Archive for the ‘parenting’ Category

First… no shit.

With that in mind:

I’m just going to leave these here.


Study Finds No Link Between Induced or Augmented Labor and Autism. (Business 2 Community)

No Link Between Pitocin To Help Labor And Later ADHD, Study Says. (Huffington Post)

No Link Found Between Autism and Oxytocin-Induced Labor | Psych Central News.

No Connection Between Induced Labor, Autism: Obgyns – WebMD. <— This was published last year a year or so after the faulty “study” with the weakest of weak links was shared publiclly

Induced or augmented labor does not increase risk of autism spectrum disorder. (News Medical)

Augmented Or Induced Labor Does Not Increase Odds Of Autism. (Science 2.0)

Labor Augmentation Doesn’t Raise Risk of Autism, ADHD. (Neurology Advisor)

Augmented labor during childbirth is not associated with increased odds of autism — ScienceDaily




Since this same study tried to link Pitocin to ADHD:

Study Finds No Link Between Oxytocin and ADHD | Parenting Patch.

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I’ve been sitting on this one for a while because it’s been too upsetting.  I had to adjust my language quite a bit and eliminate a lot (I mean a lot) of cussing and non-christian attitudes.  Still, my language in this entry will be strong, and yes, I will be stating my opinions as facts and probably not very gently because I think that this is a clear-cut case of showing what’s right and what’s wrong.  I think that there are instances where it’s necessary to be bold in our opinions, even judgmental.

I have never and will never speak in favor of electric shock therapy (ECT).  I don’t believe it has ever been useful.  I do believe that it’s one of the most harmful things we could do to someone. Until a few years ago when an online friend had it done to try to help with Bi-Polar symptoms, I honestly thought that it was non-existent.  It turns out that people do use it for Bi-Polar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, and more.  And unfortunately people use it for Autistic patients as well.

I’m frankly astounded that it still happens today… yes, in America. Yes, right under our noses. And yes, it’s violent and abusive and horrific.  All you need to do is see video proof and read about the experiences of the individuals and their families about what happens, how it feels during and after, and how the “medical professionals” that perpetuate it often don’t allow the parents or caregivers of the abused individuals know exactly what happens.

It needs to come out that it happens, but more importantly the places where it occurs need to be called out, prosecuted, and shut down for the torture. It is torture.  The disabled individuals that report it and their families that report it need to be heard and believed.  Again… an inability to be verbal with voice, with sound, does NOT mean “unable to communicate.”  It means “communicates differently.”  And it doesn’t mean someone is Intellectually Disabled.  Speech, or rather lack of speech is not a signifier of intelligence.  This does not deserve electric shock therapy.

I’ll spell it out further.

An individual that’s disabled might not communicate with sounds that you understand or with sounds at all.  They may communicate using body language, with making pictures, with writing or typing, or find other ways to communicate.  Learn how to communicate their way rather than force them to learn “the normal way.”  YOU have to make as much of an effort to learn about your loved one’s Autism as your autistic loved one has to figure out how to cope with an unforgiving world that hates disabled people.

This does not deserve electric shock therapy.

An individual that’s disabled might not take their coat off when YOU think it’s appropriate but for them, they should be able to take off their coat whenever they damn well please.  The coat may provide sensory input that’s necessary, and a feeling of safety and protection.  Learn about the reasons why your autistic loved one is keeping on that jacket longer than is typically socially acceptable.  There are valid reasons.  They don’t have to be YOUR reasons.

This does not deserve electric shock therapy.

An individual that has a limited, restricted diet who may eat only a certain color of food; a certain texture of food; only three specific food items; does so for specific reasons.  We need to learn why and help them without force, using gentle methods and cooperate.  Yes, but nutrition.  Believe me, I know.

But this does not deserve electric shock therapy.

