Kim Stagliano

UNC Shooting Suspect Trystan Terrell May Have Autism

WeepNote: "Thoughts and prayers" go out to the families of the dead. That's what we're supposed to say right?   Join us at AutismAges.org to start talking about these impossible issues related to autism and adulthood.  
By Kim Rossi

My Lord, the irony of this shooting to come on April, 30, the last day of Autism Acceptance month.

We have, in the past, tried to soften the possibility that these murderers (don't look to me for a sugar-coating) may be be autistic.  I went on CBS radio to tell listeners that Adam Lanza, was an aberration, not the norm.  I wrote a HuffPo post about Cho, the man who shot and killed students at Virginia Tech. You can call me angry. Just don't call him autistic. Tuesday's murders at UNC have no such shield from me. Trystan Terrell's father wrote a letter that soke of  his son's autism.  If the blog and the letter are accurate, Terrell has a medical autism diagnosis. Terrell's sister Chloe mentioned her father's description in a letter he sent her.  Take a look  below. 

From Heavy.com: Terrell’s father, Craig, wrote in a blog post in May 2016 that his son was diagnosed as being autistic at three years old. Craig Terrell said that when a nurse in a neurological doctor’s office asked him, “Has anyone ever mentioned the word autism to you?… Our lives got more complicated.” He went on to discuss the difficulty of researching autism online as the family was living in a rural part of Texas with only dial-up AOL internet access. Craig Terrell added that the nurse told him that there would be no follow-up appointment but that family just needed research autism.

no follow-up appointment but that family just needed research autism.
no follow-up appointment but that family just needed research autism.
no follow-up appointment but that family just needed research autism.
no follow-up appointment but that family just needed research autism.
no follow-up appointment but that family just needed research autism.
no follow-up appointment but that family just needed research autism.
no follow-up appointment but that family just needed research autism.
no follow-up appointment but that family just needed research autism.

This is exactly what I faced when Mia and Gianna were diagnosed at one of America's TOP pediatric neurology programs run by Dr. Max Wiznitzer in Cleveland Ohio.   I was told to make sure I got an IEP at school and NOTHING MORE. I know young parents who go to Yale's famous autism clinic and hear exactly the same thing 20 years after I got the news. Autism.

Measles got you scared? It's a game of peekaboo compared to the monster in the closet of a generation of young, healthy autistic males with autism who need so much more than we have been able to offer. An adulthood for which they are not prepared despite parental love, care, and harder work than most can imagine. 

Most of us do our level best to support our kids.  And as a community, we rally around each other - loathe to cast a shadow on autism as being a violent or dangerous diagnosis. Except when.... it is. What a painful sentence to type. More painful for our families who live it every day. We do not know what the Terrell family faced with their son, brother. Perhaps that will come to light as the case unfolds. No matter the outcome, if guilty, Trystan is not a monster, despite the monstrous act. Autism is no excuse, but it sure is a complex reason to act out.

My friends with sons at every spot on the spectrum are insane with trying to teach them self-protective skills like how to survive a police encounter, a date, something he might think is a date. There are so many pitfalls.  So many social rejections.  So much testosterone with no outlet. No hugs. No kisses. NO BANGING - there, I said it as bluntly as I can. Young men need SEX. Crave sex. Where does the testosterone go for those who have no or few opportunities?  These are the questions that are out there. Why did Trystan turn to violence? What more could his family have possibly done for him? Maybe nothing. How about his high school. The college. His peers.  Anyone. We can not do it alone.

The world has been told that autism is such a gift, a remarkable talent that there ARE NO SUPPORTS FOR FAMILIES. If your son or daughter can "pass" - you get no funding -  and once school ends? You fall off a cliff. 

Here in Connecticut, if you have autism and an IQ of 69, you get traditional, old fashioned funding for mental retardation. If you have autism and your IQ is 70 or over you may get approved for the autism waiver. There are 109 waiver spots in Connecticut.  109 in the entire state. All taken. With a wait list of 10 years as of now.

Every campaign to "Learn the signs" is a failure. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. "Learn how to PREVENT AND TREAT" is the only thing that matters. 

I'm sorry for the Terrell family. For a Dad who was told to go forth and seek your own info. For a sister whose brother is forever connected to the horror of American male school shooters. For the families of the dead and injured.

For all of us.

 


April Has 30 Days

 

Today is one of my daughter Gianna's favorite days. She has 24 such days a year. The last day of the month, and the first day of the month.  December 31 and January 1 are the biggest, of course. G is my calendar girl. She uses the dates and numbers to add structure and sense to her world. I admire her for it even if I have to listen to her tell me the date and how many dates are left in the month eleventy times a day! She made up a song for herself  to the tune of the REM Song End of The World as We Know It.  As you can guess, she sings, "It's the end of the month as we know it, and I feel fine." It's endearing really.

We made it through yet another blue autism month. I don't know if I've finally just tuned out most of the events or if the media is tiring of the blue haze of April for Autism. I didn't see as much as I have in the past.  This month has been focused on fear of measles. And even with all the attention to vaccine mandates, vaccination, anti-vaccination, I haven't heard "autism" too much at all. Interesting.

How about you? Did you attend any events or buy anything special?  How did you honor your loved one with autism?

I turned down making a donation to Autism Speaks at Marshall's.  And a Hilton hotel in which I stayed at JFK had an Autism Awareness banner and blue light bulbs on the tables. I've cut cable, so I don't watch over the air or cable channels as a rule. Perhaps I missed PSA announcements with handsome little boys standing in cul de sacs wearing Ralph Lauren togs.

And you know what?

I feel fine.

Kim




American Boy

Lost boyIt's Saturday night chez RossStag (that's my clever way of saying Rossi Stagliano - moi and my 3 daughters). We're listening to music. Getting PJs on. Tidying up the kitchen. (Again.) And enjoying a really nice weekend together. Meanwhile, in Poway, CA, another place of worship is reeling from a shooting, during Passover. There was a deadly shooting in Sri Lanka days ago on Easter Sunday. And a few moments ago, I read this article about Dylan Roof, the boy who shot and killed nine worshipers in a Charleston church. He has been sentenced to death. He did not defend himself. He denied any psychological defense. He "sidelined" his lawyers. He wants to die. How is it that a young man like Dylan is so lacking in spark that his own life means nothing? He is committing suicide by mass murder. We're twenty years out from the Columbine shootings. What has happened to The American Boy?

The guilt of Mr. Roof, who coolly confessed to the killings and then justified them without remorse in a jailhouse manifesto, was never in serious doubt during the first phase of the proceedings in December. And by the time jurors began their sentencing deliberations on Tuesday, it seemed inevitable that they would lean toward death, not only because of the heinous nature of the crimes but because Mr. Roof, 22, insisted on denying any psychological incapacity, called no witnesses, presented no evidence in his defense and mostly sidelined his court-appointed lawyers.  NYT.





Paul Offit's Racial, Sexual and Education Profiling Shocks Many

Intelligent womenThere's a war on women. It's not #MeToo. It's the pharma/politician/public health machine lead by people like Dr. Paul Offit. Our old friend. (You know the saying.)  Read the two paragraphs from a Philadelphia Inquirer article that ran yesterday. It's behind a paywall, I won't bother with the URL.  Now read the version I fictionalized below it.

It's open season on women. Where does Offit get off claiming we ALL have "just enough education...."  Hey, Paul. My fellow Tufts Jumbo - is your alma mater good enough for  me? I went to Tufts and then transferred to Boston College. My Dad was a DMD from Tufts. My Sister attended as did my Uncle and a few cousins. How about that slouch Ginger Taylor. Johns Hopkins! Hell, that's one step below Wassamatta U, right Paul?

The discrimination is blatant. WE ARE THE NEW N WORD. Make no mistake. And by demonizing us and making us look stupid, it's a GREEN LIGHT TO HARM US. Start training. Pay attention. We're approaching real danger.

If you’re against vaccinating your child, there’s a good chance you’re a college-educated white woman making decent money. The rebel forces in America’s latest culture war — the so-called anti-vaxxers — are often described as middle- and upper-class women who breast-feed their children, shop at Whole Foods, endlessly scour the web for vaccine-related conversation, and believe that their thinking supersedes that of doctors. Typically their families earn more than $75,000 a year.

“Frankly, these Caucasian, suburban, educated parents believe they can Google the word vaccine and get as much information as anybody,” said Paul Offit, a professor of pediatrics and director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.“These people are educated just well enough to make terrible decisions for their children.”

If you’re against teaching your child about police brutality, there’s a good chance you’re a high school drop out, black woman making very little money. The rebel forces in America’s latest culture war — the so-called police brutality preachers — are often described as lower and lower middle class women who eat Popeye's Fried Chicken, shop at WalMart, endlessly scour the TV for police brutality conversation, and believe that their thinking supersedes that of Police Chiefs across the country. Typically their families earn less than $35,000  a year.

“Frankly, these Black, urban, poorly educated parents believe they can Google the word brutality and get as much information as anybody. “These people are educated so badly as to make terrible decisions for their children.”


World Autism Day After Day After Month After Year

Leg Injury

I wrote this post in 2012, 7 years ago. I never did find out what happened to Bella's leg.  Every post we've ever written about April and World Autism Day stands the test of time, and is "ever-green." And black. And blue.

By Kim Rossi (written as Stagliano

Today is April 2nd. Some are celebrating Autism Awareness Day. I am not. To me, today is like Good Friday and Yom Kippur - somber days of reflection.  

Above is a photo of my daughter's leg. She has autism. A week ago, I put her into the bathtub, and while undressing her - was visually assaulted by these two angry red scratches - parallel, as you can see.

I touched them. She winced. She did not say to me, "Mama, I hurt myself doing such and such."  I held back tears and examined her wounds. Did she scrape against something sharp under the kitchen table? I've been feeling under surfaces ever since, trying to find the nails or screws that bit into her tender flesh. 

I have no idea how my child was so badly hurt. She was at  home all day. She can not speak to tell me. My daughter has autism.

Take a look at her leg. The scratches. The black.

The BLUE.


House of Cards 200 pixelsKim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism. Her new novel,  House of Cards; A All I Can Handle 50 pixel Kat Cavicchio romantic suspense is on SALE for $.99 as an ebook and is available from Amazon in all e-formats now. Her memoir, All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa is available in hardcover, paperback and e-book.

