Special Editorial: Don’t vote on Tuesday – It’s your best form of democracy!

Tuesday is Primary Day in my state, and the Editorial Board of the ASD Journalist (the publisher of this portal) believes  there aren’t that many good politicians. In short, no one will be looking out for you on Tuesday. Your best vote is to stay home (or your workplace.)

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Special Editorial: We DO NOT endorse Mark Fisher for MA Republican Governor.

The editorial board of the ASD Journalist/Day to Day with ASD does not believe that Mark Fisher would be able to beat out the favored candidate , Charlie Baker in the primary next week.

This publisher knows about Massachusetts and their dysfunctional government personally, thanks to the horrible mismanagement of the Massachusetts Department of Education and their micromanagement of dictating how special ed teachers can teach. However, few politicians that run for the corner office in Beacon Hill can really woo me. In fact many that are running on both sides are not great, but let’s explain why Fisher is the wrong candidate.

What would Fisher do to you, your family, the poor citizens suffering with PDDNOS? The single case against Fisher is EBT because he has not made any statements about special needs support or anything else that really applies to Massachusetts:

Fisher is for real extreme crackdowns of EBT, such as photo IDs, no ATM withdrawls. Fisher is even for more extreme measures such as “workfair” (citing opinions from the out of region Heritage Foundation and former Federal CEO, Bill Clinton.) Mr. Fisher, your ideal white paper mindset does not reflect the realistic environments where many with moderate autism are still without a job after they finish high school at 22 years old (if you even knew about that.)

Because Fisher represents most of the hard core tightie righties, there is nothing else to discuss about Fisher’s view on special needs, because he has none! The rest of this editorial explains his other (disturbing) views that will destroy the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and not help.

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Special Report: Depression & Autism

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The death last Monday of the famous actor/comedian, Robin Williams has opened yet another opportunity to discuss depression.

Robin Williams had died from an apparent suicide last Monday morning (PT) at his Bay Area, CA home. He was 63. He was dealing with financial problems, and also was dealing with his cancelation of his TV show, The Crazy Ones, likely due to low overnight ratings. Other reports claim he was dealing with an onset of Parkinson’s (unable to confirm that here.) He was in many films from Jumanji (which apparently according to the Union Leader, was filmed in Southwest NH), Mrs. Doubtfire, Bicentennial Man, voiced over the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin , and many more movies and will appear in 6 more films ready to be released in the coming year. Older readers may recall him in the 70s TV series Mork & Mindy, which was the catalyst to his career.

Williams had said in the past he was dealing with depression and went into rehab 8 years ago. He dealt with drugs and alcohol. A month ago, it was confirmed he was going back into rehab, citing “tuning up” his sobriety. In any case it was likely too late, as something caused him to kill himself last week.

It would not be appropriate to discuss – or speculate why he did it nor mentioning if he was a coward or not to do that. I’d like to turn the focus on to the topical status of depression.

Whether or not depression is part of autism, or autism causes depression, or it’s a similar but different, or it’s caused genetically (like from your crazy uncle – literally) or not, the fact is depression and autism  can go in tandem. There is no doubt about that, despite how many PhD hacks you talk to. Depression and ASD can be caused by various factors, becoming an adolescent, coming to a realization that you are “different” or just the poor execution of your support system’s ability to help you.

I know people who are in their late twenties in some level of depression. I myself have dealt with this on and off at least for the last 15 years. If you had followed this blog for the last few years, I’ve really held “the system” accountable for lot of the damages caused to me.

There is a taboo in the developmental disabled and the mental disorder community whether or not both practices should merge. Psychiatric, mental disorders and developmental disorders 3 different things traditionally. There are various methods in treating them, but they are all different. That doesn’t mean that they should come together or be recognized as dual issues. Because these disorders are so separate, the delivery system for services and support are separate. Whose to say someone with severe autism is also dealing with depression? Whose to say someone with Down’s could be bipolar? Also why are we so focused on the disorder and so worried about going to the right agency to get services or should I say the best services since in some areas, mental disorders and developmental disorders are handled by two different services?

Also its been a cliche all week long about how mental health services are not addressed properly. I’d go even further and say mental health services for people with autism are also limited too. In my area, there are a handful of psychologists that ether specialize in autism, or has a working knowledge of autism. (The other handful focuses on ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome, which I’m leaving out because people with AS can choose to not be a odd, weird talking liberal moonbat, and act like everyone else. Sorry I don’t respect people with AS.)

Despite the contrary, New Hampshire in the downstate region is part of the Greater Boston metro region, and even in the most world class cities in the world, this area and probably even the Mass. Merrimack Valley also lacks in mental health services for dual dx’d mental and developmentally ill clients.  I blame part of the Boston snobbery that insists civility doesn’t exist north and west of I-495.

In closing, there needs to be a national discussion with trying to eliminate the stigma of depression; and another track to discuss why so many people with autism or other related disorders are falling into the cracks and why so many arrogant leaders are not realizing there is a depression problem with the autistic community. Especially in the twentysomething crowds, where many grew up in the dark ages of autism being a mysterious and unknown disorder and had parents not knowing where to go and school districts not putting focus on them. If we can’t take this opportunity to discuss this problem, there will be another tragedy that won’t get mentioned because they aren’t a celebrity.

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Special Report: Getting Back to Work

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A Special Report on “Getting Back to Work”

On Sunday, I did a special report on the fears of getting committed in work programs. In tonights special report, we focus on possible strategic ways to gracefully get back to work without causing strain to your life, your child’s life.

my worst enemy: I keep myself busy

I can relate to this, because that could explain why I haven’t gotten back to work myself. Especially when you want to do something when you actually have to work. If that is the case, it could explain that you didn’t have the time to do something else because you were tied into another routine.

The “system” is so perplexing, how do can I find a work program?

If you are in a school system, receive services though a state, through a state funded agency or you have Medicaid or Vocational Rehab is the easiest path to begin. Depending on what type of program, find the one that best fits for your or your loved one. Sadly, the customized programs are slowly cropping up in some places

 What kind of things I should look into?

Look at literature like brochures, handouts or even a website. Look anything that stands out. If you see something that throws a red flag, don’t be afraid to question them.

In my case, I was turned away of what I consider a entry level position as something you expect for some salary level position with a recent research with a local program provided by the agency.

Question as much as you want, don’t be afraid to “be nice” – it actually doesn’t help you. If the program director or the manager of the program seems to have a charm, that can be potentially a smoke screen.

If a program appears to be customized, ask how far can it be customized. If customization is an option, it means the program will better fit for someone because it tailors to what you can do vs. what you can’t do or worse, must do.  Find out things such as minimal hours, staff to client ratio, what have other clients gotten a job for and so on. If you are not open in the beginning that’s ok, experts in these experiences say its because likely the program directors want to find out what you like and immediately apply it for a job without a cautious approach.

Be upfront.

I told these people when I went for the initial meeting that I didn’t work for many years and I am afraid of getting back to work with all the fears of my alleged social skills issues, and the fears of heightened anxiety thanks to the pressures of these people.

Just with any job any accommodations should be brought up as soon as possible so don’t be afraid to be upfront when committing with the program. If you are nervous with the programs’ expectations, do not be afraid to mention that.

With that in mind, these suggestions should be able to help someone go back to work with grace and peace without the chaotic hell some programs provide.

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