Woo-psie Doodles and Oh Noes on a Friday morning

This afternoon, my husband and I will pick our three children up early from the school and day center they attend. We will drive our children to the health clinic we use, and we will line up, all five of us, and we will get a flu shot. That's right: a flu shot. Probably not the mist, so this will undoubtedly be, gasp, a flu shot with thimerosal in it.

We will go and do this, as we do every year, not because we are sheeple as the vaccines-are-the-end-of-the-world people love to call people who use evidence-based medicine. We will do this knowing that even though we have never had an adverse reaction to a vaccination, one of us could this time. Just as everytime I swallow one of the medications I take each day, I am aware that there could be an adverse reaction. One of the meds I'm on can cause sudden liver failure. Seriously. I know it, and I have to weigh the extremely low chance of that with the condition it helps manage. Anyone who know me well knows that I don't tolerate side effects from meds. If it messes up my taste of soda, well, screw that migraine preventative. I like my diet pepsi. :-) I'm sure you get my point here. I make this decision with my husband regarding vaccination and I don't make it lightly.

No, I am not a sheeple because I choose to vaccinate. I don't accept blindly what doctors say, not for me, not for my children. I look at the available literature on the medication recommended, I look at the illness or disease information I can get my hands on, as well. I ask questions. I go back to the doctor and ask more questions. I remember that doctors are busy people who are often doing too much and who in all likelihood do not have my medical history or my children's in their minds as they make rapid decisions. I believe in making logical, reasoned medical decisions based on the evidence at hand and not on emotionalism.

So, my husband and I will go today with my three autistic children and we will get them vaccinated. Oh noes. With thimerosal. Oh noes. And I'm pretty sure we won't bring back more autistic children as a result of that. Happy meal toys, yes, and happy smiling children. They all understand that the flu shot should help them avoid getting the flu, that it is not a guarantee, and that their momentary discomfort from the shot will be ameliorated with a happy meal. A gluten and casein full happy meal. Double oh noes. And before anyone screams that means I don't love them, I did the GFCF diet for four strict years. Not a damn bit of difference except that I now have much happier children who occasionally get a happy meal.


Chromesthesia said...

I need a flu shot because I have asthma.
Haven't gotten one yet though. The flu could leave me incapacitated for weeks with a terrible cough that will have me doubled over in pain.
So I get a flu shot every year to prevent that.

Corina Becker said...

same here: asthma and sleep apnea, which means I sleep with a breathing machine, a CPAP. If I get sick, I have to stop using my CPAP since the flu contaminates the machine and just keeps me sick. However, not using the machine means that I stop breathing at night and don't get a good night's sleep.
So flu shot. And this year, the two-part H1N1 vaccine. I should check to see when it's available in my area...

and, I can't resist saying this.... macdonald'sisevil!!

Chromesthesia said...

Especially after watching Super Size me.
Still, I like their nuggets. Though my burgers are probably much better
And my fries.

Corina Becker said...

gah, even before Super Size Me. My mother teaches nutrition and has been critical of fast food for as long as I can remember. We only stop in a MacDonald's if it's the only rest stop on the highway and we really gotta go, need gas, need a stretch break, or really really really need coffee.

I do sneak in every once in a while for nuggets, a small fries and a milkshake. Like, once a year. I can feel my veins clogging just thinking about it though....

Clay said...

Wendy's has better chicken nuggets.
Arby's has great curly fries!
MacDonald's is like, the lowest common denominator, when it comes to food. Coffee and shakes are just okay.

What, I was supposed to say something about vaccines? Alright, does it do any good to get the H1N1 shot if you've already had the flu this year? Never mind, I'll ask the Doc at the VA when I see him next month. I'll probably get it anyway, as I'm not Positive that was the flu I had.

KWombles said...

