Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Special Education Services in U.S. Public Schools, Part 1

United States public schools are those which are funded by the federal government, the state and often your local taxes. These schools are all held to the Federal Legislation called IDEA or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. In addition to IDEA, public schools are also held to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This Act was established to ensure that individuals with disabilities cannot be discriminated against in the United States.

What this really means
All children with known or suspected disabilities qualify for special education testing in United States Public schools. This qualification stands regardless of a students grades or academic achievement. Furthermore, IDEA also includes a component called “Child Find” which requires states to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities, aged birth to 21, who are in need of early intervention or special education services. This means that schools “should” be requesting parental permission to do testing without prompting. However, many times, this is not the case.

Special Education Services Verses Special Education Classrooms/Schools
Special education is not defined as a special classroom or school. In fact, the law states that school districts are required to educate students with disabilities in regular classrooms with their nondisabled peers, in the school they would attend if not disabled, to the maximum extent appropriate. What this means is, the district must provide necessary supports, accommodations and supplemental aides and services to make this happen. The only exception to this rule is if after using all the above accommodations and supports, the student would not benefit educationally, other settings can be entertained. However, it is always up to the IEP team, which includes the parents of the student to determine placement. This is not a unilateral school district decision.

My Child Has a Disability. Now What?
Schools are required to perform multi-disciplinary educational testing upon request from a parent or legal guardian of a child with a disability. However, while some schools may acknowledge a verbal request, it is recommended that the parent or legal guardian place this request in writing.

What's a Multi-Disciplinary Educational Evaluation?
Multi-Disciplinary is defined as: composed of or combining several usually separate branches of learning or fields of expertise

What this means specifically to each child is different. For an example, a student with a cognitive, neurological or developmental disability might require testing in the following disciplines: Speech and Language, Social and Emotional Reciprocity, Fine and Gross Motor skills, Academic Achievement (Reading and Analytical skills), Intelligence Quotient Testing, etc. Each student might have specific weaknesses and/or strengths that need measured. Parents should also be given an opportunity to add data to the report, either from outside evaluations or standard checklists provided by the school.

Regardless, it is wise to have all children with known disabilities tested for special education services in order to determine if there are unmet needs to address with specially designed instruction.

According to law, testing must be completed within 60 days. Unless otherwise specified, this is generally calendar days and not school days. Check with your state for more information on interpretation.

Once the evaluation process is complete, a report should be available to review prior to any meetings with the school. In the report will be scores for standardized testing and observational data by qualified evaluators. The final summary of the report might indicate a recommended placement or may indicate that there is no need for specially designed instruction. Either way, a meeting is held to discuss the findings.

The Post Evaluation Meeting
At the meeting the report will be discussed by those who participated in the process. This includes the parents. At the meeting the entire team decides whether or not special education services are appropriate, what type of services if any, and where those services will take place. If the team is in agreement that special education services are appropriate, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be written as a team. If the team decides special education services are not appropriate, the team should then consider creating a 504 Plan which allows for modifications and accommodations for the student. It does not, however, allow for specially designed instruction.

What is Specially Designed Instruction (SDI)
1“Specially designed instruction means adapting, as appropriate to the needs of an eligible child under this part, the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction to address the unique needs of the child that result from the child's disability; and to ensure access of the child to the general curriculum, so that he or she can meet the educational standards within the jurisdiction of the public agency that apply to all children.”

In other words, SDI means adapting anything and everything necessary so that the child can be a successful student. This can include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Social Skills Instruction
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Specialized Math and Reading programs
  • Occupational Therapy

In addition to SDI, the IEP allows for unlimited accommodations for the student such as:

  • Extended time for tests
  • No timed tests
  • Fewer problems/questions on a test
  • Minimized distractions in the classroom
  • Assistive Technology such as word processing, speech to text, calculators, communication systems, etc.
  • Preferential seating in classrooms
  • Minimize or eliminate homework
  • Daily visual schedules

The list can go on and on. There is nothing that cannot be “considered” by the IEP team. While the team may not agree on all suggestions, the team must “consider” any suggestions brought forth.

