Tag Archive for autism

They Look Normal

Have you ever notice how we naturally tend to judge people without even being aware of it.  Maybe a guy walks by and we look at him and think “man why doesn’t he do something with his hair”?  Or maybe a woman walks by and we think “doesn’t she realize those pants look awful on her”?  I know petty as it may seem we all have done it or do this on a regular basis.  What about those times that we are in the store and we see a child that has an awful tantrum?  What is your first thought? “Those parents need to learn to get their child under control” or “If that were my kid I’d take them home and give them a good spanking or time out”.  Does this resonate with you?  Have you actually gone up to the parent and made a negative comment about their parenting skills?

We’ve all heard the saying “you should never judge a book by its cover”.  In life this applies  to people and situations more then you may realize.  Let’s go back to that child in the store and take a closer look at what might really be going on.  We have a mother that is taking her child to the store.  But what you don’t see or know is that this is a child with a disability.  Well how can that be you say because “they look normal”.  Ah here is the kicker….they look like any other child on the “outside”, but on the inside they are “wired” totally differently.  This trip to the store has over stimulated the child and all the noise, lights, crowds and waiting has caused this particular child to go into “sensory overload” and they are actually in physical pain over it.  All the child can do is meltdown to deal with it.  So the parent is doing everything they can to try to calm the child and get them out of the store.  I have experienced this first-hand as I have one of these children that “looks normal” but is wired differently.  And yes I have experienced the comments and looks from those “judging the situation” and my “parenting skills”.  I also work with children that “look normal” but actually have different disabilities even from my own child.  There are a lot of these individuals out there in our communities.

I hope that this blog post affects us all by nothing more than making us take a moment to stop and think when we witness something out in the community with a child, teenager or adult that may seem “odd” even though they may “look normal”.  Give them the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe their brains are just wired differently.  This doesn’t make them any “less” than anyone else…just different.

Guest blog by Deanna Rouse an advocate and parent of a child with one of the invisible disabilities.

Reno speards the word and educates about autism.

From Renos World.  This kid rocks.

The Curious Kids learn about Asperger Syndrome with Reno. Produced by Roise Emery

Please help me spread autism awareness in your community! Thank you WGCU, Rosie Emery and the Curious Kids hosts for inviting me to be on the Curious Kids Show to help raise Autism Awareness. The entire Curious Kids show will be on December 17th. Please share with your friends and family!

Reno – keep making noise – the squeaky wheel always gets noticed.

Thanks for all that you do.


Carly Fleishmann – Girl With Autism

Anyone who deals with the disabled knows that there is more to them than meets the eye.  They amaze us everyday and continue to amaze us with their insights and actions.

This is a great video that reminds us to never give up and to keep advocating for those who have special needs or are different.

Carly – Keep Squeaking Those Wheels. Way to go!

Bedford Family Alleges Abuse of Autistic Child in $20 Million Lawsuit

If it keeps costing our schools (and taxpayers) millions, maybe the abuse of seclusion and restraint will end in our public schools.

This from Bedford VA, provided by Georgia:Families Against Restraint And Seclusion

Bedford County’s school board and several current and former school employees are facing a $20 million lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, a 14-year-old autistic boy was attacked on his school bus by people who were supposed to protect him.

The alleged incidents happened more than two years ago. Attorneys for the boy’s family have produced video tape that they say shows some of the attacks.

Video captured from a school bus surveillance camera appears to show an adult woman kicking and hitting a young boy. Attorneys say the women is Mary Alice Evans, a former Bedford County teacher’s aide.

The child is an autistic boy.


We need to keep squeaking our wheels.  Wake up our children are being abused in school.  School is not supposed to hurt.

Share The Blessing for The Disabled

Disabled Left Behind in Florida

Guest blog by Mike Coonan, President Left Behind in the USA   

In Florida, 21,000 people (mostly children) with a developmental disability, such as mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy and related conditions are living at home and are waiting for the Medicaid Waiver services.  They have been on the waiting list for the last eight years. Across America, more than 370,000 people (mostly children) with the same conditions are also lingering on similar waiting lists. We are told by our state elected officials that there is no end in sight for ending the Medicaid Waiver waiting lists.

At the same time, many families receiving Medicaid waiver services tell us that they are willing to share these precious resources.  Those of us on the waiting list are thankful for their thoughtful consideration of our plight. Their gracious words of support have encouraged us to work towards a more equitable situation.

To that end, Left Behind in the USA is proposing that the Developmental Disability Community review policy and organizational barriers preventing Medicaid Waiver services and supports from being shared with families in need.  Left Behind in the USA is now on a quest to learn more about the following:


  • How the Medicaid Waiver rules can be restructured to allow for the voluntary sharing of support services from families getting services to families on the waiting lists.          For example, if a family is receiving $14,000 worth of Medicaid Waiver services, how            can they share         10% of these services to help someone on the waiting list?
  • When the Medicaid Waiver program is restructured to allow for sharing, how do families who are willing to share with those in the greatest need get connected?
  • How can we implement this program with virtually no costs?
  • Who is willing to help families on the Medicaid Waiver waiting lists obtain more help in Sharing the Blessings?
  • Assure that families who may choose to share services do not suffer a reduction in their service level as a result of their generosity.

Our expectation is that the Sharing the Blessings program will benefit thousands of families who are presently not receiving any help.  In addition, we firmly believe our program will shine a little light of hope in a bleak world for the families lingering on waiting lists.

Keep squeaking your wheels – One day they will listen to us.

Autism Kick Boxing Event


Think Autism is trying to set a Guinness World Record™.  The date is October 1st at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida.

They will be assembling or attempting to assemble over over 2,336 kickboxers.  That is the current record set in 2009.

Tae Bo Fitness® creator Billy Blanks® will be putting the event together.  Of course they will be raising funds for and promoting awareness of autism.

Register online. 

This will be a fun time and a good way to show support for the autism community.

Remember the squeaky wheelchair can kick some butt.

Autism and Employment Webinar – Sept. 7, 2011

The Autism and Employment Webinar Learning Series: “Real Lives, Real Stories” September 7, 2011 * Noon-1:00 p.m.  Register Here.