Cathy Jameson

Be Not Afraid

PleadBy Cathy Jameson

I love St. John Paul the Great.  Growing up, I knew him simply as Pope John Paul II.  Canonized only a few years ago, I cherish the fact that this modern day saint was alive during my childhood.  When he died, I remember it felt like I lost a beloved family member.  I recalled one of his quotes, pictured above, on his feast day, which was on the 22nd.  That quote has gotten me through hard times in the past. 

While seeing other reminders of this saint all day on Friday, I thought I’d look for some inspiration from him.  He’s got quite a few good quotes, but I kept coming back to this one:  I plead with you – never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged.  Be not afraid. 

With how discouraging the news is lately, it has really been hard to remain hopeful.  Even though many businesses, schools, sport and recreational facilities are back up and running, the planet seems to be in a perpetual lockdown.  Stores are open, but customers must still stay six feet apart.  Schools are in session, but children must be masked up.  Sports are in full swing on the weekends, but once fans leave the jam packed stadiums, it’s no touchy touchy of anything or anyone from Monday through Friday. 

I understand the need to be cautious, mindful, and respectful of a virus that is present.  But I will never support all that have been done regarding that virus, including a vaccine mandate for it.  Many people are contemplating walking off their jobs, or have already done so, because of that illicit mandate.  I applaud those who already have who have stood up and said no to it.  I fully support those who’ve faced their fears head on and who’ve been able to walk away from the tyranny.  The People are still under attack, though, and I have a feeling we haven’t seen all that The Machine thinks it can do.

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Access Not Denied

Hourglass
Hurry!

By Cathy Jameson

I remember hearing a few weeks ago that YouTube was going to remove videos that linked vaccines and autism.  Since those two topics are never to be mentioned in the same sentence on social media platforms, I was not surprised by that announcement.  YouTube, like Pinterest, said enough was enough Curious to see if some of my go-to autism video resources were truly gone, I opened a new window.  Had all of that helpful and truthful information truly disappeared?

I was happily surprised to see some familiar faces, including our very own Kim Rossi!  She’s featured in an interview on The Autism File Magazine’s channel. 

Autism File Complete Channel

I didn’t want to do too many searches that would tip off Big Brother, but other videos and channels I could still access were:

Generation Rescue

Generation Rescue's Complete Channel

Autism One’s Ed Arranga

Some of the videos I could still find were interviews:

LJ Goes on MSNBC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lV3ri2bcLo4

Robert DeNiro plugging VAXXED

…and then he also gave a shout out to Trace Amounts

Trace Amounts Complete Channel

Back to VAXXED – you can rent it or buy it…from YouTube?  That’s great news! 

Vaxxed Channel

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WINNING?

Dr peter mcculloughBy Cathy Jameson

A friend shared a link for a video with me last week.  Looking at the length of it, I hesitated to start listening to it.  Already late in the afternoon, a time when I face frequent interruptions from the kids, I was taking a chance of starting it.  With how life goes, I don’t always get to finish things I’ve started.  I had heard of the presenter before and wanted to hear more from him.  Deciding that it was no time like the present to at least start the talk, I clicked play.  It was just over an hour long.  And what a powerful hour of listening it was!

Everything Dr. McCullough shared is nothing new.

Everything Dr. McCullough presented is what we know to be true.

Everything Dr. McCullough explained needs to be heard ‘round the world.

It was such a good talk that I immediately shared the link with several friends and family.  I wish more every-day people, more reporters, and those in the current administration would listen to it also.  Dr. McCullough has been offering sound information for a while now.  I want everyone to listen to the data being presented and do something different, like remove the unethical mandates so many are facing.  When those are removed, and when proven treatment options are more accessible, only then could I begin to think that we will win the war being waged against us. 

The battle to protect medical freedom started years ago when state representatives and lawmakers began removing existing vaccine exemptions.  The fight intensified when politicians and medical groups began denying access to existing treatment and therapies.  The outcome of the ongoing struggle is incredible, even though the truth has already been exposed. 

The truth cannot be silenced.  Even though some people try to hide it, it has a way of coming to light.  To those who stand by the truth and who are risking their lives and reputations to share it, thank you.  Your effort and determination have not gone unnoticed. 

With that, I leave you with the speech Dr. McCullough presented to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.  If you are moved by it like I was, please consider sharing the link within your own circle of friends. 

Winning the War Against Therapeutic Nihilism & Trusted Treatments vs Untested Novel Therapies

Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.


Numbing Autism Numbers

TweedledumBy Cathy Jameson

When I saw the latest autism headlines, I was reminded of something I saw published a few years ago. 

Epidural use during delivery linked to minimal autism risk, studies find
Epidural autism yes

 

 

 

Epidurals are not linked to autism in children, new data shows

Epidural autism no






Back in 2013, researchers questioned if labor induction could raise the risk of autism.  Some reports, which spread like wild fire, said yes, a link existed. I got to share my thoughts about that those findings on air one night.  I’ve not been asked to speak about the latest news, but I wasn’t shocked to see some of the information didn’t add up.

In the first study, which tracked nearly 390,000 children born in Canadian hospitals between 2000 and 2014, 1.5% of those exposed to epidural during birth were diagnosed later with autism spectrum disorder, the data showed.

Another news report shared that, “Those exposed to epidural during birth have about 5% increased risk for autism…” but then stated that, "Parents can be reassured that there is no link between using epidurals and autism spectrum disorder and, based on current evidence, the risk of autism spectrum disorder does not need to be factored into the decision on whether or not to use epidurals during labor…"

But wait, 1.5% of those exposed did receive an ASD diagnosis.

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Making an Impact

Listen to themBy Cathy Jameson

As the world outside my front door becomes more and more unrecognizable, I was able to find something good to dwell on last week.  Ronan was given a great compliment.  I was, too.  We heard these at an appointment from a specialist who’s been providing some of Ronan’s care. 

Stopping at the doorway of the exam room and smiling toward Ronan, the GI doctor said, “You look great!  It looks like you grew since last time we saw you here.”

“Yep, in height *and* weight”, I happily said.

A few winters ago, Ronan landed in the ER.  Long-time readers will remember that story and how a typical day went from bad to worse: 

From The Perfect Patient December 2019 The team of nurses and doctors were quick to help alleviate one of the problems, but we all agreed that with all of Ronan’s existing medical issues and complications, we were in the wrong place.  Ronan would need to be elsewhere with a team of pediatric specialists who could evaluate and treat him.  Not wanting to waste any more time, an immediate Emergency Room-to-Emergency Room transfer was ordered. 

I’ve never had to follow an ambulance that was transporting one of my children.  I hope I never have to again…

Readers may also recall that, with the help of some quick thinking medical people, things got a bit better.

…the team of compassionate caregivers and medical staff assigned to his care exceeded our expectations.  I lost count of how many we’d encountered, but over the course of the two days he was admitted, at least 30 people personally evaluated, managed, and executed multiple tests and procedures for my son.  That constant, direct care helped ease our minds.  They collaborated and kept us informed of everything as things were happening throughout the stay.  Best of all, they were able to determine what the major issue was that brought us to them, which meant that they could send us home with a treatment plan!    

We’ve continued to keep in touch with the lead doctor and remain comfortable with the advice Ronan’s received under his care.  Dr. M’s immediate response then, and his active involvement now, have helped keep us on a good path. 

While driving to that recent appointment, I reflected on the problems Ronan had that brought us to this exceptional doctor.  They existed long before Ronan landed in the ER at the children’s hospital.  Ironically, we’d had an existing appointment with his office booked for the next month, but we were blessed that we didn’t have to wait for it.  Dr. M could treat the acute problems, and he wanted to begin treating the chronic issues no one else cared to.  We were speechless.  Once we found our voices, we said, yes, of course, please.  Please help us help our son.

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Over The Top

Fear sells quoteBy Cathy Jameson

Science is the search for knowledge.  It is using that knowledge to solve problems.  When you take part in science, you understand the world better.  During science investigations, you gather evidence and look for patterns.

I saw that wording on an elementary-school science lesson recently.  I agreed that science is the search for knowledge and that solving problems comes from what you do with the knowledge.  When I got to that third sentence the first time, I read it too fast and incorrectly.  I read it as, “When you are part of the science experiment, you understand the world better.”  If there ever was a time that I felt like we were stuck in a science experiment, it’s now.  

The day I saw that paragraph was the day Joe Biden demanded https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2021/09/09/remarks-by-president-biden-on-fighting-the-covid-19-pandemic-3/ again that all Americans to be vaccinated.  Millions have opted for the shots, but he specifically spoke to the “holdouts” that day: 

“Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated, even though the vaccine is safe, effective, and free.

This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.  And it’s caused by the fact that despite America having an unprecedented and successful vaccination program, despite the fact that for almost five months free vaccines have been available in 80,000 different locations, we still have nearly 80 million Americans
who have failed to get the shot. 

As your President, I’m announcing tonight a new plan to require more Americans to be vaccinated, to combat those blocking public health. 

We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers.  We’re going to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by increasing the share of the workforce that is vaccinated in businesses all across America.”

Ignoring the fact that some people can’t opt for it for valid reasons, Biden is furious that others are declining to get it, even though it’s free. 

“And my message to unvaccinated Americans is this: What more is there to wait for?  What more do you need to see?  We’ve made vaccinations free, safe, and convenient.”

Biden continues to complain that not enough people are yet fully vaccinated.  He wants to close in on the miscreants.  He’ll do that by limiting their movement.  Taking away rights and privileges was once just a strategy on paper, but now it’s a priority. 

No vaccine No Entry

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Ten Years Later: Change In Time

9-11-TRIBUTEIf you can believe it, Cathy wrote this for us in 2011, on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Ten years. Twenty years. We have become a nation consumed (fed) by fear, anxiety and fight or flight decision making.  Yesterday, we pointed out that you need a vax pass to enter the 9/11 memorial at Ground ZeroIn accordance with the Key to NYC mandate, the Museum requires all visitors age 12 and older to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to enter. Masks are required in the Museum for all visitors over the age of two. Masks are not required outdoors on the Memorial plaza for those who are fully vaccinated.

Change in time. Breathe. And enjoy Cathy's thoughts.

By Cathy Jameson

Since I do a lot of driving here, there and everywhere to get my son to his therapies, I have a good amount of thinking time to brainstorm ideas.  Some of the ideas are for my typical family needs.  Most of them involve my son and his special needs.  I’ve been kicking an idea around in some of those quiet driving moments for a few months now, but hadn’t been inspired yet to put it on paper.  It’s about the word present.  Present has several meanings.  The one that I was reflecting on is “the period of time now occurring.”

Present.  Now.  This very moment.  In my life, a moment can include a flash of frustration or a jump for joy.  Depending on what Ronan is doing in a specific moment triggers an emotional response from me.  I realize more and more that whatever mood Ronan is in, I too am in a similar mood.  His happy moments are quite enjoyable to experience.  Those include hearing Ronan finally saying a word after going weeks without uttering anything.  It feels like a hug full of kindness for something fun I’ve done with Ronan.   Those joyful moments are ones that pepper both of our days and can last several minutes with much whooping and hollering.  When happy present moments happen I relish them along with the expression Ronan offers me as he realizes he too is happy.  

Just as I witness the happy moments, I live through Ronan’s struggles.  If he is unhappy or ticked off at something, so am I.  Present can feel like an eternity when one of Ronan’s loud, disruptive negative behaviors lasts for three, four or five minutes long.  It feels one hundred times longer when that happens with multiple eyes staring at us when we’re out in public.  Eternity is how long it takes Ronan to move a hard and constipated bowel movement.  Add the watching of the clock to see how long it takes to return to the softer and daily BMs; that’s an eternity and a half!  Those present moments are ones that I would rather fast forward but unfortunately get stuck in.

Continue reading "Ten Years Later: Change In Time" »


Regardless

Regardless
Source: Dictionary.com


By Cathy Jameson

If I did a quick internet news search for the word regardless, I am sure I’d have thousands of hits that included this statement:

…regardless of vaccination status

Masks are required for outdoor events regardless of vaccination status.

Masks are required for indoor events regardless of vaccination status.