An individual that’s disabled might not immediately say hello and offer a kiss and hug to the person they’re visiting, but they have the right to Personal Autonomy.  They get to choose HOW to say hello, and may need time to warm up to the changes and transitions that are occurring before being capable of following through with social expectations.  And honestly? Sometimes it just might not happen.  The greeting may not happen but the rest of the visit might be jumped into with both feet.  Hugs and kisses ought NOT be expected with any person, honestly, but a simple hand wave hello or a gentle “hi” should be acceptable.   No means no.

And this does not deserve electric shock therapy.

You might be annoyed or even embarrassed by a stim (rocking, hand flapping, humming) but unless it’s actually putting the disabled individual and/or others in harms way or it’s truly excessively disruptive then you need to allow Personal Autonomy and let them stim.  When I say “excessively disruptive” or at inappropriate times, I mean during a public symphony or during a class test while running up and down isles and spinning in circles repeating (echolalia) phrases the teacher is saying; or there’s danger such as running and running and running and that running might end up in the middle of a busy street.  Stims have a very valid purpose, even several purposes.  Spinning, hopping, repetitive sounds and phrases, repetitive movements all have a purpose.  Making them stop, forcing them to stop, is not that’s helping them cope but it’s agitating unless you can help replace the disruptive stim with an equally soothing and less disruptive stim.  Or you know, find out why they’re stimming and see if there’s a solution.  There is no shame in stimming (perseverating) and while you have a right to be annoyed, you can tolerate it for a while.

Stims most certainly don’t deserve electric shock therapy.

Just because someone may have one or more disabilities does not mean anyone has the right to torture them.  They feel it all.  They know it’s happening.  They can’t always say no but all you need is to have some empathy.

Being disabled doesn’t deserve electric shock therapy.  Even if your disability is sociopathy.

Sensory processing problems that might be only the slightest issues to you and me could and often do seem like the most enormously terrible sensory experiences to autistic individuals.  Their responses are appropriate to unwanted sounds and touch that are actually painful to them, pain they can feel in their entire body and being even if it’s something we may not notice… a feathery touch may feel like a punch in the head… and yet what do these clinics do? The slightest, most quiet sound of a fridge humming might seem like a snow plow thundering down the street shaking the whole house.  A shady spot in the yard might seem like the brightest sun to you or me.  Forget ABA (which I’m mainly against)… imagine what electric shock therapy does to try to “stop” behaviors that result from sensory processing issues.  Just imagine.  Imagine yourself in that position.  You can’t force an individual to stop having sensory processing disorder or their responses to stimuli that is debilitating for them; you can only help them learn to cope and ideally, learn what the problems are and minimize exposure when possible.

Sensory Processing Disorder doesn’t deserve electric shock therapy.  It’s the worst assault on their senses possible.

Cognitive disabilities that contribute to learning delays and other issues in children and adults don’t deserve electric shock therapy.  You can’t ECT someone out of Cognitive disabilities or learning delays.

Just because someone may have one or more disabilities does not mean that they aren’t sentient beings that are able to think for themselves and make their own decisions whether they communicate the same way you do or not.  Imagine what the electric shock therapy does to their brains and thought processes… the REAL damage that’s occurring.  If you believe your loved one’s intelligence is “at stake” regarding diet, pollution in the air and water, vaccines, educational input, religion, what they watch on television, what video games they play… then what do you think electric shock therapy does?

Being disabled doesn’t deserve electric shock therapy.  Being intellectually disabled doesn’t deserve electric shock therapy.

BEING AUTISTIC doesn’t deserve electric shock therapy.

No one deserves electric shock therapy and it’s a major disservice in even thinking about electric shock therapy or endorsing it.  It’s essentially a punishment for being different and not being capable of passing as non-autistic, non-disabled, and having the utter audacity to behave as if they’re disabled rather than overcome the disability and pretend they don’t have one.

When parents and caregivers allow electric shock therapy, they are allowing torture and punishment.

It’s destroying faith and trust that their loved one had in them.  They don’t understand the purpose, and believe they’re being punished.  They believe they’re dying.  It teaches nothing except fear, and damages the brain that wasn’t damaged to begin with.

Something needs to be done.  It needs to be banned.  This is not a slippery slope thing.

