Sunday, October 23, 2016

She's with me

I could say that I am voting for Hillary Clinton because I am a liberal Democrat.   

I could say that I am voting for Hillary Clinton because I voted for Bernie Sanders, and now she is the Democratic party nominee.

I could say that I am voting for Hillary Clinton because she is a woman, but I have had reservations because Hillary doesn’t fit into my ideal first woman President.   

All these statements are true and reflect the conflict I have had in choosing to vote for Secretary Clinton.   
I am a reader and a researcher by nature.  Whenever there is a question in my life, whenever I have had doubts about how to deal with a subject, I have spent a good deal of time learning about every aspect of the issue.   

When Hillary Clinton became the presidential nominee for the Democratic Party, I knew that the reservations I felt needed to be researched out so that I did not have any doubts regarding my choice.  I wanted to sort through the facts and the fictions.  

What was so different about this research, for me, was that I thought I knew Ms. Clinton.  I had voted for Bill Clinton, I had watched Hillary struggle to be heard about health care.  I remembered the start of the bi-partisan attacks and the real and imagined scandals.  I remembered the First Lady, vaguely knew the Senator, and thought I knew the Secretary of State.   

As time had gone on, I had only seen Hillary Clinton in my periphery.  I knew that the Right had continued their attacks on her and her husband, but I really did not notice what she was doing, how she was trying to enact changes in ways that she has been doing since she started in public service.  

Discovery is one of the most extraordinarily profound by-products of research.  In going back to research Hillary Clinton anew, I realized that somehow, in a way, she was looking out for my singular and personal interests for a long time. 

One of Hillary Clinton's first jobs out of law school was with the Children’s Defense Fund in the state I now live, Massachusetts, and one of her first tasks was going door-to-door to figure out why so many children were missing school. She found that many parents were not sending their children to school because schools did not accommodate disabilities. The evidence she gathered was presented to Congress, and it helped build the case for the passage of the law that ensures all children with disabilities have access to school. As First Lady, she brought awareness and fought for funding for autism, including supporting the bipartisan Children’s Health Act of 2000, which focused on autism research. In the Senate, she introduced the bipartisan Expanding the Promise for Individuals with Autism. 

We first knew there was something not quite right when our son started Kindergarten.  You know it isn't good if, after three weeks, the Kindergarten teacher wants a parent/teacher conference.  They were worried about his safety, mainly.  He would get up during class and start to wander.  At one point, he left the classroom and went out to inspect the workings of the elevator.   "How do you motivate him?" "Does he exhibit outbursts at home?"  "Perhaps he should have behavioral therapy?"   
By the time he was in third grade, we had the first of many diagnoses.  He had ADHD and Social Pragmatics issues.   
“Every kid with a disability has the right to go to school,” Hillary Clinton said during her speech at the Democratic National Convention. “But how do you make an idea like that real? You do it step-by-step, year-by-year… sometimes even door-by-door.” 
My son has been through behavioral therapy, social skills groups, neurological tests of all shapes and sizes, Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs) and 504s.  My son went through the public school system, but through the special education system and with the help of laws and programs that Hillary Clinton helped to put in place, he was able to continue to not only be educated, but also stay in classrooms with his friends and peers.   

By the end of Middle School, we had a diagnosis that fit all the behaviors and issues.  My son has High Functioning Aspergers, now know as High Functioning Autism. 
A teenager's hormones and autism do not always mix that well together.  He had a really tough time transitioning to High School.  The number of calls from the school about tantrums and outbursts, altercations with other students and just disruptive behavior as a whole increased to a nerve-wreaking level. 

During this whole process, we had been our son's advocates, being there for the countless meetings at school regarding how to help our son achieve his goals.  Finally, my son hurting like he had never before, we had an outside advocate come in to help us to navigate the process of having him out-placed to a private school which assists children with autism and similar disabilities. 
Through the Special Education Department in Massachusetts, we were able to have our son go to a wonderful program, where he has thrived.  He is now a senior in High School, looking forward to graduating and going to college.   

We have gotten through a lot tough times, we are stronger and better for it.  However, the challenges facing my son are now going to be even more complex, as we look to having him be able to live on his own, interact with people in the larger society, hold down a job, and essentially be as independent as he can be, given the obstacles he still needs to overcome. 

Hillary Clinton is also trying to look towards the future of autistic and other disabled individuals.   
Amongst her policy and statement issues on health care and education programs, she has proposed an Autism Plan that focuses on support programs for autistic people, including improving employment opportunities and housing availability.  This article from the Guardian from January 2016, points out that: 

"Her plan focuses on necessary and sorely needed support programs for autistic people: improving employment opportunities and housing availability, significantly limiting the use of physical restraints, guaranteeing access to assistive communication technology for people who are nonverbal or have difficulty with spoken language and a specific call to do research on adult autism prevalence and needs. These issues are of vital importance to autistic people and our loved ones. No other major US presidential candidate has made these issues a part of his or her political platform."   