 


Thirty Days Thirty Pieces of Silver

Passover doorApril is a month of important religious holidays for Jews and Christians.  Passover marks the solemn night when parents marked their doors with red blood to save their sons from God's plague upon Egyptian first born sons.  Easter mark's the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ for Christians. Judas was paid 30 piece of silver to betray his friend.  Many of us feel terribly betrayed by politicians, medical personnel, schools, programs. Our children have so many serious needs and few are met.

April has 30 days. March came in like a lion and snapped and clawed at medical choice. It did not leave like a lamb.

April first is day of silly practical jokes. I have a friend who put her son's cereal in the freezer overnight so that the spoon was locked into the milk - much to his sleepy eyed surprise. I feel a bit like like the spoon frozen in the milk. Not exactly "Cheerio..." Let's get on with the month with a vow to continue to look out for one another. If you want to honor your loved one on the spectrum tomorrow on World Autism Day - by all means. We encourage you to do so.  Many of us will not acknowledge the day.

I try to stay upbeat in  my writing, my thinking. And so, in keeping with the holiday theme, my mind travels far across the Holi+Food+Coloursworld to India. I have many Hindu friends here in my town and they just celebrated a beautiful festival called "Holi." It is a festival of love, hope and features bright colors painted everywhere, including the face! 

I will choose to enjoy all of the colors of the rainbow this month, not just blue. To celebrate the love we have for our children, some of whom are adults, like my three and whose needs are growing faster than the crocus can pop its green stem from the ground on a warm day. 

XOX

Kim



A Valentine to my Daughter with Autism

Valentine Mug
Made with Gianna in 1999


Dear, Gianna. Here it is, 20 years later. I love you as much as I did when you were a 2 year old little girl. I love you just as you are. I do not love your autism. I never have. I never will. I love that you smile and laugh and bring everyone around you joy. I do not love that you are in a day program instead of working in a career you love after college. I love that you look out for your sisters who also have autism. I love that you are kind. I love that you remember what's on the calendar every single day when I can't remember what day it is. I do not love that you will never have a true Valentine of your own with whom to share love, sex and a life. I love that you bowled 120 this week with your friends. I love that you recited Good Night Moon with your sister as the two of  you lay in your room before going to sleep. I love that she helped you remember the words and you giggled. I love that you are OK with visiting your dad four nights a month instead of having an intact family. I'll love you forever. I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living, my Gianna you'll be.

Love, Mom

Gianna Valentines
2018




A Reminder that Life with Autism Is Rarely Like the Sparkly TV Portrayal

WeepHi, friends. I saw this news report on Facebook yesterday.   Police: Mother Strangled, Abused 6-Year-Old Son With Autism After He Defecated In Pants Child abuse is nothing new.  Parents of typical children beat them, harm them even kill them out of anger for childhood "sins" like wetting or soiling their pants.  The comments on Facebook were appropriately and perhaps especially harsh toward this Mom, whose comments seemed anything but remorseful, according to the report. Many call for harming the Mom. "Just give me 5 minutes with her!" I get it. Child abuse in any form is anathema to the majority of us.

The boy in this story is just six years old. How will Mom cope when he is 16? 26? The stresses are too much for some parents to bear.    Many just don't have the support systems, pressure relief valves, money, respite, training, or simple parental patience, which for autism is about 1000X what's needed for a typical child. That said, wealthy parents with the world at their fingertips have murdered their autistic sons and daughters as the exhaustion, despair and frustration of parenting a child on the spectrum strikes every socioeconomic group.

I have 64 cumulative years of autism parenting under my belt. I still struggle with temper and patience when the chaos takes over. One of my children was not BM trained until almost 12 years of age.  Another used to play in toilet water to satisfy a perseveration, even when the toilet had not been flushed. I coined the term, "crapisode." That awful mess made my head explode every time. My first reaction was never sympathy. My second reaction was never to harm.  Sometimes I just shut the bathroom door with her in it and walked away to catch my breath. That's me. Or was me 12 years ago. Today I have many more support systems than I did a decade ago, despite choosing to divorce.  Like most of you readers, even with support, as the sole caretaker, I get tired.

I hope this Mom gets help. For herself first. So that she can begin to parent her son in an appropriate way.

Love,

Kim

 


It's the Last Day! 2018 is Down the Drain!

Welcome-New-Year-2019-SMS-Messages-752x440By Kim Rossi

Hello friends, and Happy New Year. I haven't written too much about my daughters since my Memoir All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa debuted 8 years ago. They have grown into young women, adults over the age of 18. Can you imagine that? 

My middle daughter Gianna is the most talkative of the three. She helps sort and make sense of her world via the calendar. Each Friday is "the last day!" -- of the week.  Each 30th or 31st is "the last day!" -- of the month. And today, December 31st is the greatest of all last days to her.

In 2005, when we moved as an intact family from Ohio to Massachusetts to live with my parents after a long stint of unemployment, my Dad and Gianna formed a special bond. It was difficult to move into my childhood bedroom with a husband. Strange.  I felt as if I was in an MTV "real weird world" special.  The upside was that the kids got to really know their grandparents and my folks, who always were able to willing to meet the girls were they are - not where they wished they were - loved having us there.

One of my Dad's silly lessons with Gianna has stuck. They would look at the calendar together and my Dad would say, "Where did Tuesday go, Gianna?" She would laugh. And he'd turn his thumb to the ground and say, "Down the drain!" And then they would laugh together. He did this for a reason. Gianna was afraid of the bathtub drain. And the shower drain. So by making her beloved calendar go "down the drain," my Dad helped ease that fear for her. I'm not sure he even knew he was providing a form of therapy for her. He did so by instinct. That's love.

Continue reading "It's the Last Day! 2018 is Down the Drain!" »


Misfit Dolly - Mystery Solved

Retro holiday kitchen

Note: No one has ever figured out the ailment of the dolly on the island of misfit toys, until now. She was a toy from the future, a doll with measles, cast out of society.

By Kim Rossi

Let's take a trip back to Christmas, 1962. A little girl named Michele had a Christmas wish for Santa. Michele wanted to play Mommy. Mommies used to take care of sick children. It was part of their job description. Sniffles and sneezes, spotty rashes and wheezes. That was childhood, after all. Get sick, build an immune system, grow up.  Michele got a wonderful new doll from Santa that year. Her name was Hedda.

Bella bday 002

Hedda slept through the night like a dream.

Continue reading "Misfit Dolly - Mystery Solved" »


HuffPo Revisited: What if Autism Were Contagious?

Insanity is contagiousInteresting. Yesterday, commenter Shelly Tzorfas asked "what if autism were contagious?," and I remembered a post I wrote in 2008 for Huffington Post. This was back when HuffPo had contributing writers who controlled their own work. I was able to log into the blog backstage with a password and publish my work. There was no pay, but the platform was really important for me to build my "brand" and prepare to launch my memoir. And I was passionate (still am) about telling my family's story in order to help others. Even when it earned me ridicule and online scorn instead of a paycheck.

After one of their sales to another media company, HuffPo stopped allowing writers to publish their own work. I could still go into the site, write and post my work, but I had to wait for a staff member to approve and publish the post.  After a while, they stopped publishing my posts at all.  I wasn't too happy about that. I had a huge following and my work generated comments and controversy - the lifeblood of a blog.

Today, HuffPo has removed their contributor platform entirely.  When I went to find my old post, I found this disclaimer, "This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email." 

And so, without further ado, here is my old, possibly abusive post. Wink!

What if Autism Were Contagious?

Tell me why our doctors and national institutions and even charities have abandoned children with autism, instead of setting out to conquer this neurological crippler.

Two controversies are swirling in the autism world. The first is over the safety of vaccines as they may relate to the cause/onset of this life altering disorder. The recent airing of ABC's Eli Stone episode about a woman who sued a pharmaceutical company (and won) on behalf of her autistic son brought the vaccine Hatfields and McCoy's roaring into the headlines, even as the American Academy of Pediatricians demanded the program's censorship. (You can read about that HERE in David Kirby's Huffington Post piece.) The second is the whether or not there is any epidemic at all, brought up by Dr. Nancy Minshew, who runs the Center for Excellence in Autism Research at Pitt.

The media reports almost daily that drug companies have misreported clinical trial results, marketed ineffective drugs, and lied to doctors and consumers alike about their products' efficacy and safety. And yet we're expected to believe that the dozens of vaccines administered to infants and toddlers are 100% safe, 100% of the time, for 100% of children, and have absolutely no connection to autism. Man, that's harder to swallow than one of those horse sized prenatal vitamins the OB's dole out along with that mercury laden flu shot.

Continue reading "HuffPo Revisited: What if Autism Were Contagious?" »


Rossi on Rossio: He's Right Anti-Vaxxer Is The New N Word

RossioBy Kim Rossi (formerly Stagliano)

Yo Ho Ho and a vial of poison, dead children TELL NO TALES! But their parents do. Shrek and Pirates of the Caribbean screenwriter Terry Rossio Tweeted the LOGICAL thought that I have had on many occasions and is now having to walk the media plank.  By coincidence, I watched his Pirates movie on Saturday night.

He compared calling a person an anti-vaxxer to calling a person the N word.  (Insert horror scream here.)

He's right. There's no way around it. Anti-vaxxer is an EPITHET - a word used to denigrate.  I would have Tweeted "N word" and not spelled the word out. But I'm a middle aged white woman in Connecticut.  This in no way compares the history of treatment of African Americans to the treatment of the vaccine safety community. Not for a second. I and I believe Mr. Rossio, are talking about the USAGE of the word - the intent by which it is written on the page.  The intent in the media and by politicians and public health officials is to brand, literally and figuratively, anyone who speaks about vaccination safety concerns a heretic.

The reports will focus on the word he used, not the fact that a successful Hollywood screenwriter sees through the draconian crackdown on ANYONE who questions vaccine safety. I'll assume he lives in California where vaccine rights are being stomped upon by the like of Senator King Pan.  The reporter glibly writes off vax safety concerns as the result of "talking too long to Jenny McCarthy." Ah a new twist on an old talking point for the Pharmedia.

Decide for yourself what you think about this.  But remember, young men go to WAR and kill when they perceive their neighbors, brothers and sisters as ENEMIES. It's the seed warlords plant to foment rage and hatred. And I see it happening right here in America for those of us who choose not to follow the CDC schedule for our children and who speak out loudly. Calls for punishment. A restaurant that will not serve the undervaccinated. A gym that wants to see... "pediatric papers please."  This is a very real trend to violence. 