1 IDEA 2004 Regulations §300.39 A

Published with Permission from DANMC

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Toxic Midnight Bloggers Who Spew Hate

One of the most fabulous things about the USA is our freedom of speech. I love that I can come here and write whatever is on my mind. Unfortunately, this can also stir up a lot of controversy. If opinions differ, it indeed can be difficult. Tempers and nostrils may flare. However, the intelligent reader knows they can simply look away, stop reading or chose not to visit my blog at all.

But what about those “burning the midnight oil” toxic bloggers who constantly scour the Web looking for a “story?” These toxic bloggers distort and manipulate truth in order to have something to talk about. In the process, toxic bloggers defame and slander those who veer anywhere near their path.

Toxic bloggers pick targets, most often innocent victims, and spin webs of deception and deceit. They handpick victims who have differing opinions than themselves over politics and social issues. Much like the Tabloids who distort half truths in order to make juicier gossip about celebrities, the toxic blogger continually posts falsehoods and colorful lies. However, once in a while the toxic blogger finds a golden nugget - a real story. And when they do, look out! The toxic blogger takes that nugget of truth, polishes it up into a juicy tabloid and dangles every past victim from it. It is as if all past prevarications are somehow connected to the real story - six degrees of separation, and then some!

Behavior analysts have learned through intensive research that unfavorable behavior is the end result of unmet needs. So what are the toxic bloggers needs? What does this toxic blogger get from spewing such hatred? It is something in which we can only speculate.

For example, the blogger-parent of a differently-abled child can feel empty when the parent has been unable to adjust to the child's differences. Because modern society has not evolved to fully accept or tolerate differences, it can be very difficult for the parents. When life hands you a different card than what your compadrés hold, life can be distressing. Add to this hardship a lacking support system and parents can often feel isolated and bitter.

We can speculate that the venom builds over time and then just bursts into a siege on those who seem to be handling it all in stride. Perhaps we can only see darkness while turning a blind eye to the light from within. Or maybe the toxic blogger is just evil. I'd like to hope that no one is beyond salvation. 

One thing is for sure. The toxic blogger has freedom of speech and we have the choice to ignore them.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's One AM in New York and Midnight in Chicago

Which brings up a great question. What does this have to do with the price of tea in China? Or more importantly, what's this got to do with an advocacy blog?

Your guess is as good as mine. In fact, advocacy is far from the word that comes to mind. It does present a dilemma though. Who are the real advocates and who are those who would pose as such to take your hard earned money? And how can you tell the difference?

My personal tips are these:
  • If an organization refuses to share their Federal or State Tax Identification, you can bet they are not legitimate.
  • If an organization is selling something and not divulging exactly how the profits are spent, back away slowly.
  • Check with a local trustworthy organization if in doubt (Better Business Bureau, etc.)
    And speaking of scams...

    Notorious scam artist Michael E. Robinson, Sr. (aka Mike Robinson, Michael Robinson, Jr) is on the move again. While he's buried his tracks from his past fraudulent organizations "Getafape.org" and "The Office of Autism Advocacy", he's created a new venture on Facebook called "The International Voice of Autism". He identifies himself there as "Mike Robinson". We're asked to believe that he is working with other parents on his "new" mission-This time, en Français as well as English.

    Mike, as he's known by at this time, ventures around preying on families affected by Autism and Epilepsy. He posts numerous articles, makes comments under multiple identities and then attempts to take credit for helping on nationally known advocacy issues.

    At face value, he's a pretty believable guy. He seems very knowledgeable about Autism, especially. He claims to be a parent of an Autistic child. But when you dig further, things become less plausible.

    His claims range from being a "Registered United States Lobbyist", working for the US Department of Defense and a retired NASCAR driver. He claims to have helped hundreds of families win special education due process hearings. Wow! He's done an awful lot.

    The problem is, none of the claims are verifiable. A Freedom of Information Act request was put through to the US Lobbyist Registrar. Mike is not and has never been a Lobbyist. Interestingly enough, there is a Michael E. Robinson in Washington DC who is a high powered Civil Rights attorney.

    Mike must not have been a very noteworthy NASCAR driver. Because again, there's no record of him anywhere. Further he claims to have had a serious accident during a NASCAR race - yet another claim that cannot be substantiated. At one time, he was touting his familial relationship to legitimate NASCAR racer Shawna Robinson, claiming to be cousins. When approached, Shawna Robinson refuted this claim.

