May 2016 Vol 2 Issue 4
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Swanky Women Social Network
...there has to be an opportunity for a larger discourse 
A few weeks ago, on the same Thursday both my twenty-year old daughter and eleven-year old son reported to me that someone shoved/hit them at school.  In the case of my daughter she attends college and was in a nutrition lab preparing a meal.  The corner of her jacket accidently touched another person's plate and the person shoved her hard, shouting something to the effect of; "You touched my plate!"  Feeling extremely violated and scared, my daughter immediately left the classroom and called me.  Fortunately, she has Personal Assistant who sometimes accompanies her at school and that day, was on the other side of campus. The PA immediately went to Sam's aid... helped her with some calming techniques and supported her in communicating with her Professor.  The person who shoved her had left the class immediately after the alleged incident.  It eventually got resolved with my daughter being reassigned to another group.

In the case of my son, a peer allegedly kept hitting him and a couple other classmates.  This started when they were playing a game on the playground and the peer was allegedly cheating.  My son, having Asperger's Syndrome and being quite literal, called the peer on it. The peer kept denying it and my son continued calling it out.  So the peer began to hit my son.  My son decided to ignore the peer and began to put a long distance between them... that aggravated the matter.  The peer began to follow my son around the campus and was "accidently" tripping him and allegedly continued hitting him along with taunting.  When my son would protest, the peer would say; "You're of scared a little touch?" or some words to that effect.  Eventually I got involved, spoke to Teacher, Parent and Principal to resolve the matter.

It occurred to me that I ought to be ensuring that my kiddos are not targets because they wear the label Asperger's/Autism on their sleeves.  It occurred to me that many students with learning and other challenges attend College rather than a 4-year University to allow a better transition when pursuing higher education.  Perhaps the individual who shoved my daugher could be on the spectrum?   Or the peer hitting my son may have some undisclosed challenges?  If that were indeed the case, I wondered how much support these individuals were receiving?  Who was teaching them coping strategies to deal with their aggravation resulting from unintended challenges? 

If my kiddos were not disabled, would their peers feel they could get away with hitting them?  It also occurred to me that there has to be an opportunity for a larger discourse. Where collectively parents are comparing notes...  Learning and understanding the rights of their kiddos.  Where we are championing the cause of the disabled.  Where we are ensuring that our kiddos are not excluded because they are perceived to be too challenging to participate in a group activity.  Where we are empowering our kids to recognize when they are being discriminated against, violated or bullied.  We must declare our stance with a unified voice.  We need not be combative or adversarial.  However... We must become the change we want to see +.   

Let's continue this conversation at our upcoming Swanky Women Network... Together, we share this extraordinary experience raising our amazing kiddos... Let's get together to unwind, chat and reinvigorate!  Please send an email to if you wish to attend.  We are changing our meeting location and will forward you the address and directions.  Looking forward to seeing you then!  
+Mathama Gandhi
Click here for May Flyer
Adult, Autistic, and Forgotten
I thought I'd share this article with you from The Daily Beast.  Please click on the link read the entire article... Here is an excerpt: 
"The Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC), a department within the National Institutes of Mental Health that tracks autism research and spending, issued a report on April 19 (available here) that tracked autism research money spent in 2011 and 2012.

OARC’s findings disturbed the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN), a rights group run by and for autistic people. They noted that the study showed that only 1 percent of research money was spent on needs of adults with autism—and this actually represented a decline from 2 percent in 2011".

There are so many reasons for us to have a collective voice and champion the cause for our kiddos.  In a short time they will be adults navigating their way through life.  Let's find more ways to help them!
ACES Adolescent Health Series
Click here

ACES is offering this critical training to youth on the spectrum with an opportunity for a parent seminar if needed.  A Pilot group will be created after May 10th for the class to launch early June.  I believe they will divide the groups appropriately.  Click on the link to read more...

I know many of us have been waiting for this type of training to be available to our kiddos so I am grateful for it!  I will get my kids enrolled this summer.  Thought I'd share this with all of you.  I believe they accept various insurance groups.  

Program Information • Ages 11-17 • Ten week series • 90 minute classes, one time per week • Two instructors per class Location: ACES Orange County 16782 Von Karman Ave. Suite 11 Irvine, CA 92606

How to Enroll: Email to request enrollment information.
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