All visitors to the building are to social distance regardless of vaccination status.

Weekly COVID testing will be required regardless of vaccination status.

Public meetings are back on schedule. We invite all to join regardless of vaccination status.

The definition of regardless, per Oxford Languages, is without paying attention to the present situation; despite the prevailing circumstances.

Declaring one’s vaccine status was not a requirement for more contagious illnesses for indoor venues in previous years let alone outdoor ones.  Proving one’s health status with a nasal swab was never required to attend work or college, even though other viruses are prevalent year round.  Regardless, and more importantly, because of prevailing circumstances, the present situation many are now living because of one virus is dire. 

Cj jab or jobIt’s dire.  And now, in some places, it does matter what one’s vaccination status is. 

Vaccination status will determine if nurses keep their job at the hospital regardless of their qualifications. Cj teachers choice

Teachers https://apnews.com/article/health-religion-coronavirus-pandemic-c58f8577203b8316299f9fa90ebf7578 are facing the same dilemma.  They are being told they must get the jab despite their years of dedication in their field.  Will they take the jab and all the risks that come with it just to keep their job? 

Another important question, can school districts handle losing their staff or recover from a massive teacher walk out?  The NYC school system stands to lose compassionate, highly qualified professionals and their many years of experience.  Losing them will jeopardize the continuity of education that all students require to be successful in the classroom.

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…Because of COVID

Because of covidBy Cathy Jameson

I have never in my adult life heard one response used more frequently than, “Because of COVID.”  It doesn’t matter the setting – in a school, store, doctor’s office, playground, or at a concert.  Because of COVID is said all the time.  It started last year: 

Sorry, kids. Sports are cancelled …because of COVID.

Sorry, staff.  All meetings are now virtual …because of COVID. 

Sorry, Ma’am.  All regularly scheduled appointments are limited …because of COVID. 

Sorry, travelers.  Flight restrictions are now in place …because of COVID. 

I expected and grew used to the adjustments we were asked to make because of COVID in March of 2020.  Back then, the 2-week pause made sense.  I thought it was a reasonable request, and I actually welcomed it.  I didn’t expect the restrictions, and the go-to response …because of COVID to continue to hamper parts of life for as long as it has.  But even this week, I heard several times …because of COVID being used in a school setting, in a medical setting, and in a political setting. 

It’s become a response, an excuse, and a justification.  Since 2020, it’s been said countless times.  Some weeks, I hear it daily.   I respected it …until I didn’t. 

because of COVID local sports are still cancelled or at limited capacity or come with major restrictions.  Unless you’re a major sports team.

because of COVID meetings and office get togethers are encouraged to be virtual.  Unless it’s your birthday and you have some celebrity status. https://www.inquisitr.com/6494809/see-leaked-photos-videos-of-barack-obamas-decadent-birthday-part

because of COVID restrictions are still in place in the community.  Unless you believe you’re above the law.

because of COVID, air travel for passengers and some airlines has taken a hit.  Unless you’re an unmasked elected official shirking your work. 

I’m guessing you heard it as many times I had last year.  You’ve probably heard that catch phrase most of 2021, too.  It’s not so much a catch phrase, though, is it?  Now, it’s being used as a threat.

Continue reading "…Because of COVID" »


Time To Travel!

Family-VacationBy Cathy Jameson

It was refreshing to step away from some of life on our short family vacation last weekend.  I've shared other vacation stories before offering a peek at our family’s life and love that I can share our reality. I also like to be able to share travel suggestions that have worked for us.

For this get away, we stayed in a hotel the entire time we were out of town.  I can’t recall the last time we did that.  When we go away, we usually stay with family or friends who welcome us and all that we bring – Ronan’s favorite things, his safe foods, his water-proof bedding/sheets, and a lot of excitement from the siblings.  We brought all of that to our destination and something more this time – my Mom.  I was grateful that she could join us on our little adventure. 

CJ beach

Traveling with a young adult with autism can be challenging.  We’re seasoned travelers, including Ronan, but staying in a sold-out hotel, where every room is booked, was a bit intimidating.  

Ronan is non-verbal.  But that doesn't mean he isn't loud.  

Would other guests hear him?  Would someone complain?  Would he even be quiet if we asked him?  

Ronan is easy going.  But that doesn't mean he will adapt quickly to the massive changes in his routine. 

Would he want to be outside at the park, at the beach, or on the bay all day doing things he doesn't normally do?  

Ronan is a happy kid.  But that doesn't mean he doesn't have sad moments.

Would he want to leave as soon as we arrived, like he's requested before?

We brought all of Ronan's favorites with us in the hopes that having something from home would be encouraging.  It was.  Ronan definitely enjoyed some of the things we did.   

On our first day, which was the longest day we'd be outdoors, I knew that Ronan would tire much quicker than the rest of us would.  That's why we researched what accommodations the amusement park could offer someone with disabilities.  We have an adaptive stroller for when Ronan needs physical assistance, but as clunky and as big as it is, it was better to rent a wheelchair from the park.  Plus, Ronan loves wheelchairs.

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Won’t Back Down

We usually run a photo with our posts, but Cathy asked if we had a song that speaks volumes to us, and Bob Marley is mine. Get Up Stand Up. Stand Up for Your rights. Don't Give Up the fight. It's our autism anthem.

By Cathy Jameson

A few weeks ago, commenter TOB left me this note:  

Great post as always. I was listening to a Tom Petty CD this week and thought it's just a matter of time before "Won't Back Down" is included in a Sunday post. This felt like the "Won't Back Down" post to me :-)

Since that July 11th post, the song TOB mentioned has been running through my head.  Several other songs, many with a similar theme, have been running through my head as well.  Things are getting uglier and uglier out there in the world.  Mandates, uncertainty, and a teeny tiny bit of stress is creeping closer to home.  I tend to be a hopefully-ever-after kinda girl. 

But not lately.

Some days, when I just don’t have the words to respond to it all, I must turn on some music.  Before I fight the good fight against the madness and impending mandates, I'm taking a short break. While I head out of town to the beach with my family to rest and relax for a few days, please enjoy this Won't Back Down playlist.  Thanks, TOB, for inspiring it! 

Tom Petty (God rest his soul) and the Heartbreakers singing I Won’t Back Down

Pink Floyd and their ever famous Another Brick in the Wall

Twisted Sister screaming their pretty little heads off with We're Not Gonna Take It

Isley Brothers encouraging us to Fight the Power

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Mike Rowe Offers Straight Talk on Choice

Mike RoweBy Cathy Jameson

After both my sister and my mother asked me if I'd seen Mike Rowe's latest Off the Wall post, I knew I needed to read it. I trust my family's input on several topics. I also tend to like and agree with several things Mike Rowe has shared.

I see many thoughtful take-aways from him, but the one part that stuck with me the longest hours after reading it was Mike Rowe's regrets. How many of us in our community have shared the regret of not listening to our instinct? Of taking a medical professional's biased opinion as actual fact? Of wishing we could've done things differently? I'd say many of us have.

Regrets can be unfortunate, but they can also keep us from making the same mistake again. To Mike Rowe, thank you for sharing your thoughts, your wise words, and those regrets. You'll grow from them. I guarantee it.

###

Off the Wall - Read the post and bookmark Mike Rowe's blog here.

Mike – I read several months ago that you got the vaccine. I’m glad. But I’m also curious. You have a lot of people on this page who respect your opinion - many of whom I’d wager are unvaccinated. Have you encouraged them to follow your example? If not, what are you waiting for? As you surely know, Delta is raging. The sooner we’re all vaccinated, the sooner we can get back to normal!

Steve Manchin

Hi Steve

The short answer is no - I have not publicly encouraged anyone to get vaccinated. In fact, I have recently declined to participate in several PSA's designed to persuade people to get the jab. That’s not because I’m opposed to vaccines, obviously. Vaccines have saved more lives than any other advancement in the long history of medicine, and to your point, I got the shots the minute I was eligible. But I’m not a doctor, Steve, and even though I occasionally play one on TV, I’m not inclined to dispense medical advice to the people on this page.

True, I did appear in a few PSA’s early on, back when they assured us that locking down was essential to keeping our hospitals from being overrun. “Two weeks to flatten the curve!” Remember that one? That of course, turned out to be untrue, and I regret my role in helping perpetuate that particular falsehood. I also regret what I said during the first Zoom show to air in primetime. It was an episode of After the Catch, where I discussed the lockdowns with a few crab-boat captains. At one point, I looked into the camera lens on my computer and said, with uncharacteristic earnestness, “For the first time in a long time, it appears we’re all in the same boat.”

Continue reading "Mike Rowe Offers Straight Talk on Choice" »


No Means No

No does mean convince meBy Cathy Jameson

Scrolling through a local news website, I saw a nurse being interviewed about the COVID shot.  The blurb that accompanied the video shared that the “…assistant dean of the Columbia University School of Nursing says there needs to be a ‘multifactorial’ approach when trying to convince people to get vaccinated.”  The Associated Press also shared the link with the nurse,  who’s part of this CDC-funded organization.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NLHJbOon0Q

As I watched, it was clear that the message was not to inform or educate the public about the shot.  It was to do everything possible “to get the last percentage of people vaccinated”.  Since that hasn’t happened, despite an abundance of free vaccines being available, groups, including the US government, are using all sorts of approaches to peer pressure everyone to get vaccinated.  The nurse suggests using other people – spokespeople of the same race, church representatives, youth ambassadors, and celebrities.  Other techniques are to use avenues like social media.  Getting the right people to tell their own story to these last few Americans could be convincing.  Smiling through the short interview, she seemed proud of strategies and tactics she suggested to raise vaccine confidence. 

All over the web, like clockwork, other local news stations and websites shared the exact same message. 

The nurse’s message aligned with Biden’s latest complaint that not every American has gotten the shot

I know he struggles sometimes, but Biden, like those funds the nurse’s mission, have not gotten the message that some Americans do not want the shot, cannot take the shot, and will not get that shot.  These Americans aren’t perseverating their message as much as the administration currently is, but they’ve been vocal, too.  

They’ve confidently said no.

They’ve politely said no, thank you.

They’ve emphatically said no!

Continue reading "No Means No" »


Bad to the Bone

PepeBy Cathy Jameson

We had a very busy week last week.  Busy is good!  But it means I didn’t have a chance to sit down and type the piece I had intended to type.  Instead of something fresh for you today, I’m posting an old story I shared with family and friends.  

We parents have had to be very creative with our kids – their schooling, their therapies, and their special diets.  This story is about a time I tried to make something healthy.  You’ll be so glad your device doesn’t come with smell-o-scope while reading this.

Enjoy!

--

I woke up a little past 7 o’clock this morning and got a whiff of something rancid.  Ohmyword.  The smell.  Ronan was still asleep when I sniffed what I sniffed, but I immediately thought, Oh, no.  Ronan must have pooped sometime in the middle of the night.  Poor kid.  I’ll have to wake him up to change his diaper.  I walked into Ronan’s room, and the smell disappeared.  That was good.  But that meant that the source of the stink was coming from somewhere else. 

After changing Ronan, I walked toward the kitchen.  The smell permeated through that room and into our den.  Was it the garbage can?  No, but I took the garbage out anyway.  Strange.  The garage smelled awful, too.  My gosh!  What is that smell? 

I walked back into the house and called my husband, “Hey, I think something died in the garage.  Call me back when you get a chance.”As I walked toward the kitchen, my oldest came around the corner.  “Mom!  You left the stove on…all night?!”  I nodded and said, “Honey, it’s bone broth.  You’re supposed to cook it for hours and hours and hours.”

I repeated that first sentence in my head:  …it’s bone broth…

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Deal With It?

Respect welcomeBy Cathy Jameson

When I’m bored, I pop over to Yahoo! to see what news has been posted.  I know it isn’t the best place to get accurate or unbiased reports, but I skim through the page anyway.  Most of the article titles lately sound like what I used to see in The Enquirer.  When I was a kid, The Enquirer was known to be more of a gossip rag than an actual newspaper.  Even so, I loved seeing it at the grocery store.  While Mom was getting our food on the conveyor belt I’d peek at the wild headlines. 