I’m going to ask you to click this link below to the blog “diary of a mom.”  Read that entry and then watch the video.  It’s going to be torture to watch it but you must.  You must for the sake of the individuals who endure the REAL torture every single day.  You need to watch it so that the image is burned into your brain and even during the worst of the meltdowns that your child ever experiences and that you have to help him or her through, that you experience with them, when you feel that you might hate Autism itself and wish it didn’t exist, you remember that video and think about how lucky and precious your child really is.

judge rotenberg center | a diary of a mom.

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Back in 2013, I posted this entry: Court Rulings DO NOT “Quietly Confirm” Autism-Vaccine Link | Ever So Gently.

The article referred to in it has been making the rounds yet again, so that particular entry deserves a comeback too.  I’m not going to devote a whole new pages-long entry about it, though.  I just hope that people realize that the supposed “court rulings” about the autism-vaccine link are complete rubbish and also have been debunked and didn’t come from a reputable source nor was the court reputable or even able to rule on it to begin with.

I just wish people who are so fearful of Autism would speak with or read blogs written by autistic self-advocates.  I’m not talking about non-autistic mommy bloggers of autistic children, youngsters or adults, but actual autistic individuals who are self-advocates.  Many communicate online with great effort or little effort even if in the physical world their social skills and verbal skills are challenged and perhaps have Non-verbal Learning Disorder or are non-verbal.

Non-verbal doesn’t mean unable to communicate effectively.  It means “communicates differently” than most people.  And what that means is that WE have to adjust our thinking.  Listen to the people who know even if the listening isn’t with your ears.  Don’t listen to the fraudulent rantings of people who have fear-based ideologies.


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As a non-autistic mom to an autistic daughter, addressing the whole MMR Debate is probably the right thing to do right around now.  This is not a scientific, going to provide documentation and other specific proof sort of post because I’m not in the mood.  I’ve done it before and if you’re interested, there’s a link at the bottom to some of the things I’ll be referencing.  Plus I have a search tool on my blog.  And it’s my blog so I can include and exclude what I want.  I don’t get paid for this blog.  Ha.

The reason I’m addressing this now is because, of course, Measles is in the news nearly every day lately due to what started out as an outbreak that began in Disneyland.  To keep it simple: unvaccinated individuals that actively had or were incubating Measles went to the amusement park and passed it along to other individuals, some of whom were vaccinated with MMR and the majority who weren’t.  Of course the whole thing branches out from there and it’s getting bigger by the week.

Before I offer any opinion on this, which you can probably guess if you’re a regular reader, I need to get this out there:

Autism is not damage.  

It’s not damage caused by vaccines nor birth accidents nor “bad genetics.”  

It’s a difference in biology that creates a difference in neurology due to genetics.  

As a child grows, the autistic traits become more noticeable.  As a child grows, there may be things in the environment that trigger the traits that non-autistic people consider to be negative to occur more prominently and that’s why they’re called Environmental Factors.  

Most people don’t seem to know what that means.  They think Environmental Factors means “pollution, water quality, and food quality.” That’s only a partial truth.

From the WHO (World Health Organization):

Environmental health comprises those aspects of human health, including quality of life, that are determined by physical, chemical, biological, social and psychosocial factors in the environment.

I was going to say something really insulting and cutting about being anti-vax when someone is perfectly healthy but doesn’t care or understand a wit about social responsibility, but I’ll refrain.  

I was going to say something that had the word “rage” in it but I realized I don’t feel rage.  I feel pity.  

Ok, maybe a little rage.  I feel rage because people who don’t have the intelligence to at least state that they’re anti-vax because they “researched ingredients” even if they don’t know what that really means, don’t really know how to interpret what they find nor know which resources are reliable.

I feel rage because there are still people whose default position is “BUT AUTISM!” because THOSE individuals didn’t bother to find out the facts.  

Or maybe these groups? they chose to ignore the facts.  They choose the paranoid path that “they” give us limited information that’s not true. They think pro-vaccination standpoint is uneducated and misled.