    Mr. Robinson is also a very "traveled" man. One week he claimed to be residing in California. The next week, he lived in Hawaii. And during the time of his international moves, he's been photographed in New York City (if we are to believe his outlandish claims) and Paris, France.

    And if this wasn't enough to get your warning bells a-chimin, Mike was once in business with known scam artist and now felon, Raymond G. Parenteau of Arizona. In fact, Mike and Raymond together created the GetaFape.org organization. I even had the esteemed pleasure of being "behind the scenes" of some of the initial work as Mike emailed me and asked me to be a part (prior to knowing that either man was a scam artist).
    Meet Ray....we shall be in touch as we get this all coordinated.. we're still in that 'set up' zone and getting ready to pull in corp sponsors and grants will be much after that.. so at this time we do have a 75.00 an hr. charge.. however.. cases are comp'd down to only 20 percent.. or 15.00 an hour if they parents don't qualify.  go to the site and check out the intake process for new parents.. I think you will be impressed by the intensity of the work Ray has done there... he is the Dir. of Advocacy .. so you would be working with both of us and alot with him.. pelase make contact w/each other.     Michael
    Thankfully by the time I received this, I had realized Mike was not legitimate. However, another parent has come forth as the person who signed on to work in the above mentioned capacity. Mike used her as a "case manager" who was assigned the task of finding clients (aka desperate families). She, herself, paid GetaFape and exorbitant amount of money to help on her child's case.

    This mother worked day and night to promote the organization. She found clients who were willing to pay. However, as she would find out personally, Mike failed to provide anything to those families regardless of how much they paid him. In fact, he didn't show to meetings he was scheduled for sighting "more important" matters at a National level. It wasn't long after this mom also broke ties. But that wasn't to be the end of her contact with Mike. Mike stalked her online sending threats.
    Go ahead and post all over, if you degrade my name any further I will come forward in a way you will not like
    He even went as far to send her PayPal bills for more money.
    Money Request Details
    Amount: $100.00 USD
    Note: Since your husband is not going to pay and you have shown no want to pay your balance at all, would you mind terribly going on a payment plan ? I'm putting all those that have getafape contracts and balances due to OSEA on payment plans if they can't pay their balance. Thank you 
    Mike's been laying a bit low since Advocates Against Fraud in Advocacy investigated him. He was asked to state his side of the story and provide credentials, should they actually exist. However, he refused to provide any proof. Additionally, instead of attempting to clear his name, he went on a smearing campaign against the reporter who broke the story.
    I bring this up again because though the authorities have been alerted, he is still in action. Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo and Google groups can all be wonderful places for advocates to meet up. Just remember that it's really easy to fake credentials and talk the proverbial talk.

    Go with your gut and be warned. No matter what time it is in Chicago, it ain't got nothing to do with advocacy!

    Sunday, October 10, 2010

    Pinned down: Palm Beach County schoolchildren subdued with risky restraint

    Pinned down: Palm Beach County schoolchildren subdued with risky restraint
    Joshua, who also has autism and cerebral palsy, had refused to go to art class and would not move from the school courtyard.

    Joshua was subjected to an especially harsh form of prone restraint, a maneuver in which the child is held face down until he stops struggling.

    So risky that six states have banned it outright in schools, prone restraint remains legal in Florida: Palm Beach County schools have used it on disabled students more than 1,500 times since 2007, according to a Palm Beach Post analysis. Most were elementary schoolchildren. Some were in pre- kindergarten.
    Read More Here:  http://bit.ly/dwUxSe

    Monday, October 4, 2010


    Pepsi Refresh Project

    Mercer County PA advocate Olivia Lazor has been able to secure a spot in the Pepsi Refresh Project contest for Circles of Mercer County. You may be familiar with the contest after the Conneaut Lake Park Blue Streak received a $25,000 grant based on votes by community members like yourself.

    Currently, Olivia volunteers much of her time to this extremely worthy cause. The program has become so popular that they find themselves in need of expansion. This grant will help them do, just that.

    It takes very little of your time to vote. Those who have Facebook accounts, can vote simply by logging in with the Facebook Account. For those who do not, it's a very simple form. Pepsi is not spamming those who sign up and vote.