You may not know the name Terry Rossio, but you definitely know his work. He’s one of Hollywood’s most prolific screenwriters, his name often buried in large writer clumps on many-tentacled blockbusters like Shrek, the Pirates of the Caribbean films, Disney’s original Aladdin, Déjà Vu, Antz, Small Soldiers, The Legend of Zorro, Little Monsters, and so on in that fashion. He’s also, apparently, what they call “anti-vax,” spreading the gospel that vaccinating kids is bad because of some stuff he read on Google or because he talked too long to Jenny McCarthy.

Continue reading "Rossi on Rossio: He's Right Anti-Vaxxer Is The New N Word" »


Happy Thanksgiving To Our Age of Autism Family

Charlie brown thanksgivingHappy Thanksgiving from all of us at Age of Autism.

My girls have been watching the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special for several weeks now. It's not the best of the Charlie Brown bunch, that's for sure. But I take away a message that resonates for me as a divorced Mom to three adult women with autism (yes, Miss B turned 18 in September.)

Sometimes a meal of buttered toast, pretzel sticks, popcorn, jelly beans, and an ice cream sundae is far more delicious than an organic turkey with all the trimmings.  You all know I would erase the girls' autism in a heartbeat if I could, peeling back the layers of anxiety, apraxia, perseveration, to reveal their bright, loving selves. At the same time, I have to say thank you to the path that helped me find Dan Olmsted. Mark Blaxill. JB Handley and so  many others. And all of our contributing editors, my readers and the warrior parents who became my tribe.

I have very little of the "things" one would expect of a woman my age, with my education and location, etc. And yet, I've never felt more grateful and satisfied with my life than I do right now. Funny, isn't it?

I feel a bit like Woodstock, flying upside down and bumping my beak here and there as I land. And then laughing. If I had a pumpkin patch in my backyard, I hope you know, it would be VERY sincere.

Enjoy your day.  With love and gratitude.

Kim

 


It's A Wonderful Site! Age of Autism's Holiday Giving Campaign

Retro pink typewriter thank youHi, friends. Kim here. Our November matching gift program is well underway - and a huge thank you to everyone who has donated.

We rarely go full PBS/Eyes of an angel look a hungry puppy on you when it's time to ask for support. This year feels different - I'm worried. Worried about the tone and tenor of so many media outlets where "anti-vaxxers" is becoming code word for "people it's OK to bully and possibly harm."   Social media is cracking down on posts about medical freedom and safety.

Blogs were out paced by the rapid response of "like" and "retweet" on social media. But I think we are more important than ever. 

The fact that we discuss vaccine safety hurts our ability to raise funds, despite being a non-profit that does damn good work - and that's no lie.  Every organization that has attempted it has had its hands slapped, mouth taped, wrists tied.  If we disappear, Dan's legacy of a gathering place dedicated to exposing life inside the autism epidemic was for not.  We can not disappear.  I can't fathom that. 

This community raised $25,000 in 4 days in a GoFundMe following the loss of a home in the California fires for a family we all know and appreciate.  I hope you'll show your appreciation for AofA.  And you can always send comments, suggestions and ideas to me at KimRossi1111@gmail.com!

Stay tuned for an announcement in 2019 as well. AofA is going to add another "product," that I think you will love.

This month, all tax-deductible donations go toward a generous anonymous patron's $5,000 matching gift. You can use our DONATE button online through Bank of America Merchant Services - safe and secure. Or send a check to Autism Age, PO Box 110546, Trumbull, CT 06611.  Thank you. Kim

 


In A World That's Not Too Far Away...

 

7257A927-74CB-4234-995F-5A28DAD75554
Yesterday, we posted a meme about older "kids" with autism and Halloween. My girls have not dressed up for several years. Mia is now 23, Gianna is 22 and Miss B just turned 18. I am a ripe 50 never-you-mind.   This year, G took it into her mind that she wanted a Team Umizoomi costume from the Nick Jr show by the same name.  On Tuesday night, I had staff here for in-home support hours, and one of the women is an art therapist by degree who runs the day program Gianna and Mia attend. Her name is Mary. In one hour, and with about $10, she zipped to the Dollar Store, bought a few flowers and a cap and with Team-umizoomi-milli-character-main-550x510an old shirt of Bellas and literally, the light pink long sleeve T-shirt off my back - (flashback to white Levi's commando moment from my book), she created this amazing costume.  Gianna was so happy and excited! She wore the costume without anxiety all day!

I've learned a few things during this 2 decade autism journey. We must meet our kids where they are - even when it might not be where we wished or had thought they would be. What does any parent want for her 22 year old? Happiness. Pride. Contentment. Gianna had all of those in spades today. Where? Right here at home, in a world not so far away. XOX

Kim

 


Best of: Hopey Halloween

Halloween 011Note: Here's a favorite post of mine in time for Halloween. Bella is now an 18 year old young woman and she makes progress every day. I am proud of her. XOX

By Kim Rossi who was Stagliano when she wrote this

Hello, AofA friends. I thought I'd share another hopeful video with you today. Bella continues to learn how to create words with her mouth. I use that phrasing because I know the words are clearly in her mind - it's her autism that prevents them from flowing freely.

You might recall from my book that Bella is my water girl (crapisode ring a bell?)  Her perseveration on water is always correlated with gut issues. When her stomach is in bad shape, she is desperate to feel water on her face.  I've learned that I'm usually at fault - having tried a new food or beverage with a suspect ingredient. Carageenan, the thickener in many non-dairy milks and almost all of the So Delicious brand that we loved, destroys Bella's gut and behavior after about 6 weeks of steady consumption.  It makes her aggressive, angry, she pinches, she growls, she will not sit in a car or bus safely.  I guess that means the refrigerator theory can be resurrected - Mom really IS to blame - ha ha.

Anyway, here's Miss Bella with a special cameo appearance by my beautiful Mia, who will be 19 in December. That Halloween costume in the photo was from when Bella was in Kindergarten - I made her Leo the Late Bloomer - a beautiful story about a little Tiger with lots of delays - and whose last sentence is, "I made it!" And so shall Bella, and all our kids.



House of Cards 200 pixelsKim Rossi is Managing Editor of Age of Autism. Her novel,  House of Cards; A All I Can Handle 50 pixel Kat Cavicchio romantic suspense is available from Amazon in all e-formats now. Her memoir, All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa is available in hardcover, paperback and e-book.

 

 


Autism Reality That Americans Rarely Read

Autism Reality EIN
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But you love him. But you love her. And it's not his fault. Her fault. It's not. It never was. It never will be. It's not your fault either. It never was. It never will be. Autism will kick your ass.

And you love him.

And you love her.

Her.

Her.

XOX  Hang in there. Kim


Through the Looking Glass: Kim in Autismland

Book windowBy Kim Rossi

Moving is awful. Dreadful. Exhausting. FABULOUS!

Fabulous? Yes. Truly. You know that I take care of and teach my three adult daughters with autism. Most of you readers take care of your kids with autism too, young and older, like mine, and much older.  As I have inched along the curve to planning for their adulthood, it occurred to me that I had to plan for mine too!  We needed a snug, smaller home just for us girls. And so I found one in late August, and 30 days and  a zillion minivan loads, and one moving truck later, we are in the house!

My memoir, All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa, was a glimpse into our life, a life that has changed greatly in 8 years. The paperback came out on this date, 10/1/11! The girls are now women. And I am firmly in AARP territory and I'm a single parent.  I'm also an Autism Mom and that means creative, right?  My house is a ranch and my bedroom is in the front. No shades on the windows! Am I the only one who sees the irony of using a giant sized book cover of my memoir for window privacy on night one?  My memoir exposed enough, thank you very much! In classic "one more chapter" style, I'll share this story with you. 

Last Tuesday my town got 7 inches of rain in 2 hours. The entire town flooded. Cars with water up to the windows. The high school had to shut down for the rest of the week. Businesses near my karate school had to have their windows smashed by the fire department so employees could escape. It was a mess.  And Bella had dental surgery that day. I was at the hospital from 10:30 to 4:00pm. At dinnertime, I was to pick up the keys to this new house. I ventured out into the giant storm. It was treacherous to drive the mere 1/4 mile from my old house! I arrived, said hello to the two realtors and heard a familiar sound.  SHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSH.   Anyone remember the flood in the "Little Green House" chapter? The bathroom ceiling was leaking copious water! And the basement? 4 inches of water from side to side. The finished basement I was planning to create a suite for the girls in just days later. Good golly miss unsinkable Molly Brown! The owner showed up and was aghast. New roof is underway and hopefully a sump pump.  I did not have to steal a fan to dry the house. Make note of that.

Yesterday, the movers carted everything to the new house.  I was so worried about the girls having a home to walk into from Girls in mirrortheir visit with Dad in New York that looked complete. Safe. Theirs. New but familiar. By the time 6:00 rolled around, the beds were made, kitchen complete, living room set, and lower level set up with a cool suite with their favorite things. I'd say I'm 85% done. Not bad single handedly! (Pun intended, tongue firmly in cheek.)

I owe my daughters thanks. They teach me every day that we have to acquire new skills and meet challenges that seem impossible every day. They do. I do too. They've taught me to believe six impossible things before breakfast - and then make them happen.

Miss G loves the wacky old convex mirror I bought a few years ago. She calls it "black mirror." It's a 1960s piece, with an eagle on it. It speaks to her. She  loves it. She relies on its presence.  Take a glimpse at at us through the looking glass. We're safe and happy and smiling in the very dry lower level of our sweet little house like four Cheshire cats.

Kim Rossi is Managing Editor of Age of Autism.


If A Book Catapults to the Amazon Top 100 And Media Refuses To Acknowledge Its Existence Is Autism Still and Epidemic?


JB number 84

By Kim Rossi

Stop the clock!!! It’s at rank 55 at 6:30am!!

 

We are delighted to report that JB Handley's book How to end the Autism Epidemic has crossed the Amazon 100 line. THIS. IS. HUGE. Any book in or below the 100s is selling out fast. Now, Chelsea Green, the fine publisher, and JB's personal publicity team, fine people, have worked like DOGS to send press releases, secure broadcast appearances from coast to coast.

NOT ONE MAJOR MEDIA OUTLET OR NEWSPAPER HAS PICKED UP A STORY ABOUT THIS BOOK.

NOT ONE.

ZERO. POINT. ZERO.