There are some from both groups, of course, who willfully ignore actual science that’s been peer reviewed and completed by independent scientists who have no stake in the matter except finding the truth… who lose money for their efforts and aren’t affiliated with pharmaceutical enterprises.

There are those who can’t tell the difference between science and pseudoscience … and those who can but prefer the fringe and discredited pseudoscience.

There are those with “my opinion and my psychic say so” when faced with irrefutable facts and who will twist anything around to mean the opposite of what they actually mean to the point of accusing chemical biologists of making things up and being part of some “team” trying to control the masses by feeding misinformation intentionally.

Yeah.  That happened just today.

OF NOTE: Never, ever read the comments underneath articles.  No matter your viewpoint or opinion, just don’t read the comments.

I wrote this other post 4 1/2 years ago: 

Win For Autism Community: Andrew Wakefield Lost License | Ever So Gently.

It’s even more important now because this individual, this purveyor of deceit (Wakefield) is being held up as a misunderstood man whose honest research is being twisted and lied about. It’s not.

I was so full of hope in the ability of our society to bounce back from something that was damaging to the Autism Community worldwide and now it’s even more evident that it’s damaging to ALL individuals in the world who may ever become ill from vaccine-preventable communicable diseases… that are healthy and able to be vaccinated.

My faith in people in general and yes, particular individuals, isn’t nearly so high any longer.

I think it’s important that people keep the details fresh regarding what Andrew Wakefield did: he knowingly, intentionally, and willingly perpetuated a hoax regarding the MMR vaccine by falsifying a study and a paper that would earn him fame and legitimacy in the scientific community.

Let me phrase that another way.

The MMR-Autism paper written by Wakefield was without question proven dozens of times over to be fraudulent.  He committed a worldwide FRAUD and hoax by intention.  On purpose.  For fame and notoriety.  For the money that some people think doctors and pharmaceutical companies and scientists are “in it all” for. The people who use words like Big Pharma and think eating and living without doctors or medicine or “chemicals” will prevent any illness and block all communicable diseases.

Know this: Wakefield is reviled in the scientific community because he tried to pass himself off as a legitimate scientist.  This wasn’t some misunderstood poor doctor trying to help the world see that the MMR is harmful to neurology or gastroenterology for the majority of the population or even a significant segment.  

He wasn’t viewed as legitimate prior to the Lancet posting that harmful, damaging, ridiculous paper and wasn’t … ISN’T viewed as legitimate by the science community afterward.  The editor at the Lancet at that time didn’t catch that they had previously refused his other paper/s on other subjects that were ALSO FALSIFIED because they were in dire financial straits and needed to publish something.  It was simply bad timing that Wakefield (I can still barely type his name without wanting to disinfect my fingers and keyboard) submitted that horrifyingly damaging paper. Within the past 2 years the Lancet retracted that paper and apologized.

All that said:

There needs to be a dialogue about Vaccine Safety.  If there’s anything this entire debacle has shown the United States this is true.  

I’ve always been of the state of mind that we need to know what medicines we’re giving our children, why we’re giving them, how they’ll affect our children, how necessary they are, and the efficacy.  

I’ve always believed that even if parents make ridiculous choices we ARE entitled to choose how we parent.  

We need to get more people to figure out that short term side effects are not vaccine injuries.  

We need to get people to figure out that correlation of timeframe and other events is not causation.  

That opinion is not fact.

In regards to vaccines, I would not liken them to pulling a trigger on a gun if we do inject our children or if we don’t by risking them to highly communicable diseases unnecessarily.  I detest that comparison when either the pro or anti sides use it. The fact is that vaccine injury and allergies exist but in a miniscule segment of the population. The personal stories people tell make it appear like a lot but personal interpretation leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation and exaggerations in retelling.

However: When we demand that The Government steps in to legislate and compel people to have medical procedures done, to take medicines we would otherwise refuse, we are going down a slippery slope.  We are giving away freedoms that once we give them away will be nearly impossible to get back.  It becomes easier and easier to give more and more freedoms away.