Man, they were wild! 

Headlines are meant to grab readers’ attention.  One certainly grabbed my attention on the Yahoo! main page last week:  How To Deal With Friends Who Won’t Get Vaccinated

I know what I need to do for myself and for my family, so I feel absolutely no pressure when I read stuff like that.  I clicked the link, though, to see how others are “dealing with” this situation because curiosity got the best of me. 

As I read the very short article, I quickly found two statements that were false:

- Unvaccinated individuals are at a greater risk for contraction [of COVID19] than vaccinated ones.

- Their reasoning [to not get the vaccine] tends to be rooted in emotions rather than science.

A recent news report from the BBC proves that vaccinated individuals can contract the illness, and data being collected by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) shows that adults are researching vaccine science before making a decision.  Their reasons for declining include valid concerns not just about side effects but also because of the newness of the vaccine.  Other reasons for saying no are that some just don’t want the vaccine.  Some don’t trust the government, and some think they do not need the vaccine.  All those important reasons aside, I did agree with this part of that article when the author shared that:

-Your social boundaries must be respected

Yes!  This!  All day long! 

…you can ask that they [the unvaccinated] respect your boundaries, just as you are respecting theirs by not pressuring them to get vaccinated.

Yes again! 

Please, if there’s anything this short article can impart, let this be the takeaway – don’t pressure anyone to get a vaccine they don’t want or need. 

Most people I know who have not opted for a COVID shot by now aren’t going to get one.  You can bully them, bribe them, jeopardize their rights, or call them every awful name under the sun.  They are still not going to get the shot.  It’s not because they’re not hesitant about it (definition of hesitant from Oxford Language: tentative, unsure, or slow in acting or speaking).  It’s because they flat out do not want it. 

Their reasons to decline the COVID19 shots are not based on emotions, as the article suggested, but could be based on a 911 Vax Emergencycurrent medical condition.  It may be because of a previous vaccine experience, either theirs or of someone close to them.  Sure, emotions can come into play as they consider the pros and cons, but emotions are not the driving force.  They’ve thought this through, like those who were surveyed by KFF, and are not going to be swayed.  Several of the commenters responding to that Yahoo! article seemed to agree on that.  They were vocal about one more thing – if you got the vaccine, why are you worried that others have not?  Does that mean that you, the vaccinated, don’t truly believe that they work?  

That does seem to be the $64,000 question. 

When I first saw the short article last week, I laughed.  Not in a mean way, but I laughed because the push to get everyone vaccinated is everywhere, even in the Lifestyle section of an online newspaper.  Before I read it, I did stop and wonder if the article would stoop so low as to call the unvaccinated names.  They didn’t, thankfully, but others have threatened them or are rebuking them. Some in office have also offered false information in their quest to vaccinate all. 

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Back to Normal?

New NormalBy Cathy Jameson

One morning a little over a month ago, I was catching up on some posts in an online group.  While sipping my coffee, I scrolled to the newest message.  The commenter said that people who choose not to vaccinate should “thank the rest of us for taking public health seriously."  All of us "…should do our part to bring normal back to everyone."  Not finished with all that she had to say, the poster shared that she’d gotten the vaccine.  Wanting some sort of recognition for that, she continued more curtly, "You're welcome, unvaccinated folks."  

This woman stayed on her soapbox a little bit longer and requested that the unvaccinated stop spreading misinformation.  I was unsure why she asked that because previous comments left by others included vaccine data directly from government agencies that oversee the vaccine program.  Maybe she didn’t like that some of that data was of documented vaccine injuries.  Far from done replying to the very polite responses people were leaving her, regardless of where their data was being cited, she had one more thing to say.  She insisted that, “The vaccine is helping you.  How?  Whether it's in your arm or not, the vaccine is the public good working for everyone."

What a message to wake up to!  

I wanted to reply, and had I known the people in this group a little bit better, I would have.  But I chose not to.  I’ve been replying to that kind of irrational, hateful speech for years.  This woman, who I’ve yet to meet in person, worked herself up into a tizzy and by the time I caught up, she didn’t need my input.  Plus, others had already graciously chimed in.  Other parents had responded to the indignant comments and requests before I even had a chance to even open the thread.  Who were those other people?  Several of them had previously stated that they were pro-vaccine.  They were just not pro-vaccine for one of the COVID vaccines, which was the topic of that particular thread.

“I am vaccinated, but I will not get the new one.  I won’t allow my children to get it either,” several shared.  I appreciated that I wasn’t the only one who had the same thought.  I walk into some message boards thinking I’m the lone “anti-vaxxer”.  On this particular board, there were quite a few of us.  And, dang, did they let this woman have it.

“Thank you?  For you getting the shot?  I didn’t ask you to do that.  You did that on your own.” 

“Nothing about this vaccine is normal.”

“If this was really about public health, we wouldn’t be forced into experimental shots.”

“Do my part?  I am, by not falling for the hype.”

For not being in the “anti-vaxxer” movement for as long as I have been, the responses I was reading were pretty good.  I sat back and read some more.

Continue reading "Back to Normal? " »


Incentivized Pressure

Vax incentivesBy Cathy Jameson

When they rolled out earlier this year, my college-aged daughter shared that she was not interested in getting the COVID shot.  Growing up watching her younger brother suffer through a vaccine injury, she knows that health doesn’t come in the form of a jab.  I wish others her age had the knowledge she naturally gained when her brother fell ill.  I’m grateful they were spared watching a sibling suffer, but past personal experience certainly does help shape future medical decisions.  

I hadn’t worried that Ronan’s big sister would opt for the experimental injectable until a little over 2 weeks ago.  That’s when her college announced their return-to-campus plans.  The vaccine hadn’t been required, per previous parent reports, up to and well past the college’s May 1st acceptance day date.  But getting that experimental vaccine is now part of a new protocol to keep the campus “safe” and fully in-person. 

For many, that decision was perceived as a huge relief.  Finally!  We can go back to normal! some parents shared on the school’s family page online.  Good, everyone should be vaccinated, was another type of response offered.  Others, like myself, were not quickly celebrating this rash, so it seemed, decision.  Incredibly disappointed, I added a comment stating my frustration. 

Later, finding each other off the family page, other parents and I banded together to discuss this unexpected change. 

A Bit of a Back Story

Several restrictions were put into place when news of the coronavirus hit last year, but campus never completely shut down during the 2020-2021 school year.  Classes were still held, and grades were still being recorded.  Only a few colleges, I believe, could boast that. 

During both semesters last year, COVID spread through the student population at my daughter’s school as it did through many other schools.  Since it is a virus, that was to be expected.  Like other places, the school had procedures set up to minimize the spread and to care for students who contracted it.  Providing separate housing for the duration of the illness, including for my daughter, the few outbreaks that did occur were handled quickly and, we thought, well. 

Thinking the worst behind her, we expected that the upcoming school year would start a little less rocky. 

Oh, how wrong we were.

Papers Please!

The new requirement for the Fall includes getting one of the experimental COVID vaccines or asking for an exemption to be granted.  If the exemption is approved, it will be noticeable who is and who isn’t vaccinated as masks must be worn by the unvaccinated.  Basing fear over facts, those students, and faculty and staff who also decline one of the 3 EUAs, will be treated as 2nd class citizens.  They, and only they, will face COVID-related restrictions, some that are no longer being practiced in the surrounding local communities.

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What Does He See?

Lion DadCathy shares the blessings of having a strong husband and father for her five children. Happy Father's Day to all the AofA Dads.  I was blessed with a Dad who looked out for me (and my 3 daughters) until the day he died at age 94.  Autism and life's curveballs create lions - and lemons.  Here's to the lions for whom Fatherhood is more than a photo opp. Happy Father's Day!
Love, Kim

By Cathy Jameson

Through his father’s eyes.  What does he see?  Does he see the same things I do for Ronan?  Sometimes.  Maybe.  Yes.  But not always.  I am the day-to-day provider.  The main caretaker.  The maker of the schedule and creator of all of the meals.  I take care of the therapy.  I drive to all of the appointments.  He can do everything I can do, including defend important rights. 

But does he?  The father?  Does he do all the things I do?  He does.  A little bit.  Sometimes. 

He can do everything that I can do.  He also does so much more!  I’m not ashamed of that.  Nor am I less than he because of that.  I’m the mom.  He’s the dad. 

And oh, what a dad he is!  

Steve bw 1

I know other families who are going this thing called life without a dad like Ronan has.  Their workload is doubled.  Their stressors are greater.  Their burden is heavier.  I thank God every day that Ronan’s father is here.  Not every day is a perfect day for him, or us.  Far from it!  But it’s a day for us to be together, to work together.  It’s a day for us to care for a young man with severe autism and multiple medical conditions.  It’s a day for us to not give up but to always remember to try. 

And when trying once doesn’t work, it’s a day for all of us to try, try again. 

Steve try again 2

No matter the path…

Continue reading "What Does He See? " »


Best of: A Note of Thanks

Note of thanksGood morning! Below is a BEST OF by Cathy, who has the day off.

By Cathy Jameson

I couldn’t find the right words last week. Today, I feel like I’ve found my voice again.

In reflecting on a few things that had me feeling so down in the dumps earlier, a few people came to mind: the pro-vaccine crowd, the CDC, the mainstream media and some doctors and their medical staff. When those folks crossed my mind, I let them and their negativity invade my thoughts. I wouldn’t be here without them though, so I thought it time to say thank you to those folks. Yes. A thank you. I want to express my gratitude for their contributions, especially their latest ones.

---

To the Pro-Vaccine Crowd who continues to add insult to injury (vaccine injury, that is), thank you! Really. I want to thank you for every new Vaccines Are Safe blog, article, interview, FB comment and social media message you share. Why? Well, for some new parents, and for those parents who are on the fence about vaccines, your words spark a question. They’re asking, “Are vaccines really all that safe?” That questions leads to a search. That search turns into a discovery. That discovery reveals a story—a story of a child with an unfortunate vaccine injury. As they read that story, a seed is planted—a seed of doubt. Why doubt? Because you, the pro-vaccine crowd, say the exact opposite, and quite brusquely I might add, of what the vaccine injury story is stating. It’s no wonder that new parents are thinking that maybe vaccines aren’t safe!

It’s through that revelation and that seed of doubt that parents begin to search for further info, info which you, the pro-vaccine crowd, consistently neglects to mention in your pieces. Parents want that information. Where must they turn then to find that info? To other parents, of course!

P.S. That’s where I come in.

Here’s why. When I write, it’s with honesty and it’s peppered with all sorts of undeniable facts. When you write, as a pharma-influenced blogger, writer or newscaster, it’s heartless and glorifies an entity that’s using humans for profit. It’s only right that people hear both sides of a vaccine story—yours, which confuses them, and mine, which is told through the eyes of a former vaccinator who now provides round-the-clock care to a child who was severely affected by vaccines.

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Can’t Say it Any Better

Stop look listenBy Cathy Jameson

Several friends asked me if I’d seen the emails yet…you know, “The Emails”.  I actually haven’t.  Sitting here Friday evening typing this post, I still haven’t read Dr. Fauci’s emails that so many are talking about.  I will make a point to carve out time to look at what’s been discovered.  I have a feeling that what I learn will not shock me though.  Fauci hasn’t been looking out for the people very well.  He hasn’t been completely honest in the past about other important topics either, including vaccines. 

https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4782570/user-clip-measles-vaccine-encephalitis 

Just reading the headlines about The Emails has left me speechless.  Since so many others are able to chime and across many platforms, I’m posting their words instead.

-- 

Tucker Carlson’s commentary has been spot on from the beginning of the pandemic.  He gets straight to the point with solid references, especially when he’s talking about Dr. Fauci.  Carlson has revealed so much and wants the truth out there.  I appreciate every word of this recent clip, including when Carlson says, “Watch Fauci lie.”   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yp6btJhS66c

Investigative journalist, Sharyl Attkisson, has also kept the public in the know.  In a report that came out before The Emails surfaced, she shared that scientists have been afraid to step forward.  “The scientists I talked to don’t want to be quoted by name for fear of repercussions in today’s politically-charged environment.”  What an awful predicament!  To those who are not afraid, thank you.  You’re honesty is noted.