Continue reading "If A Book Catapults to the Amazon Top 100 And Media Refuses To Acknowledge Its Existence Is Autism Still and Epidemic?" »


September 11, 2001 When Autism Rates Were a Quaint 1 in 150

Safeminds autism prevalence

Today, we remember September 11, 2001. Like December 7, 1941, it is a day that will live in infamy. The world changed forever. My world had changed forever 22 months before, when my two daughters were diagnosed with autism at University Hospitals of Cleveland. The rate was an astounding 1 in 150. Quaint, yes? 

Could someone remind me who are the current crop of terrorists because I feel quite afraid of my girls' futures as women with life-disabling autism.  Our right to speak out against vaccination injury is eroding ever further.  We've been lumped in with conspiracy theorists of the most extreme sort. Fear drives policy and citizens give up their freedoms when they feel afraid and seek someone to protect them.  The fear is usually manufactured to make money for industry. Look at the cold war - some readers are old enough to remember hiding under desks in case of a nuclear attack. Talk about quaint. You'd end up a mere shadow on the linoleum floor if an actual bomb struck. But hiding felt like something.  Today kids hide in bullet proof closets and have active shooter drills because young males in America are doing what lonely, disgruntled 40 year old men who'd been fired were doing three decades ago. Teachers aren't allowed to open windows in the schools or prop open a door to let in a Fall breeze.  Our children have changed. It's why we at AofA began as a site about autism and have evolved into a site about the dramatic decrease in pediatric health.

On this day, I'd like to remember the dead. Their families and friends who awoke whole and went to bed shattered. And I'd like to bring back those all too brief moments where we were one nation, under God, indivisible. With liberty and justice for all. Including our vaccine injured children.

Kim



Closing Down for HEAT in New England: It's Always Something

via GIPHY

By Kim Rossi

I live in Connecticut. The rectangular New England state that borders New York to the West, Massachusetts to the North and Rhode Island to the East. We are a coastal state, with a lovely view to Lawn G-EYEland across the sound about 17 miles. Some people swim it in a charity event. I do not swim it for charity or any other reason.  I once took a ferry across to speak at an autism conference. No swimming involved.

So, New England. We are supposed to be hearty stock. No frills, LL Bean loving, frosty personality hearty stock. The temps have hit high 80s and low 90s this week. Diller We've had a summer to rival any Southern state in the USA. "Triple H!" as Dick Albert, long time Boston weatherman used to say - HAZY, HOT, HUMID. I can not recall a summer this miserable. My hair looks like Phyllis Diller got into cat fight with Roseanne Rosanadanna and they BOTH LOST.

Most of our schools in my town do not have central air conditioning. My house does not have central air. People drive around with their windows down and long for the days when they could save $700 on a car by not getting AC as an upgrade. Swear to God. New England.

Continue reading "Closing Down for HEAT in New England: It's Always Something" »


Twitter Fight on Bloody Monday

Retro eye rollHi, Kim here. I'm going to be writing these stream of thought posts more frequently because I'm tired of people outside our community thinking badly of us. Of me. Of our lives. Of my life. Of our decisions. Of my decisions. You're in this with me - there's no escape. Sorry!

Yesterday morning when I went to make the beds, I saw that one of my girls had gotten her period overnight. Periods happen. Sheets get messy. I am a female. I know these things. This is why God made OxyCleaning things. And new sheets.

I try to keep period charts. I do. I've used paper calendars. White boards. Apps. Here's the thing.  The periods do not cooperate in the least. Three young adults. Three wonky schedules.  When most females are getting their period, they can feel it. Right? Cramping. Bloating. Maybe you bit the head of a stranger at Stop & Shop for scanning 16 items. You just KNOW. And maybe my girls know when THEY are about to get their period. BUT THEY CAN NOT TELL ME.  So, it's a mystery. EVERY. SINGLE. MONTH.  And I buy cheap sheets.

I posted a photo of the mess and a Tweet that said "THIS IS AUTISM," so that readers would understand WHAT we go through and WHAT OUR KIDS go through.  My daughter awoke - (I did not say which daughter it was and I will not) - and went downstairs about her business without freshening up. She doesn't feel it. Or it doesn't bother her. Or something. It's NOT NORMAL. IT'S AUTISM. It's terrible for HER. I can deal with the clean up. 

Continue reading "Twitter Fight on Bloody Monday" »


Successful Dental Visit with Autism - It Stings

 

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Understand? I know you do. This is success. My daughter sat quietly. Opened her mouth. The dentist has all ten fingers. So does the hygienist, although I wanted to bite her head off as she kept asking my daughter questions it was CLEAR she could not answer. "Ah, Miss B has autism," I whispered, "She can't answer you."  Chatter chatter chatter. She meant well. Still.

It stings.

And so does my arm.

It stings.

B used my arm to steel herself for the light, the sound, the feelings. I couldn't block of course - my job was to help her stay safe and still.  Kermit the Frog is trying to help. We still have him around - the 30th anniversary edition from back in 1999.

It stings.

We scheduled an operating room next month for a filling. Operating room. 

It stings.

My blood was on her shorts. The chatty hygienist was silent.

It stings.

Kim ♥

 


Back to School With Autism

Bella HandBy Kim Rossi

Back to school for some of us is not pretty photos of smiling growing kids.....  It's painful to peek at Facebook this week. I'm happy for everyone despite the "yadda yadda oh my the school supplies to add up and is this teacher going to be the very best ever and what's the coolest backpack for a 5 year old and do I really have to get up at 6:00am waaaaaaaah."

In 2010 school year Isabella was brutally abused on the school bus by young Mother Bus Monitor who thought it would be "something" to twist B's hand and thumb until she screamed and bruised. We - SHE - went through months of HELL as we tried to determine the cause of her crying jags each afternoon. Once found - we wrote NO MONITOR into her IEP ever since. YESTERDAY, like first day of Summer school in July,  A MONITOR was on the bus. AGAIN. And so - Bella was not able to board the bus. I kept her home since it's a half day for heat anyway. Imagine the disruption to her thought. School? No school? What's happening Mom? DO YOUR JOB people. JUST DO YOUR JOB. Apologies are MOOT. Useless.

Imagine sending a child who can not speak to school every day. I know so many of you can - and do.

Autism is merciless. 

Kim Rossi is Managing Editor for Age of Autism and author of the memoir All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa. If you'd like to hire her for your conference, fund raiser, event to entertain,  speak, rant, maybe rave, about life raising three girls with autism, divorce and other charming events - contact Jamie Brickhouse at The Red Brick Agency in New York.  No, really. LOL!


Small Bus Brigade Back to School 2018

School-bus-stop-colorBy Kim Rossi

Back to school is here. For me, it's my last year with a school aged child. Next year Bella will be in a transition program for 18 - 21 year olds.  She has had 15 years of speech, OT, PT, ABA and other therapies.  She's tired of the non-stop structure and having to "earn" even the smallest reward like a trained seal at the old SeaWorld (before David Kirby let them have it.)    Of all the therapies she has received, PT has done the most and yielded the most success in terms of her ability to move.  Speech? Nothing. OT? A bit of help. She doesn't hold a pen. She doesn't write or draw like her sisters.  She's her own person. Beautiful. Quiet. Engaged in her own way with the world. Aware of everything going on around her. Everything. She's smart and understands all that she hears.

ABA and discrete trial have given her a few skills. But they have also made her and her sisters wholly prompt dependent. This was never so obvious as when her older sisters started a day program for disabled adults. The adult world is NOT prompt based. Not yet anyway.  My behaviorist from DDS told our school district many years ago that the ABA model was not workable in the real world. I'm not saying that ABA is wrong or detrimental. Just that it has its place and then needs to be tapered off, and more independent skills imparted in its place.  But how? And by whom? I'm dog tired, how about you?

Adult programs are learning that they need to adapt many parts of their work for the new autism population. The pay scale is typically very low - with an hourly rate less than what school based 1:1 paraprofessionals make in our area of Connecticut.   That's a problem. And it will grow.  As the need for programs explodes.

Kim Rossi is Managing Editor for Age of Autism.





Doctor Describes Severe Reaction to Shingrix Vaccine with Refreshing Transparency

ShinglesBy Kim Rossi

Many years ago, I worked for a wonderful woman who became a mentor and second mother to me. She had a saying, "Don't punish progress."  I think of her wise words every day. When one of my girls attempts to put a dish in the dishwasher - I praise her and show her how to rinse off the globs of food rather than saying, "That was good BUT...."  Buts are rotten.  They negate praise.

I often think we're missing this point in the vaccine injury community. We've sides and factions and I've seen some pretty cruel shaming and blaming over the years for being too anti-vax or not not anti-vax enough.  Many of us have kids with autism - young and adult. We're just trying to get through the day unscathed or not too scathed, and the jabs and slings and arrows really hurt. You do your thing and let me do mine. Below is a question from a medical advice column that ran in The Detroit News. Dr. Roach answers honestly about Shingrix (shingles vax) side effects. Shingles are terribly painful and disruptive and people are getting shingles younger and younger - even as children no longer get chicken pox in the same numbers. (Mother Nature exacts her pound of flesh, doesn't she?) Dr. Roach says up to 10% of recipients may experience severe side effects. That's progress. He doesn't say NEVER EVER GET THIS VACCINE!  (I'm over 50 and I ain't nevah evah getting this vaccine, FYI.)  I can understand someone  outside our community wanting Shingrix to prevent shingles. Dr. Roach also suggested Tylenol. Ugh. Still, he acknowledges side effects in a major US newspaper. That's progress.

###


Doc: Better to prepare for repeat of Shingrix reaction

Dear Dr. Roach: I received the first dose of Shingrix (which help prevent getting shingles) this week and had pretty severe side effects, though in the range of what can be expected: high fever (101.5), intense shivering, a severe headache and 12 hours of extreme fatigue. The entire reaction began 11 hours after the shot and ended 18 hours after that. I am 61 and in excellent health, taking only 25 mcg of levothyroxine daily.

I have a few questions that I hope you can answer. I’ve tried looking at the clinical trial results for Shingrix, but I am not qualified to understand the information as presented.

1. Is it likely that I’ll have a similar (or worse?) reaction to the second shot? The package insert says one can react to the first, second, neither or both.

2. Are both injections identical?

3. When I had chickenpox as a child, I was way sicker than the average kid. Related?

4. If I get shingles, do I have a higher risk for a severe case?

J.G.