And when we legislate medical procedures and medicine, we’re infringing very closely on causing harm to individuals who literally medically would die if they were forced to undergo what the majority of the population would be safe with.  We would be forcing a need for them to waste precious time and money litigating their way out of medical procedures.  We have enough of that occurring already with disabled individuals that we presume are incompetent because “we know better.”

I think it’s one of the most important conversations that we can have with each other.  

I’ll be honest, though… the instant someone says “Big Pharma” they’ve lost all credibility and all I hear after that is “blah blah blah invalid paranoia blah.”  

As soon as someone automatically and broadly tells me that science, scientists and doctors are all in on some enormous worldwide conspiracy with The Government/s to make us all sick and give us cancer in order to make money and control us, they’ve lost all credibility.  

As soon as someone tells me that I simply haven’t done the “right” research, and that their propaganda with pseudoscience and their wacky holistic family practitioner who thinks catching moonlight in a GMO-free poison ivy leaf bowl is good medicine is a great scientific resource and their web site should be “looked into” they’re no longer credible.

When I’m told that their opinions are more educated and valuable than peer reviewed scientific research that has been supported repeatedly… well you get the idea.

I think that dialogue mainly needs to occur with our doctors regularly. I think our nation needs to stop being afraid of education and science.  

Living a paranoid life sucks. The MMR Debate and Vaccine Versus Autism Debate are NOT the ways to go about discussing Vaccine Safety.  If you want to debate MMR and its veracity, don’t ever attach Autism to it.  

First and foremost this is because while Autism might be a difficult neurological difference for individuals to live with (not the parents, the individuals themselves) causing them various disabilities of varying degrees at various times, Autism is not a tragedy.  Ever.  It is not a vaccine injury.  It is not damage.

I’m really tired at the moment, so I’m sure I’ve missed a lot that I wanted to address and probably didn’t say all of what I wanted to very eloquently or with as few words as I should have.  Or, you know, succinctly.  :-)

Edited for grammar. ♡

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I happen to live in the state where the Newington school that’s being criticized for curbing the Halloween celebration within its campus is being criticized.  I can’t believe this nonsense has gone national.  A few parents got their panties in a twist claiming a violation of “rights” because their children couldn’t dress up profusely and have their costumes paraded around their schools.  Because the schools didn’t want to have an entire WEEK of scholastic disruption.

Because of a common sense policy:

  • The school and administration there are getting threats of violence from all over the country .  
  • People are sending hate mail from all over the country.  
  • People are upset that Newington is caving to overly political correctness shoved onto them by evil liberals.  Like the words political correctness and liberal are bad words or bad things to be.  
  • Administrators are being accused of caving to radical Islam (say what now???)
  • Administrators are being accused of assaulting Christianity and Tradition and generally Ruining Everything


Yeah, no. Just… shut up.  Shut up shut up shut up shuttity up up up.

I can’t even fathom why anyone would seriously and consciously violently threaten ANYONE for setting a reasonable rule for a school.  I have no argument in favor and every argument against.  Other than that, I can’t really formulate polite words.

An Aside: Why do people say Politically Correct as if it’s a bad thing? Adjusting our language and behavior in order to be sensitive to the cultures and traditions and feelings of others is a GOOD THING.  We become enraged and make threats of violence when others don’t do the same for us…

…but I suppose it only matters and is important if we feel it’s Christianity that’s being marginalized.  I love my faith, I love Jesus, I love my God, and I love my current Pope (yo! Shout out to Pope Frankie!) and I love most of my fellow human beings but a lot of the time I don’t like many of my fellow Christians.  The Bible gets twisted to mean terrible things, and while it’s corrupted, the Ten Commandments are ignored.  In place of goodness, kindness, tolerance, love, and generosity,  I read and hear about hate, selfishness, rage, and self-entitlement.