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Outrageous Expectations

No bullying braceletBy  Cathy Jameson

It’s very rare that someone calls the house phone.  It’s even rarer for someone to call the house phone and ask for Ronan.  When those calls for my son who has severe autism do come in, I am immediately apprehensive.  That feeling came over me last week when a young woman rang the house phone and asked to speak to Ronan.  Quickly, I thought of several options.  I could…

1--toy with her,

“Ronan?  You wanna to talk to him?  Ok, hold on…” 

Hey, Rone. Come here, bud.  You got a phone call.

2--be rude to her,

“Are you serious?  He can’t talk.  Who is this anyway?!”

3--or be polite to her.

“Oh, hey.  Yeah, Ronan is nonverbal.  But I’m his Mom.  Can I help you with something?”

I chose option 3. 

I didn’t recognize the voice but had an idea of why this person was calling.  She said she was trying to get a hold of Ronan to remind him of an upcoming appointment.  After I shared that Ronan couldn’t speak, I could hear her typing in the background.  I assumed that she was adding a note to his profile: patient unable to talk.  When she came back on the line, she shared that the appointment would be at a clinic he’s already been to, but Ronan would be seeing a new provider.  She wanted to know if he, or now I, wanted to keep that appointment.  I said, yes, thank you.  The young woman confirmed everything and said that the doctor will look forward to seeing us both on Tuesday afternoon.

Not until well after I hung up did I realize that I didn’t have to answer the usual hundreds of COVID19-related questions I’ve had to answer before previous appointments.  Those questions have been part of life for quite some time:  Are you sick?  Do you have a fever?  Chills?  Cough?  Sore throat?  Have you been diagnosed with COVID19 in the last 2 weeks?  Have you come in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID19 in the last 2 weeks?  It was nice to have a shorter conversation and one that reminded me of easier days. 

When we arrived to the clinic, Ronan did not want to go in.  That’s not surprising and can cause some delay.  He likes his caregivers, especially the ones he is used to seeing.  But he’s never a big fan of going into these sorts of places.  It sometimes takes loads of encouragement to get him out of the car and then for him to walk through the door.  This time, it took some extra effort, but once he got over the threshold, he knew the expectations – check in at the front desk, wait for his name to be called, then go to the exam room.  After finally walking in, he waited perfectly in the waiting room before he was called back. 

A nurse opened the door and said, “Ronan?  Hi, come with me.  I’m going to take you to the room.”  Reaching for my hand, Ronan and I stood up together and followed the nurse.  I’m so glad that no matter which clinic we’re in, Ronan has that part of the routine down.

Continue reading "Outrageous Expectations" »


It’s Up to You

Up to youBy Cathy Jameson

I thought the antics during the flu shot season were bad. The aggressive push to inject COVID19 countermeasures into Americans is worse.  With the ineffective flu vaccine, people had been able to shop for groceries with a supermarket or pharmacy store gift card post vaccination.  With the experimental COVID19 vaccines, you can get free beer!

Donut C Vax

Want a free donut?  You can get one of those, too, with proof of vaccination.   In fact, quite an assortment of free stuff is now being offered to the “fully vaccinated”.  Employee incentives are also available, like paid time off and comped work hours.  Even though scores of people are reporting negative side effects, the COVID19 vaccine deals are a plenty!

What other medical procedure comes with alcohol and sugary desserts as an incentive?  

None. 

So why this one?  

Because Emergency Use Authorized (EUA) vaccines aren’t advertised like other vaccines, namely approved ones.  We’re seeing a different sort of hype about ones that are EUA. 

One Less CJ

FDA-approved vaccines pepper the pages of magazines and cycle through television commercials.

The ones for FDA approved vaccines are true advertisements and should not to be confused with the $250 million campaign currently in place. That campaign was designed to educate  the importance of getting vaccinated for a novel but recoverable Ad councilillness.  Started months ago and titled It’s Up to You, it partnered with several businesses and corporations “with the ultimate goal of helping the public feel confident and prepared to get vaccinated once a vaccine is available to them”.  Note:  it was not designed to educate consumers on vaccine facts, vaccine data or vaccine risks.  The “media blitz” features influencers, messengers, faith leaders and other trusted people to coerce the hesitant to get the vaccine.  You may have already heard one of a number of the incessant commercials on the radio stations of late, called a “vaccine confidence message.”  

Also airing on television and in some print, the goal of the multimillion dollar campaign is to reach not just the hesitant, but also the vaccine reluctant.  Drawing on the heartstrings, and also pitting family member against family member, it’s a campaign like no other.

Continue reading "It’s Up to You" »


My Priority

My-10-Priorities-as-a-Mother-700x1050By Cathy Jameson

I got an email notification on Wednesday from the medical center that my son, Ronan, goes to.  I’m used to getting all sorts of communications from them.  Upcoming appointment reminders, notices that refills are ready, and COVID-19 screening alerts are the norm.  This time, though, the email was for Ronan’s younger sister.  She’s been a patient at the same center for about 2 years.  The reason she goes there is far less complicated and nothing like the many medical problems Ronan has.  Since it was way too early for a next appointment reminder I was a bit shocked to see the email with my daughter’s name on it.  Questions flooded my brain…Why were they reaching out to me?  Did they discover something new after a records review?  Did a result for an old lab test just come back?  What could be wrong?  I couldn’t access the information right away, so I tried to keep my mind at ease.  

Keeping a worried mother’s mind at ease is no easy task!  So, as soon as I got home, I turned on the computer and opened the medical center’s online portal.  

Then, I rolled my eyes.    

CJ Covid Vax

No matter the age, I don’t think it’s wise to get an experimental vaccine for an orchestrated pandemic.  Shaking my head, I took a screenshot of the email and went to delete it.  Just before deleting it, I read this line again.  

“Vaccinating our community is our priority, and we are committed to ending this pandemic one shot at a time.”  

The ACIP  had only just met that day.  They didn’t just meet on May 12th, though; they opted to issue an Emergency Use Authorization for an experimental vaccine for kids 12 – 15 years of age on that same day.  The notification I received was sent at 5:31pm.  Man, they were working quickly to get a hold of parents of young teens!  I had barely had a chance to read the ACIP update but was not surprised that the medical facility, the media, and even the current administration gave the immediate go ahead to get more shots into more arms, including into healthy children’s arms that don’t need it.  

The vaccine for kids between the ages of 12 and 15 are safe, effective, easy, fast and free,” Biden said. “So my hope is parents will take advantage of the vaccine and get their kids vaccinated.” - Joe Biden 

My priority is to not live in fear of a treatable and recoverable illness but to protect my children.  I’ve promised to keep them from harm, and from coercion, because of previous medical decisions that I made.  Those past decisions were based off of fear.  Instead of listening to reason, and my mother’s intuition, I let someone else make a vaccine decision for me.  I won’t let that happen again.  And I’ll never let a government official sway my thinking, especially one who doesn’t respect vaccine choice.  

CJ Biden vax

The do-it-or-else threats won’t work on me.  It won’t work on my children either.  When I read them the email notification that a liability-free COVID vaccine was available for their little sister, each one of them was shocked.  Are you kidding?  They can’t be serious.  They’re really doing that??  The siblings of the vaccine injured know when someone is pulling a fast one, and they will not be fooled.  I am grateful that they know that The Science doesn’t speak for them.  They understand that The Adults are making rash, knee-jerk reactions.  Where others live in fear of the future, they’re living safely in the present.  The brother’s past has made a profound difference on them.  With that, my kids worry immensely for those who are now opting for the experimental vaccines that come with risk and that may result in devastating outcomes.  Those outcomes may not happen right away but could someday down the road. 

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High Five to Motherhood

5 Kids Cathy
By Cathy Jameson

My youngest child’s recent birthday marked a monumental moment for me and my husband.  We are now parents of 5 teenagers.  Five!  No wonder life’s been a bit busier than usual.

No matter their ages, though, life’s always been busy for us.  Some of the busy is good – it keeps us out of the house and active in our community.  Some of the busy can sometimes be overwhelming, for both the kids and for me.  For each of us, this year has had more stressors thanks to COVID19.  Despite those stressors, well, and because of those, it’s been one of the most trying years ever.  When life’s been flipped upside down, especially by someone or something else, it makes it hard to move in a forward direction.  Getting to celebrate a happy birthday in the middle of one of our busiest weeks put the biggest smile of my face.  That time to pause, to focus on life, and to celebrate it (with cake!) put things into perspective for me. 

We’re still here.

We’re still doing things.

We’re still taking time to be thankful.  

Being thankful for happy celebrations is easy.  Being thankful to be living in a world where the new normal is anything but normal takes effort.  When I look at what’s going on in the news and hear how others are living in fear, I see a world that I don’t recognize anymore.  Society seems to have lost its mind with a novel virus that’s got a pretty high recovery rate.  Terrified of humans and interacting with them, I’ve never seen anything like it in my life! 

Life, as interrupted and upside down as it is, must go on.  My kids can’t do everything they used to with some places still closed, but they can pursue living outside of other people’s comfort zones.  So they do. 

They’ve participated on sports teams and excelled.

They’ve joined afterschool clubs and learned.

They’ve joined other families for get togethers and enjoyed it.

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And Another Reason

Blue loveBy Cathy Jameson

As I turned the calendar page to May, I thought of this old post that I’d shared with family and friends a few years ago.  I wrote it in response to people wanting to celebrate autism during the month of April.  I was stunned.  Celebrate it?  Really? 

--

No lights. 
No blue. 
No celebrating. 
Why? 
Well, for a few reasons, including reason #3011.

1F073925-0C23-4532-94E9-CF0FBF0DFBCC

The other reasons?

The seizures. 

The behaviors.  

The wandering.  

The loss of speech.  

The loss of gained skills.  The cognitive challenges.  And, if I may be so bold, the loss of future potential.  Why would anyone ever ask us to celebrate any of that?  We can't.  And we won't.  We will, however, celebrate Ronan and the joy he brings to our lives.  And let me tell you, there is so much joy that that little guy brings to our family! 

We love to share the joy he brings and will continue to share it.

But the diagnosis itself?

It is not a gift.  It's a life-long, challenging disability that keeps a grip on Ronan and our family.  Do you celebrate cancer?  Diabetes?  Alzheimer's?  Probably not.  So, don't fall for the autism blue washing and autism celebrating that's going to flood the airwaves this month.  

What can you do instead?

Help a child. 

Help their family

Continue reading "And Another Reason" »


Hey, Autism Awareness. Where’d Ya Go?

Broken blue light bulbBy Cathy Jameson

Around this time last year, I noticed that autism had all but dropped off the news cycle.  It appears to have taken a back seat again this year.  No big fan of how the month of April has been blue-washed for well over a decade, I’m okay with fewer autism awareness campaigns. 

Always a strong proponent for autism action, I’m not even seeing that in this month’s news stories.  Like the flu, and like the measles, COVID19 has replaced illnesses, diseases, and other health conditions the world over. 

Autism awareness may have disappeared from the media, but the autism epidemic still exists.  Some will argue that autism, a spectrum disorder, is not an epidemic.  While it’s not a disease or illness, autism, a condition that can significantly impact physical and mental health, does fit the CDC’s definition of epidemic. From their website: CDC.gov

epidemic the occurrence of more cases of disease, injury, or other health condition than expected in a given area or among a specific group of persons during a particular period. Usually, the cases are presumed to have a common cause or to be related to one another in some way

Last updated in 2020, the current rate, which has risen steadily for decades, is 1 in 54 reported cases.  Even though the numbers are not a true representation, if that trend continues more will be added at the next reporting period.  Based on data from years ago, and from only a handful children in only a handful of states, a more accurate rate is likely much higher.  With that, I’d say that one can absolutely use the word epidemic to describe what’s happening!  

Taca prevalence

 

Regardless of how high the statistics are, autism news is scant these days. 

When I looked for an autism-specific news story last Tuesday, a few half-hearted reports of groups “lighting it up blue” could be found.  But they certainly didn’t come with the pomp and circumstance previous April autism stories have had.  I did notice, however, that some are pushing for autism acceptance this year, not awareness. Acceptance?  I’d rather not.