Dear J.G.: Compared with the previous one-time vaccine Zostavax, the new two-dose Shingrix vaccine is much more effective. However, it does have a higher risk of side effects. You have had the most common side effect, though only 10 percent of people will have symptoms as bad as yours. These symptoms are caused by your body mounting an inflammatory response to the glycoprotein in the vaccine (the new vaccine does not contain a live virus). You clearly have a robust system to fight off infection.

To answer your questions in order: You are at higher risk for a similar reaction for the second shot. I would plan your day accordingly, and premedicate with Tylenol (even though it may make the vaccine slightly less effective). The second vaccine is identical to the first. I have read recent reports that there are widespread shortages of the vaccine.

Chickenpox and shingles can affect you both by the virus attacking you and by an exuberant inflammatory and immune reaction. I would guess that you are at lower risk for viral complications (such as infection of the eye, brain or lungs) but at higher risk for symptoms due to your own system, such as high fever. In many cases, the body’s response to infection can be as damaging as the infection itself.


We're a Nation of Bullies

Idiot
By Kim Rossi

I've had a lot on my plate during the last year and change. More than my usual as Mom to three girls with autism, Managing Editor of Age of Autism, consultant, writer, editor, speaker for anyone brave enough to hire me, karate and kobudo teacher and student.

I got divorced in June of 2017 after 25 years of marriage.  Now I can include single parent to the above list of jobs. My divorce was as rotten as any. None are pleasant. I kept it as private as I could for numerous reasons, the first being, IT WAS NO ONE'S BUSINESS BUT MY EX HUSBAND'S AND MY OWN.  I got out poor as a church mouse, light as a feather,  righter than rain and happier than a clam in cool, wet sand. 

This week news broke about our friend Dr. Andrew Wakefield - and his possible, probably, pending - we do  not know - divorce from the strong, smart, talented, smiling, partner we know as Carmel. IT IS NO ONE'S BUSINESS BUT ANDY AND CARMEL'S. 

Here is a new flash for you - during my Google Divorce U education, I learned that it takes more than 7 years to get a divorce from the moment you think, "This is something I should Kim eye Rollconsider," to the day a judge gives you back your maiden name.   And women initiate 70% of divorces. And according to Psychology TodayOne might think that the majority of divorces in heterosexual marriages are initiated by men, due to the financial and social difficulties that many women face post divorce (Brinig & Allen, 2000). However, research since the 1940’s, has revealed that women are more responsible for initiating divorce than men and that divorced women are happier after ending their marriages (Brining & Allen, 2000; Rosenfeld, 2016).  

I concur.

Many people think autism broke up my marriage. Not so. In fact, the opposite. So while people wonder in newspaper articles and on websites better known for social gossip speculate about the Wakefields, please keep in mind that women like Carmel, like me - are not to be pitied. Life is messy. The road changes before us.  And that's OK. My book All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa (which is honest and true as I wrote it I promise you) had just been published when I started to contemplate a divorce. During my VAXXED bus interview, I was asked "How do you keep your marriage alive, Kim?" And I tap danced faster than Savion Glover on Sesame Street, as I was well on my way to filing! 




The bright side for me being a single Mom is that I have had precious little time to watch the news. Thank God for that. Here's my opinion. We have become a nation of bullies. I mean that. Both sides.  Take a look at the Google "IDIOT" search message in the photo above.  Can you imagine a world where someone(s) can change a search engine to say whatever they want? Love Trump. Hate Trump. I don't care a fig. But do consider what would happen if you searched, "religion" and  "unicorns" came up? Or if you searched "car" and ONLY GM brands appeared deep into the search."  Or you typed Anti-vaxxer and Andy Wakefield's photo popped up. Or mine. Or yours!

Continue reading "We're a Nation of Bullies" »


Independence Age of Autism Style

Proud-momI am so proud of my daughter Gianna. This was the note she wrote at the end of her second day at an adult day program with The Kennedy Center for Special Needs here in Connecticut. No apologies. No "what ifs." No crying in my beer. No woe woe oh no. I feel genuine pride and joy.  Gianna had a great day and felt happy. I call that a win.  Keep the faith, friends. Stayed tuned for more from the adult world of autism. Love, Kim

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Think Pink!

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Hello, friends. As we march into the dog days of summer, the news is full of angst and many of us face a summer of kids who have aged out or an ESY mishegoss. Depressing yes? Fear not - sometimes I just want to share something fun and lovely and kind. Yesterday my oldest daughter provided just the right moment.   Since she began her adult day program 2 years ago, Mia has really grown and made forward progress. This without an IEP loaded with goals that were more often then not, superfluous to her life. Mia's speech has grown by leaps and bounds. Without 90 minutes of pull out speech by a school therapist. Imagine that! I hope this news give you some peace of mind as your kids approach adulthood. There is progress. Mia is using new words. And using speech to express herself for the first time beyond, "Ouch, that hurt," when her little sister has a moment of pinching.

Mia's favorite color is pink! Just like Mom. Isn't that fun? She wears a pink shirt every day. EVERY DAY. I thought it was habit. Autism. Nope. Pink is her favorite color. And don't tell her sisters, but for yesterday? Mia was my favorite child.

Share some happy news in the comments.

 

Kim

 


Selective Outrage

Kim Tweets PelosiI Tweeted Nancy Pelosi my thoughts on the current selective outrage regarding the very real plight of children in detention right now. What's the scale for the outrage meter settings? When are kids lives more valuable or important? All children matter. Kids belong with their loving parents who are making hard choices to give them the best possible life. Parents are allowed to make choices! Sometimes they even break the law to protect their kids.  Unless you are a parent altering the vaccine schedule - because in California, thanks to Senator Richard Pan's SB277, kids who are not fully vaccinated in certain grades  (yet healthy) can not attend school. Californians allowed this law that discriminates against healthy children who have a right to school. No outrage, only derision. I feel jaded. I don’t want to see kids in detention centers. My heart hurts for the families. Hearts are hard when it comes to us and our kids. If there are immigrant kids in CA detention centers, their parent should scream “Not fully vaxxed!” (Translators needed!) Then maybe the kids will be released to Mom and Dad. 

Under SB 277, children will only be able to attend school or daycare, public or private, if they either receive the immunizations required by law or obtain a medical exemption from the requirement from a licensed physician—meaning only MDs and DOs.[11] Children may also be conditionally accepted into a school or daycare program if they are in the process of completing a series of vaccinations. In other words, if parents wish to leave their children unvaccinated, absent an acknowledged medical reason to do so, they cannot send them to school or daycare. They will, however, have a variety of other options available. These options include homeschooling their children on their own or in collaboration with a few other families, or participating in certain independent study programs offered by public schools.  UCLA Law Rewview

Kim


Autism 21 and Done

Gianna giant egg 2017
Time flies. Gianna, in her fashion, is leaving the nest (not literally, she lives with her sisters and me!) and starting the adult phase of her life. School ends today. She turns 22 next month. Can you imagine that?  She will be attending a program for adults with special needs. She'll be safe and well cared for and have a chance to grow and learn and gain skills toward more independence. And while it sure isn't what I had ever planned for her - I'm grateful that we have good people helping us. Mia's age out was much tougher on me.  But I'm in a better frame of mind than I was two years ago, so perhaps that's a big part of my peace. I hope you are find peace too.  In some fashion. We can do this, friends. Readers. Stay strong.

Love, Kim

  Gianna


Vaccines Did Cause Rachel's Autism A URL Story

Hotez Book

By Kim Rossi

Thanks Facebook friends including our own Ginger Taylor for this find. Check out the URL for Dr. Peter Hotez's forthcoming book defending the lifeblood of his career, vaccines.  Someone at Amazon created that URL - and forgot the "not."  I'm sure Johns Hopkins Press will go to bat for the good Doctor and fix this ASAP.  For the moment, there it is online and saved here at good old AofA!   We might think it's funny but it's... well, you know the childhood joke.

Kidding aside, Dr. Hotez is a Yale educated man so we can't impugn his intelligence. Oh wait, Dan Olmsted was also Yale educated and his intelligence was mocked and derided constantly once he took on the topic of vaccines and autism. Such a quandary.  Funny, Dr. Hotez looks a bit like our Dan.  Dr. Hotez' Wiki states the following:

Hotez leads an international team of scientists working to develop vaccines to combat hookworm infection, schistosomiasis, and other infectious and neglected diseases, including Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, and SARS.[3]

Together with Philip K. Russell, Hotez founded the Human Hookworm Vaccine Initiative (HHVI) in 1999.[4] Hotez writes extensively about vaccine diplomacy, i.e., the opportunity of using vaccines as instruments of foreign policy and to promote global peace, especially among poor countries seeking nuclear weapons technology.[5][6]

We each have a right to earn a living.  I had a very nice career before my unpaid fuller than full time job became managing the stacks of IEPs and Medicaid waivers and DDS paperwork and social security proof documents and therapists and caretakers. He also has a daughter with autism. And that's one area where we can relate.  Unlike the ND, Troll and ProVax Injury pharma-based sites, I try to keep our conversations about fellow autism parents above board and at least civil - even if I disagree with most or even all of their work.  I treated Alison Singer with kid gloves in my book, although she'd probably cross the street if she saw me coming. So be it.

Continue reading "Vaccines Did Cause Rachel's Autism A URL Story" »


Denying Service to Customers

Rainbow20cakeBy Kim Rossi Rainbow vaccine

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled that a baker Colorado in can refuse to bake wedding cakes for gay marriage, in effect,  deny them service.  The ruling is narrow and specific to this case. The result is the same. One baker is able to say, "No, I will not create a wedding cake for a gay marriage."  

When a pediatric practice kicks out a patient because Mom or Dad choose to alter the vaccination schedule, maybe even forego vaccination for a period of time, or eschew it altogether, I see no difference. Yet I see no outcry in the news.

This is 2018, not 1958. We don't have separate water fountains and Jim Crow laws. We have SB277 instead.

A ruling in Colorado just denied medical marijuana for the treatment of autism.  In my opinion, this is a result of the long standing edict that autism has never been and never will be "treatable." We are denied medical care, therapies at every turn.   While every group seems to get a letter, a designation, protection and support were are relegated firmly to the bottom of the pecking order. A group with no rights or protections. We're reviled in the media. And our kids are denied service from pediatricians who provide a range of services to children, because we refuse one portion of their practice.  Kids need a doctor. They get colds. Broken bones. Parents have myriad questions and need support. Vaccines have become the center of the solar system in pediatrics. To deny their use is to be a flat-earther. And out you go.