    In order to secure the grant, Circles of Mercer County and Community Action Partnership must place within the top 10 of ideas. There are hundreds of competitors for the funding. For this reason, they need your daily votes! You can vote every day, including weekends. The more votes, the higher up the place.

    Please consider taking a minute of your time each day to vote. It's a really wonderful cause that benefits everyone in Mercer County and beyond.

    Please consider using one of your Pepsi Refresh Votes to help this wonderful cause!

    Saturday, September 25, 2010

    Amy Gould Caraballo’s True Colours

    Amy Gould Caraballo
    Amy Gould Caraballo
    Amy Gould Caraballo
    Amy Gould Caraballo
    Amy Gould Caraballo
    Amy Gould Caraballo
    Amy Gould Caraballo
    Amy Gould Caraballo
    Amy Gould Caraballo
    Amy Gould Caraballo is a mother and advocate to a son with Asperger's Syndrome. After dealing with the local school district's inability to educate her son, Amy has become a devoted advocate to all children with special needs.  She is her son's educational coach for his Cyber School program through the Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School, a public charter.

    Since November 2009, Amy Caraballo has been writing for the Examiner.com as the Pittsburgh Special Education Examiner where she reports on Special Education issues as they pertain to the Western Pennsylvania region. Recently, she has started the Disability Advocacy Network of Mercer County (DANMC).

    DANMC is a registered business in Pennsylvania working on Not for Profit status. DANMC provides free services to those in and around Mercer County, Pennsylvania. Currenlty, Amy Gould Caraballo is seeking advocates and board members who wish to volunteer their time to work with DANMC. If you are interested, visit www.disabilityadvocacy.org for more information.

    In the past, Amy Gould Caraballo has worked with the following advocacy groups:
    • The Autistic Women's Network (AWN)
    • Advocates Against Fraud in Advocacy (AAFA)
    • ARC of Pennsylvania Systems and Governmental Affairs
    • Early Childhood and Education subcommittee member
    • Pennsylvania Gaskin Settlement Agreement Overall Implementation Committee
    • PA Right to Education Local Task Force
    • Green Grannies and Friends for Clean Air
    • Healthy Kids committee
    • Mothers of Asthmatics Member (AANMA)
    • American Lung Association Parent Outreach
    • Pennsylvania Families Together for Autism
    • Autism Society of America Member
    • Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)
    • Families Against Restraint and Seclusion (national)
    In her spare time she enjoys singing with the Shenango Valley Chorale and participates in community theatre.

    Amy Gould Caraballo, Amy Caraballo, Amy C. AWN, Autism Women's Network, AAFA, Advocates against fraud in advocacy, ASAN, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Advocacy, aspergers, autism, amy-caraballo, amy-gould-caraballo, philanthropy, When good advocates go bad, ravingmotherfromhell, raving mother from hell, caraballo, amy

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    When Trolls Attack, Throw Bear

    The game by Will Crowther's and Don Woods's called ADVENTURE was one of the first RPGs on computer written in Fortran. It was all the rage on college campuses in the 1970's. And thanks to

    my Facebook buddy Phil, I've decided that this is indeed a good approach for online serial trolls – just Throw Bear.

    throw bear:The bear lumbers toward the troll, who lets out a startled shriek and scurries away. The bear soon gives up the pursuit and wanders back.

    Now of course, I don't have a pet bear that I'll literally throw at those who intend to harm or defame others in the name of personal gain. But I got to thinking of how funny that visual would be; here catch this bear. Suddenly, the whole thing seems dang funny and I'm laughing it off.

    So the next time someone threatens or posts blatant lies about you, just think about throwing them that bear. Guaranteed to make you smile.

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    AAFA, Advocates Against Fraud in Advocacy

    On the coattails of Dave Wilde, I thought I'd give some information about AAFA (Advocates Against Fraud in Advocacy). As an investigative member of this team, I am very vested in outing fraudulent activities of “so called” advocates who take the money and run and even blackmail their clients into silence.

    For years, I've watched some of these suspicious people taunt and torture innocent families. Finally, after reading a publication online about one known “scammer” I found it time to really do something about it. After speaking with a few other legitimate advocates, we decided to form an organization. More can be found at: www.advocacyfraud.org

    AAFA does not formally investigate anyone. We aren't police or detectives. We use our Internet know-how and informally interview people who are associated with suspected frauds. We run background checks and attempt to match up claims with real documentation. In the end, if we suspect that the claim of fraud is true, we turn over all our findings to the proper authorities. After that, there is little we can and will do unless the authorities call upon us for more information.

