Monthly Archives: September 2013

Comments Off on You Just Inspired the Heck out of me – Mr. West!

Alright, what the heck does this title mean and what the heck does it have to do with autism, especially autism and disparity?

Let’s explain a little deeper;
Kanye West was interviewed by BBC radio and he made such true statements on how shaping the message can make or break an artist. I know you are thinking – what? how is this about autism and this persistent disparity? Bare with me – it will make sense at the end.
Let’s start from the beginning. Shaping the message of anything is probably the most important way for success or failure in everything. If you listen to Kanye’s interview – he talks about how his records don’t get played a lot by radio DJ’s and stations. For instance, when a radio DJ plays a record constantly and says (this is sooo good, creative, inspiring, blah blah blah) what happens?
You listen and even if you did not like the first take, it grows on you. Then what happens, you buy the record, you post it on your FB, share it with your friends, etc. This creates what – a HIT. And, Voila – you got a star by repeat rinse and repeating their message or record. This is how JT, LadyG, M&M, KC, and the likes of them create mediocre records & shows that turn out to be hits. Then what happens, a TV or movie producer calls you and books you for their next project. Then what happens, a product marketer maybe Nike or Calvin Klien (remember Marky Mark and how CK took off his career) calls you and you get a deal with them. From there the sky is the limit because now you are the “it” person that must be followed by TMZ and sets trends. It is all about shaping the message to create the product or the desired end result. I hope you get that blk ppl.
Now, if you are Kanye or any other African American person – what happens? It is hard to get your song played over and over, it is even harder for that marketing person to call and forget them taking your creative ideas into reality. Mr. West just said what probably every Black person in America feels or felt at some point in their life.
Now, let me put this into autism and disparity context. Often when I advocate at the MN State Capitol, there are hearing committee rooms full with people and I am the only Black person. I kid you not. These are health and education committees where Blacks are doing horribly, yet those speaking, listening and making policies look nothing like us. Then sometimes there is one or two and they are either quite or brown nosing to the point where they don’t even come out for air. 
Another area – remember when last session we were able to get a bill passed for low income autism families who are disproportionately minorities that was so unique and set a precedent. Guess how hard it was for us to tell that story. I remember explaining to various reporters and they would say – Ms. Abdull – what is the story here?
In my mind, I would say are you kidding me. The story is simple Black parents were able to beat and win over K street lobbyist and bias politicians and you still don’t see the story. Telling our own stories, writing policies for our communities and speaking for ourselves is very hard and frustrating. 
By the same token, the media was too happy to write opinions and report the need to support wealthier and non-minority children’s need to cover their therapies. For us – hooyadaa Mareexaan yay ka tahay nalama oranayn. Think about that.
There are endless times in my little autism advocacy area that I am the lone person speaking for minorities. This can get tiring and depressing, but I look at it as an energizing drink and keep going like an energizer battery. Because sitting quietly and allowing our kids to be discriminated against simply because of their skin color is not acceptable. Change comes from frustration and frustration comes from reality, and the reality is disparity exist because of racist policies created by racist policy makers. There is no other way to slice it or sugar code.
But, as the saying goes – if there is a way there is a will. My take and the best way to do this is;
First, let’s elect politicians that will hire policy advisers and staff including for higher positions that look like us and if they don’t let’s fire them by un-electing them. (let’s give an example here – Dan Pollock and Lauren Gilchrist). Don’t get me wrong, these are highly intelligent and articulate people, but the kind of chance and opportunities they were given in short few years to be at the top of their game and will even move higher is an example of how unequal opportunities are by the very people we elect to office to represent us. I can think of a number of equally intelligent & articulate African Americans (Warsame and Michelle) who are almost never given the same chance. They are always told by the likes of Alana P and heartless hammer Smith or even Chris W – you just don’t have the kind of background, experience, blah blah and BS we are looking for. 
2nd, Let’s create African American lobbying agencies to lobby for our issues in state and Congress.
3rd, Let’s built and create Black version of TMZ, Kimmel, Extra and keep selling our product and people. Repeat rinse and repeat really works, it subconsciously ingrains the message.
4th. Let’s take their no’s and turn it into a YES for our communities and our future. 
5th. Let’s give back, teach our kids what we know and never let someone else dictate our future. We need to create the future we want for our kids and our communities.
6th. Let’s always stride to shake the status quo because quite frankly the status quo sucks from every corner of health, education, entertainment, fashion to you name it. I can’t think of any industry where diversity is the name of the game, where equality is the norm and where faces reflect this country’s diversity and ethnicity. That alone should energize us beyond imagination. 
I remember a while back, Tyler Perry was asked why Hollywood does not hire Black actors and he said because those telling stories are mostly not black and a writer writes about what he knows. The point is, if Blacks became writers – they could tell their own stories. If enough producers, directors, publicist and reporters looked like us then the end product would reflect us. The same analogy can be applied to my little world of autism. 
Think about this – Minn has over 300 autism teachers and about 10 are Blacks. Minn has 2 dozen autism therapy providers and zero are owned by a person of color or even run by. Yet, our children are diagnosed with autism higher. Hence, the endless disconnect of what and how our kids are taught and treated. Gov Dayton has two dozen commissioners and the one that controls the agency with the least funding is headed by an African American person. Think about that. Who elected Gov Dayton and imagine if our votes were connected to his policy, staff, diversity or lack thereof. Just imagine that and vote differently in 2014 – Please.
I think Mr. West was not only truthful in how so many of our ideas and thoughts are suppressed, but was inspiring and motivational. And Kimmel – really. I doubt if your skin color was different, your mediocre show would exist. 
Finally – let’s learn to shape our own messages so that words like prosperity, positive and fantastic are embedded in everyone’s psyche. Shaping the message is the key here.
Idil – Somali Autism Mom & Minority Advocate

