Monthly Archives: January 2019

Comments Off on The Anti Vaccine Groups Get Help From a Minnesota State Lawmaker – Sen. Abeler

Alright so, we all know that the likes of JB Handley, Generation Rescue, Age of Autism, etc. have taken advantage of Somali autism parents in Minnesota. These groups who could care less about equality nor equity have exploited our community by pushing and even sometimes paying thousands of dollars to push their dangerous public health agenda. We have already seen what this can do in Minnesota and to our community. These groups are extremely rich and powerful in Minnesota and in the country. Shame on them for picking on a vulnerable autism community.

State Senator Abeler who is usually fair-minded and reasonable for some reason has become unreasonable and hurtful. He has refused to appoint an African American autism parent, minority autism therapy agency, etc. to his state autism council. This council has dozens of non-minorities and less than a handful people of color. It has no minority autism advocate agency and no minority provider/agency. Abeler said to those that applied “we don’t need anymore because we have enough minorities”. I am not sure if I should scream or curse because the notion that dozens of Caucasians are oK while few minorities are too many is both discriminatory and heart-breaking especially from someone like Sen. Abeler.

As if that was not bad enough, he appointed members from the Age of Autism and Generation Rescue who as we know have taken advantage of our community and our autism families. Their motto is divide and concur. They seek either Somali autism parents whose children are young and are still in a shock mode or those new to Minnesota to push their extreme agenda. They have never helped our community get the services and support our children and families need. They are selfish, racist, arrogant and dangerous to public health.

I ask the Minnesota Department of Health to intervene. I also ask Sen. Abeler to stop this nonsense and stay focused on what is important which is ensuring our children/adults with autism have the services and supports they need in a manner that is fair with equity and diverse to reflect the autism community in Minnesota.

JB Handley who is also rich and powerful from the west cost tried to bribe some Somali autism parents with thousands of dollars to say their children’s autism was caused by vaccines. Then when parents realized his scheme, he and another rich Minnesotan went after those parents by sending cockroaches. to carry their message and try to divide our families. Luckily, autism parents like Matt C from LBRB have been fighting these dangerous groups. It is too bad that Sen. Abeler now wants to give them a public platform to spread their horrible ideas.

Mpls Tribune Story on this council

Above words do not reflect any candidate, agency or committee.

Idil – Somali Autism Mom

Comments Off on Previous CEO of Minnesota Autism Center – Kathryn Marshall Opens Another Autism Center – Yep

Alright – so, Minnesota Autism Center (MAC) is arguably the biggest ABA therapy center in Minnesota. I would say this is probably due to Ms. Marshall’s heavy hand manner. If you have a child with autism and live in Minnesota or are in the field of ABA, you probably heard of Kathryn. Most of us that she came in contact with have had a love/hate relationship with her. Kathryn could be really good and really bad – sometimes at the same time. For years, I have tried to figure Kathryn out and til this day – have been unsuccessful. My son did ABA therapy at MAC way back when they only did in-home ABA. Two other autism mom’s and I once recruited over 20 Somali autism parents for MAC’s Woodbury location. You would think Ms. Marshall would be grateful, nope – not Kathryn. I remember after she opened the Woodbury center and she and the three of us went to a Somali restaurant for lunch. After we ate, Kathryn gets up and throws $20.00 into the table then leaves. The three of us looked at each other and said: “we hope she does not think lunch for five people is $20.00 at a Somali restaurant”. We told her assistant who was with her to take the $20.00 and give it back to her because we will pay for lunch.

I still remember her assistant’s face who said: “no way, she will yell at me, I can’t take this back”. You see Ms. Marshall instilled fear in almost everyone that worked for her as well as many autism parents who took their children to MAC. On the other hand, she could really be kind. One time, she and again the original Somali autism advocates (Hodan, Istahil and I along with Abdihakim) took her to Rochester’s Somali TV where she asked us to help her promote MAC’s center in Rochester. In one sweet moment, she took me aside and said: “I know you are a strong advocate, but always put and advocate for your son first”. How sweet, right? then a few short years later, she would try to discharge my son from MAC at 9:47am when his therapist was to start at 10am on a Monday morning. It was probably one of the most difficult days I had with so many blood-sucking greedy ABA providers. I was livid as you can imagine. She instructed everyone at MAC to not even tell me why or what happened. You see Kathryn would say to her staff jump and everyone would say how high? This even included those that were licensed mental health professionals whose licenses were being used for the treatment plans.

