My 'Soap Box'.

How Low Can Some People Go:

MSN had a post: "Man with Cerebral Palsy - Teen Stole Phone That Helped Me Speak". It describes an incident that took place in the lobby of where William Washington lives, someone took his communication device off his wheelchair, right in front of him, and ran off with it.

William is a quadriplegic who uses and iPhone with a special pointer than will enable him to type a message with voice output technology. A teen came up to him, grabbed it off his tray and ran. He uses a clunky computer now.

Mr. Washington was still able to get a hold of police though. He sent an email to the NYPD and they used surveillance video to get the suspect, who did not have the phone at that point. According to the article, Mr Washington said he never lost his voice and his friends have rallied to get him a new iPhone. At least, he was not hurt. I am not sure if some people are so desperate needing cash, or are just so clueless and in this case, figure this man can't stop him, so it's an easy steal.


I don't know how many of you have read this but this is so upsetting yet so not-surprising of school officials lately. A young man decided to take care of his mom who is battling cancer and missed 16 days of school -- 2 more than what is allowed to walk the stage at graduation. School officials are saying that school policy is policy. First of all, I'll bet that if this was one of their children or a politician's child, policy would be changed immediately or some excuse would be given as to why the student would be excused from the rule. Also the small-mindedness of these people only shows that this young man has more character in his little finger than they have all totaled in their whole being.

This young man can write his own dissertation on the meaning of life. He is what we want all our children and young people to aspire to. His character is what we want to see in the future leaders of our country. It sometimes gets scary to think that my generation will be taken care of by people who grew up in the 'me' generation - what's in it for me??, people who are racking up debt beyond belief. Social Security - what's that going to be??

Anyway this is about Austin Fisher. I commend his commitment to his mom when his contemporaries were probably out dating. I love that he still held his commitment to his jobs. He is what these school officials should be holding in front of the rest of the school, he is what the school officials should be recommending for an award. There should be citizenship awards or scholarships for Austin. Bypass the stage and go straight to college. Small-minded officials should be replaced. Did they never hear about tutoring? I'll bet there are teachers who would be willing to tutor Austin so he can catch up on his work, hopefully at no charge.

This reminds me of something of a similar situation here in RI not too long ago when a young lady wanted to go to her high school prom but school officials said "no" since she had missed too many days of school due to a chronic illness she has which places her in the hospital off and on. Everyone here too was in an uproar and after much social pressure, the 'powers that be' said "yes" to her. I hope that there is enough social pressure in Cleveland to change their narrow minds.

It is amazing that officials can support those wanting condoms in schools, wanting any traditional family situations NOT to be displayed ( a local high school girl painted a mural in school of a young man growing up and getting married to a female and having a child and was told this did not represent everyone is school so she should change it. WHAT??? Thank God she was able to keep her mural exactly the way she wanted it ), teach Darwinism, man coming from the apes but stop short at other options.

Keep the pressure on in Cleveland. Support other young men and women who may be in the same position. Life is not all book work, written tests, SATs, and how many championships the football team racks up and who plays the best. Life is about people, working with others, helping others. The best place to start is at home; if people don't care about their family members and want to help them, then how can they care and help others. Mom should be very proud of Austin - no matter what happens. She did a wonderful job raising her son. He is a blessing to her and will be to anyone else he meets. Austin is the essence of love.

On MSN -- Student Can't Graduate Because He Helped Sick Mom.


I don't know how many people are already aware of this post on Facebook but if you are not, you should check this out. What a blatant exclusion of a special needs child in a concert. Alex was to perform with the choir but was ultimately left sitting off to the side of the group, apparently no one could 'see him', 'they did not know he was there', etc - I'm sure you can get the drift of the excuses used by the adults who ran the choir. I am so glad to see so many people post positive, encouraging responses on the Facebook page and hope to God that the community does not let up on those responsible and those responsible apologize sincerely for their actions and allow Alex to perform right in front the next time, spotlight on him and him alone. The picture shown with the story says it all.


