Monthly Archives: December 2019

Comments Off on Disney – The Happiest Place on Earth – Except if you have Autism

Alright – so, Disney where dreams do not come true for families whose children have autism changed their disability guest assistance policy few years ago. The current one states if you have a disability and need accommodations, then you go to whatever ride you want and they tell you how long the wait is and you come back. I am sorry – now what now?

Let’s put this in a context that someone who has a child with autism, works with them or is a family member can understand. If our kids could comprehend waiting and coming back then so many meltdowns and behaviors would not exist. The sad thing in all of this is that Autism Speaks who speaks for no one with autism unless it fills their bottom line were part of this stupid decision. I kid you not.

At any rate, Disney has been sued by dozens of autism families and had some good and some not so good court decisions. Finally there will now be a trial next year.

In my own experience, I have taken my son who has autism to Disney several times before this stupid policy and he always had a wonderful time. He would only ride maybe two or three rides but we had no behaviors and left happy. Then we took him after this silly policy was implemented. We went to his favorite ride and they said the wait is one hour and half. Now comes the fun part which we even practiced. We tried to tell my kid we have to…..drum roll please……. wait (no pun intended) for an hour and half. Of course, he did not understand that nor wanted to wait. He tried to run towards the ride which of course was dangerous and we had to call for assistance and we left. We never went back. This really makes me sad. There are not that many things these kids like. What little they enjoy – places like Disney take it away. I even called Disney and said I can bring a note from his doctor or they can get it from him directly. Unfortunately, Disney was not helpful. I am hoping this upcoming trial will bring good news to our children with autism.

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

Idil – Somali Autism Mom

Comments Off on Angie Craig – may be one-term congresswoman – She is no Rep Kline

Alright – so, Rep Angie Craig won Minnesota’s 2nd district including Burnsville and Savage which has high rate of Somali children with autism.

As an autism mom and advocate, I have been trying to reach out to her office without success. Her staff are less welcoming than a golf club in Montgomery Alabama in the 1950s. Her district manager Nick C is as smart as Rose from the Golden Girls. Her Washington DC office’s staff remind me of the show Beverly hillbillies.

I went to see her in a town hall meeting. To my surprise, she was smart, quick on her feet and thoughtful. They say “tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are”. In Rep Craig’s case – it is tell me who your staff are and I will assume you are the same.

In this town hall meeting, we were allowed one comment and one question. I asked her if she could introduce an amendment to amend the discipline portion of IDEIA. She didn’t really have an answer nor said yes. She has a son with autism which may be why I was more understanding in her non-substantive response.

I also told her that she needs to have more diverse folks which she agreed – though not sure if she actually meant it or will do something about it.

In a strange way, she reminded me of Gov Dayton who like her was reasonable but had horrible, elite and useless gatekeepers.

It is important that we hold our elected officials accountable for their policies or lack thereof. She said that 16 bills have been authorized by her and Co-sponsored hundreds. For what it is worth, she did co-sponsor the autism Cares act of 2019 which passed the house, senate and signed by the president a few weeks ago. A side good note is that this bill was co-sponsored by all of Minnesota’s congressional folks including both senators. I think most of them came on board without much difficulty which is an improvement from the last time when we had to fight and beg them. One can say that is autism awareness progress in Minnesota.

I will see if she does better for individuals with autism and delivers. It is unfortunate she has hillbillies as gatekeepers. She could do so much good given that her son has autism. Her office staff do not reflect this district’s constituents. If DFLers are going to ask and beg for minority votes during elections then the least they can do is hire them after they win. Sadly, too often that never happens. Rep Craig has her next town hall meeting on December 7th @ 10am in West St. Paul (217 Moreland Ave West). It is nice that she has these monthly, but unless what people ask become fruitful then it is waste of time and a show-off.

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

Idil – Somali Autism Mom

Comments Off on MDH – AKA The Do Nothing Agency About Health Pretends to Care about Somali Autism Issues – What now?