Category: Uncategorized

IACC’s Question 4 Planning Group Met 9/26/13

Comments Off on IACC’s Question 4 Planning Group Met 9/26/13

For those that might not heard of this or understand its functions; 

IACC (Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee) is authorized by CAA (Combating Autism Act of 2011) and is the Federal Autism Advisory Committee for all autism issues nationally. It has all Federal agency heads or their representatives that deal with autism and some public members.
The previous IACC members had seven questions which guides its recommendations of funding for Federal/National autism research, services and resources.
I am on question four planning group which is – Which treatments and interventions will help. Our charge is to look at the past year and up to the past five years of what research has been done, funded and their outcome. Then make recommendations for the next strategic plan. Now, there has been hundreds of research done for tons of various therapies and interventions. However, what I find it so frustrating as a public member is the huge disconnect between Federal agencies, researchers and families on the ground.
What do I mean by that? Well – let’s dig deeper.
Let’s say your child was just diagnosed with autism and you ask the doctor – Doctor tell me which therapies or interventions will help my son for his type of autism and has a conclusive rigorous research and proof? Guess what that doctor will tell you – well there are lots of things out there and there is not really one or even two that I can tell you that will work for sure. It is a trial and error. Try this or that and let’s see how it goes.
In 2013 and in America, that is both disappointing and frustrating especially after millions of dollars and decades later. We need to have specific treatments and interventions that we can tell parents to seek. In other words, right now there is no one size fits all.
ABA might be the only one that many children respond well to & learn from, but even that the research is for younger kids. Even though I have seen it help older kids, but usually parents have to fight hard to get it. And, for minority and low income kids – it is even worse. 
Some in the group also had concerns the imbalance of the funding as well as the sheer number of them and not enough funding for each one of them. My concern was there are not enough rigorous research for nonverbal autistic kids in how to teach them to communicate. For example, there ere few device research, but not a lot of or any actually for teaching these kids other means such as RPM or through the written word. 
25% of children with autism have nonverbal autism and the fact that we are still lacking and behind in addressing their needs is depressing and wrong.
Our next step is to recommend different and better recommendations to U.S HHS Secretary, the Administration and Congress. I plan to fight for nonverbal children to get better treatments and interventions.
Above opinions and words are mine and do not reflect IACC or any committee. Below is the link to this meeting which was public and anyone can listen to the audio or read the transcript and materials we viewed. 
Idil – Somali Autism Mom & Minority Advocate

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Comments Off on Disney Discontinues its GAC for People with Autism

If you have a child with autism and visited Disneyland or Disneyworld then you probably heard of guest assistance card (GAC). Children and adults with autism can and do have many various issues including not being able to tolerate long lines, crowds, new places, new people or new things.