I then remembered her advice from Rochester which was to advocate for my son first so I did. I blogged about this and will not do it again, but to make long advocacy short this is why we now in Minnesota have parent rights and responsibilities and a means to appeal the ABA therapy agency’s discharge or even treatment plan. This is also why EIBDI has a component that says the parents can get an objective comprehensive multi-disciplinary evaluation (CMDE). Additionally, Minnesota state Medicaid agency sent MAC a corrective action to take my son back because Ms. Marshall violated child-centered family friendly part of CTSS and MAC had to develop an inclusive policy and collaborate with parents before their child is discharged. MAC also has to report to the state how many children they discharge annually. I guess everything happens for a reason. Our state probably would not have all of these good measures that protect children with autism and their families if Kathryn did not act selfish and heartless.

To Kathryn, if you read my blog which I heard you do:

I know you tried to connect with me to extend an olive branch or maybe for me to stop writing my experiences while my son was at MAC. You have tried to have your hot shot lawyers to silence me and they could not, you have tried to contact members of the Somali community to silence me and they could not. You see Kathryn, no one will ever silence me about autism or advocating for my son which is what you told me years ago in Rochester.

This time, I will extend an olive branch and will contact you to have coffee for old times sake. Our children have autism and we need to at least help each-other for their sake. Additionally, while I disagreed how you managed MAC’s staff and parents, no one else can claim the powerhouse you made MAC become in Minnesota and probably in the midwest. I truly wish you all the best in your new agency which is helping young adults with autism. Clearly, you are ahead of the pack again because we sorely need such important services.

Above words do not reflect any candidate, agency or committee

Idil – Somali Autism Mom

Comments Off on Minnesota Governor Elect Walz’s “One Minnesota” Lacks Substance and True Diversity

Alright – so, Governor-Elect Tim Walz has been preaching lots of sugary words. He campaigned with one slogan that at the time seemed sincere – One Minnesota. He heavily saught Somali votes as well as other minority votes. He kept promising things that he has not delivered thus far including having his administration’s leadership reflect Minnesota. There are twenty-three state agency commissioners that Walz needed to appoint. He and his Lt Governor at first seemed genuine and pretended to care and hear communities of color by adding them to their advisory council. I think this was just a show and a token. Here is why..

First of all, Walz appointed 22 commissioners out of the 23. 8 are white men, 9 are white women and 5 are minorities. Current Governor Dayton has 24 which 13 are white men, 7 are white women and 4 are minorities who head the education department, human rights department, economic and employment department and metropolitan council. In other words, Walz hired five minorities and Dayton hired 4 minorities a difference of ONE. Let me write that again – the difference measly ONE. Yet, Walz has preached diversity diversity diversity like it was holy water or something making us think he was going to hire more diverse commissioners. The fact is NOPE. Yes, there are more white women but I hope he does not think white women speak or understand minority issues and disparities.

In fact, Dayton had minorities in-charge of critical agencies such as education which Walz hired a white teacher, economic/employment is now led by a white man. How lovely and equity!

Walz is making it seem as though he is soooo diverse and has hired so maaaany diverse commissioners but he has not. He preached one Minnesota but is practicing the same old BS that created Minnesota’s horrible racial disparities. He preached sugar when Minneapolis Council Member Abdi Warsame so graciously endorsed him but is now practicing salt. I was there on this day and do not see the fruits of his words.

When will we minorities learn to vote wisely and negotiate with our votes before they win? Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.

While even I bought his One Minnesota Lies, I am not surprised. The idea of appointing a white female teacher to the education department alone tells me he is clueless about how students of color are treated by white female teachers who fail our kids and suspend them disproportionately. Every time I see MDE’s new commissioner, I am reminded my son’s white female autism teacher Kelly Morris with the Bloomington school district who suspended my son after she failed to teach him or understand that autism is a behavior disorder. I can’t even explain what the heck the minority Lt Governor is doing by allowing this crap. I mean really what the heck? There should’ve been more minorities appointed to commissioners. To make matters worse, Sen Franken’s gatekeeper Alana’s (who stayed on with Dayton’s gatekeeper now sadly Sen Smith) husband is now a commissioner. I know that sounds more like The Young and Restless storyline than state government leadership, but this is what happens when it is who you know rather than what you know. Can someone say nepotism? Quite frankly, Raj Rajan should’ve been hired for the Pollution Control Agency who is actually an environmental engineer. Instead, we got another privileged white woman Laura B.

I for one am waiting for Walz when he comes back to our community looking for votes. Fool us once Walz, shame on you…fool us twice shame on us. Just because he says diversity does not mean he hired fairly and with equity and the proof is in the appointments he made. Shame on you Governor-Elect Walz for telling us empty words to get our votes, clearly you had no intention of hiring fairly.

Above words do not reflect any candidate, agency or committee.

Idil – Somali Autism Mom & Advocate