Alright – so, if you follow local politics in Minnesota then you know current Gov Walz also known as the “one Minn Hoax” re-named Jan Malcolm. Who is she? in a word – useless. She took over after previous Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Ed Ehlinger resigned over elder abuse issues. Did she do better? Heck no.

Unless you live under a rock, you know that Minn has one of the worst health disparities in the country. Not kidding. What is disparity and why do we have it so much here? Well – because people like Ms. Malcolm are in charge of our health. Disparity is when a white person gets better health care simply because of the color of their skin and a minority person gets an inferior health care simply because the color of their skin. Ms. Malcolm interviewed (I think like a hundred times) an incredibly smart Somali person to be one of her assistant commissioners. Did Dr. Shire from the prestigious Mayo Clinic get the job? Of course not. This was to waste his time and for the One Minn Hoax Governor to pretend he cared about health equity.

As this was not bad enough, I recently went to an event held by talented Somali doctors who were brown-nosing the health department regarding autism. To Somali Medical Assoc of Minn – Let me give you free advice from someone who has advocated at MDH for years – actually almost a decade. The reason this state has shameful health disparity is because of people like Commissioner Jan and those under her including Ms. Bahta, Janet O, and so many others like them. If you are under the impression that MDH cares about Somali autism issues. Oh please think again – not after Gov Pawlenty and previous Commissioner Dr. Sanne. If you think MDH will give you meaningful funding, think again. If you think they will nurture your careers, really think again.

Qofkii walaalkiis loo xiiroow, adna soo qoyso. Kuwii idinka horeeyayba MDH way xasdeen, way ciileen, way canaaden, way xumayeen. Ha moodina in qofka walaalahiin xumeeya in ay idinka idin fiicnayniyaan.

Qofkii walaalkiis loo xiiroow, adna soo qoyso.

In my humble opinion, you are all bright, talented and amazing. You can do better than brown-nosing MDH. If you really want to help Somali autism children and families – then talk to us. Don’t speak for us – rather engage with us. Don’t tell us what to do – help us figure it out. While I understand there are many who will take advantage of us such as the Indian Doctor you were speaking of, that still does not give you the right to demonize any parent for doing what they think is right. Again, nala hadla, nala tashada, na waaniya, na baara, na caawiya idinka oo aan soo marin the useless MDH.

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

Idil – Somali Autism Mom

Comments Off on Maureen Bartolotta is out – New School Board Members are in – YAY!

Alright – so, Good news from Bloomington public schools in Minnesota. Ever since my son who has nonverbal autism and does not understand the concept of suspension was kicked out of his educational setting by teacher Kelly Morris and principal Jaysen Anderson – I have been a relentless advocate in changing this district’s school board. I am happy to report Maureen Bartolotta lost. My take is goodbye and good riddance. Sadly, Nelly K kept her seat but not for long – I hope. Dick decided to not run this year. Goodbye and good riddance to him as well.

There are now two new school board members – Mia and Heather who I will be watching like a hawk to ensure they do what they campaigned on. Mia seems to be kind and Heather seems to be hands-on articulate. I am saddened that John lost but next time. We keep trying until we replace all of them. The ultimate goal is to replace Dawn S with a Somali person. Ahhh – how sweet would that be.

My suggestions to the new board members are:

  1. Always be on the side of the children.
  2. Get the data on suspension and expulsion for students with disabilities and students of color and ask why then do something about it.
  3. Hold teachers and principals accountable for their suspension rates, failing kids and being exclusive towards our children.
  4. Don’t forget you are there to represent the kids not the adults.
  5. Be humble and reachable to all parents and students.
  6. Finally, never ever underestimate any parent especially autism mothers.

This district meets every other Monday in the evening and I encourage anyone who has or had a child here to go and hold them accountable. Unless we demand a seat at the table, we are on the menu.

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

Idil – Autism Mom