Here is the AAP definition of a pediatrician:

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has developed the following definition of pediatrics and a pediatrician:

Pediatrics is the specialty of medical science concerned with the physical, mental, and social health of children from birth to young adulthood. Pediatric PA charging patientsPediatric care encompasses a broad spectrum of health services ranging from preventive health care to the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic diseases.

Pediatrics is a discipline that deals with biological, social, and environmental influences on the developing child and with the impact of disease and dysfunction on development. Children differ from adults anatomically, physiologically, immunologically, psychologically, developmentally, and metabolically.

A pediatrician participates at the community level in preventing or solving problems in child health care and publicly advocates the causes of children.

In 2018, pediatricians are denying service to children because their parents are delaying or eschewing vaccination. Forbes ran an article that As More Parents Refuse Vaccines, More Doctors Dismiss Them -- With AAP's BlessingGiven the broad scope of the definition of pediatrics, shouldn't a a doctor embrace a patient Carmichael Pediatricswith autism even more firmly than a typical patient?  

Kim Rossi is Managing Editor for Age of Autism.


New Yorkers To Vote on Birth Certificate Gender Choice while Vaccination Choice Remains Elusive

Rainbow vaccineBy Kim Rossi

Let me say here and now, this post is a comparison of two New York situations that I have drawn myself. I am not making a judgement about choosing one's identity as "X" on a birth certificate as an adult. I am pro-choice. Everywhere. Including vaccination choice.  And I am certainly in favor of PRIDE and gay equality. My brother is a married, gay man. Our Dan Olmsted was a married, gay man.  This post is not to open a dialog about sexual orientation. We'll monitor comments closely. I hope you understand.  So...

Yesterday I was listening to the news with Robin Quivers on the Howard Stern Show on Sirius Satellite radio. If you know me, you know I've been a fan for 25 years. However, on the news, Robin alerted me to a vote coming up in New York state that will allow adults to revise their birth certificate from a male or female gender to "X." OK. Adults will be able to change and choose their gender, including "X". Which is neither male nor female. I think XXXY would have been a better choice, but perhaps perceived as naughty. (This is Kim writing,  if I can't make you laugh, I'm past my prime.)

I got to thinking: How is it that the state of New York can consider allowing choice right down to gender, but have draconian processes to get a choice in how a child is vaccinated? Why is some choice more acceptable than others?  Who is to say that health comes from full vaccination and only from full vaccination? We know this is not true. Vaccines fail. Immunity wanes. Recipients suffer injury. Vaccination is not a perfect medical procedure.

In 2009, attorney Rita Palma wrote a post for us about the rigorous "sincerity test" required in New York for a religious exemption to vaccination Take a look at the videos.  AofA New York readers will attest to the hoops - on fire - that they have had to jump to get "choice" for their children.

From Time Magazine on the "X" designation:


By Deepti Hajela / AP

June 4, 2018

(NEW YORK) — People born in New York City who do not identify their gender as either male or female would have the option of choosing a third category for their birth certificates under a new proposal.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said the new category of “X” would be available through the proposal, which is expected to be introduced by Johnson on Thursday with public hearings to be held later this month.

Continue reading "New Yorkers To Vote on Birth Certificate Gender Choice while Vaccination Choice Remains Elusive" »


A Cheer for Age of Autism

Plainville Packers Cheer
By Kim Rossi

When I was a kid, I cheered for the local Pop Warner football team. One of our cheers went like this: "Lean to the left! Lean to the right! Stand up! Sit down! Fight! Fight! Fight!"  We cheerleaders leaned to the left as a group then leaned to the right. We mocked sitting down. And we hoped the team would fight. 

Last week a commenter suggested we are too far to the right in our writing. Too Conservative. Duly noted.

I want to point out that as Dan Olmsted said from day 1, Age of Autism is agnostic politically. We have covered the autism epidemic from both sides of the aisle noting where Republicans and Democrats alike have earned praise and damnation. Our commenters are another story. Many do indeed have a right wing POV. Like any and every site, we have a small group of core commenters. Would we like new, fresh commenters from all walks of life? Sure thing. That would mean more readers. Maybe even more donations to keep us going. However, we don't control who takes the time to sit down and comment. We moderate comments only when they defy our standards.  So it may well seem like we are a right leaning site.

We are not. Dan never wanted us to be. And I will honor his wishes.  Thank you.

Kim (like the braids?)


AAP Ohio Representative Gloats Over Sugar, HFCS, Dye, GMO Orange End of School Food Gift

AAP Ohio OrangeBy KimRossi

Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana banana.Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana banana.Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana banana.Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana banana.Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana banana.Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana banana.Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana banana.Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana banana.Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana banana.Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana banana.Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana banana.Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana banana.Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana banana.Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana banana.Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana banana.Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana banana.Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana banana.Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana banana.Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana banana.Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana banana. Knock knock. Who's there? Orange you glad you didn't get this gift basket from Melissa Arnold?  What that's not funny???

Melissa Wervey Arnold is the Chief Executive Officer for the Ohio Chapter of the AAP, American Academy of Pediatrics. She recently posted on the open, public part of her Facebook  page  a photo of a gift basket she made for end of school year, not an AAP gift per se - "orange you glad..." was the theme. Clever, as we all remember the old knock knock joke from childhood. However, every bit of food and drink in the basket was completely contrary to the goal of children's or anyone's health.  An Oompa Loompa would have run away screaming.  There wasn't an orange or a Halo to be found. No carrots. Nothing remotely healthy, at least in the photo. 

The AAP is the organization that represents the physicians responsible for pediatric health and health care. Had Arnold added, "I know it's not the healthiest basket ever, but it's all for fun and we at AAP recommend kids eat these foods sparingly and partake of fruits and veggies," the irony would have been less drastic. From the AAP Ohio site: The number of obese children in the United States as more than tripled since the 1970’s. The Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics’ Parenting at Mealtime and Playtime program combines more than 10 years of proven, successful nutrition and obesity-prevention education into a program aimed at making Ohio children healthier. The Ohio AAP’s obesity-prevention work began in 2007, with Ounce of Prevention, and continued in 2012 with the Pound of Cure Learning Collaborative.

This orange food basket is akin to the head of the American Cancer Society sending out cartons of cigarettes as a gift.  Here's a slew of science that links food dyes and pediatric behavioral problems.

Chronic Illness and Developmental Vulnerability at School Entry

CONCLUSIONS: Regardless of the number or type of conditions, chronic illness in young children is a risk factor for reduced school readiness. These effects were seen for health conditions not traditionally considered detrimental to school readiness, such as chronic otitis media. Thus, the implications of a broader range of chronic health conditions in early childhood on school readiness need to be considered.

AAP Statement on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) welcomes the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans released today. For the first time, the guidelines recommend limiting the consumption of added sugars to less than 10 percent of calories per day, and continue to recommend more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins, and less sodium and saturated fat, all of which support a healthy eating pattern for families.

Many in the autism community noticed and commented all over Facebook. Our own Anne Dachel has catalogued thousands of stories of the radical decline of teachability of children and the impact on schools.  Garbage in, garbage out. Food choices matter. However,  Melissa and her friends pooh poohed the cacophony of "Who would feed this to anyone?" and even mocked the NUTRITIONAL topic as the realm of "crazy antivaxxers."  So wrong. So very wrong.  In fact, it's bananas.  Kim

Melissa Arnold Page


Facebook to Control "False News"

NellOh Mr. Zuckerberg, help me! Help!! I am so lost and overwhelmed by the Interwebz that I need you, yes you to please please help make sure that everything I read meets your criteria of true news.  Google has already turned me into a search engine wreck. There are... facts! And I'm exhausted from having to form opinions for myself. The research has taken a toll on my ability to simply read and believe everything I see. I feel ashamed that I too have believed in False News. Can you ever forgive me? Cleanse my browser. Update my ON THIS DAY to reflect a proper Kim who honors, loves and obeys everything you tell me.  Exclamation points terrify me. I will learn to speak in a period ending monotone. Happy Birthday. You. I will not use capital letters - they yell and scare people. I beg you for forgiveness for my past free thinking. My prep school and Boston College degrees have left me wholly unprepared to ignore information that might be detrimental to your stock or political candidate. Yours sincerely, Freedom of Speech Death Nell.

FB False News

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We are committed to reducing the spread of false news on Facebook. We remove fake accounts and disrupt economic incentives for people that share misinformation. We also use signals, like feedback from our community, to identify stories that may be false. In countries where we work with independent third-party fact-checkers, stories rated as false by those fact-checkers are shown lower in News Feed. If Pages or domains repeatedly create or share misinformation, we significantly reduce their distribution and remove their advertising rights. We're also working to empower people to decide for themselves what to read, trust and share by giving them more context on stories with tools like Related Articles.
Learn more in "Facing Facts," a short film about our fight against misinformation, or Inside Feed, a site dedicated to shedding light on Facebook's people and products.
As we work to limit the spread, here are some tips on what to look out for:
  1. Be skeptical of headlines. False news stories often have catchy headlines in all caps with exclamation points. If shocking claims in the headline sound unbelievable, they probably are.

Continue reading "Facebook to Control "False News"" »


Laurel Yanny Has Autism

Laurel yanny
There's a craze sweeping Facebook this week. An audio file whereby some folks hear "Laurel" and others hear "Yanny." There's a crazy woman in Connecticut every week. She just heard autism rates went up again. 

Really?  Folks are taking time to listen to an audio clip to see if they hear what the herd hears. You know what I hear? Elmo Saves Christmas. The theme song to The Wonder Pets. A Go Talk with my voice programmed into it calling for "ice cream. ice cream. ice cream. I need the bathroom."

Please share..... just don't like.

 


Homeschoolers In ProVaxxer Crosshairs for Abuse While Rotenberg School Electrocutes Students with State Approval

Homeschooler
© Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc In this booking mug released Monday, May 14, 2018, by the Solano County Sheriff's Office is Jonathan Allen. Police said Monday they had removed 10 children from a squalid California home and charged their father with torture and their mother with neglect after an investigation revealed a lengthy period of severe physical and emotional abuse. The children range from 4 months to 12 years old, said Fairfield police Lt. Greg Hurlbut. The father, Jonathan Allen, 29, faces felony charges of torture and child abuse and the 30-year-old mother Ina Rogers faces child neglect charges. She was arrested March 31 and released after posting $10,000…

Follow the money.   No one at AofA condones any sort of abuse of children.  Period. But as California has created an Orwellian vaccination system, articles targeting home schoolers like this one will become the media rage.   Take a look at this photo. Does this look like a "homeschooling Dad" to you? Is that the headline you would write?  This arrest isn't about homeschooling.