I recently heard of an elementary school in Middletown Ct using 'scream rooms', at first, for special needs children when they get out of control, for discipline purposes. Another article mentioned that it uses these 'rooms' for any student out - of - control (at least that how it looks). Read the stories and you decide. Either way, the school professionals went WAY BEYOND any basic disciplinary actions. To put a student, any student, in a small closet - sized room so they can get their anger out by screaming, yelling, and in one case it sounded like a child was left banging his/her head against a concrete wall, is someplace these 'professionals' need to be!! When all this noise/screams reach other students in the other classrooms, what do you think it tells them - that the same will  happen to them if they act out!! Nice going!! One PTO person described the children being put in there are disrespectful and using foul language -- I would probably do the same if someone was doing that to me!! Does 'time out' at these professionals homes include this type of room for their children?
 It sounds more like they just wanted to get the child away from them so they would not have to deal with them - it was an easy way out for them. I have seen children in my autistic son's class 'lose it' - hitting a teacher, raising their voice, crying, trying to bang their head against someone else but never did a teacher send them to a separate area, never leaving them alone. Teachers would band together to try to calm the child, take the child for a walk, try to hold the child - anything but take the child out of their sight. I know some of you are saying "how do you know what the teachers do since you are not there all the time?". Well most of our group of teens have been together since elementary school, parents have ALWAYS been invited to stop in, to help out, to talk to the teachers anytime. WE PARENTS TALK TO EACH OTHER -- over the phone, at social events, at Special Olympics. Someone always knows about what is going on in the classroom.
These so-called professionals need to be replaced by others who have a clue about disciplining a special needs child. Time-out does not work!! For younger children especially, a picture story works wonders. When they get older and if their cognitive skills are better, you can sometimes talk to them and use a rewards list - if they behave and control themselves, they can get checkmarks or smiley faces, whatever and then get a reward they really like -- computer time, the radio, relaxing time, read a book. I use this for Willie when he starts bugging me about things and will not stop. It works!!
Parental involvement is extremely necessary and should be welcomed. Any student having a real tough behavior problem should have a way for the parents, teachers and school social worker to work together; everyone should sit down together - YES even the student. If he/she cannot speak, there should be a way for the student to get the message across of what the problem is. Enter the pediatrician if necessary - get the student tested for what seems to be the major issue. There is so much information and testing and support groups out there -- your local children's hospital should be able to help.
I am SOOOO glad my child is not in this school -- then again he would  not be there now if he was earlier in the school year.


I came across a story about a school in Massachusetts, The Judge Rotenburg Center, for children with emotional and behavioral issues that uses electric shocks to curb their behavior. Remind me again, what century are we living in?

It is hard to believe that educated people find this the way to handle children who they fear will be destructive to themselves or others. It is amazing that they find this method works over some type of restraint - I have seen children who are getting physical, even trying to head-butt someone else, being restrained just by a bear hug after getting them into a quieter environment. Their case is that their students are extremely dangerous to themselves that this is better than the torture that they endure without it. Drugging them is not an option. Parents, physicians, and the court have to agree on the shock therapy and some parents do say it has helped their child.

The possible infractions that cause the shocks can be anything from wanting to keep a coat on to standing up without permission according to someone who used to work there. The school officials say it is used on students who would hit themselves over the head, one who would bite himself and another who gouged his eyes out and blinded himself. Parents have stated that the therapy has saved their children - one from being very aggressive and one from biting himself. According to one report 'the alternative is to be drugged into insensibility, restrained, secluded and warehoused in a state mental hospital - in effect a form of living torture'. The 2 second shock is a 'humane treatment' according to a school official, feels like a bee sting. How do you determine the difference in types of tortures that are Ok or not Ok? How would these school officials feel if they were zapped every time they did something that someone did not like?

There is a petition online to stop this through Please consider adding your name to this. It just seems so 'shocking' that this method is condoned in this day and age. Makes you wonder if lobotomies will make a comeback.

Please read the following for more information:

Shock Therapy Massachusetts School

Electric Shocks Can Continue at Mass School


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Grandma’s Pearls of Wisdom:
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Your beliefs you should uphold
Don’t shy away from what is right
Be courageous and be bold
Keep hope right in your pocket
It will guide you day by day
Take it out when it is needed
When it’s near, you’ll find a way
Remember friends and family
Of which you are a precious part
Love deeply and love truly
Give freely from your heart
The world is far from perfect
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