Continue reading "Hey, Autism Awareness. Where’d Ya Go?" »


Best Of: Vaccination and Segregation

Sneetch unvaxedNote: This is a BEST OF Cathy wrote back in 2016, and relevant in a more shocking way in 2021.

By Cathy Jameson

It isn’t often that I can’t come up with a topic to write about for a Sunday’s post, but this week, after days of brainstorming, nothing satisfied me.  Not wanting to waste any precious time, on Friday morning I cruised through Google news to see if anything there grabbed my attention.  Something did.  But it wasn’t the pro-vaccine article that grabbed my eye and got my wheels spinning.  It was someone’s comment that piqued my interest. 

Paraphrased, an obviously very pro-vaccine individual told another commenter, who happened to have a vaccine-injured child, that Parents like you who choose to not vaccinate should not be allowed to mingle with the public. 

As terrible as that comment sounded, I wasn’t shocked.  I kept reading. 

Other pro-vaccine commenters began to leave similar messages.  They were in agreement and clarified that The Unvaccinated should be barred from public schools, from stores, and from society in general.    

They continued: 

The Unvaccinated should be corralled into their own society. 

With the hopes that child protective services would soon pay a visit. 

And maybe the sheriff, too. 

Continue reading "Best Of: Vaccination and Segregation" »


Cat’s 2021 Autism Action Month Playlist

Playlistby Cathy Jameson

I never know which songs I’ll share for this fun Sunday post until I hear them.  That’s why I keep a little notepad in my car and write down titles and lyrics of songs that I like.  Some of them remind me of someone I know.  Others bring up a memory of something I’ve had to do for my children.  Some songs just evoke the perfect emotion – happy, sad, and even righteous anger. 

I’ve loved being able to share just a few of my favorites previous years.  Here’s my current playlist for 2021, a year that just doesn’t make sense.  

White Town – Your Woman

Oh, hee hee hee! Ha ha ha!  I heard this one after listening to the news one day last year.  Big Pharma, Big Brother, Big Government and Tony Fauci were spouting all sorts of doom and gloom on the news talk station.  Doom!  Gloom!  But, wait! Help was on the way!  But first…more masks, more quarantines, and ah, yes, more restrictions.  Then talk of a magical vaccine that could end all of this filled the airwaves.  If only people would comply.  Tired Tony just couldn’t wait to talk about that.  I couldn’t take the drivel anymore, so I changed the station.  Then I laughed. 

Boy, you can't play me that way

Well, I guess what you say is true

I could never be the right kind of girl for you

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0soXkLHsiE

Dear dear Tony, I could never be your woman.  Ever. ;)

Alarm – Rescue Me

Lock downs.  Neighbors ratting on neighbors.  Virtual signally.  Vaccine passports.  If I didn’t live and breathe it, I would’ve thought the last year and a half was a story from a bad novel.  But here we are over a year later living some absolutely crazy times.  Some days, it makes me want to run far, far away.  Anyone wanna go in on a deserted island with me?  Please?

Rescue me
I'm on the run like a refugee
Rescue me
Oh come on rescue me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR4HvXES0C0

Do hang in there, friends!  I know the fight is hard, but I do believe some good will come. 

Eventually. 

I hope. 

I Don’t Know How But They Found Me – Leave Me Alone

This one is such a funky song.  The lyrics are all over the place, but when I hear this line…

Now I want you to leave me alone

…I crank it. 

Loudly.

Continue reading "Cat’s 2021 Autism Action Month Playlist" »


Same Story, Different Year

Repeat repeatBy Cathy Jameson

Edited just a tad to make it today's Sunday post, I'm sharing something I wrote on one of my social media accounts two years ago this week.  The news I mention was about the loss of rights happening in both New York and California.  If you recall, legislative measles had been making the rounds.  The only way to stop them was with a vaccine.  I believe that the pro-vaccine measles legislation that stripped personal rights back then, stripped personal rights back then and as far back as 2014, absolutely helped open the door to the shenanigans we're witnessing today. 

Responding to the news conferences that had taken place that day, I had thought what I'd heard was bizarre.  Bizarre doesn't come close to describing the vaccine news I see coming out these days...

--

26 March 2019 - From NY to CA, today's vaccine news is so dang bizarre.  If you missed it, in NY...hide your wives and hide your children!  From CA, the little bit of freedom you thought you had is going to be even less.  I just watched the news conference.  All I can say is oof.  And this:

So some kids, like the immunocompromised, can't be vaccinated and are given a "free pass" from vaccines due to their individual medical needs.  Maybe they have been vaccinated previously but now cannot because of special circumstances (cancer, chemo treatment, organ transplant, etc.).  Parents of the immunocompromised are encouraged to share their kids' story and also to refuse vaccines.  I don't agree with the next thing that comes out of some of those parents' mouths -- they say that they* depend on my child's vaccines to give their child protection.   It's a nice thought, like rainbows and unicorns are nice, but our immune systems do not work in synergy like that.

That said, I have a question.  What about the other kids who were vaccinated and also now cannot be vaccinated?  Or shouldn't be?

Today, some other kids can't follow the recommended schedule, and many shouldn't follow it based on their past vaccination experience.  They may not be classified in their medical file as immunocompromised as cancer patients are, but don't these other kids matter, too?  And what of the parents of this group of children who we've been calling vaccine injured.  Those parents are constantly being beat up for telling their story, which I find odd because it's the same story:

Kid was vaccinated.

Kid cannot now be vaccinated.

Parents learned that.

Parents acted on that.

The immunocompromised parents are given sympathy.  But the vaccine injured parents are glared at in angst and accused of spreading diseases they don't even have.  Both groups of children (and some adults, I should add) have to proceed with caution with medical procedures, to include receiving liability-free vaccines.

Continue reading "Same Story, Different Year" »


Bingo! Or Tag, You're Hurt.

Covid bingo
This old game board from 2016 was autism specific, but it can be used with adjustments for the shenanigans going on today.

By Cathy Jameson

It's over an hour drive to get to some of Ronan's specialty appointments, so I have plenty of time to think about the questions I have for the providers we're scheduled to see.  I really like one of the doctors we're working with, so I stay very hopeful as I plan for visits with him.  With my mind more at ease for these particular appointments, on Thursday, as we made our way to the clinic, I drove with the radio on.  Other visits have me driving in silence as I go over important questions and treatment options I'd like to discuss with my son's doctors.  This time, I turned the radio on as soon as we left our driveway. 

After getting a good dose of some 80s music and some alt rock, I changed the station and started to listen to the BBC News Channel.  One of the top stories was about efforts to restart administering the Oxford vaccine. Halted because of reported blood clots post vaccination, several countries in the European Union stopped the roll out.  As expected, the vaccine representatives and those who’ll benefit from the products skirted around or denied that the products caused major problems, "The company says there is no evidence of an increased risk of clotting due to the vaccine."  

I wish I'd thought to count how many times the announcer and the vaccine representatives interviewed for the story said that the AstraZeneca vaccine was safe. I wish I'd continued to count how many times they fell over themselves in their reporting.  Continuously reassuring radio listeners that the vaccine program, despite the significant negative responses people already had, was ready to be resumed as early as the next day.  It was literally too many times to count. 

After a successful doctor’s appointment, I got us down the road a little bit before turning the radio on again.  The BBC had the AstraZeneca story on a continuous loop.  All the way home, I flipped from the 80s music station to the news stations.  I wasn’t surprised at how much airtime the COVID19 vaccines were still getting.  Several times over the last two week I’d also heard DJs on other stations boasting that they’d gotten it themselves.  I wish I’d had a BINGO card with me, tweaked a bit to highlight the absurdities of the current, intensely global COVID19 vaccine push.  I couldn’t escape the games vaccine pushers were playing, no matter how hard I tried.  Giving it one more go on the news station, I put the BBC back on.  It was the same exact story with the same exact reassurances all over again.  Vaccines are safe and effective. 

Even though they’re not.  

Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor and our favorite Sunday school teacher. XOX


Exhibition

April 2 Smallpox 25th million person crop 2
https://irp.nih.gov/blog/post/2020/05/a-long-tradition-of-vaccine-breakthroughs

By Cathy Jameson

I laughed when I heard someone talking on the radio last week.  I stopped laughing when I realized it wasn’t a parody story I was hearing.  I couldn't believe my ears when the announcer shared that an item, an empty vaccine vial and other “first” COVID19 vaccination paraphernalia, would be on display at the Smithsonian next year.  I don’t see how.  Typical protocol would have that used vial securely deposited in a sharps disposal container immediately after use. 

But none of what we’ve encountered in the last year has followed typical protocol. 

The timing couldn't be more appropriate, I guess.  It was just one year ago that life came to an abrupt stop for many.  Fearing that a novel virus would wipe out entire populations, many people scurried to their homes in March of 2020 promising to “do their part” to “flatten the curve” and “to keep hospitalizations down”.  Schools immediately closed.  Restaurants shuttered their doors.  Businesses transformed their brick and mortar existence to an online-only presence.  Within days of the massive shut down, restrictions across the nation and the world were in place. 

A year later, restrictions continue to hamper life as we knew it. 

Now, instead of focusing on flattening the curve, schools, businesses, and others are grappling with loss of progress, decreased customer base, and unforeseen changes in revenue and income.  Juggling too much for too long has taken a toll on both the young and the old.  In order to return to what was considered normal, promises from the top down were made to the public as the lockdown continued.  Even though less costly and less risky treatments for the recoverable illness were starting to be reported, top officials invested most of their efforts on a COVID19 vaccine instead. 

It, we were told then (and again last week) could end all of this.

Continue reading "Exhibition" »


Random Thoughts about Life with Covid

Thinker femaleBy Cathy Jameson

I have had lots on my mind but have little time to write.  So this week, I’m putting some screenshots of what others have shared into a post.  Enjoy the pictures, and share on your own platforms if you feel moved to.  These people have said things loads better than I could have ever expressed.  Where I could, I captured the name of the person making the statement.  For those images without a name, I credit the amazing Internet.  

While deleting some photos from my phone’s photo stream, I came across some images I’d saved.  Some go back to the very beginning of Life with Covid, like this one.

CJ 3 7  calories

That was back when we knew very little about the novel virus, a virus that would change every aspect of home, school, and work life.  In the beginning, I was nervous about how things would play out.  Knowing that the situation could go from bad to worse, I never lost sight of the big picture. CJ 3 7 circle

Of all the charts we’ve seen about the coronavirus, that simple chart is the most relevant one in my opinion.  Guard your rights before you lose them completely!  Covid is scary for some people.  I am not disputing that.  Seeing just how quickly our personal rights were taken away because of Covid is scarier.

Continue reading "Random Thoughts about Life with Covid" »


The Fading Flu Shot

Cvs flu shot goal board 2013
2013 Flu Shot Sales Goal

By Cathy Jameson

Years ago, you couldn’t miss flu shot propaganda.  On signage at the grocery store, in multiple magazine ads, on radio and television ads, too - It. Was. Everywhere.  For some time, reminders came to our house weekly on the backs of envelopes.  The flu, and the flu shot, took a backseat last year though.  Hardly anyone seems to be talking about both of them this year also. 

From the CDC’s website regarding the 2019-2020 flu dataApril 4, 2020 was the last in-season preliminary burden estimates were provided. 

In all the years I’ve spent reading about vaccines, I found that note from the CDC to be one of the oddest statements ever CJ envelopesposted.  It didn’t matter if it was in-season or off-season.  Flu stats were jammed down our throats incessantly and forever!  It was so unexpected, for me at least, to learn that those incredible numbers would not be crunched or broadcasted.  Now knee-deep in COVID19, those who liked to blow up our newsfeeds with flu news just gave the flu a free pass. 

That incessant yearly vaccine-pushing opportunity popped into my head as fall turned into winter in late 2020.  Would the flu shot be put back in the spotlight, I wondered?  Like clockwork it did get some airtime, but not nearly to the extent that it usually does.  Good, I thought.  With the COVID19 countermeasures coming out, mixing a frequently failing flu shot with an experimental vaccine may not be wise. 