No, Christianity is not being assaulted.  As a whole when we include all denominations, we are the majority religion in the United States and we are a major world religion.  We are not in the minority in any way.  That is a statistical fact.  We are not marginalized in America.  We tend to be catered to.  We tend to be the religious group with the greatest power.   That’s not to say that in some areas of the world, Christians aren’t persecuted, executed for being Christian, hated simply for being Christian.  I know that right here in the U.S. there are plenty of people who hate Christians for breathing and painting us all with the same extremist evangelistic brush… much the same way people of all other persuasions make broad generalizations and hate simply to hate.  Some people just hate anyone who is not exactly the same as they are.  I know Christians who hate other Christians because they’re not the same denomination.  I know Christians who hate others within their own denomination for “not being Same Denomination enough.”

Haters gonna hate.

Aw, damn it Taylor Swift.  Brain, why you gotta be like that? Toss in Taylor Swift in the middle of a thought process.  Oi.

Ok, so Halloween is, literally, All Hallow’s Eve.  That means it’s the evening before All Soul’s Day (think Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows… the Deathly Souls) or as some like to call it, All Saint’s Day.  This next part is very important:

Halloween is not a holy day for Christians.  Tomorrow is.


Dear fellow Christians,

All Saints Day is “our day” and no one is taking it away.  We get to recognize both Halloween and All Saints Day aka All Soul’s Day anywhere we want all we want.  We can even go to church tonight (the vigil mass) or tomorrow to honor this holy day.  Cool, huh? Costumes and candy have nothing to do with it.  Church has everything to do with it.




Interestingly enough, not all Christian denominations celebrate Halloween.  I think Jehovah’s Witnesses refrain from Halloween, as well as some Evangelicals and other similar denominations.  It’s because we are to abstain from all appearances of evil… even dressing up and making fun of evil and anything that could possibly be construed as an association with evil IE. Halloween, the candy, the parties, the costumes, the make-up, the parades.  It’s way more complicated than that for those denominations but Catholics aren’t like that.  We like Halloween and we like All Saints Day.  *Please note I’m not really speaking for all Catholics regarding Halloween, but All Saints Day is a Holy Day on the Catholic Calendar.

Of course there’s a lot as to why people dress up as ghosts, goblins, ghouls, scary witches, skeletons, devils, mass murderers, zombies, etc.  There’s a reason why it’s “spooky” with a paranormal feel, why it’s creepy.  Why owls at night give us shivers and some people still think Satan lives in my black cat, Luna.

It has to do with Samhain, an actual blessed day for Wicca, Pagan, and Celtic religions, that honors the Autumn harvest and coming of Winter as it sits halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice and in fact, Samhain predates All Saints Day.  It’s a really spiritual time, when the doorway between our world and the spiritual world is thinned.  A time when anything could happen and people feel vulnerable.  Even if we don’t believe the same things as those religions, we still feel the cultural effects lingering from the days when our ancestors were afraid.

Dressing up as what scares you most lets you hide in plain sight from those very scary things.

We get to hide among the creeperss, letting ourselves believe that if the evil spirits came out on Halloween then they couldn’t distinguish between us and them and therefore we must be safe out in the dark while we put our complete and utter trust in our neighbors to not put poison into the candy they pass out.  It’s a societal show of trust that we allow strangers and neighbors to give our children candy while we let our children go door to door in costumes out of arm’s reach.

We get to do that regardless of  our religious affiliation or cultural background to beg for free candy from strangers and neighbors all we like as long (as the porch lights are on at the houses… leave the houses with the porch lights off alone).  Dressing up for Halloween and begging for candy; attending Halloween parties; sending your children to schools that allow it in costumes…. as long as we remember that it has nothing to do, really, with Christianity.

Honestly, as a parent in general but also as a parent specifically to two children that don’t react well to HFCS and food dyes, with one of them being lactose intolerant to boot, I really don’t want teachers sending my kids home at the Rage Stage of the sugar rushes.

If your school has a policy of “no costumes, no candy, no overtly obnoxious Halloween” then please remember that your rights aren’t being trampled. I’ve come to realize this is actually Mom Spent Way Too Much On A Costume And Wants To Make Sure Nevaehly Is Seen Dressed Up As Pryness Elsa By As Many People As Possible And That Includes School Damn It.  If that’s your issue then throw a damn Halloween party.  Halloween falls on a Friday this year so go to three Halloween parties.  Knock yourself out.  You can let your child sleep in the costume and go on errands in it.

