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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!


Act today! I know you are aware…
Reach out to those around you in similar circumstances…
Autism survival is tough, we can’t do it alone…

Read on…

My respect to the families doing their best with their adults and the severity of the diagnosis = in diapers, self aggression, sick, weakened immune system, encephalitis, OCD…
Read this father’s reality…. Share his story, he seeks help!


Wandering… the biggest fear in any household raising/protecting/caring for/surviving a child/adult in the spectrum.
They move fast, stealthy, quiet, they may or may not know what they are doing.
At the grocery story, my daughter who is apparently aware of consequences, she moved away for 5 seconds (right before I told her I need you by my side as I’m paying at the register). 
I breathed, did not scream, just called her name and she was right by the entrance of the store.
She called out for me and there I was.
I hugged her, then gave her the third degree. I reminded her of the negative consequences. I reminded her I want her safe and it is a tough job and she must help me.

We survived it. She is fine.  12hrs later I asked her to write 5 sentences (see the pic). 

Her thought process in the raw and to me obvious we still have tons to keep working on.
My respect to her reading coach – last year she was not able to do this!!! Something super good out of this…

My respect to the families that have children/adults that are non verbal. Your home does not have to become a jail but safety is #1. There are steps to take and I request you use the resources available in your community, online – no need to do this alone.

Community — this is hard, we need help.




Many parents heard these exact words from many professionals in the field… still occurs today!

Parent, if you’ve ever been told this fallacy – report the doctor to the American Academy of Pediatrics 
American Medical Association (AMA) 
American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 

This is not professional. It is unacceptable. Not every case is the same. Not every family is the same.


sit down plz!!!
Neurofedback therapy can cost $250-300 per week!!! OUCH…
Eval/Assessment $500-1000+ – not included!

Most times, not covered by insurance!


Love, expressing it in different ways


Don’t you ever doubt… I have the pleasure of knowing Robin and Ann Millan — the utmost respect for both… Be inspired, don’t doubt, research, act…
Read thru this… all of it…




Sad outcome – Missing Teen in the spectrum was found dead



Power of unconditional love

‘Cause, we the parents make it happen!


Watch the documentary – My Kid Is not Crazy

A search for hope in the face of misdiagnosis




Many children/adults wake up after 1-2hrs of falling asleep — with sweaty head, night terrors, screaming, sleepwalking, jumping, in a different realm, speaking gibberish, some aggressive — 
It is scary. As a parent, we feel no control…

Tonight first time in 6+ yrs, my daughter’s, now very brief wake up session – head not as sweaty and she fully verbalized a thought – I guess she was dreaming — she was shaking, she looked concerned — 
She said: “I just released the sea creatures… so they can be happy”
I told her – you are being a great explorer. Kissed and sang to her and she fell asleep —

This is huge… a clear thought… full of meaning – 
She may not remember this tomorrow AM. I’ll ask her…


I am a featured guest in the Autism Town Hall Meeting produced by WEDU PBS in Tampa. Sooo honored!

* Event I organized – Autism and Employability – great resources here!


Event I organized Autism and Legal Matters
* Many resources in the link– If you have a teen, please start reading about this now! Do not wait!


Autism, anxiety, overstimulated senses = reality = afraid/not being able to enjoy a movie



The day my child stops going thru these outrageous situations… 
yes, the kind that proves awareness is not real… I will stop these posts…

One day to promote awareness is not enough… 
#autismawareness everyday!
Help my kid forget this ever happened! Be her voice… share… 
 No teacher should ever scream!



Interaction with Teacher Chris – Special Books by Special Kids —

Thomais is diagnosed with autism. She quickly hid inside a cabinet when I entered the room.

Instead of forcing Thomais out I sat on the floor and talked to her and a beautiful interaction followed.




I make this request because I’ve heard horror stories of families that have been fleeced, used, manipulated by unscrupulous individuals who sought to gain from desperation and need. Simply, they saw an opportunity to easily profit and took it. Buyer beware!

Domestic violence occurs in many households… Talking about it it’s not easy. This mom with two boys with special needs finally opens up.
After so much pain, she’s alive, healing and building her happy kingdom.

Lalita Tooley is a Mexican mother of two special children, Connor, her eldest son who was born with down syndrome and Jack, her youngest son who has autism. Like any other woman, her dream was always to be able to form a family with the man she loved, the father of her children, but that dream disappeared after the birth of her second child.
Tooley claims that her husband could not bear to see that his two children were disabled children, which led him to take a despot attitude toward her, which later became physical and psychological abuse.
Eight years after being a victim of domestic violence and a restraining order against her former partner, Tooley is dedicated to caring for her children and other children with special needs, as well as giving support talks to empower parents with special children .
According to statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, in the United States every minute, 20 people suffer from domestic violence by their partners, which is equivalent to more than 10 million victims a year.