:-) The girlies ended up getting the flu mist, so no pain (and no thimerosal). McDonald's should be sparingly done. Fast food and eating out, in general, should be sparingly done. Once in a blue moon as a reward for good behavior for a once a year thing probably won't harm them. :-) They mostly want it for the toy. After all, they lived with the GFCF diet for four years, and it's only been since March that we went off of it.


Heraldblog said...

What's wrong with thyme aerosal? I think it smells rather nice, and does a great job of covering up cat box odors.

KWombles said...

:-) It does at that!

I figured the anti-vaxxers who read me would feel comforted that at least two of the three hadn't had thimerosal. :-)

Chromesthesia said...

A GFCF Diet doesn't seem very fun. All the stuff i like has wheat and whipped cream...milk. Chocolate stuff...
The good stuff.
Which reminds me. I should go out and buy rice.

Corina Becker said...

@Clay, the regular flu shot is designed to fight the usual flu virus that evolves each year. It doesn't totally garuentee that you won't get the flu, but it helps you prepare for it.
The H1N1 is a different virus than the seasonal flu, thus the vaccine. You should get both.
And in my mother's eyes, all fast food is bad. Sometimes though, you get a craving for each brand of fries though.

Kim, what exactly is a flu mist? I've never heard of it.

NightStorm The Aspiewolf said...

Hey Kim I wrote a letter to autspks the other night, here it it is in full

Dear Suzanne Wright,

There is a chance that this letter will be ignored or be responded with an automated message, but if you do read this letter I will introduce myself to you.

I write short stories, and paint with watercolors, I have paintings in art shows and I work at two different school centers. I travel around my home state and I am part of different activism groups. I am also twenty-two and asperger autistic.

I has come to my attention on your newest campaign and video, “I am Autism”, that the material in this show is very degrading and hurtful to autistic people. Many individuals from all over the spectrum has felt that this video continues the old mythos of the “stolen child” and that autistic people are hollow empty shells. This kind of message is dehumanizing the autistic community and parents who do not feel that their precious and unique child is a “burden” and that some anthropomorphic disorder has taken them and hell-bent to ruin their lives.

Being autistic has not been easy. I do not ignore the struggles I have had being asperger, society has been a vicious animal to me, and it hard to speak a language that I am not fluent in. It took me two years to find another job and I have yet to hold steady employment. I panic easily and suffer from meltdowns as any autist would. However, I try walk forward and live my life as I want to live it.

The message portrayed in your video seems to make the “normative” feel good and the “autist” dependant on them, as if they have no say on what treatments they need want or if they want treatment. I was given many kinds of pills and treatments, I was given no say on whether I want them or not. I took me years to foster the kind of independence I need to make the choices that benefit me.

Autistics have place in this world, we are the odd child in the classroom that makes a masterpiece in art class, we're the kid that solves math problems with ease, the child that adapts well online or the child that feels the endless freedom of music. We have hopes, dreams, loves and desires. Many of our voices are silenced by the countless voices of parents who care more for the lime-light of being the victim than their own child's feelings and thoughts.

In the end, every child on the spectrum, whether be a classic autist or an asperger one, is still a human being, but even your video seems to deny us that. You say we autists lack empathy and we need to understand how hard parents have it. I wish parents gain some empathy for us and see how hard it is for us to have some form of respect and dignity from our neuro-typ...no, neuroaccepted peers.

With Respect,

Noranne “The Bard” Cochran.

I got a response tonight I'll post it here it's by Dee Tavas,

I will need some help in actually writing a response. I was wondering if all you wonderful people here can help me think of a response.
in next post.

NightStorm The Aspiewolf said...

Here is what Dee said.
Dear Anne,

The short film I Am Autism was created by two fathers of children with autism – Billy Mann, a Grammy-nominated songwriter, music producer and Autism Speaks board member, and Alfonso CuarĂ³n, an Academy award-nominated film director. Set to a personal poem by Mr. Mann, the short film features home video footage voluntarily contributed by families around the world affected by autism. It is an intensely personal expression by these two fathers and their hope is that the piece inspires other voices and artists in the autism community.