And, what the GAC did was allow a child/adult with autism be able to enjoy the happiest place on earth – Disney without being over-whelmed or over stimulated. Unfortunately, many without disability and just plain selfish have abused this accommodation whereby Disney had to take an action and change its policy.
The question now is how will the new policy of not making reasonable accommodation for a person based on their disability work with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance policy. 
Their new policy will start in Oct of 2013 and it is basically stupid. Here is why and my take;
You go to a ride that your child might like, then a staff person tells you – he can’t ride now and we can’t make any reasonable accommodation, but if you come back in couple of hours – we will.
Now what now? so this defeats the purpose of these children don’t wait well, don’t tolerate crowds well, oh and might not be able to come back in two hours. If they could do all of this – then why in the world would they need any accommodation. They wouldn’t right – I mean that is the logic for any logical person to think. 
Not Disney or their autism adviser Autism Speaks who apparently told them it is OK for children with autism and sensory issues to wait and come back for hours later and be happy in the happiest place in the world.
I can see Disney being called by autism families the unhappiest place in the world for people with autism and other disabilities. 
Now, there have been thousands of calls and emails sent to them to not do this really stupid, out of touch and plain wrong policy. Why not just have the person bring a card with their medical diagnoses of say autism, etc from their doctor. 
When I called them they said – well that is a violation of the patients privacy act. Not really, because If the patient has to tell you orally what their medical condition is, how is it any violation if they give you a card from their doctor that has their medical condition.
Besides what is a violation is not making reasonable accommodation and not following the ADA laws. 
At any rate, if you are interested – you can contact Disney and give them your opinion or comments. Below are some stories of why they decided to change their current policy and when this new one will start which is sometime in Oct of 2013.
I for one am disappointed that a company that gets thousands of “children” daily and those are their main customers would take a move that is totally against the happiness of children.
Idil – Somali Autism Mom & Minority Advocate

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Comments Off on One of a Kind – Hussein Samatar, We will miss you!

It is almost a month later when my dear friend Hussein Samatar passed away. This is probably the hardest post I have ever written simply because a month later, I am still in shock and sad.

Hussein has been in support of Somali autism families from the get go. He would always say “it is our children and they come first”. I remember vividly the first time I contacted him about autism and Minneapolis school district. He was direct and helpful the first time. He immediately spoke with Minneapolis school officials and got answers for us.
There are too many times to count when Hussein helped us with autism, but memorable ones were when we advocated a Federal grant for Somali autism study and there were some disagreements in how the research would be done. We were asking more Somali community involvement and Univ of MN wanted less. We met at Hussein’s office with many officials from University of Minnesota including Dr. Quam – Dean of CEHD, Dr. Neglia – Dept of Pediatrics head at Univ of MN, Dr. Johnson – Director of ICI at UofMN, Dr. Reiff – Director of LEND, Dr. Mendoza – Associate Vice Provost at Office of Equity and Diversity at UofMN, Dr. Esler, Dr. Fahia – Director of Confederation Somali Community of Minn, Mr. Mohamed – Director of Somali American Parent Assoc, Anne Harrington (our friend) Abdirahman Adem from Mpls School District, Said Garaad – Mpls School District, Dr. Reichle from LEND program, Dr. Hewitt From LEND program at Univ of MN, (Istahil, Hodan and Myself – Parents), And the first thing Hussein who opened the meeting said was (we support these parents and their children 100% with no hesitation, what they want is what we want). 
I have to say that totally set the tone of the meeting and the agenda from there on. I along with thousands of autism families in Minnesota will always be grateful and remember Hussein for his kindness and straight talk. 
Another time, Hussein went with us to Governor Dayton’s office where we had a meeting with MDH and DHS folks about autism of course and again he said the same-thing that the community supports these parents and their children. Again when we met in his office with folks from CDC, he simply gave us the same support. If I list the number of times, Hussein helped us – I can write for days, including the endless times he helped individual autism families as recent as June of this year. 
Hussein helped so many people from so many different issues and concerns from Autism to housing to business to civic engagement. He was an amazing and talented person who seemed to have energy that was infectious and a smile that never ended. 
I hope his legacy continues for our community in Minnesota and I pray for his family and friends. 
Ilaahay samir ha inaga wada siiyo. Ilaahayna Hussein ha u naxariisto, Aamiin!…May God Bless his soul and May he rest in peace!..