I’d forgotten about the flu, and the flu shot, this winter until I opened up one of my son’s e-medical records last week.  This alert, which is usually visible only from October to April, greeted me when I logged in. 
CJ schedule your flu shot
Ronan’s been to that clinic several times since last October, when flu shot season really kicks in.  Not one of his providers has asked us if he needs one during any of his visits.  Too busy with managing and dodging COVID19, I’m grateful for the lack of flu shot attention.  I certainly don’t want to poke the bear, but it’s still just so strange to think that the almighty flu shot has finally been knocked off its pedestal.

Continue reading "The Fading Flu Shot " »


Fact Check This

Ministry of truthby Cathy Jameson

I’ve scaled back on posting on my personal social media accounts for about a year now.  Being online on those platforms isn’t as fun as it used to be.  When I joined them, they were a place to share things with close friends and family.  Over the years, the platforms became more than that.  A place to connect with other advocates, to share resources, and to keep updated with legislation and politics, those websites were a lifeline for me.  Available 24 hours every day, I loved being connected to so many people across the world. 

Lots has changed since I joined Facebook back in the mid-2000s.  The games and apps, like the Flair Board, were simple yet creative ways to pass the time.  Over time, I saw the platform turn into an interactive and useful message board.  People became more involved and invested in their online voice.  Groups, communities and followings shaped what I did both on and offline.  Connecting people from so many places, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter were truly a great concept.  But the more people spoke up about their passions, the more silenced their voices were. 

Cj fact 1I don’t recall exactly when, but the powers that be didn’t like what they were seeing.  That’s when the Fact Checkers showed up. 

Fact checkers took the fun out of social media, including on FB.  When they came out in full force, I’d still want to share funny things my kids say on my page and post silly memes hoping to make people laugh.  But long gone is the desire to use my account as a means to share personal stories or to use it as a virtual soapbox like I had been doing for years. 

Not that I shared anything inaccurate, but I got a warning just a few weeks ago from Facebook that a link I’d posted wasn’t completely true (according to their standards).  I supposedly had taken some news out of context.  In reality, what I’d shared didn’t fit their agenda.  That wasn’t the first time I’d been told to watch what I posted.  As the creator of our Age of Autism Pinterest page, I was permanently banned from using that platform in 2019. I was never a big fan of their setup, but their message was very clear–posting vaccine truths will get you deleted.  

In the beginning on other sites, people would just get a slap on the wrist like the one I had received on FB.  An opaque overlay Cj false info would cover the information a user shared.  Some Fact Checkers went a step further and added several links at the bottom of the opaque overlay that countered the poster’s original message. 

Rarely would I ever click on the links when I saw them on my friends’ posts.  It’s a fact that for every study or article a friend might share, another study or article could say the exact opposite.  Those policing social media platforms still wished we’d stop thinking for ourselves entirely and stepped up their game.  Besides making it harder to read what others shared, people would lose the ability to log in for a certain amount of time.  I’ve yet to be put in it, but friends have done 1-, 3-, 7- and even 30-day stints in FB jail.  Others get the boot completely like what happened to us on Pinterest.  Without warning, accounts and pages are deleted altogether.  Some people are calling it quits themselves.  No longer willing to play the cat-and-mouse game, they want nothing to do with the censorship the social media giants are encouraging. 

We’ve not encountered that anywhere else yet, but other platforms, like Twitter, also like to contain the narrative.  They told AofA to hush up temporarily for a post written by Ginger Taylor. CJ Ginger

Continue reading "Fact Check This" »


Curiosity Can Also Save the Cat

Smart-cat-e1583406861717-300x206By Cathy Jameson

“Be curious and ask questions. Don’t just accept things as they are. Scientists always ask ‘why’ and ‘how.’ And…read as many books and magazines as you can about science.”

That advice was found in a textbook written for students in elementary school.  Had it been written as a stand-alone paragraph, I’d have thoroughly appreciated the quote.  But this advice was at the end of a one-page write up in a children’s Science textbook that promoted vaccines.  Had the authors of the book, or the doctor himself, an immunologist, added that some vaccines can cause some problems for some people, I’d have not been disappointed. 

But I was.  

I honestly shouldn’t have been, especially since this sentence was also included in that one-page write up:  “Many immunologists hope that vaccines—medicines usually given through a shot—will prevent people from getting sick.”  That was my hope, too, as a young mother.  Vaccines are the hope for a lot of young mothers. 

Until they’re not. 

The desire, to help our children be healthy, is strong.  So is putting faith into vaccines.  When you think you are doing the right thing for your child, like keeping them up-to-date on shots, all sorts of hope happens.  It’s only after a vaccine reaction occurs can that hope fade away.  Sometimes, depending on the severity of the injury, it will take time for that to happen.  Eventually, all hope may completely disappear.  When I finally realized what was happening to my own child, which was only after I thought to ask ‘why’ and ‘how’ like that immunologist encourages young students to do, it was too late. 

My son’s health was far worse post-vaccination. 

Vaccine reactions are not talked about like they should be.  Why they happen and how to prevent them are topics officials wish that you just not ask.  If you dare, you could be silenced.  We have been. So have others. More surely will be.  

Continue reading "Curiosity Can Also Save the Cat" »


Surrounded Mostly By Angels Sometimes By Harm

See-something-say-something-v2Note: Cathy takes readers back to a difficult time in her family's lives, when she had to fire one of her son's providers. In 2010, my youngest daughter, then ten years old, was physically abused on the school bus by an aide. We got video proof, and long story short, she was arrested, tried and ended up with a felony record. The felony was all I wanted. I knew I'd never get an answer or apology from her. I wanted to make sure she could NEVER apply for a legit job and work with your kids, your parents, your grandparents in any capacity. As our kids grow older, we may have to rely more on more on outsiders to provide care. Most are angels. Some are not.

###
 
I decided to go through some old files during a recent snowstorm.  I still have several binders from several of Ronan's academic and behavior programs, to include data that goes way back to his early intervention days.  Over the years, I'll read through the important files and letters we've received and decide if I need to keep them or toss them.  Last weekend, I wanted to toss everything.  That's when I came across the name of the young woman I wrote about in this post, back in June of 2017. 
 
Just seeing her name made me angry all over again.  After firing her, we learned that she had been taken off other clients' programs.  We also learned that she may have physically hurt our son.  We had no proof though, and I was not about to invite her back into our home to ask her about it.  
 
Parents of nonverbal children already feel much of the weight of the world on their shoulders.  It brings parents immediately to their knees when they learn that adults they implicitly trusted have done something horrible to their child. It's hard to get back up,  But if we don't, our children can suffer further.  
 
So we get back up.  
 
We stay ever vigilant.  
 
And we pray that our children be surrounded by kind, caring souls who will only do the right thing.  
 
Thank you...Cath

See Something. Say Something.

By Cathy Jameson

Over the years, I’ve heard wonderful stories from other parents about their child’s caregivers.  I learn that these other humans are kind, compassionate, and able to get the child to do things no one else thought possible.  I love to hear about those victories and those kinds of stories.  Unfortunately, other caregiver stories with not so happy endings have been shared by parents, too.  Those jaw-dropping accounts are shocking.  They are few and far between, thankfully, but even so, they can quickly suck the wind right out of me when I hear them. 

Some of those incidents have made the news.  Other times, the person or the facts about the abuse they’ve inflicted gets tucked away.  Not until that person strikes again do details about their past come out.  Withholding that information serves no one, especially the non-verbal severely affect child with autism.  I shed tears when I learn that a child has been harmed – either emotionally or physically – at the hands of another.  When it’s an adult who’s belittled, abused, or caused serious injury to a child with a disability, my blood boils.  And when it’s my child who’s been mistreated, you better believe I’ll make some noise about it.

Continue reading "Surrounded Mostly By Angels Sometimes By Harm" »


Is there Anybody Out There Payin’ Attention?

AttentionBy Cathy Jameson

Extra appointments and errands had me out of the house a little bit longer than usual last week.  I didn’t mind the driving around, especially since I could listen to the radio uninterrupted while I was out.  Since it was just me in the car, I had no one asking me to change the station, to turn on a movie, or to turn a movie off.  I was glad for the chance to catch up on some news and follow-up analysis on a new fave XM station, 125.  But some days, with just how much is going on out there in the world, I just needed my music. 

This song came on a few times when I’d had enough of listening to talk radio.  It wasn’t just on my other go-to XM stations either.  I heard it on several stations at least once on one of the local ones.  I knew which artist was singing, but in the 4 or 5 times I’d heard it, I never caught the title. 

It’s quite the song!

The title is perfect.  

And the lyrics? 

They are so very good.

Is there anybody out there payin’ attention?

Is there anybody out there payin’ attention?

Is there anybody out there payin’ attention?

Is there anybody out there payin’ attention?

grandson asks that 4 times in a row at one point.  How many times have asked I myself that over and over again this last year?  Too many times!  I don’t agree with some of his politics, but I do echo his question, “…is anybody…payin’ attention?”  I’ve been asking myself that since January of 2020.   

0C19707D-8A6B-4527-91F2-E1D93AF1DCE1Each year, like clockwork, several of us in this community wait with bated breath as to what the “new virus” of the year would be.  Like Ebola, like zika, like the measles.  It was no coincidence that this meme was making the rounds this week exactly one year ago. 

This year, everyone is ‘freaking’ out about the vaccine for the new virus.  Their screaming isn’t in retaliation because a vaccine was fast-tracked or that it has no long-term studies.  They’re freaking out because they want a liability-free countermeasure that they feel is not being distributed fast enough.  Having “gotten my hands dirty” knowing the ins and outs of how vaccines work (and don’t work), I’m walking around dazed listening to the public.  They want the newest vaccines that comes with, some consider, the greatest risk.

Never in the last 16 years of reading about vaccines have I ever watched people rush themselves to get tested for an illness they’re showing no signs of.  And never have I ever seen so many people so willing to roll up their sleeves for a medical product that is so brand new, some questions about it can’t be answered:   

Will either vaccine prevent COVID19?  Maybe.  But maybe not.

Continue reading "Is there Anybody Out There Payin’ Attention? " »


Carried Away

I will carry youBy Cathy Jameson

This memory is from an unfortunate event that happened back in 2015.  Meltdowns aren’t ancient history for us yet, which is why we continue to work hard to give Ronan the language he needs.  Communication is key.  It is key for so many reasons.

I shared some major gains that Ronan's been making with some people last weekend.  I might've jinxed myself for sharing all that awesome though.  What happened on Monday was not awesome.  

As we left the Big Box store that Ronan's been able to navigate in and out of like a boss lately, he melted.  Oh, how that child melted down.  Maybe it was because he didn't fall asleep until after 10:30 pm the night before.  Maybe it was because I had to wake him up early on a day that he normally gets to sleep in.  Maybe it was because I had to race him and his little sisters to the girls' school because I'd overslept and the girls missed the carpool.  Maybe it was because I later took him to a store he had no interest in going.  Maybe it was because we left the store through a different door.  Maybe it was because he didn't get the special treat he's been offered during other recent shopping trips.  Maybe it was because of all of those reasons.  

Maybe it was because of none of those reasons.  

Whatever the reason, Ronan had a meltdown that lasted for 33 minutes - ten of which were in the parking lot in front of a lot of other shoppers.  The other 23 minutes were in the car.  Those 23 minutes were not any easier.  

That's when things got a little carried away.  

Ronan was still not cooperating once he was in the car with me or with his therapists, so we continued to wait things out.  After several failed attempts at getting Ronan to communicate, I brainstormed another idea.  At this point, I was in the backseat trying to encourage and redirect Ronan to sit safely in his car seat.  He was in the car but not seated yet.  Since Ronan loves his movies so much, I thought if we could get him to request a movie, we could turn his behavior around.  But then I thought of something better.  Maybe if I turned on some music first, something he’s highly motivated by, he'd asked for me to change it.  I thought before I changed the song, I'd be able to encourage Ronan to sit.  If I could get him safely in the car seat, I could buckle him up.  If I could buckle him up, we could get going.  If we could get going, I could turn on his movie.  That sounded simple enough, but because the situation had already gone south, and quickly, I wasn't sure my plan would work. 