Best message I ever received from two developmental pediatricians… Autism is medical they said!

I did not know what they meant then. Like minded families have guided our path…
No more teeth grinding. No more monthly sickness. No more barking cough. No more grumbling tummy. 
Still mild sweaty head. Still sensory issues.
Major improvements in behavior I mean MAJOR!!!
Read a lot. Ask questions. Address the medical issues and your child will come back. 
I keep at it…





So proud of my friend E and her daughter M. —

M. picks her eyebrows, armpits and more when OCD is raging.

She’s not a kid anymore. She knows what she’s doing yet she cannot control herself.

Parental power in action —

They tell M  –  you hurt yourself, we are sad, we help you. If you keep picking your hair we’ll put the phone in the trash.

M reacts by turning her head.

Time passes, M picks her eyebrows.

Mom E throws phone in the trash.

Major reaction from M and verbalizes awareness of what she’s done.

She’s asked: What will happen if you pick your eyebrows?

She answers: Phone in the trash.

Every family finds a solution to their reality.

Tough love works. It is not easy. It takes time to see results. But it works.



Video of my daughter after arguing, crying, losing all calmness — she insists 9+9=0 because that is what ST Math says.
She needs to be taught how to learn!!!


A mom writes:   My 19 month old is non verbal and a head banger. I am awaiting his evaluation but gosh this is so hard…he screamed for 3 hours straight today while knocking over everything he can and hitting himself. His anger is worsening by the day and it’s just me and my son all day everyday while my husband is off and home about 1 day a week. Does anyone have any calming mechanisms? It seems like all he does is scream and rage all day nothing I’m doing is helping him and Ive cried so many tears. Anyone go through the extreme anger fits with a toddler?

MY NOTE:  A 19 month old without a history of psychiatric issues in the family should not head bang, should not have anger fits. I have learned, there are medical issues behind these behaviors. There are medical solutions to address it. Early intervention is key!  Around 19 mths, my daughter also had a brief period of head banging and screaming fits at 11pm-1am. It did not last long thank goodness.

Interesting info here:

Treat Autism CA

Autism Research Institute

MEDICAL COMORBIDITIES IN ASD = one of the best sources!


April 19 at 7:05am ·  2017
Things are.much better now 
Health and behaviors 
Tons to do
Parents do your homework , there are many ways to address the medical symptoms our children endure, suffer from

April 19, 2014 · 

The helplessness.. impotence. .. lack of control… sadness. .. frustration… etc…  We experience daily with our children and the diagnosis of autism is sooo overwhelming. .. 
Give me the good days… the bad ones I say… F .. k U autism!!!!!!

Action now… I demand answers to address the medical issues affecting my daughter’s behavior


Disabled girl denied class trip to Disneyland

Family was told bus did not have wheelchair lift

MY NOTE:  We experienced the same last year —

One more time, I witness a reaction to my pointing out my kid is not included, my kid is not accepted. It is too obvious and I notice.  My daughter needed to be with her classmates and other 2nd grade students on that stand, belting it away, being a part of a school event. Mrs. Urban, thank you for letting me know now that she’s very advanced in your class. That is a real Mother’s day present. Yet, she’s not a 4th Grader, she’s not in choir. She’s a 2nd grader who participates in two different classroom dynamics because that is what she is needs: a least restrictive environment.

You told me 3+mths ago that Thomais had changed so much, improved so much and you were very proud of her. Yet, the opportunity was missed to show your pride as a teacher and confirm that  United We Soar! as the school proudly exclaims every time.  There is no soaring… There is no united and all of you know it. School and district administrators and the FLDOE are fully responsible for this mess; because there is no directive guaranteeing these absurdities will not take place in 2016.

But, they keep happening!




We must talk about it… Parents must become the first line of safety in their kids’ life. A lot must be read. Parents must accept what their child/teen/adult can or cannot understand. Request a social story from the organizations that are supposed to help. Above all, remain cautious and communicate to the best of your abilities the concept of body awareness, physical safety.

Read this — Two child sex offenders explain how they picked their targets

I did this video last year – Talk for the Voiceless Now!




In Florida and other states

1. YOUR child may be removed from school
2. Transported to a psychiatric facility
3. Held for up to 72 hours WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT OR KNOWLEDGE!

Click the link, read, act:


And tons more takes place…

Many families celebrate the huge and small successes.

