Archive for March, 2011

As We Head Into Election Mode

As once again for the fourth time in approximately 7 years we head to the polls for a federal election the question arises. What really has changed?

The liberals have changed leaders a couple of times (none of the leaders are appealing to the Canadian people) The Conservatives have changed a couple of seats but they really don’t seem to be gaining much real traction with the canadian people either. Layton’s NDP gather a little bit of ground but unfortunately even though many people like the leader not many like the party platform. Greens seem to still not be able to resonate with the voting public (largely due to the belief that there is no substance beyond an environmental platform).

I think this time the electorate needs to send a strong message. That message is we have had enough of this nonsense. Look closely at all the parties that present candidates (including smaller parties that may not be able to form government and including independent candidates) and choose an individual that you feel will best serve your riding.

The problem we have been faced with year after year is that we have constantly tried to vote out the government in power without giving any thought to what we are voting for. The time has come to get a party that will commit to serving it’s four year mandate and to commit to seriously revamping the electoral process so that the incessant repeat of history every two or three years stops. These elections cost large amounts of money for all taxpayers whether they vote or not and it is time that we stand up for ourselves and say we have had enough of this nonsense

Bad Budget: Poorly Thought Out Tax Increases

There is two thing that constantly gets hit when governments look to “increase revenue”

1/ Raise the Gas Tax

This is guaranteed to mainly strike at the low income earners. Gas increases will lead to food price increases, more workers will find it harder to make it to work, disposable income will decrease putting even more workers out of work and this is a never ending cycle of loss. Raising the gas tax is almost always guaranteed to end up with a net loss in revenue when balanced across the entire spectrum.

 

2/ Raise Tobacco Tax

This has always been one of my favourite world’s dumbest moves. Any and all increases to Tobacco tax leads to a reduction in the consumption of Legal tobacco products and an increase in illegal cigarettes.

This was a lesson I had thought was learned when I was much younger when the government realized that well over 3/4 of the tobacco products sold at the time were illegal and that tobacco tax revenues were at an all time low, with almost no actual reduction in the number of smokers.

Each time tobacco taxes are raised the anti-smoking groups constantly harp that it is a good thing and it reduces smoking but this is not correct. It only serves to drive tobacco sales underground.

Many years ago during prohibition there was a lesson that was supposed to be learned by the governments of the day. Unfortunately it really does appear that the lesson has been lost on successive governments who constantly feel that tobacco is the appropriate spot to earn “increased revenue”

 

What was a repeated vocal talking point from many people during consultations was repealing the corporate tax increases.  This budget did nothing but prove that the government was not really listening because what they did was prove that once again the tax cuts will be allowed to run their course to the liberal determined end point in July.

The “Wandering” Designation IS Necessary

Ari Ne’eman Says No to "Wandering" designation

 

Once again an “autistic” adult who fully functions in adult life has weighed in on a situation that, if he is succeeds, would negatively impact the lives of low functioning autistics all over North America.

 

The CDC has finally in it’s all encompassing intelligence finally decided that a wandering designation should be used to help identify those children with a propensity to wander away from safe surroundings.  This is something that has been necessary for decades and is part of the reason for an organization called Mason Allen Medlam Foundation for Autism Safety and their program called "Mason’s Alert" that I discussed in November This Program which realizes that autistic children wander, and that wandering autistic children head for water, aims to create an alert system that would have police properly direct their attention in the case of a missing autistic individual, instead of following normal search protocols that do not work for autistic children.

 

The wandering designation makes it more likely that an alert system of this form could be created, by showing a clinical definition that would make this change in searches easier to accomplish. Lack of this designation helps support police’s attempts to stick to a standard definition search.

 

What really is annoying with those like Ari Ne’eman that work so hard to destroy the work that we do to get programs and systems in place to protect our children is that he is really no different then me. When i was younger (and using today’s standards) it would have been no difficulty for me to be classed as mildly autistic, though i generally don’t suffer any of the issues of this designation today. What this means is that someone who is fully capable of leading a full and productive life is speaking out against programs and designations that are desperately needed for those with the same disorder but many magnitudes worse.

 

Once again we are going to have to hope and work to make sure that Obama’s chosen autistic representative does not damage the great works that are being accomplished in setting new standards that help protect autistic children from being natural victims to the world around them.

While we still need to have the issue clarified for certainty, rumour is suggesting  that the new CUPE 2745 collective agreement for TA’s forgoes the needs of the child in favour of protecting the seniority of the TA’s

What all parents of special needs children need to do is to verify that the TA who will be assigned to their child is a TA is who trained to suit the needs of the child. The next step if this is not the case is to request that a properly trained TA be made available.

If we as parents of special needs children are ignored in this way then the parents of special needs children need to start to remove their children en mass from the the schools in New Brunswick until such time as the union, the province and the school districts realize that properly trained TA’s are the required norm for this province. If senior TA’s are not properly trained then they should be paid to return to school to get the proper training.

 

If we as parents pull all the special needs students out of the classroom there will be no more students for the TA’s to assist with. If there is no more students for the TA’s to assist with then there will be no jobs for them.

 

And no Sandy Harding this deal is not about “You” it is “About the Children” contrary to statements that have been attributed to you during the negotiations

American Attitudes on Autism are Disturbing

Autistic Black Man Sits waits for a library to open and ends up spending 10 years in Jail 

 

An Autistic Black Man who went to the library to early and sits on the grass to wait for it to open ends up with someone calling 911 reporting a Black Man with a gun. Because the officer who arrives to talk to him misjudges the situation so badly, The Autistic individual is instead looking at a 10 year jail sentence for assaulting a police officer.

 

The officer involved does have a 33 year old mentally handicapped child however he still managed to miss the signs of autism so badly that he ended up manhandling the Autistic to the point where the officer ended up injured when the autistic individual responded as any parent of an autistic will tell you is likely to happen in this situation.

 

I have two problems with this. 1/ The individual had 911 called while he was sitting on the grass reading a book waiting for a library to open. This was nothing more then pure and simple racism. That was continued by the officer who arrived and without properly assessing the situation reacted as if this was the case.

2/ The officer involved even though he had a disabled child of his own, was so out of touch with autism that he misjudged the situation so badly that without evidence of wrong doing, he manhandled an autistic which any autistic parent is going to tell you is going to end only one way. With a physical confrontation.

 

We need both in Canada and the US (and likely Internationally as well) for all police officers to be trained in the proper methods of dealing with mentally ill individuals (including autism). While we repeatedly here that police officers are not physiologists’ and psychiatrists we really need them to become those. This is because the institutions that would house those who are unable to care for themselves (and are to much of a risk to be on their own) are being removed more and more in favour of inclusion and that inclusion is causing way to many mentally ill individuals to be sent to jail because the facilities that they need to function are no longer available to them.

 

We also need the government to realize that with approx. 1% of newborns being diagnosed with autism at some point in their life and that number growing quickly, we need facilities available to treat and provide therapies to all autistic individuals until such point as they are fully capable of integrating into society to such a point that they are no longer a threat.

 

What is the most supreme tragedy of this situation is that an illness that is believed to be inflicted by the pharmaceutical companies in conjunction with the government, by forced vaccination programs that not all are certain are safe, is leading to the government throwing them in jail for something that they realistically have no ability to control

 

We as autistic parents need to stand up and demand accountability from them.