It didn't.  

I turned on a CD.  It’s a favorite of mine and one that I thought for sure that Ronan would immediately ask me (through sign language) to "change".  

He didn't.  

Instead of signing change or asking for a movie, Ronan relaxed.  Still firmly planted on the floorboard of the car, he quieted down, he leaned into me, and then, he actually enjoyed the music!

Continue reading "Carried Away" »


The Virus

One name celebBy Cathy Jameson

I took Ronan's little sister to the hospital last week for two follow-up appointments.  [Before I go further, know that she’s fine, has no worrisome conditions like her brother has, and is one of the healthiest in our family.  That said, we sometimes go to the hospital for appointments because it’s easier to see the doctor there than at the smaller satellite clinic.]  The first appointment of the day was at 9am.  The second one wasn’t until 1pm.  Planning on staying on the hospital grounds for lunch, we both looked forward to lunch at the cafeteria.  Some people don’t like hospital food, but this group offers great meals, including ones that are made with clean ingredients.  Plus, who doesn’t love a lunch out and some mommy-daughter time? 

So, on Tuesday, we got ourselves to the hospital and got ready for the long day ahead.  Before we arrived, I’d been tipped off that things had changed again because of COVID.  A phone call the day before the appointments confirmed that things were still pretty intense there, “Mrs. Jameson, when you come to the parking garage, you’ll receive a card.  On it is a phone number.  After you park, call it.  The person answering will let you know when you can walk into the building.  Once you’re at the entrance, you’ll need to be mask up, get your temperature taken, and sanitize your hands.  Then, you will be asked to go directly to the clinic.  You’ll both receive a sticker to wear that shows you’ve been cleared to enter the building.” 

I’m used to that sort of instruction now having taken Ronan to several doctor’s appointments there, but if I had no idea what was going on in the world?  Those instructions sound like what you see in movies during some covert ops when someone breaks into a secret entrance of a classified area:  Use the password we give you.  Don’t draw attention to yourself.  Don’t look anyone in the eye.  Go in quickly.  Go in quietly.  Do the job, and get out safely. 

The young receptionist continued, “Now, before your visit, I need to ask you a few questions.  Have you or your daughter have

Purple corona
The Virus Formerly Known as Corona

The Virus?”

The Virus. 

I could toy with this young person and ask, “Which one?”

I could be super annoying, and say, “Yes,” because we’ve certainly come in contact with viruses on a daily basis. 

Or I could be compliant, not make any waves, and just say No.

I opted to keep things simple while on the phone and told her we did not.  No need to ruffle feathers before we even step foot into the hospital.  She then rattled off the extensive list of symptoms of The Virus asking if either of us currently have any of the following symptoms or had them in the past 48 hours:  Do you have a fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing?  Do you have fatigue, muscle or body aches, or a headache?  Have you experienced a new loss of taste or smell?  Do you have a sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea?  And finally, within the past 14 days, have you been in close physical contact with anyone who is known to have laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, or with anyone who has any symptoms consistent with COVID-19?

Continue reading "The Virus" »


You Know Him Best

Mom knows bestBy Cathy Jameson

Taking a child to the hospital can be a little nerve wracking.  Taking a special needs child with medical complications during life with COVID to the hospital…well, the frustration level is a wee bit higher.  Our hands are tied this time as we wait for medical care to catch to the massive delays caused by restrictions put in place last year.  I know it should all work out, but I’m going to reread this old story again before I take Ronan to his next procedure, which is scheduled next month. 

I’ll need the motivation. 

That time, from start to finish, everything turned out well.  This time, it’s a new team of providers working with us.  They know where I stand on certain medical topics.  They know that I trust them and respect them.  Most importantly, they know that beyond a shadow of a doubt, that yes, I do know my son best.

---

Ronan has a procedure coming up this week.  He has another one scheduled in two weeks, too.  I'm getting lots of phone calls about those appointments as they get closer.  The nurse, the doctor, another doctor, a patient advocate, and now another nurse - quite a few people, including me, are checking and double checking on things.  That involves making sure that all of the paperwork is done, that all of the information is current, and that all of us are on the same page. 

I've experienced being on the same page with other providers.  It's a good feeling and actually quite comforting to know that someone else understands just how complicated Ronan's case is.  I'm grateful that they quickly include me in discussions and in pre-op work ups.  In the past, providers have told me that they appreciate what I have to offer.  They want to hear my thoughts, and they make sure to include me and update me as much as possible.  That makes appointments run smoother, and it makes treatment plans more successful.

Continue reading "You Know Him Best" »


I Will Always

Speak to me through musicBy Cathy Jameson

The song Ronan shared from this memory came on the radio last week.  Besides remembering the connection my non-verbal son made, I instantly remembered the sadness that came over me the day that Dolores O’Riordan died.  A long-time fan of The Cranberries, I was devastated.  

This bands’ music was part of my life long before autism and vaccine injury rocked my world.  The day O’Riordan died happened to occur during a time we were struggling to control seizures.  

Already crying because of how helpless I felt as I tried to help Ronan, I cried a bit more thinking about the tragedy of losing her voice.  I’m grateful that it still has a way of creeping into not-so-random moments, like last week and in the memory I’ve shared below.  

Where words fail music speaks
Sometimes, I can't believe the music selections that Ronan chooses.  Other times, I realize that the songs he picks are spot on.  I shared one of those amazing discoveries years ago. The one I'm sharing today was, I thought, totally random.  Thinking that it was so totally random, I'd shared the link with some friends:

"Ronan's choice of songs tonight.  Little dude's music is amazing."  

Continue reading "I Will Always" »


Under the Rug

Stanley steemer train
By Cathy Jameson

I shared this story several years ago with family and friends.  I thought of it again as I vacuumed that highly-trafficked rug area last week.  It’s due for a deep clean once more.  I’d love to make an appointment with this company, just to have the chance to catch up with the carpet cleaning guy. 

--

With as much traffic our floors and carpets get, I've often wondered if it would be wise to purchase a steam cleaner. During Ronan's de-robing phase a few weeks ago, I came to a conclusion that YES, we do need our own steam cleaner.

During that phase, I scrubbed Ronan's bedroom carpet daily.  The cleaner I got his carpet, the dingier other carpeting in the house started to look.  While trying to recall the last time we had them professionally cleaned, I remembered a conversation that the carpet cleaner guy and I had.  

We were talking about our kids, the summer ahead, and fun family things to do in town.  Halfway through the conversation, Ronan walked into the room where we were talking.  Boy was he was a sight!  Ronan had tried to put on a bathing suit over his shorts, two pair of swim goggles, and swim floaties--both of them on one arm.  

The carpet cleaner guy stopped mid-sentence.  Ronan, taking no notice of him, stood in front of him and then stared at me.  Signing 'swim, water, boat', his way of saying that he wants to go to the pool, Ronan reached for my hand.  I offered it to him but didn't leap into action.  Tugging on my hand, Ronan looked puzzled.  It would be at least another hour before the carpet cleaning crew was done.  That, and because it was raining, had us staying home with no plans to go to the pool that day at all.  

But Ronan didn't care.  

He wanted to go swimming.  

Now!  

What followed wasn't pretty.

Continue reading "Under the Rug" »


Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

CJ Image 1 s12 19By Cathy Jameson

Vice President Mike Pence

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi 

Senator Mitt Romney

All of them took center stage last week with a COVID-19 vaccine.  Quite a few others have put their names and faces out there including this nurse. 

CJ Nurse Tiff
She isn’t a well-known leader or influencer but certainly played a role in the latest COVID19 vaccine public relations campaign.  Caught on camera those watching saw the nurse manager hit the deck several minutes after receiving the vaccine.  

Nurse Tiff passes out

While I appreciate that the news is finally covering all the facts, including that vaccines have serious side effects, I’ll never advocate for the administration of vaccinations to be shown on TV.  What other medical procedure gets broadcasted on live television like vaccines do?  None that I can think of.  I know that airing the event with famous people and front-line workers is all part of the dog and pony show.  Financial backers think it will help reduce vaccine “hesitancy”. 

CJ Morehouse Dean

Vaccine hesitancy certainly exists, but so does not wanting to go to other types of medical appointments.  I know no man who looks forward to a yearly check-up.  I know no woman who excitedly counts down the days for her next breast or pelvic exam.  Can you imagine if we got to see those procedures or other private exams on TV – like Pence’s prostate exam or Pelosi getting a mammogram? 

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Doubting Doubters

Doubting thomasby Cathy Jameson

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” John 20:24-25

Thomas, one of the 12 apostles is also referred to as Doubting Thomas.  You can see in that scripture passage above how he earned that nickname.  Not present when Jesus found the apostles hiding in the upper room, Thomas found it hard to believe that the Lord had tracked them down.  I hadn't thought about this passage in quite some time, but the latest vaccine news has me thinking more of Thomas and how his doubting attitude kept him from believing what the others were telling him. 

Not until later, when Jesus was face-to-face with Thomas, would Thomas believe that Christ had actually risen.  I imagine that realization was quite profound.  I don’t think they’d have thrown a party, remember – they were still in hiding, but I also imagine that the mood behind their locked doors was somewhat celebratory.  

I, like Thomas, have doubted some facts myself.  Vaccine injury?  COME ON!  Surely that's a made up thing.  I’d thought that because for the longest time I'd only be told that vaccines were safe and effective.  

They were necessary.  

They were there to help my child.  

They'd keep him healthy.  

To be hurt by one?  No way!  

I believe that a majority of the public, despite the US establishing a program to compensate those with vaccine injuries, still believes that, too.  The latest headlines are finally reporting another story though.  Severe vaccine side effects do exist!  

And it’s nothing celebrate.   
Pfizer covid vax photo


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Dear COVID19, You Suck.

Covid19sadness_orig
https://www.childrensliteratureassembly.org/

By Cathy Jameson

Businesses have closed. 

Therapies have changed.  

Schools have shut down.  

Teaching and learning has gone online.  

If you’d told me we’d be living like this a year ago I would’ve balked and said that 2020 sounded like a nightmare.  We don’t have too many nightmare stories here on AofA.  But they exist.  When Managing Editor Kim finds them, she’ll post them.  Never easy to read, it’s important that she continues to share them.  They are a glaring reality families in our community face.  It wasn’t until this week that I looked back and realized that our family has recently experienced a few of them ourselves thanks to COVID19.  

When we were asked to stay home for 2 weeks to help flatten the curve, I wasn’t worried about my family.  My heart immediately went out to other special needs families though.  I hoped that they would be okay and that the temporary break in their daily routine wouldn’t cause too much disruption.  My hopefully-ever-after self personally didn’t mind the break and actually welcomed putting life outside our house on hold for a moment.  I love random stay-at-home days!  Plus, Ronan had supports in place that would not be interrupted, so we could continue life as we knew it from home.  

For the most part, that worked.  

When the country didn’t open the following month, I took it in stride that some parts of life were going to change a tad.  It wasn’t too terrible, and I dealt with minor obstacles like I would’ve normally.  Not until we faced massive delays in treating a medical issue for Ronan did my usually optimistic outlook take a hit.  

Ronan had been on the schedule for a surgery in March.  It had been on the books prior to the lockdown and would actually be two surgeries coordinated with two medical teams.  At the time, we were told he was top of the list, a priority patient, one who absolutely needed to be seen as soon as possible.  He’d even moved other patients down the list because of the severity of his condition.  Imagine my shock and concern when his team called and said that the procedures were canceled with no word on when they’d be able to reschedule the OR.  I tried everything to get him back on the books, but our hands were tied.  The providers tried everything they could, too, but their hands were also tied.  COVID19 had become the hospital’s priority, and Ronan’s case was now deemed an elective procedure.  His, and other “non-emergency” cases, would not be considered.  No exceptions. 