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Comments Off on Walking and Chewing Gum at the Same-time, Is it possible?

Alright, so if you follow national autism news, opinions and blogs – you heard by now that Congressman Issa might hold another autism hearing in Oversight & Government Reform Committee sometime this year. 

As you can imagine – anything autism is always controversial whereby there will always be groups for it and others against it. However, what is good about this at least nationally is that these folks can walk and chew gum at the same-time. In other words, they can belong to the same committee, etc – yet they are able to have different opinions and views outside and be able make it. 
They can do it without someone wanting to change any committee rules or laws. Without someone wanting to take out parents or members. Without someone demanding members to show up or be terminated. Without someone giving themselves or the chair unparalleled power. In other words, many autism parents and advocates around the country can walk and chew gum at the same-time. They can wear many different hats in various context. So, my question is when will MN Autism Task force learn this very simple concept? Some examples of this chair’s power similar to maybe Assad’s power are; the chair can cancel meetings at anytime without notice, but if a member some of whom have small children or more than one on the spectrum cancels or does not come – then they are terminated from the task force. Really – are you kidding me. Setting term limits so those with opposing views and different ideas are terminated, rather than abide by the actual bill that created this task force. Oh, and meetings are just set by the chair rather than pick a date when most are available like the rest of the world does. The drama continues by power hungry and bias members – ain’t that always the case. 
At any rate, according to many autism advocates see their sites below – there might be another autism hearing scheduled by Rep. Issa. I hope this time they get some diverse members including moms and minorities. Last year, they only had fathers and zero person of color . I really hope that Rep Cummings (D-MD), Rep Davis (D-ILL) and Rep Kelly (R-PA) do what they said in that committee and represent their constituents not just in words, but in action and in policy. 
My take is whether you agree with either side or not, these parents and advocates can chew gum and walk at the same time. They can separate committees and outside blogs or opinions, they can fight for their cause and be able to join in a committee and just do their committee charge. How amazing and refreshing is that! Sometimes, I wonder if the color of my skin is what makes MNATF so mad they must change the rules and silence different opinions. I mean what else can it be since so many other autism parents and advocates who are mostly non-minorities have many various opinions and views and they are not picked on for having opinions. Interesting – ain’t it. 
Above post is my opinion and views and do not represent MN Autism Task force or any committee. 
Here are some of the news/opinions about this potential congressional autism hearing?
Idil – Somali Autism Mom and Minority Advocate

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Comments Off on Rep. Norton Says – she represents Minorities, Really – When?

First, let me be perfectly clear that these words are my own and opinions and do not reflect the MN Autism task force or any other committee. 