Autism Speaks believes that all individuals with autism and their families, regardless of their perspective or the nature of their disorder, should have the power to be heard. No one perspective can ever be the definitive voice of autism. We encourage everyone in the autism community to acknowledge the myriad voices and have tolerance for the spectrum of opinions.

Anne, I would love to read your short stories, and see your watercolor painting. Perhaps we would be able to have you take part of our “in their words” that we have up on our website. We extend an invitation out to all that want to be heard on our platform.

Warmest regards,

Mrs. Wright

I am tempted to show my paints of my autistic boy Tikaani and maybe my writings. Do you know how should I respond to this.

Roger Kulp said...

Chromesthesia said...
A GFCF Diet doesn't seem very fun. All the stuff i like has wheat and whipped cream...milk. Chocolate stuff...
The good stuff.
Which reminds me. I should go out and buy rice.

That's nothing.You ought to look into the yeast diet.

KWombles said...

Nghtstorm, you're the first I know to have gotten a response. That's something. :-)

I certainly would respect your choice to respond positively and show some of your work. If it makes it harder for them to support the kind of speeach in that video because it works to humanize autistics, then it is time well spent.

I'd still want to stress that the video is offensive to autistic individuals and what I hope is a large percentage of parents and family members of autistic individuals. That's how I would handle it. I think dialogue is important.

Has any one else gotten a response?

KWombles said...

Oh, Corina, flu mist is squirted in the nose. It's a live, attenuated virus instead of a dead virus.

NightStorm The Aspiewolf said...

Kim, I here is what am working on, anything I should clarifiy or add? I am practicing the old iditom of "Catching more flies with Honey" I realize they won't respond to negitive letters but I feel more postitive but firm letters would work.

Thank you for the critque.

Dear Suzanne and Dee,

Thank you for responding to my letter with such speed. I appreciate the time you took to write back to me.

I have read your response and I am still processing it. Forgive me if my less than stellar communications cause a problem. I see that while you may have read my letter you haven't quite understood the point I was trying to make.

My point is that you video had very negative and hurtful portrayal of autistic people (ironically with video of autists being happy) and even though you state there are many voices of the autistic community, it seems that only the parents voices are actually heard and you make no effort to have ours listen too.

Allow me to quote from Depeche Mode “Now I'm not looking for absolution. Forgiveness for the things I do, but before you come to any conclusions. Try walking in my shoes. Try walking in my shoes.”

How many of your chair board have actually seen the world though out eyes and actually try to empathize with us? You empathize with the parents, the fact you picked to academy winning fathers is proof, but will you show a film of an adult autist, happy with who he is, and given the acknowledgment and affirmation that being autistic is ok and who he is? Or what about a film of a parent raising her child and teaching her how to self-advocate and loves her child despite her autism? Or will that turn away the grants you need?

I looked at “In Their Words” and it's written in the voice of the parent not the autist, I would like to participate but I am afraid your editors and PR folks wouldn't like the stories of self-determination and will power of an autistic adult, who will not be cured or changed by outside pressures.

I will of course show selections of works I have written about my autistic character of mine and paintings I have done. Perhaps it will be proof that we do think abstractly and show imagination.

With pride
Noranne “The Bard” Cochran.

KWombles said...


That is an excellent response. It is civil, respectful, and calm. Well done.

kathleen said...

Nightstorm, I too think it was an excellent response.
I did not like the response that you were given by Mrs. Wright...What I would like to know is if the families that contributed videos were aware of the poem that they were being set too.I also don't understand how in one sentence, she calls this an intensly personal expression...and in another says that no one perspective can be the definitive voice of autism..yet they are using this one perspective to promote their agency.Is Mrs. Wright wrong???

NightStorm The Aspiewolf said...

I don't understand the condriction either, I will post my fic on Prism*Song that I am going to send to AutSpks amd the paintings

KWombles said...

:-) Awesome! For anyone who doesn't know the site offhand, I have it linked in my blogroll.