    We do not take on every case. We've had requests by those who dislike someone and want their name smeared. When we find evidence of flame wars, we walk away. But if an advocate is out there making grandiose claims about their conquests, that's where we come in.

    What can you do to protect yourself?
    • Most real advocates do not “advertise” their cases. If an advocate is tooting their own horn, you probably want to do some research and verify that this person is for real.

    • In today's social network world, its very easy for scammers to take on multiple personalities claiming to be clients or victims of advocates. Look for real proof – not just someones words. If the advocate or victim won't send you legitimate proof, it's probably a lie.

    • Additionally, look to organizations who have legitimate licenses with their State to do business. If an organization doesn't have a Federal Tax ID (in the US), they are likely not very legitimate. Tax IDs are public information and can be requested from the IRS.

    • Lastly, if you aren't sure, you can request AAFA to do some research. We do not charge for this service. And while we are in the process of becoming Not for Profit, we only hope to obtain grants to cover the costs of our research.

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    Perspectives Anthology launches August 22, 2010

    Perspectives Anthology launches today - Long Island autism | Examiner.com

    Marc Rosen
    Long Island Autism Examiner

    Over the past several months, two men gathered, selected, edited, and compiled poetry from over fifty poets, from three continents, to bring forth the first-ever anthology specifically dedicated to poetry about autism and other neurological, psychological, social, and communicative disabilities. Today, that effort has finally come to fruition, and Perspectives Anthology: Poetry Concerning Autism and Other Disabilities is now available for purchase online. The editors, when asked, expressed their excitement and exhaustion, but hope that people see the message they have attempted to put forth with this work, as they said in their mission statement, "...no matter what our differences, we are all human." The anthology will also have a book tour from September through to December, consisting of live readings from the anthology by the poets who wrote the works as well as book signing opportunities, with the first event being on September 16th at Dowling College. To purchase your own copy, you can attend one of the tour events, or see the link below:

    Saturday, August 28, 2010

    When good advocates go bad

    Most advocates are born through adversity. They have first hand experience of the wrongs they seek to “right”. There is a fire in the belly of these advocates.

    These advocates experience years of fighting for their own family or selves. They've often been betrayed by supposed trustworthy individuals. All of this can lead to paranoia and general distrust of every person that crosses the advocates path.

    For example, advocate Ellen Bradley* has a child with severe disabilities. She's fought the systems for years and years to help her daughter. Ellen has been through it all.

    Setting out to help others like herself, Ellen Bradley found a partner Trent Thompson* and began a venture to promote awareness and help other families like herself. Together the partners formed a company Eleven-o'clock-in-Atlanta (EIA)*, an informal business that set out to promote awareness through art and music. Ellen and Trent blogged about their work, advocacy efforts and news related to disabilities. Realizing that there were expenses to be paid, Ellen and Trent began selling their wares to help fund their efforts.

    But one day, things took a different turn. Suddenly, instead of blogging about advocacy, Ellen began seeking to find fraud in others. Her blog posts began to name other legitimate advocates, some who had never even heard of Ellen or her advocacy company. In the posts, she accused other advocates of numerous slanderous activities. Ellen wrote about these folks as if she'd personally worked with them or had direct dealings with them. However, in many cases, these advocates had never had any contact with Ellen, Trent or EIA. In fact, most of the accused were completely oblivious to any of Ellen's advocacy efforts.

    Little by little the accused advocates became aware that their name was connected to Ellen's blogs. In effort to “clear the air”, they attempted to contact her to find out if it was mistaken identity and/or what had caused Ellen to post these slanderous remarks on her blog. Soon, the legitimate advocates learned that Ellen took anything they said and used it against them. She took snippets from emails and conversations out of context and manipulated words to look like threats. She'd then post them on her blog as proof the advocates were criminals, bullies and frauds.

    The more the legitimate advocates fought back, the more Ellen used it as fuel to post horrendous things about them. Ellen began paying for criminal background checks on individuals and posting their driving records for all to see. She'd dig up whatever she could on each legitimate advocate as if to “prove” those with a misdemeanor or driving offense on their record must be bad people.