As I said in previous blogs, the summer drama of MN Autism task force continues all because I asked the previous chair to add minority sharing of HRSA autism grant MDH was applying. Can you believe that? This whole drama is because I had the nerve to ask such inclusion and diversity. It is like walking on needles over there with so many of them.
At any rate, during the last meeting, Rep Norton said the most shocking statement that she “represents” many minority autism families. So, this got me thinking and I put some facts together to disprove such crazy, dilutional and wrong statement.
Fact One:
In 2010 session, Rep Norton introduces HF359 and asks the state legislatures mandate private insurance companies pay for autism therapy called ABA (applied behavior analysis). So, we hear about it and we testify in health finance committee in the house chaired by Rep Huntley. We ask if they are going to dictate and mandate companies they don’t even own to pay for autism therapy, can they also make sure DHS (the agency they fund along with CMS) pay for autism therapy (ABA) for low income children who they are actually responsible for. We fought this bias legislation and prevailed in HHS conference committee headed by Sen Berglin. And, Norton’s bill was taken out of the final HHS bill that Governor Pawlenty signed. 
Fact Two:
Rep Norton introduces the same language legislation of wanting to help upper/middle income autism children and nothing for low income autism families in 2011. She introduces HF204. Again we fight against yet another bias autism bill and HHS Policy Chair Rep Gottwalt tells Rep Norton that there are many issues with her bill. As a result, it does not get any hearings. 
Fact Three:
Again in 2012 session, (when does she ever give up on writing bias autism policies) Rep Norton introduces HF1071 with the same language, just another number. (at this point her autism legislation bills have more name/number changes than Rapper P.Diddy had). Again, Rep Gottwalt tells Norton the same-thing and her bill does not get out of health policy committee. (For those that might not understand the legislation system well – usually a bill must get through the policy committee then to finance, then to conference committee where it gets negotiated if it has a fiscal note. Then if it makes out of there, the governor can sign the whole bill or line veto specific bills). It is worth noting, in 2010 session -if Norton’s bias autism bill made it through HHS conference committee – Gov Pawlenty’s office promised us it would line veto. 
Fact Four: 
Again in 2013 session, Rep Norton introduces another bias bill only worse this time because it wants the Health and Human services budget to pay up to $25 million of ABA autism therapy for upper/middle income kids and cover them unlimited hours and unlimited age. By the same token, the low income autism children are told too bad so sad and nothing for you. Then she introduces the kitchen sink amendment in HHS finance committee whereby low income kids will only have ABA coverage up to age 7. I kid you not, this is when research states minority kids get diagnosed with autism. 
Well, needless to say – this energized us to the unth power. And – we ask, testify and fight against it again. Then DHS Commissioner and Gov Dayton introduce another bill for autism for low income kids for up to age 18 coverage and allocate around $12 Million. So, we ask simple question of why are wealthy kids getting $25 million and poor kids $12 Million – isn’t that DOUBLE STANDARD?
So, again we prevail and win whereby the language from DHS and Governor is adopted and NOTHING for Norton’s bill. Though – they get less than 20% of the private market which will cost the HHS budget zero. Huge thanks to Sen Lourey, Anne B, Jesson, Stacie and Lauren. 
Now, I am sorry – but if this is how Rep Norton represents low income autism families who are disproportionately minorities then I hate to see what happens when she does NOT represent them.
If actions are what we should judge on our policy makers then Rep Norton’s actions are nothing short of bias and belittling our communities.
To add more facts here – A Somali Doctor and Researcher from Mayo Clinic asked Rep Norton to help him with some Hepatits B research funding and guess what happened there – Nothing. She gave him the run around and bunch of empty words & promises to the point of where he moved from Rochester. How is that for representing minority communities. 
In my humble little opinion – not good representation at all by any measure of the word.
Vote wisely and please vote OUT Rep Norton and elect someone else who will represent you and your issues. 
Idil – Somali Autism Mom and Minority Advocate

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Comments Off on MNSure takes its cues from the Ed Show – Really!

Remember when Ed Schultz from MSNBC said on his show he will have a Black agenda and had NO Blacks on the agenda. Then only when Black folks and others wrote letters did they add Al Sharpton and couple of other Blacks. But only then. Think about that – why do these White liberals always think they can speak for us. We can speak for ourselves about our agendas – really we can. 

See that story here.