Children Allegedly Tortured - MSN

Meanwhile, in my home state of Massachusetts, the Rotenberg school, named after a Judge with whom my own Dad played golf at Highland Country Club (he used a footwedge, according to my Dad, think Judge Smails) they use ELECTRO SHOCK as an aversive conditioning behavior strategy with full knowledge and funding of the many states who send children there. Even the parents know their kids may be shocked while in the program.



But home schoolers are dangerous in that they slip out of state control. They are autonomous. Are all h0me schoolers terrific teachers? Nope. Are they all gang banger monsters? No.  But you can bet your bottom dollar (and most of us autism families are hanging onto our bottom dollar for dear life) that you'll hear about every single story of abuse, just like every case of measles or chicken pox.   It serves the agenda. Increase vaccination and decrease medical choice.

Shocking.

Kim

 

 


Chelsea Clinton Joins the Pro-Vax Injury, Lay the Guilt on the Vaccine Injured Village

Kim's Tweet to Chelsea
kok

Chelsea ClintonBy Kim Rossi

How many of us defended Chelsea Clinton, the gawky, pre-teen, frizzy haired, adult teeth in the child's mouth First Child when Bill Clinton was first elected? Leave her alone! She's a child! Leave her mother alone! She's First Lady!  Chelsea was thrust into the same category as poor Amy Carter.  Not as attractive as a Kennedy child in world where the Internet (invented by her father's Vice President) was just starting to fire photos around the world faster than the clap spreads in a house of ill repute.  Speaking of disease...

Which brings us to Chelsea's recent Tweet gratuitous (not on your life, this is SCRIPTED and part of a larger agenda) attack on Dr. Andrew Wakefield who, some two decades ago postulated that science should look further into whether the MMR vaccine was possibly causing gut injury and related in some way to autism.

I don't care if Chelsea has given double vaccines to her son and daughter. It's her RIGHT as their mother to choose their healthcare. Is her son circumcised? Not my business.  Do her children eat sugary treats? That's between them and their dentist.

Many years ago, her Mom, Hillary Clinton, then First Lady, told us that it takes a village to raise a child.  That doesn't mean the village owns our kids.  We do not live in Shirley Jackson's "village" of The Lottery. We are not collectively Tessie Hutchinson, here so that the villagers can stone us to death for our medical choices because, "That's what we've always done."

Chelsea Clinton opines on Twitter that SHE - yes SHE!!! - will never forgive Andrew Wakefield - as she lays the blame of a measles outbreak at his feet. I am willing to venture that the logical, gentle Dr. Wakefield would be happy to sit down with her .  This would shatter her cartoon image of him as a villain within the first ten minutes of a conversation. 

Chelsea blossomed into quite a pretty woman (thank you hair care products, from this I know.) I looked a lot like Chelsea as a kid. Big teeth. Frizzy hair. Gawkasaurus!  I also blossomed into a pretty woman. We both have children. Except my daughters have severe autism.  And their village is called special ed day programming. 

She WON the Lottery. She's rich beyond measure.  Has two healthy kids. And can use her Twitter account to shame the village as she deems appropriate. 

Imagine getting into a dog fight with a community that you do not belong to - by the Grace of  God. A community of families reeling under the intense heartache, challenges, worries and stress of autism. We fight back. 

Kim Rossi is Managing Editor of Age of Autism.





Italian Doll with Measles a Throwback to An Era Before Sickness Meant Terror

Measles dollNOTE: In 1962, my sister received a dolly named Hedda Get Better. Hedda had measles, a smiley face and a sleepy face. Shelly played Mommy and nursed Hedda back to health. In 1969, the Brady Bunch sitcom featured an episode where all six kids got the measles - panic ensued - because the girls wanted Marian Ross as their doctor and the boys wanted Tom Bosley - the future Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham from Happy Days.  I wrote about the Hedda doll many years ago - the post is below. I have the Hedda doll in my house - my sister found her on ebay.

Now, Italian toy makers are reminding parents and annoying pro-pharma, pro-vax folks that measles was a common childhood illness - long before the vaccine became available.    You see, if parents start to realize that pharma and doctors have sold them a bill of goods that has devastated pediatric wellness, there will be a costly mutiny.  From EuroNews:  Read more and comment at the site.

An Italian toy maker has been accused of trivialising a serious childhood disease with the new edition of its popular Cicciobello doll, which children are invited to treat of the measles.

The blonde doll, Morbillino, comes with accessories including wipes, cream and plasters, to make its red spots disappear in an instant.

The name Morbillino is a take on the Italian word for measles, "morbillo".

Here's my post about Hedda.  Kim


Wayback machine

Here's a Best of.....

By Kim Stagliano

Let's take a trip back to Christmas, 1962. A little girl named Michele had a Christmas wish for Santa. Michele wanted to play Mommy. Mommies used to take care of sick children. It was part of their job description. Sniffles and sneezes, spotty rashes and wheezes. That was childhood, after all. Get sick, build an immune system, grow up.  Michele got a wonderful new doll from Santa that year. Her name was Hedda.

Bella bday 002

Hedda slept through the night like a dream.

Baby smiling 

Hedda smiled at her Mommy

Baby in between 

Hedda had one more face. In 1962, it was a face that every Mommy recognized and knew how to care for and love. So did doctors. In 2009, this face would instill fear, panic, disdain, loathing and angry cries that Michele was a very, very bad Mommy to Hedda.

Bella bday 004 

Hedda had the measles!  See the little hole in her mouth for the thermometer?

Continue reading "Italian Doll with Measles a Throwback to An Era Before Sickness Meant Terror" »


Tune In to The Jenny McCarthy Show 4/3 as Age of Autism's Kim Rossi Co-Hosts

Jenny and Kim SiriusHi, friends. I'm so pleased to announce that I have the honor of co-hosting Jenny McCarthy's radio program on Sirius Stars 109 this Tuesday, April 3rd from 10 - noon EDT.

Here is a link for a FREE 30 day trial of Sirius so that you can tune in. 

One of Jenny's guests is in our wheelhouse. That's all I'm saying.  But you NEVER know what Jenny will say! XOX

Kim


Four Letter C Word that Kim Rossi Hates?

Age of autism Twitter CULTBy Kim Rossi

CULT!

Yeah, that was a clickbait headline. Today's post is short and sweet. And snarky. The best kind! LOL!

Yesterday I got the RT (return Tweet) in the above photo in response to a Tweet where I talked about my gorgeous, severely autistic 23 year old daughter and the #SaidNoMother hashtag being used by parents whose kids have been killed or seriously injured by vaccinations.  I appreciate that Eve thinks we started the hashtag, because the tag is just so good. But all credit goes to Joshua Coleman, activist and father of a severely vaccine injured son himself.

As far as the Jenny Cult comment - Jenny and I will chat about this on April 3rd when I guest host her Sirius Satellite Radio program. Feel free to call in, Eve. Really. We'll take your call and treat you with more respect than you showed either Jenny or me. Maybe you have autism. Maybe not. No matter. If Jenny or I could help you in any way, we would. That's how Jenny rolls - despite the vicious attacks she faces every day. And if you knew even the first thing about me, you'd know I adore my girls even though I would cure their autism in a New York minute; and spend my working days trying to help out in the community.

I invite all of our readers to listen in to The Jenny McCarthy show on Sirius STARS on April 3rd, 10 - noon EDT.  Decide for yourself if we  get all.....culty.

Speaking of Jenny. She created her own #SaidNoMother meme about her son Evan and his life shaking seizures:

Jenny SaidNoMother
Eve uses her own hashtag - #ActuallyAutistic.  I applaud her ability to type and am amused by her instinct to throw shade at MOTHERS OF ACTUALLY AUTISTIC people. Namely my 3 girls.  Think about it - Eve has or had a Mom. I hope that her Mom tried very hard to help her succeed in life. As I do for my three girls who are (new hashtag!) #ACTUALLYSOAUTISTICTHEYCANNEVERLIVEALONEHAVECONSTANTCAREWILLNEVERDATEFALLINLOVEGET
MARRIEDHAVEKIDSDRIVEACARANDWILLNEEDMEUNTILTHEDAYIDIEANDTHENSTILLNEEDME.

Love,

 

Kim Rossi - formerly HashStag...  ;)

All I Can Handle 160Kim is the author of All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa from Skyhorse Publishing and Managing Editor of Age of Autism. She lives in CT with her three daughters, who are now young women with autism.


Spring's Arrival Means Countdown to April has Begun

SpringBy Kim Rossi

Today is the first day of Spring! I don't know where you live, but here in Connecticut, old man Winter is not giving an inch of ground to young, fair Spring. We're expecting yet another wintery storm tomorrow. We've already run out of snow days on our calendar. We're chipping away at our April break next.

We're less than two weeks away from autism's version of March Madness: Autism "Awareness" Month. If I recall the blur that was March 2017, there wasn't as much hoopla or bluepla, was there?

Many of us have kids who are turning 18, aging out or have been out of school for a few years  now.  What does the month mean to us?  I know I keep the faith that my girls will learn and grow throughout their lifetimes - like any adult.  But the "WE WILL FIX IT" that I wrote on my giant desk calendar (complete with blotter, remember those?) in January of 2000 is a long distant memory. I haven't fixed all that much for my girls.  So it seems. They still struggle 24.7.365 with their autism. But I'll never give up. I'll pursue every avenue my heart and pocketbook can stand. After all, hope Springs eternal.

XOX

 

Kim

 


Autism Lock In

Autism lock inThanks to AG for allowing us to run this photo she posted on social media. This is her hotel room - and the lengths to which she has to go to keep her son with autism from eloping from the room while they sleep. How many of you have done something similar?

I wish I had in Florida many years ago. You might recall that I wrote about Mia quietly leaving the adjoining room while we unpacked at Disney on a 2200 acre resort property. A travel agent named Carol found Mia in the glass elevator counting floors. Carol had a grandson with autism and knew that Mia, although 12 and gorgeous, was autistic. She brought her to the lobby safely, while I literally RAN around the Lake Erie sized swimming pool lagoon thingy screaming and  begging sunbathers to look for Mia. I was saying, "She looks like me, she has brown curly hair. She's autistic and might drown," over and over again.  I was sobbing. Sick.

