever called me an idiot. Why did he do this mom?”

I reminded her: “You are not that. You are an incredible young girl. You are loving. You are fun. Go talk to his mom.”

Before she reaches the mom, his sisters start screaming… “He cannot help himself. He has a heart condition. He always does this!”

I am livid… A young boy with a disability who has not been taught to respect others and is being allowed by the adults in his family to say whatever he thinks. And his relatives are protecting his actions under the premise of lack of control and a heart condition.

I tell the girls. Excuse me, understand something; he has a disability but that does not give him the right to treat others like he just did. That is wrong. The girls kept insisting his heart condition is responsible for this.

I said no, that is not true. My daughter has autism and I teach her to treat others with respect. We do not use her autism as an excuse to cover up the challenges and many times, the lack of  filter in what she may say.

By now, Thomais reached the mom. She told her. The mom did nothing.

Thomais returns to the group and the girls made the effort to talk to her and include her in the brief game. I thanked the girls for their efforts. I reminded Thomais, let’s move on, look the girls want to play with you.

The young boy who insulted her stopped saying the insulting disrespectful word after I asked him to do so.

My heart is still heavy remembering her face, her disappointment and once in a while when OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) tries to take control of the day, she brings up that event.

I will continue to remind her — we all have challenges, we all have super positive traits, we must always be respectful of the differences. It will be very boring if we were all the same. You are a person, you have a heart and a soul  — autism does not rule your existence, please remember that.

My wish… That other parents of children with a diagnosis share similar messages, regardless of the challenges. Our kids’ apparent limitations cannot stop them from being amazing beings and it cannot be an excuse to mistreat others. None of us should accept that.

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Hollywood can’t handle talent with a diagnosis!

Now I understand why Hollywood, Netflix, HBO, ABC, CBS, NBC, Disney, Nickelodeon, Broadway, etc. will not hire actors with a diagnosis, with obvious or mild challenges.

Video: Trolls and Friends  The Musical, Dunedin Community Center, FL

In an attempt to entertain, the writing may reflect some of the realities faced by an individual who is considered to have limitations. But a trained actor is the one hired to perform the role of someone they have no knowledge of, they cannot relate to, many times, they don’t even respect who they are. This trained actor pretends to have a diagnosis and pretends to make others laugh or cry. Decent writing and marketing may save the show. This is pathetic, ridiculous and short sighted.

Continue reading Hollywood can’t handle talent with a diagnosis!

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AUTISM REALITIES

We know all about autism awareness.

We want action. Life with autism is 365 days, 24/7…

These are various posts  I shared in social media. They reflect the reality of many families. For many it’s been the same or worse for 10+ years. The media rarely reports on these matters.

Do share!

Continue reading AUTISM REALITIES

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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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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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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?

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All about empathy and respect…

A diagnosis of autism carries the stigma that individuals in the spectrum are not capable of showing empathy or understanding emotions.

But even in the depth of a massive regression at 2.5yrs old, I could find those moments where my child demonstrated an understanding of emotions — very basic for her age yet it happened.

Now at 8.5 yrs, Thomais is in full grasp of emotions, what they mean, how to handle them. The curiosity to understand others and their existence is intense.

Continue reading All about empathy and respect…

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Wishes for Christmas!!

The Happy Kingdom is getting ready for Christmas.
Yadira will host a special Christmas podcast – Yadira in the Happy Kingdom – and she will read your wishes.
Fill out the form and listen to my podcast!
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScCR8t6gISqDzmF9LBQjLtmSnBI_7lhMLoUJPI6mOCv90u1kw/viewform