This is exactly what MNsure surely did. This very expensive and over-rated new government agency was created to help the uninsured get health insurance. We all know and don’t have to ask Jack and Jill which communities lack health insurance, suffers with health disparity and has higher rate of health problems – right. The African American community which includes all new African immigrants.
So, just like some big white guy from North Dakota wanting to tell us our agenda and how to address it – MNsure shuts out any Blacks from having a say in who gets outreach grants. It shuts out hiring not even one single person of color in their leadership and of course does not think of any consequences. 
This is becoming the norm here and not the exception. MNsure and Dayton administration want to speak for us, think for us and outreach for us. The problem is they have failed and failed and failed. 
Now, I am usually very critical of the two Black senators in MN State legislature, especially Sen Hayden and how he totally looked at the other way regarding SF314, the autism disparity creating bill written by Sen Eaton & Rep Norton, but I must say I was soooo proud of him this week. 
It turns out Sen Hayden told MNsure’s clueless Leaders “you blew it and did not flat-out get it”. I love that. You go Sen Hayden and tell these overrated, under-performing, non-diverse, and completely clueless Dayton bureaucrats the facts. I mean really, how long are these could care less folks going to tell us (oh, we understand we are not doing a good job reaching out to African American communities) to just turn around and purposely do a horrible job in reaching out to our communities. The time to stand up, speak up and tell them NO MORE is now. 
The sheer arrogance and audacity of MNsure to not have one Black person in their leadership team or those deciding who gets outreach grants is a testament of this agency and the Dayton administration. I have zero confidence in them now and even less confidence of Gov Dayton’s administration. 
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me every election cycle shame on us. We have got to vote him out. Someone needs to tell them – African Americans can talk for themselves and do for themselves. I call the chair of the board of MNsure and their clueless director to be fired given how much of a mark they missed in their first important task. Surely, we can’t trust MNsure to do the right thing in being fair and objective now – can we? I surely say NO we can’t.
Idil – Somali Autism Mom and Minority Advocate

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Induced Labor and Autism, Is There a Link?

Comments Off on Induced Labor and Autism, Is There a Link?

Well – a new research says so. A new study came out couple of weeks ago that stated mothers that have been induced in their labor had a higher risk of their child developing autism. 

See that study here.

Researchers at Duke University looked at live birth records in North Carolina. They analyzed about 625,000 school records and found 5500 of those children whose mother’s had induced labor had childhood autism.
When I first read this I thought of our Somali community. There are always lots of complaints from many Somali moms that they felt being pressured by their OB/GYN to give birth fast. As a result, these mother’s labor is being hurried up and induced. There are also lots of complaints from many Somali moms that they are being forced to have C-Section rather than wait for natural birth. 
You see C-Section costs more and makes the doctor more money. 
Many of these mothers tell me back home, there were hardly C-Sections or induced labor. Midwives were mostly used who took more time and nurtured the woman to take her time and give birth naturally. In this country, everything is hurried up, scheduled and fast even childbirth. This obviously is not natural and has consequences. There is clearly more research needed to prove this for sure, but how sad if induced labor can cause Autism. Clearly there is some kind of environmental risk factors to autism in addition to a predisposition genetic component. And, I really hope we find these risk factors before more children and families dreams are delayed or altered. Not knowing what causes autism exactly is very frustrating as a mom. When your child is sick, you want to know what is wrong. God Bless all moms who deal with autism on a daily basis. 
America – the country of fast food, fast cars, fast life and now fast childbirth. It is not natural to be this fast. Breathe and take a moment to enjoy today. 
This study was also published JAMA Pediatrics.
Idil – Somali Autism Mom and Minority Advocate

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Comments Off on MNsure Leadership Surely Lacks Diversity – What a Shocker

Alright – so the state of Minnesota legislators and governor set an agency to help those lacking health insurance coverage. When this was being set – we were told it is good for everyone and will reflect our state. Never believe many of MN DFL’s political words as far as the eye can see.