So, in the end, the major reason I am voting for Hillary Clinton is because I am a Special Needs mother.  I see a kindred spirit in this strong woman, who has fought for disabled people, giving them and their families voices.  She is strong because she has had to fight through tough times, trying to get her voice heard.  Secretary Clinton researches the heck out of an issue, and tries to find solutions  My son has a place in her world.  The time and energy she has spent over the years working for disabilities and autism in particular, has made me not only want to vote for her, but respect her.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Election Babble...

Just a collection of some of the comments I have made recently on Facebook about this election:

I think of it like this: two people are coming before me for a job. Now, if they blindly sent me their resume---I would be picking the most qualified. In the end, I want someone who is qualified for the position of President. Do they have to be lilly-white clean, nope. They do need to know how to do the job and, frankly, the job is political. So. The most qualified candidate put forth would be Hillary Clinton. It is as simple as that.


Well, I suppose the big issue is to try and research several different sources to get rid of bias as much as possible. For example, I have read up on Benghazi and do not see her at fault anymore than any other Secretary of State. I have read several sources, including the actual investigation. Unfortunately, in this day and age, one can end up living in a vacuum and hearing only what they want to hear. Part of the reason why I liked this opinion piece is that it does address some actual factual flaws she has. Do I think she is, no. Do I think that she is a liar to the third, no. In fact, several sources have found she is actually one of the more truthful politicians out there. It does not hurt to look at what various people who have worked with her on the other side of the aisle think of her. She is actually known as a great listener and policy wonk. In the end, my thoughts are that I want someone who is qualified. If this was a blind test and you got a resume from all candidates...she is overly qualified. We actually have not had some one this qualified in a loooong time.


This worries me. People not informed on how elections are done, how the country works. Too much hate and bile has riled up people to the point of not recognizing the democracy they live in every day.


Compromise is one of those wonderfully American things I love. HOWEVER, I am going to have to think really hard about respecting anyone who supports a narcissistic, bigoted, sexist a--hole. Sorry, I just feel that no matter what--you have to have some type of bar on stupid.


I am yelling at the TV. Omg. He just needs to shut up.


Listening to Hamilton on a drive in the rain....just seemed a good way to feel ready for tonight's debate.... (It certainly is making me feel better!).


In the end--I guess my cynical take on this...I am going to vote for the most qualified person. I don't really give a hang about the slanders which have plagued her. I want someone to DO something--which I think is where people who support Trump are initially coming from. Where Trump supporters and I greatly differ--I can deal with a "crooked" politician who not only wants to do something for the public good, but CAN do something for the public good. Heck, she did not need to go after this office--she wants it. Is it for power? Um, you don't get that much power from being president--in fact, you get shouldered with a damn site lot of responsibility. And supposedly, if you listen to all the slander--she already has the power to KILL(!), no. I think she genuinely wants to DO something (I kinda think of her as the woman who is like, "oh come on guys, fine..."I" will deal with this mess!!). Trump...I hear a lot of fear mongering and rhetoric...but even the things he says he wants to do--are impossible to do (a wall!?!) and he shows a clear lack of any real knowledge. Businessman, other businessmen have actually said he is not that great. is qualifications that I am looking for, clear and simple. The fact that he is a narcissistic, bigoted, a-hole, just is a more clear reason why I don't want him "negotiating" with foreign powers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Learning Experiences, Part II

She always seems to have deep thoughts at the end of the day.  Usually when lying in bed, when I am trying so very hard to just get her to sleep.  Then she asks the coolest questions.

Last night, is typical.  I read to her one of my favorite parts of "On the Banks of Plum Creek".  The part where Nellie Olson gets her comeuppance with leeches.  She asks what leeches are like, and how it feels.  I have had some experiences with, I explain.  She talks about how a friend of hers got stung by a bee.  She asks--can you go through your whole life, without being bitten by leeches or having poison ivy, or getting hurt, etc.

I told her how I had gotten in to a bunch of leeches, had a bad case of poison ivy, gotten lots of mosquito bites...and these were all when I was around her age (all, by the way, through Girl Scout Camp...).

The point was, I told her, is that life is the experiences, good and bad.  You learn from them, and later, you can tell stories from them.