Many families suffer in silence.

Thank you for your support. Share our stories throughout the year, not only in April!

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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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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.

The reality of autism in its beginning is nothing like the current representations in the media or what is taught by academia. Regressive autism is brutal, damaging and painful. My child was learning three languages, smiling, had eye contact, eating healthy and sleeping. In less than a month, it was all gone and the race began to figure out how to understand this unwanted newcomer.

Earning an income, traveling and building a safety nest for the future was no longer prioritized. The need to live minute by minute became the way to survive the meltdowns, being awake from 2 to 5 in the morning as your child screams for hours on end, vomits torrents of undigested food or hums incessantly.

Time passed and now that my child is in school I made the attempt to work 30-35 hours per week. The lack of flexibility from an employer is the biggest slap on the face. The extremes of autism do not exert control while I worked. The professionals that are trained to work with your child can only do so much based on the resources provided by the system. Since I had to work to earn a living and pay the bills, my child had to go to after school care. This is when the battle intensified as I moved from center to center seeking that committed organization that trains its employees, practices inclusion and acceptance.

When my child’s behaviors were no longer adequately managed by the care center personnel, I made the bold choice to quit the safe and steady source of income. I could no longer tolerate not knowing what triggered my child’s behaviors and not being there to reassure her it would all be fine. Mom is here and let’s work it out.

The hustling, surviving, living on a minimal income has been my peace of mind. I drop off and pick up my child. I create quality of life with very little. I know what is happening when she’s not in school.

As parents we should not have to make these choices. But this is not the world we live in. Becoming the parent of a child with special needs creates extremes in our existence. If you are not humble, creative and learn to seek the support of those who survived it, you shall create an environment of greater pain and suffering. There is no remediation. There is no therapy. There is no alternative. Sole reliance on self love and your inner strength will guide you in this path. If you did not know you had inner strength, find it quickly, your child will need you very, very strong.

I am so proud of the fact my child is happy, healthy and is learning to love life. Being educated, working minimal hours and receiving government assistance makes me a better person. This current sacrifice is the greatest reaffirmation of motherhood and love I can experience. I know this will not last a lifetime and I still want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with my daughter by my side.


Yadira V. Calderon has two or three part-time jobs (retail store, supports adults with special needs and translations/social media). She has a M.A. in International Relations and Diplomacy, speaks three languages fluently, has lived in 6 countries and visited another 27.  

Yes,  Yadira is looking for flexible, stable and rewarding employment opportunities!

More details here:

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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)…

How to correct this?

  •  Don’t only report the tragic stories
  • Marlee Matlin, Temple Grandin cannot be the only individuals with disabilities that will be referred to by the media – every community has its stars and they must be a part of the discourse
  • Use language appropriate to the story — NO PITY!
  • A weekly segment (TV and Newspaper) reporting the ins and outs of disabilities in all communities – NEEDED (reporting must include a novice or trained individual with a disability; thus opening the door to guarantee employment and fulfill ADA)
  • CREATE a campaign – nationwide – clearly stating – Special Needs are not scary, Autism is not scary, Down Syndrome is not scary, Cerebral Palsy is not scary,etc… The masses must hear this clear and bold message from the news and the artists that appear in People Entertainment Tonight. Until this happens the disability community will remain ostracized and discriminated…
    Enjoy my daughter telling Teacher Christopher Ulmer – Autism is not scary. Autism is a beautiful heart deep inside you.
  • TV shows/Movies – disabled role must be played by a person with a disability (i.e.: my daughter created a video requesting Disney they create a TV program with a princess with #Autism – and she wants to play the role of the Princess)

As Danny Woodburn (actor) states – – “… complex and pervasive problem that will take a long time to remedy. However, it is imperative that we take steps in the right direction immediately with a few concrete practices.”

My daughter and millions are ready.


The Ruderman White Paper: Employment of Actors with Disabilities in Television…/…

From the White Paper:

The Argument We ARE Making

Instead we believe that it is absolutely unacceptable to have 95% of cable and broadcast characters with disabilities played by actors without disabilities. It is a matter of social justice to have a large segment of our population authentically represented in the mass entertainment that is television and scripted, dramatized stories. It is necessary to create an environment where actors with disabilities have access to play characters with disabilities. It is also necessary to reduce stigma surrounding “invisible” disabilities such as mental illness. Only by having actors who are open about those disabilities will we slowly create a society that doesn’t shun or shame a vast segment of its population. We have to tell stories about people with a variety of disabilities and we have to be fair in representing them accurately. Only then will we have more realistic stories that reflect our society. We will not choose a number and say that this is how many characters with disabilities need to be played by actors with disabilities. But we are saying that it’s about time we start ensuring that it’s more than 5%.