As anyone can see, Minnesota is no longer Lake Wobegon and has become lake diversity by the thousands. According to officials, Somalis are the largest growing New Americans who become American Citizens by the thousands every year. They made Minn their home, certainly not because of the weather but because MN has lots of good stats in business opportunities and room for growth.
Well – so they thought and lied to by many of their elected officials. Here is what I mean by that. 
The unemployment rate for Somalis who are part of African American community is twice higher as Whites. The education gap for Somalis is one of the worst in the country. The high school drop out is becoming a huge problem. The elderly Somali population is mostly diagnosed with some kind of chronic disease such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. And of course our children have a higher rate of autism. I think anyone can see this with their eyes. 
Despite all of these hardships and obstacles, this community manages to open thousands of businesses and manages to have many of their children graduate from college and even earn higher degrees. Therefore, one would think that some of these folks would have been hired by Sen Franken (the 312 vote senator), Gov Dayton’s office (the 8770 vote governor) or even the newly created state agency – MNsure.
But noooooo that is never the case, even though we were told most people who are uninsured are low income who are disproportionately minorities including Somalis who supported this program. They are just not good enough to be hired in a leadership position. I always love how a non-minority person is hired, nurtured and moved up the ladder, but an African American person not so much. They need to come out of their mother’s womb perfect and ready to lead. I always hear they are told “they just don’t have the qualifications we were looking for”. By the same token, a non Black person is hired, trained and taught. Isn’t that ironic – yet we keep voting for these same politicians who create these agencies and never give our own the same opportunities. 
Think about that.
If you voted for Governor Dayton and you are Black who lives in Minnesota, especially Minneapolis – how is it going? Does your community’s face represent MNsure, his office, the mayor’s office (charming RT) so on and so forth? If not – how can you possibly vote for them again. Insanity is voting for the same people and expecting different policies. 
If the answer is no – then why do we keep hiring them to represent us. They surely have zero desire to make us part of the American melting pot. See MNsure Leadership here. And see which organizations that have been funded here.
I guess my question, why does MNsure, the very agency to help the under-served lack faces of color? In addition, it has become clear that those that were funded have very little African American faces including the big agencies that have a good history and record with our communities, such as Confederation Somali Community of Minnesota, Minneapolis Urban League and others.
Vote Wisely – Please – pretty please in 2014!
Idil – Somali Autism Mom & Minority Advocate

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Comments Off on Rep Norton’s true colors shine through at the Task Force Mtg

The following are my opinions and do not represent the MN Autism Task Force or its members.

Alright – I guess the summer drama continues into the fall of 2013. When will this end and we go back to the real work we were nominated for? That is the kazillion dollar question at this point.
More headache from Rep Norton after she initially gets a mediation company that takes the impartiality out of the mediation or facilitation. Remember when Gov Palin was running for VP and SNL’s writers were ecstatic because the amount of material she would generate that they can use for their sketches could keep them going and going like an energizer battery. Well – Rep Norton (the queen of autism disparity) joining the autism task force will have the same affect for my little humble blog. I mean my hands can’t keep up with the words.
In today’s task force meeting which I reluctantly went to because I knew with the subjective mediators recommended by Rep. Norton and MDH’s rep of bent on revenge will produce waste of time. But what the heck – sometimes we all need a laugh.
MDH’s rep comes up with guidelines for operating procedure that she takes from god knows where because it had some wild rules – wait for it.
First, they say we need to limit the current terms of the current members. Now what now. These members were appointed to serve from the beginning of the task force until it sunsets in 2015. Then power hungry and queen of autism disparity says “this task force is about politics” and since there is a different controlling party now we need to have term limits in the middle of the term. What?
Oh, and to add salt – they say we don’t need a consensus we can just make a new law with majority by overriding the existing law because we don’t like it and we want new people nominated. I kid you not. Imagine if for example you are nominated by an elected official to a committee or commission and for some reason that elected official loses the next election. Then the incoming elected official says – well we need new faces and we are just going to remove you and put our own people in and disregard that law. I thought if one wanted to change a law or amend it they wrote a bill that went through the legislative process in the house/senate and signed by the governor.
Well – all of that went out of the window today. If you are getting a headache, imagine how I feel. Then this silly and wrong tactic is supported by DEED, MDH and Pacer reps along with couple of public members, more on them later. 
So, we wasted two hours because Rep Norton (power hungry and the queen of autism disparity) and her pals wanted to override an existing law by removing current members they don’t like or agree with. All for what – to have an overbearing power at the capitol and forget about why we are there which is about autism kids and families. 
I would never have imagined anyone would actually say this task force is about politics. Norton did and thus – her true colors were shinning through vividly today. Remember the song your true colors shining through – that was Norton today. Use politics to dismiss, disregard and disrespect autism families for your own political gain and selfishness. How awesome!
All I know is that if she only said “I can see Russia from my window” would’ve given me even more materials to write about. Maybe next time, Norton can tell us she can see Canada from her window and wants to re-write their laws to benefit her. 
Idil – Somali Autism Mom & Minority Advocate

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