Your child won’t care, and won’t remember because her rights aren’t being trampled either.  It’s not that big of a deal.  Your child will remember Trick or Treating with you in the neighborhood.  Your child will cherish those memories.  Your child will grow up and have fond memories when she sees the photos of  when she was a wee one with white faced cat make-up and pink cat ears while Daddy hugged her tight.  They will show their children how they had their pictures taken year after year in their costumes at the front door of your home, how they got taller every year as they and their costumes changed.  They’ll shed a tear when they see their first Cinderella costume in the memory box and you ask if it might fit their daughter that year.  They’ll remember attending parties with you, helping pass out candy to others, drinking cocoa together, sorting through the loot on the floor looking for open wrappers and candy that might cause allergic reactions.

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Wash Hands and Keep Calm

I don’t encourage panic or fear regardless of the topic.  I don’t encourage listening to rumors or extremisms in media hype.  I don’t encourage “research” through propaganda sites because they will never, ever have the truth, about anything.

I encourage learning about the topic from unbiased sources because while it might sound trite, I believe that knowledge is power.


Well… I’m much more concerned about Strep throat, Laryngitis, Bronchitis, Shingles, Measles, Whooping Cough, and Influenza.  I’m far more likely to get any of those.

My children and I are far more likely to come into contact with the Enterovirus, which is actively killing children and adults in multiple countries because it presents as a cold at first.  But it’s causing paralysis.  Difficulties breathing to the point of not breathing.  The CDC says that

“because it is a respiratory illness, the virus can be found in an infected person’s respiratory secretions, such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. EV-D68 likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches a surface that is then touched by others.”

That means that direct contact is not needed.  All you have to do is go shopping, to a movie, a restaurant, church, school, work, a baby shower, a wedding reception, and anywhere else there are people interacting.

There is no treatment.  No protocol.  Nice, right?

At least with Ebola there’s a strict protocol.  It’s highly infectious, after all, and I’m not ignoring that.

The 2014 in West Africa’s Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea has killed more than 4,000 people; and since it has a 50% mortality rate there, maybe higher, double the number of people who have had it and survived.  It is not a death sentence.  Perhaps in West Africa it’s close to a death sentence, but not here in the United States where we have better medical facilities and research facilities and healthcare workers.

Strike that.We HAVE medical facilities, research facilities, and healthcare workers.

Have you seen photos of the so-called hospitals in Liberia? Tents have to serve as clinics and hospitals.

And we send the healthcare workers there, but there are so many people there who aren’t educated about Ebola.  We just sent our military over there a couple of weeks ago to West Africa.  Did you know that? Do you know why? To build hospitals.  If I recall correctly, to build seven hospitals because they don’t have any.  Well… this is what they call hospitals there, which people are afraid to go to (I’ve read) because they feel that they have a higher likelihood of dying if they seek treatment in them:

Found on Huffington Post

Redemption Hospital in Liberia; Found on Huffington Post

Close family members and medical personnel in direct, frequent contact with a very sick, progressed person that has Ebola is at risk.  That’s why over 200 medical staff over the world, mostly in West Africa, have died from Ebola themselves.

But for most people, my own research consistently say that you can’t easily contract Ebola.  It doesn’t hang out in the body for months, incubating and waiting to pounce when you least expect it.  It can’t be transmitted by insects.  You can’t get it simply by sitting next to someone who isn’t visibly sick anywhere in public because an exchange of bodily fluids has to occur.  Getting coughed on? Unlikely to infect anyone.