This morning...she had a life experience.  I was upstairs getting ready to take her to school.  She dealt with her breakfast dishes, and the kitchen garbage was placed outside (it is stinky and needs to be taken out to the big garbage can).  She stepped out to put some garbage in the kitchen garbage...and got locked out.  I did not hear her for a little while, because I was upstairs.  It was fine, I opened the door not five minutes later--the poor kiddo had some tears streaking her face..but she was fine...and we both laughed about how THIS was a life experience.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Learning Experience and Mixed Messages...

Michael has worked at his job for a few weeks now...and it is a definite learning experience for him. 

It has been weird to hear him talk about work...he has said a couple things that are so typical of this type of the time he was talking about people coming in right at closing time and how everyone who is working is just waiting for them to go home...the time we went to the store and he proudly showed me something he put on he discussed that the Trump masks are played with at the store...but no one buys them...

He is on his first "long" shift today.  He has money to have his lunch there.  How he got this shift--the manager called me and asked if Michael would like to take this shift--and I said yeah, sure (he hadn't had a shift this week yet...).  Well--then we hit the corner of Teenager and Aspergers.  Michael was not pleased that I volunteered him.  Part of that, in retrospect, should have been obvious to me--I mean, how many times as a teenager did I duck out of taking extra shifts?!  But, there was another aspect.  As he blamed me (a little more than he should have, which is pure Asperger issue), he also showed his ASD anxiety--he worried that he has only had small shifts...and he wasn't sure if he was ready for a longer really bothered him that he could not have controlled when he got that shift.  I told him I could totally call back and have him bail.  He eventually decided (even with a cold starting to bother him) to take the shift.  I am proud that he is willing to push himself.

Then comes the mixed messages part.  Part of his personality, which is a good and bad aspect, is that he is very literal, very precise.  If you, say, want him to start a shift at, you better have the store open at 9:30. 

I just finished with this scenario:  I dropped him off.  Part way home, I got a call.  No one was there to let him in and his shift started in 2 minutes  (You could hear the anxiety in his voice).  I told him to just relax and wait 10-16 minutes and then call me back if no one showed.  I got home.  Within 10 minutes he called, obviously exasperated, saying no one is here (key point is that while he was upset, he seemed to be keeping his frustration level in check).  Okay, I said, well, let me call your manager...I will call you back.  I call the manager--he is a kid (probably like 25 years old) and he says "oh, yeah, I am pulling into the parking lot right now..."  I call Michael back and tell him this, and tell him to calm down, don't worry, you will get all your time for the day....END. 

Unfortunately, this shop, since it is only seasonal, seems to be a bit disorganized--you know why he did not have any shifts this week?  They forgot to call us and tell us he was supposed to be working on Monday and Tuesday night this week... (found this out on Thursday).  So, yeah...they are also showing Michael the worst of habits in some respects. 

But, you know what?  It is all good....its a learning experience, especially each time he has to deal with something a bit different than expected. 


Wednesday, October 12, 2016


My energizer bunny is not a morning person.  Especially when she is reluctant to go to school...

She had had a rough time getting to sleep last night, so I let her sleep in a bit.  Now, though, the morning routine is starting to eat into the little time I have in the morning.  [Sheesh, she needs to get up already!]  I pull the covers off of her  [I have made it easy, for gosh sakes...I even have her clothes picked out for her].  She pulls the covers back over her.  I pull them off.  Usually, this is enough.  Not today.  She is very reluctant to start the day, go to school.  The covers are back on.  We struggle and rough house and tickles are deployed.  [Time is running out, I do need to shower, get ready...]  She needs this, I need this.  Tickles, giggles and the back and forth...she finally pins me, her whole body on top of my back.

Finally, she is up.  She really does not want to go to school [she is having a rough time so far this year].  We talk and discuss...extra TLC is in order to get her to start her day today....

I drop her off at school.  I go to work...I am un-showered.

It was worth it. Photobucket

Friday, September 30, 2016

Bing Bang Boom....

Haven't had much time to write, been a bit busy...

As usual, school starts and then there is so much happening...

Willow is still trying to adjust to Third Grade (its Hard!), but now that October is upon us, there is HALLOWEEN!

I used to love having Michael's friends come over for a Halloween party, it was such fun (a lot of hassle and work, but FUN), I am going to have a Halloween party for Willow this year...the first package of eye patches and temporary tattoos came today in the mail.

Tonight, Michael is working his second shift at the local Halloween store...I am very proud of him!
(Although I am tensing up each time he goes, as I want things to happen without incident, etc.)

Between those things and Willow starting piano lessons and singing lessons, and the general stuff going on...we have also tried to have some time to go out and enjoy life too!

And then there is mom....trying to visit her on her birthday has been a bit hard, as the hospital was under quarantine for almost two, a week and a day late, we will go visit her with Birthday cake and lunch on Sunday....

So, we are now entering FALL and the HOLIDAY only gets busier from here on in!