    Advocates soon learned that fighting back was futile. Ellen would only use their words against them.

    What happened to Ellen? When did it go so very wrong that she stopped helping and began hurting others in the name of her justice? One can only speculate that her convoluted past of fighting for her child, dealing with double agents who promised to help her and the general disdain society has for those with disabilities all attributed to Ellen's plummet down the dark path.

    Today, Ellen and Trent continue to blast advocates through their blogs on EIA. Random advocates are featured as low life frauds and scam artists in her weekly rants. In addition to new victims, Ellen continues to use the names of every advocate she's slandered in the past. One can surmise that it's an attempt to stir up more controversy.

    Ellen's story is such a sad testimony to how badly more support is needed for those fighting for better services, supports and general social acceptance in society. We need more good advocates in our world. And Ellen surely could have been one if the world was different to her.

    *Names have been changed.

    Friday, April 9, 2010


    Tolerance is often under represented by society as a whole. And this certainly comes as no surprise to those in the disability communities. Today words like “retard”, “schizo”, “sped” and “gimp” are used as everyday slang. It is no wonder tolerance for differences seems to be such a far away goal. But one might think that the communities would at least have found tolerance amongst themselves. That perhaps the advocates, families and those with disabilities themselves would be tolerant of others. Sadly, that is often not the case.

    There are huge rifts caused by a multitude of issues between differing advocacy groups. Many disputes are over competition for grassroots funding. When there is only a little in the pot to share, groups can become extremely competitive. But probably more pervasive is the theories about what is best for those with disabilities that causes the most problems.

    Ultimately, this rift can been seen in full action by watching the Autism community. Because to date, there is no valid medical test to determine what Autism is, those affected by it are left to choose sides with one of the theorists. The two most powerful groups in the Autism community are those who attribute Autism to a curable disease or vaccine damage verses those who consider Autism a neurologically diverse evolution of the species. There are extremists on both sides and many, many more folks in between.

    Those in between folks are left to chose sides or remain neutral. As politics go, remaining neutral does little to help make any advancements on either side of the debate. So many pick a side just so that they have something to work with.

    With both sides having dug their feet in so deeply, it is hard for either to make advancements. There is no tolerance given to either side.

    How can we expect the rest of society to have tolerance for our differences when those who are living with the differences cannot even tolerate each other? How can we expect to ever advance as a species if we refuse to even acknowledge the other side is human and deserves to be treated respectfully?

    While many middle ground folks can see the validity on both sides of the debate, it's not enough to bring the community together. Until we successfully bridge the gap between all those affected, it is arrogant to request that the rest of society tolerate our differences.

    Monday, March 29, 2010

    Raving Mother is Raving Mad Today

    I've been scouring the web today reading all sorts of horrendous things parents of Autistic children are saying about Ari Ne'eman, self advocate, founder of ASAN, and presidential nominee to the National Council on Disabilities.

    From calling him a mentally ill sociopath to calling him a fraud, I cannot believe how vicious people are. The irony of the situation kills me. These parents are desperate for their children to be as functional as Ari. Point in case, Kim Stagliano of Age of Autism is quoted as saying
    He has stated categorically that autism does not need a cure and that the treatments I use, that have helped my children function, are not worthy of study. He does not represent my children's needs. Without these treatments, my girls are unlikely to achieve any of the goals of the council.

    Firstly, Ari has never stated that treatments are not worth studying. Far from the truth, he has stated that more funds need to be funneled to supports and services. Supports can appear in many forms, and treatments are supports. Ari and ASAN have been vocal about supporting those on the spectrum NOW and using some of the grassroots funds for such purposes.

    Secondly, does Ms. Stagliano not see the irony in wanting her child to function as well as Ari? If Ms. Stagliano succeeds in helping her daughter be cured, does that then, make her daughter less worthy to speak on behalf of other children with her diagnosis?

    Most importantly, why do these parents who insist on "curing" their children of Autism think its ok to speak on my behalf? They criticize Ari for speaking on their behalf. What about mine?

    I'm just sick to death of it. Really.

    This "if you aren't with me, you're against me" mentality is getting old.