It CAN BE contained due to the nature of the disease, but the reason it’s such a problem in West Africa right now; they’re unable to contain it due to poor health facilities, poor general knowledge of prevention, non-sterile conditions, frequent contact between contagious individuals with lots of bodily fluids touching non-sick individuals, and people that are sick refusing to go attempt to get care because they believe it will kill them.  There was even a news report that one woman who was actively sick and showing signs of contagion, a self-proclaimed healer, was going village to village infecting people by telling them she could heal their sick but was actually actively spreading the illness.  Perhaps that was one of those stories that’s now myth, but the concept is likely: a person that’s infected doesn’t isolate themselves, doesn’t seek treatment, and goes around to infect others while contagious and showing symptoms while gooey.

The other diseases I’ve mentioned? They can’t be contained here in the U.S because of the nature of the diseases.  Some can be vaccinated against, luckily, but with the current anti-vaxx movement thanks to Vaccine Denialists the U.S. is becoming a germ pit.

But I digress.

I don’t worry about contracting Ebola, and I let my children know that.  I let them know that it’s a very serious disease, just like other serious diseases, but that it’s unlikely they’ll be in a situation where they would be in direct contact with someone who is contagious with Ebola.  No fear.  Do not feed the fear.  I let them know when I’m concerned about something, but I won’t feed the fear.

While I worry more about the other diseases like Enterovirus, I instruct the girls to do as we always do: wash your hands.  Don’t touch your face without washing your hands.  Don’t share utensils.  Don’t lick surfaces.  ;-)  Don’t use water fountains.  Don’t sit near someone who is gooey, spewing, hacking, drooling from the mouth or nose, blowing into tissues frequently that isn’t tossing those tissues and not washing hands.  Don’t shake hands at church (it’s not being unfriendly, you can still offer peace be with you).

Without feeding the fears, you can be conscientious and thoughtful about your family and the community you and your family live and work and play in.  Because while you think you need to get to work, you don’t have the right to infect your coworkers, customers, clients, consumers, or anyone else.  If your children are sick and have had vomiting, fever, or diarrhea don’t you dare send them to school until they have been free of those things for 24 hours without the aid of medications.  You don’t have the right to send your child to school to infect other people’s children and their families, forcing them to have to take sick days, especially children whose immune systems may be compromised.  You don’t have the right to infect school staff, bus drivers, or anyone else.  If that happens, take responsibility.

Be conscientious.  Be a good citizen AND be a good parent.  Don’t risk a relapse by sending your child to school too soon because you couldn’t take an “extra” sick day.  You risk having to take several additional sick days by forcing a relapse.  If that happens, take responsibility.

I think this infographic is great for trying to avoid the common cold and other respiratory illnesses.  My favorite bit of advice is “stay home when you’re sick.”

Enterovirus Prevention Found on the

Enterovirus Prevention
Found on the

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WARNING: To teen or adult autistic individuals, I’d like to take care in warning you that this blog entry could be triggering to you.  I personally will not discuss ABA in detail because due to how our doctor referred us and who we were referred to, we chose not to pursue ABA therapies for our daughter.  That means I can’t speak to this from personal experience from a parenting standpoint nor on behalf of my daughter.  However, the link titled “ABA” will be discussing ABA therapies in some detail, so if you feel it will trigger trauma for you, please consider refraining from clicking the “ABA – Unstrange Mind link.

This link I’m about to share from Unstrange Mind by Sparrow Rose is probably one of the best and most comprehensive laymen’s explanations of why ABA therapy in its original intended form is, at best, misguided and at worst terribly abusive.  It also explains the difference between “different types of ABA” considering that in order to get an appropriately non-abusive therapy covered it must be classified as ABA for insurance purposes.

Most importantly, it explains to every loving, caring parent who takes their child to ABA and might fear that they’re being accused of abusing their child by allowing abuse through ABA what to look for in the therapist and the therapy their child is attending.  It talks about intent in bringing their children to ABA.

“ABA” | Unstrange Mind (click here).

This blog entry is a gift and ought to be read by every self-proclaimed Autism specialist, advocate, pediatrician, ABA therapist, teacher, special educator, parent, Autism advocacy agency, and anyone else whose lives might ever be touched by Autism or ABA.

This is so important.  When adult autistics speak, please listen.


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