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Learning about Raffles!

Greatest experience ever…  another one!

To see my daughter being a kid and learning the big lessons in life

Enjoy her creation, words, illustrations and expression of emotions…

Video here: Raffles Really Really Stink by Thomais

Individuals in the spectrum are very literal

Explaining the concept of a raffle takes many efforts, subtleties and the classic be ready for the unexpected survival skill we parents – diagnosis or not – utilize quite efficiently…

At 9yrs old this became a fun experience, drawing it made it easier to handle…
Bottom line: Emotions shared and unwillingly comprehending she did not win and she has to deal with it…
A big plus… no behavior crisis, no torture for no one…
We continue… Enjoy!

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Proud of me!

My daughter is 9 years old.

My daughter has autism.

My daughter is proud of who she is.

As a parent I could not be more at peace, relieved, proud and accomplished.

This sentiment, being aware of it, is instilled at home. My day as a parent could have been as challenging as it can be, as complicated as it could get… yet, I’ll always make the choice to guarantee my daughter will hear from me, I am proud of her.

The source of pride is love which supercedes all confrontations with reality I may face. Yes, that unconditional love parenting promotes.

The source of pride is prioritizing what we are and how my actions will influence and/or impress my daughter.

I invite every parent to put aside – for a minute – all worries, source of pressure, frustrations we all face as we raise or care for our child/adult with a diagnosis. Say it with my daughter, say it with me – I am proud of me.

Do not miss the opportunity to communicate this powerful idea, thought with your loved ones.

Let me know how it goes!

 

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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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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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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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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…