Ronan would eventually be put back on the schedule, but he wouldn’t have those procedures until July.  CJ Ronan head in hands

Ronan still deals with that medical issue, but we are able to manage it better and from home.  I’m glad for that.  But the longer life has not returned to what it once was, other problems have come up.  And we’re once again facing the fact that Ronan’s prescribed medically-necessary procedures are taking a back seat.  Other patients, those who also had to wait months to be seen, are now taking priority.  If I had to guess, not all of them are related to COVID19 the illness directly, but if there’s anything to blame it’s COVID19.  The backlog created by it has interrupted getting routine follow-ups done, completing in-office procedures, and yearly evaluations performed.  Those, along with COVID19 restrictions, are keeping doctors and nurses hopping.  

I can’t imagine the stress they are under.  

As much as I hate to add to their stress, I will do just that.  I have to advocate for my son and his needs.  If that means being a nag when I call for updates, I’ll be a nag.  If it means asking for more advice, I’ll ask for it.  I’d rather be able to punch COVID19 right in the neck than be a jerk to the professionals helping me and my son.  But punching COVID19 in the neck is obviously not possible, so while we live this on-going nightmare I’ll stick to what I am able to do.  

I’ll keep Ronan as healthy, happy, and as safe as I have. 

Continue reading "Dear COVID19, You Suck." »


Gratitude from Year to Year

Grateful TypeNote:  It's not often we run a "Best of" from Cathy.  She has the weekend off with her beautiful family. Who better to share her thoughts on gratitude, than she? This post is from just last year. But the way I see it, none of us has a functioning memory this far into 2020, so let's go back to 2019, when we were blissfully unaware of what the New Year would bring.

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By Cathy Jameson

A friend of mine shared a slew of positive messages on one of her social media accounts. It took me a few days to realize she was posting one per day during the month of October, but that was because I took a short social media break. Jumping offline is always good for the mind. It can be very good for the soul also.

Once I logged back in and saw the upbeat messages again, I looked forward to seeing the daily suggestions she shared. Topics like keeping hopeful, setting practical goals, and finding joy every day were peppered on her page. I wasn’t always in a good mood when I jumped online, but after seeing those short, inspiring messages, I would take a few minutes to think about something positive. Be it something my kids did that made me smile, or thinking about a big step Ronan finally made, I was grateful for the reminder to stop, reflect, and be thankful. As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches this week, I thought it would be a perfect time to share just a few things that I am thankful for, too.

While I’m certainly not grateful for my son’s vaccine injury, I am thankful that I am more educated because of it. I fully admit that I didn’t know enough when my children were younger. A lot of precious time and more was lost during those early years, but I am thankful for what I’ve come to realize. With every realization, I now know better what to do and what not to do.

With everything I’ve experienced – both the good and the bad - I am thankful that I learned how to advocate for my son. The knowledge I’ve gained in the last decade is incredible. It’s more than I ever could have imaged I would have to learn. What I’ve learned has helped not just Ronan but all of my children. While my typical children don’t need the same type of assistance their brother needs, they’ve gained a unique perspective watching me and my husband take care of their brother. Because of what they’ve witnessed and continue to witness as Ronan’s siblings, it’s encouraging to hear my kids become more vocal in class and within their circle of friends about certain topics, like vaccines and the need for exemptions. I’m thankful that they know the truth and are talking about it. They’re advocating for themselves much sooner than I expected them to have to.

I am incredibly grateful for other advocates, too. To those who paved the way before I came on the scene, like Barbara, Kim, Anne, JB, and Ginger, thank you. From the bottom of my weary heart, I would not have known which direction to go had it not been for the brave moms and dads who started the conversation. Thanks to all who keep that convo going. From our old Yahoo! Group days to the several private FB groups that are still going strong, you will have my respect and admiration.

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Bookmarking the Truth

TruthBy Cathy Jameson

A few years ago when a blizzard kept us home for days on end, I had lots of extra time to clean out the closets.  From that cleaning spree, I had 2 very large bags and 1 big box of items to donate.  The items may not have been brand new, but they were in good condition and could hopefully serve a purpose for someone else.  

My daughters were not sad to see their things go.  I wasn't either.  The things I was donating to the giveaway pile were a few t-shirts I no longer wore and a pile of books that I knew that I'd never read cover-to-cover.  Only a few of the chapters and topics in the books interested me anyway.  

I'd bought the books one or two at a time at thrift stores over the years hoping to use them for a research project.  Instead of finishing the project, the books sat and sat and sat on one of our bookshelves.  I spied them on that snowy weekend and decided that it was time for them to go back to the thrift store.  I wanted to add a page of my own to each book before they were donated though. 

I’d considered it a missing appendix or sorts.  These books, all of which are meant to educate women during pregnancy or during the first few years of parenting, were missing something:  the whole truth.
  

- In sections regarding autism, there was no hope that autism could be prevented (and treated). 


- In sections describing vaccines, I found no warning that all liability-free vaccines come with risk and that they had side effects (or what to do about those side effects post-vaccination).

- In other sections of these books, when listing the vaccine schedule, information about vaccine exemptions was missing (including that all 50 states offer at least 1 exemption).  

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Guarded

Go Talk Help - CopyCathy asks: If you’ve got any advice for parents of teens turning into young adults, what would you share?  A beneficial bathrooming tip?  A sound shopping suggestion?  A clever communication cue? Share something you’ve experienced in the comments below.  Want to just vent instead?  Share that in a comment also.  I love that on the good days we can learn from each other.  I also love that on the bad days we can just be an ear to listen. 

By Cathy Jameson

This was a first: I had to ask a security guard to watch a door for me today.  Ronan and I were about to head home from an appointment, but I needed to use the bathroom.  It would be an almost 2-hour trip for us.  With two cups of coffee in me, there was no way could I make it home without having to stop.  Easily, I could pull over into one of the stores along our route home, but sometimes Ronan doesn’t like to go in stores.  It would be better for both of us if I used the bathroom at the older clinic.  I couldn’t find a family bathroom in the building we were in though.  The only women’s bathroom I knew of had 4 stalls in it.  Usually, I just take Ronan in with me, but this time, I worried.  While short for his age, Ronan’s a teenager now.  He’s not a little boy anymore.  Bringing him into a women’s bathroom in a public place could get us more angry stares than looks of compassion.  

Standing in the hallway needing to make a decision, I saw a young security guard and asked where I might find a family bathroom.  “Oh, you won’t find one in this building yet.”  I said, “That’s going to be a problem – he (pointing to Ronan) needs to come in with me.  I can’t leave him unattended.”  Without hesitating or judging, or wasting any time, the guard said, “Ma’am, there’s a bathroom over here to the left.  Check if anyone is in there.  If it’s empty, go.  I’ll stand at the door make sure no one goes in until you both are out.”  

Speechless, I took Ronan’s hand and walked into the ladies’ room.  I didn’t have to, but I’ve never peed faster than I did that day!  

Washing up, I said to Ronan, "Okay, buddy.  Your turn.  Then we can get on the road.”  As I pushed the bathroom door open, the security guard was standing right outside in the hallway as he said he would.  I smiled and said, “Thank you.  Thank you so much for your help.”  He said I shouldn’t think anything of it.  But I did.  Our kids are growing up.  Many of us moms won’t be able to take our teenage sons into ladies’ bathrooms without being given the stink eye, being questioned, or worse – being stopped from entering.

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You Do Not Need a Flu Shot for a Broken Arm!

Fish needs a bicycle
A broken arm needs a flu shot like a fish needs a bicycle.

By Cathy Jameson

This old memory popped up last week.  I’d written it for friends and family a couple of years ago after an incident that brought us to a walk-in clinic late one Friday evening.  My children have learned a lot from their brother’s vaccine injury.  They’ve picked up a few things when it’s their turn to be the patient.  I pray that they remember each lesson, especially when they have children of their own.

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You know that the medical system is messed up when an 8-year old wants to leave a doctor's appointment.  

Tonight, my daughter fell and busted up her elbow while playing basketball.  She immediately cried out in pain.  Pain and swelling in her arm increased, so we jetted over to urgent care to have things checked out.  Looking over my shoulder as we checked in, I could feel Izzy grip my arm as I answered some questions.  The "Does the patient need a flu shot and/or a pneumonia shot?" question on the intake form immediately made her skeptical. 

"Mommy,” she whispered to me, “…a flu shot??"  

She knows that this year's flu shot is only 18% effective and that the flu shot was one of the ones that took her brother's voice away all those years ago.  Izzy has nothing nice to say about that shot and hates to even think about it.  She knows that one, and other childhood vaccines, hurt her brother. I don't blame her for not liking it.  I don't care for the flu shot either.  

I replied, "I know honey.  It's a little ridiculous, isn't it?  You don't need a flu shot if you've broken an arm." 

Apparently, the nurse thought we did.  

During the intake when the nurse asked if my daughter needed a flu shot, I answered, "She's all set," and then quickly changed the subject.  Wanting her to stay focused on why we were at the clinic and to get appropriate treatment, I repeated, "So, it's her left arm that's hurt.  She fell right before dinner.  We got a new basketball hoop, and the kids were having so much fun...until this..." I said as I pointed to the swollen elbow making sure the nurse looked at it.  

With pen poised, the nurse finally looked up from the clipboard and stared at Izzy's elbow.  She said, "Oh!”  After a long pause, she said, “Okay."  Glancing back at her papers, she looked at what was next on her list:  height, weight, temperature, blood pressure.  "Let's get her on the scale.”

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Shut It Down

SunriseBy Cathy Jameson

I was pulled into an interesting conversation about a week ago.  I wasn’t there for the first part of it, but I could tell that COVID-19 was the subject.  As I got closer to where the two people were talking, the young lady was arguing that we should continue the safety measures that had been set up during the quarantine.  The young man said he couldn’t wait to be done with all of it.  That’s when I was asked, “Mrs. Jameson, do you think we should still be doing temperature checks after Covid is done?” 

“Nope.  I don’t think we should,” I said without hesitating.

Knowing that I had a real opportunity to educate these two young people, I added, “You know we come in contact with lots of other viruses, right?  You have your entire lives.  Why was COVID singled out to be the one we all should be so afraid of this year?  What about the flu virus?” I could see that the young lady hadn’t thought about that yet.  She slowly began to nod her head as I continued, “The flu can be pretty severe for some people.  You hear about that every year, especially this time of year, but life with the flu was nothing like life with COVID.  We didn’t have to wear masks, do any social distancing, close down the country, or do anything like we’ve been forced to do.  So, yeah, I think temperature checks eventually need to stop.  So should the other measures end…”

I let me voice trail off.  

The young man clapped.  He was in agreement with everything I had just said.  The young lady didn’t say it, but I could tell that she could see my point.  Had we continued talking, I think she’d have eventually agreed that some of the safety measures we’re still doing could be phased out, like wearing masks and taking temperatures.  People should certainly continue wearing masks if they feel are protected by them.  They could take their temperature daily if they wanted to also, but not everyone has an average temperature.  Some are lower than the average while others can be typically higher.  Plus, right before corona came into our lives, we learned that that typical 98.6˚ temperature was not so average after all.  To be denied entry to a building based on that reading may be a bit excessive. 

During the conversation I agreed with these two young people that yes, COVID is something we need to take seriously.  But, like other viruses, it’s going to do what viruses do.  Viruses replicate, they lysate (break down the cell’s protein wall), and they spread to other host cells hoping they can continue to replicate.  Over time, viruses can also mutate, all the while seeking new potential hosts. 

Isn’t that exactly what we’re seeing happen right now? 

Besides seeing a virus in action these last nine months, we’re also seeing something else:  fear in motion.

Earlier this year, the public knew very little, if anything at all, about coronaviruses.  As more information was shared, so was fear.  As that ramped up, so did talk of a new vaccine.  That would save us from this novel virus!  Touting it safe and effective before it even hit the production line, some sources still want a rushed and limited safety tested vaccine to be our only hope.

There are 1000s of vaccinesSource: the internet

Like a virus, fear can be replicated as well.  It can jump from one source to another, and so quickly now thanks to technology and social media.  From shutting down entire countries to continuing to restrict people and businesses until a vaccine becomes available, fear has ruled the COVID-19 airways.  It’s too bad because learning moments have been lost, especially for those young people. 

“Would you get the new vaccine, Mrs. Jameson?” one of them asked me.

“Oh, I would never.  I don’t think it would be the right thing for me or my kids to get,” I shared.

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