Share your stories in our comments.

Happy Nor'Easter day. The rain is coming down in buckets here in Connecticut. Snow to follow. And strong wind. March is a lot like autism, in like a lion.

Have a good weekend. Thanks. Kim

 


Women's Rights. Girls' Rights. Safety and Consent.

Bully GirlBy Kim Rossi

There was a petition from Change.org in my in-box this weekend. Lauren's Law in Oklahoma seeks educational funds to teach high school students about informed consent regarding sexual relations.

"Lauren was raped by a boy she knew from school. She was shocked to find out he had no idea what legal consent was."

HB2734 will allow for the development of age appropriate programs on consent and healthy relationship behavior. These programs will teach students about consent and how to recognize and prevent relationship violence, including physical and emotional relationship abuse. It will also address relationship communication skills, emotional health, and accountability.

Federal funds are available for this consent and safe relationship education to be implemented at the state level through Title IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Under the last administration, the White House Council on Women and Girls Report estimated the cost of rape to be as high as $240,776 per incident, including medical services, investigations, loss of productivity, and quality of life. With the high cost of assault and federal funding available, there’s no excuse not to protect and educate our kids.

Let’s do this for Lauren, the young women we started our movement for, and all the survivors who hope for a better world.

I have three daughters. I want to protect them at all costs.   If I had sons, I'd want to protect them too. As a martial artist, I teach self defense to boys, girls, women and men. We teach children how to prevent bullying.  We also teach children how NOT TO BECOME a bully.  We teach kids how to win. And we teach them how to lose. I think teaching them how NOT to become a bully and how to lose is the more important lesson. And sorely lacking in much of their teaching outside of the dojo. I would like to see schools teach martial arts self-defense to students, then girls can show boys what NO means with their fists. There is a time for fighting. We've lost that in our zero tolerance culture.

With that in mind, I am in favor of classes to teach boys and girls what "NO" means.  Dating is nothing like it was when a cute boy and I exchanged a note written in ink in the hallway. Or when a boy whispered to a boy who whispered to a girl who whispered to another girl who whispered to me that he liked me.  Bonne Bell Lip Smackers are the thing of the past, replaced by swiping left and right or sexting while Mom and Dad are in the living room watching a Seinfeld rerun.  The dog eared Playboy hidden away has been replaced by 24/7 on demand porn the likes of which was never aired in the seediest Times' Square XXX theatre decades ago.

Continue reading "Women's Rights. Girls' Rights. Safety and Consent." »


Vicious Death Threat Emailed to Dr. Suzanne Humphries: "I'm gonna F'ing Murder You You F'ing C-word."

Protector angelBy Kim Rossi

"This email that came through [last night] was different." Dr. Suzanne Humphries.

A vicious death threat email was sent to Dr. Suzanne Humphries from a secure server in Germany that is designed to protect users from tracking.  You and I might have been tempted once or twice to anonymously post a nasty comment here or there (well, never here at A of A.)  I remember commenting something snarky on an old autism blog a decade ago not realizing that IP addresses were trackable - dopey me!  I got caught.  That said... We don't seek out specially designed servers to use a version of the dark web.  Nor do we threaten torture in technicolor, gleeful detail. That's beyond the pale and into psychopathy.


Dr. Suzanne Humphries is doing the right thing by reading this vile email to the public.  Hatred dies in sunshine.

Many of us have been subjected to threats, sometimes veiled as jokes. Remember when one pro-vaxxer joked that Dan and Mark should be "shot?" Ha ha - vaccine pun.  I think it was that woman... Lordy I can't even remember her name. She had a popular blog and a son with severe autism name Charlie. Vox something or other?

I had a cartoon removed from Science blogs many years ago, because the tone went beyond a joke.  Just two weeks ago, Mark Blaxill and I sat with Dr. Andy Wakefield at an art gallery in Massachusetts.  Anyone could have been in the audience. And as much as I love my martial arts, in the rock scissors paper of life, guns from 6 feet away beat kicks and punches every time.  I rarely carry my nunchaku in my purse. (Oy!)

I hope Paul Offit, Brian Deer, Orac Gorski, Dorit Rubenstein Reiss, Amy Pisani, Dr. Richard Pan and any and ALL pro-vaccine advocates come out and say "NO," to this violent threat. To ANY violent threat.  It's the human thing to do, even if opinions are diametrically opposite.

Please keep Dr. Suzanne, Polly and everyone in our community in your thoughts of safety and care. May archangel Michael wrap all of us in his shield of protection.  And as much as Dr. Suzanne says God is her bodyguard, nothing replaces vigilance. And a bodyguard may be a good idea at least short term for her.

If you see something, say something. Trust your alarm bells if they ring in your head.


American Teens Eating A Big Bowl of Stupid: Laundry Detergent

Retro stupidBy Kim Rossi

There's no kind way to say this, so I won't attempt to hide my scorn, not at the kids but the system.  American kids who are eating Tide laundry soap packets are not well. Yes, kids will be kids. Kids do stupid things. I did stupid things. Life threatening even. I did not eat laundry soap. Period. End of story.  I had an instinct that told me, "This will kill you."

I see a lack of basic critical self-preservation skills in this new Tide Challenge. My daughters with autism have almost no self-protective skills. It's part of the their disability. Eat a Tide pod is within the realm of cognitive disability.

When I was a kid, we used to belt out "The Comet Song." I'll bet you know it yourself. Eating detergent was a joke even a 6 year old kid could understand. We also used to sing "Glory Glory Hallelujah, teacher hit me with a rulah (hey, I grew up in BAHSTUN Massachusetts so the rhyme worked perfectly) I hid behind the door with a loaded 44 and the teacher is no more." That was before school aged males were prone to mass school shootings.

The kids are not all right.  I'm sure the AAP will come out with a grave statement of concern any moment. Remember when Katie Wright wrote about their response to the cinnamon challenge a few years ago?  Perhaps if we weren't over vaccinating our kids into oblivion they'd have a lot fewer challenges.


Cancer Rates Drop Mostly Due To Smoking Cessation

ToeNote: I came across an article about cancer deaths and thought it worth sharing for your opinions. Cancer deaths are said to be down in America. Of course that's good news. Except that I know far too many young Moms in their 30s and 40s with breast and thyroid cancer, and brain cancer has taken several acquaintances over the last five years.

Now, imagine if the bulk of funding for cancer had been purely in genetics over the last several decades because the cigarette industry continued to win its battle to hide the facts about smoking safety.  Sound familiar? How bad would it be (hint, not at all) if we found the environmental cause(s) to what we call autism in 2018 and watched rates plummet? Would our kids never have been born? Of course not. They'd still likely have quirks we love, intelligence we respect and maybe even subtle traits we might identify as "spectrumy." But they wouldn't be disabled, like my girls.

See that photo? That's my Bella's painful, raw toe.  I noticed this wound on both of her feet on Sunday. I have no idea which shoes did this to her feet. Shoes that I have been putting on her feet every day.  She's had behaviors in school.  "Aggression." Ha ha.

Maybe her feet hurt like hell and she couldn't tell anyone?

How bad would it be to get rid of THAT?  Kim

Cancer deaths have fallen yet again, thanks mostly to huge declines in smoking, the American Cancer Society said Thursday.

More than 2.3 million people have not died of cancer since 1991 who otherwise would have if cancer rates had remained unchanged, the group said in its annual report on cancer.

Yet 4,700 Americans are diagnosed with cancer every day and cancer remains the No. 2 cause of death in the United States, right behind heart disease.

Related: Sometimes, cancer is random

“A decline in consumption of cigarettes is credited with being the most important factor in the drop in cancer death rates,” said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.

“Strikingly though, tobacco remains by far the leading cause of cancer deaths today, responsible for nearly three in ten cancer deaths.”


From Radium Girls to Mercury and Aluminum Kids

Radium_DialBy Kim Rossi

Captain's Log. Stardate January 8, 2018. "We're exhausted. Trapped. Not sure we'll ever leave this planet called.... snowed in."

I'm loopy, friends. We had a Nor'Easter Blizzardy thing on Wednesday that closed everything here in Connecticut for two days. My car battery died on Saturday, a victim of low single digit temperatures inside my garage. We've watched so much Nick Jr. it's now Nick the XIV. 

Yesterday, I was poking around CNN and came across an interesting article that caught my eye because it jogged my memories of Dan and his (and Mark Blaxill's) tireless writing about mercury,  medicine and the man made epidemic so many of us live every day - snow day or not.. Titled, Radium Girls: The dark times of luminous watches. 

A century ago, glow-in-the-dark watches were an irresistible novelty. The dials, covered in a special luminous paint, shone all the time and didn't require charging in sunlight. It looked like magic.

One of the first factories to produce these watches opened in New Jersey in 1916. It hired about 70 women, the first of thousands to be employed in many such factories in the United States. It was a well-paid, glamorous job.

For the delicate task of applying the paint to the tiny dials, the women were instructed to point the brushes with their lips. But the paint made the watches glow because it contained radium, a radioactive element discovered less than 20 years earlier, its properties not yet fully understood. The women were ingesting it with nearly every brushstroke.
They became known as the "Radium Girls."

Radium became part of a health fad, according to the article after its discovery by Madame Marie Curie and its use in cancer treatments. It was a proper craze. Radium became an additive in a number of everyday products, from toothpaste to cosmetics and even food and drinks. 

Despite knowing the dangers of this radioactive substance, the worker were lied to and put in harm's way in order to create these popular time pieces. But the girls didn't embrace this technique blindly. "The first thing they asked was (whether) the paint was harmful, but the managers said it was safe, which was the obvious answer for a manager of a company whose very existence depended on radium paint."

Sounds a lot like the mercury and the Age of Autism, doesn't it?  Thimerosal is safe. Mercury is safe. Aluminum is safe. GMO foods are safe. Glyphosates are safe. Trust your corporate American Daddies - everything is safe. Especially profits.

You're living in your own Private Idaho
Where do I go from here to a better state than this
Well, don't be blind to the big surprise
Swimming round and round like the deadly hand
Of a radium clock, at the bottom of the pool
The B-52s

Kim Rossi is Managing Editor for Age of Autism.