Autism: The Happy Kingdom The New York Times Washington Post Publishers WeeklyVariety HuffPost Lifestyle PBS Entertainment Tonight Entertainment Weekly Screen Actors Guild Awards FOX 13 News – Tampa Bay 10News WTSP WFLA News Channel 8ABC Action News – WFTS – Tampa Bay NPR Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing Voice of America – VOA Penguin Random House BuzzFeed Books HarperCollins Children’s Books Children’s Books by Random House of Canada Yadira Calderon TelemundoUnivision Noticias Tari Hartman Squire Vanessa Calderon Arianna Huffington The Huffington Post Neurodiversity Harold Reitman
#Disabiilty #Selfemployment #Presumecompetence #Autismisnotscary #StopMediaDiscrimination Sofia Lachapelle TV Sofia MI Diario Miami Herald Donald J. Trump Melania Trump Hallmark Movies & Mysteries CNN The Economist Al Jazeera English America with Jorge Ramos Lifetime MBC BOLLYWOOD #GoodyAwards

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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.

One year ago, she saw homeless people and immediately she asked why were they living/sleeping on the street. I kept the explanation basic and reminded her, just because they don’t have a home does not mean we can’t be considerate.

For months, I heard about the experiences, the homeless, more questions. I kept the message consistent.

Christmas time is here and as she continues to ask about various topics, homelessness included, I let her know we could visit a shelter that helps those who need the support.

She agreed and asked: “but what do they need, we must bring something.”

I said correct, they need a lot of what you have.

She said toys, I said No. Just the basics like shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.

It was agreed her funds would be used to purchase the goods.

I contacted various reporters and Mark Wilson from FOX 13 News recommended we visit Homeless Empowerment Program (HEP) in Clearwater.

Lo and behold our tour took place. We met the founder, Barb Green and our host Ashley Lowery, Director Comm and Devt.

Thomais was extremely curious. The kitchen/dining hall and the Thrift Store were her favorite places.

We gave words of support to each other.

I thanked them for the opportunity to allow my child to learn about aspects of life she is not exposed to — yet, at her young age, she has already learned about rejection based on her behaviors and reactions. I reminded them that as a parent, I refuse to have her grow up rejecting others because they look or behave different.

They thanked me for being proactive and willing to do things differently.

Another seed has been planted. It will be watered, conditioned, treated with more love. She will let us know in due time what the fruit will be and how she’ll share it.



  • HEP is a self-sustained community – Families, Veterans, Singles – all benefit from their services. Doctors, nurses, dentists, Professionals in various fields can volunteer. Donations are needed  (details in the website).
  • We’ll return end of January – help in the dining hall! Join us!!
  • I am a parent. I trust my instinct. My past experiences – good and bad – and wonderful people around us guide most of the decisions I make with my daughter.

Find HEP on the Internet!



Event on March 18, 2017




Psychology Today

Spectrum News

Autism Research Ctr






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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!

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Multimedia Mom – Inspired by Autism!

I am a  multimedia mom. Autism now guides my days.  I was not interested in blogging. I was not interested in creating videos. My new world caring for my daughter with special needs has opened this unstoppable interest to share, discuss my ideas and realities. At some point, I want our life to be understood and respected.

As a parent, the decisions I make and made, need to be discussed, analyzed in future university courses. Employer training programs must include the input of parents — they will employ our offspring and their reactions to day to day business decision making is not part of their comfort zone —

What we survive with our kids/adults is unequal to anything parenting could bring to anyone’s life.

Our voices must not be drowned.

Our ideas, suggestions must not continue to be ignored.

Every blog entry. Every video I make. Every post I share. Every effort has the intention to make sure everyone realizes the success of our children/adults in the spectrum depends on what we do, what we allow, what we tolerate. We, the parents, facilitate and then we handle the over stimulation or meltdown at home.

We are survivors. We are caretakers. We love our children/adults.

Dear world… Listen to us – in any format we choose.

Parent… speak up, share your truth. Don’t wait.

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Survey Time

Your raw, open, honest opinion is more than welcomed…

AUTISM REALITY or realities?

King Sun, a leading character, has autism. He must jump all the time. Even while doing speeches, while eating… yes, that is what he needs to do.

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The power of a study guide


This study guide shall enhance the dialogue at home and in the classroom.

Future generations will be positively influenced by the thoughts and ideas presented.

We will share drawings and poems!   Email them to: