Sunday, September 20, 2015

Dogs are a great distraction from political arguments...

This morning over breakfast, Bill and I were talking about an article one of Bill's friends shared on Facebook.  He posted about all the great things the Nazis did for Germany and compared it to Planned Parenthood, trying to show how people shouldn't "forgive" Planned Parenthood for providing abortions and selling parts of fetuses.  Bill's friend compared the Nazi party to Planned Parenthood and wrote that he could see similarities between the two.

Personally, I think comparing the Nazis to Planned Parenthood is ridiculous.  I also think it's offensive.  As I've written before on this blog, I have never met a single person who remembers what being in the womb is like.  Holocaust victims were people already born, people who had lives and families and homes.  They knew what they were losing.  A developing fetus in its mother's womb doesn't.  But I understand that some people think abortions are atrocious and immoral and we should ban them.

So Bill and I were discussing this and I brought up the fact that this particular friend of my husband's had two children with his first wife.  Then he got a vasectomy so they wouldn't have more kids.  Later, after he divorced his first wife, he remarried and had the vasectomy reversed.  He now has two more adorable children.  One time, he told me that he thought he might have another vasectomy, since he now knows he's "done" with having kids.  If I were a religious person, I might have argued that having a vasectomy and a reversal is kind of against God's will.  But since I think people should have the right to make their own family planning choices, I didn't say that.

I'd like to point out that this man, who wishes to deny abortion services to women and has brought up the adoption option, has not himself adopted any children.  Indeed, he went through a vasectomy reversal so that he and his second wife could have kids together.  They were successful and they now have two beautiful kids.  However, they likely could have adopted kids who were already born and needed homes.  Indeed, there are a lot of older children in the foster care system who need good homes and loving parents.  I don't know if they ever considered adoption when they were planning their family; for all I know, they may have.  It's not my business to ask them.  But ultimately, adoption was not the choice they made.  They chose to perpetuate their genes.

Just to be clear.  I am fine with people having kids.  In fact, I am fine with people having as many kids as they want, as long as they can provide for them and love them.  However, I think people should have a choice and I don't think women should be forced to be pregnant.  And I would hate to see more kids wind up in foster care because they don't have loving parents.

Bill and I were about chest deep in our discussion about this hot issue when that damn Siamese cat that regularly invades our yard came running past the large windows in the living/dining room.  Suddenly, the dogs went ballistic.

Arran was especially animated, running around the room like a crazy dog, barking his head off, yearning to go outside.  I happened to notice that he badly needed to take a dump.  With him, it's obvious, because you can see it pooching out of his anus.  He doesn't like to go when he's out in the yard on a leash and will only do it out there when he's excited.  So I told Bill he needed to take the dogs out.

Bill put them on leashes and took them outside, where they went even more berserk, running and barking and making quite a commotion on an otherwise quiet Sunday morning.  Sure enough, within a minute of being in the yard, Arran crouched into position and took a massive crap.  And with that, our discussion about Planned Parenthood compared to Nazism was officially over.

Unfortunately, we moved on to more talk about Bill's former wife.  I think I may have figured out what's been going on.  I could be wrong and if this is a subject that bores or distresses you, please move on to your next station on the Web.  I need to write about this.  And please... don't tell me to "let it go".  If I could, I would.  If you or your spouse lost contact with members of the family, you might want to express yourself, too.  It's easy to tell someone to "let it go" if you're not in their shoes.

Anyway...  in that heated comment I found yesterday, Ex wrote about how she had to leave the state where she had been living for years because she couldn't get help for her kids with autism.  She left her former state at some point in 2011, which is when Bill quit paying child support.  Prior to 2011, she never spoke of any of her kids being autistic.  My guess is that she took her youngest child to a doctor who may have suspected the child is autistic.  And he may very well be.  I don't know.

Knowing Ex and her patterns, I have a feeling she then tried to get some type of financial benefits for the child while they were in her former state and was told no.  It could have been because her former state isn't generous with its assistance.  However, having watched this woman from afar for years, I suspect that she either didn't have a real diagnosis and documentation from someone with credentials or she didn't have the appropriate paperwork to get assistance.  Or... maybe she ran into some opposition from someone in charge and didn't want to do the legwork to get what she needed in her former state.  Knowing her, it could have been a case of her getting indignant and deciding her former state wouldn't have her to kick around anymore.  Perhaps she simply discovered that her newly adopted state was more generous with benefits (and from what I can tell, it is).

Having been in social work, I can't imagine that government benefits for people with autism are all that generous... but then, if you lost the last $850 a month from the formerly $2550 a month in child support you were getting for years on end, perhaps anything you can get from the state would be good.  The move across the country was also useful because Bill's younger daughter was turning 18 and breaking from her former state would give them the chance to make a start in a place where Bill wouldn't immediately know where to find them.

If one autistic child is good, perhaps two is better, hence the very late "diagnosis" of Bill's older daughter.  I will admit that I don't know much about autism.  One thing I do know, though, is that people with autism usually lack the ability to pick up on social cues or express emotion or empathy appropriately.  They also have a lot of trouble with sudden change.

I met Bill's older daughter once when she was about 12.  The very first thing she did was apologize to me about her personality.  She had apparently been told that she was too shy, too emotional, or too quiet and she worried that I would not think well of her.  Like I said, I don't know a lot about autism, but her apology and concern about how I perceived her does not seem typical of someone with autism.  I also watched her hug and kiss Bill, call him "Daddy", and basically behave like a normal, albeit sensitive and abnormally religious girl.  Bill has told me many times that she was once a very empathetic child with a tender heart.

Now... I think of the fact that for a couple of years, Ex was claiming that she has two autistic children.  She is now claiming that she has three.  It dawned on me that Bill's older daughter is now 24 and probably doesn't get benefits anymore or doesn't share them with her mother.  Or, if she does, maybe they aren't enough.  So a third child, who up until recently people had said was very precocious and social, suddenly now has autism?  And, since Ex supposedly has a graduate certificate in autism spectrum disorders, she probably diagnosed her daughter herself.

Again... I could be wrong and I will be the first to admit that I don't have all the facts.  Like I said, most of what I know about Ex, I know from stories from people who know her and stuff she's written.  This is purely speculation on my part and, again, not my circus, not my monkeys.  But I bet this is what happened.  Or it's very close to what happened.  This is the kind of thing she does.  This is the same person who got her oldest son's birth certificate replaced listing Bill as his father when Bill was only his temporary stepfather.  Of course, I'll probably never know for sure this is what has happened unless she ends up in the news.


  1. My mom, who is, as you are, a mental health professional, says that autism spectrum disorders are the fad diagnoses of the day. They took over where ADD/ADHD left off. God only knows what will follow.

    Certainly there is such a thing as autism and there is a tiny portion fo our population who actually has it. There are a whole lot ore parents out thee who have found mental health professionals who LOVE that diagnosis and would give it to a tapeworm if given the opportunity.

    No one is allowed to be just a bit quirky or different anymore. The Autism spectrum, as I understand it, is a continuum. We all fall somewhere on the line. Some of us are closer to what could not be correctly identified as anything but autism than are others. Some of are so far from the arbitrary line distinguishing the autistic from the non-autistic that the diagnosis could never be given to the person by a remotely competent professional. A whole lot of people fall somewhere in the middle, where a parent who looks long and hard enough can find a professional who will give the diagnosis.

    maybe all of these people, though non-diagnosed, really did exist before, but more absorbed more readily into the more agrarian. more manual-labor-oriented society so that a name for the condition and a method of treatment were not so necessary n the past. I suspect that's a part of the issue. i also think we're diagnosis-happy, and the autism spectrum is the diagnosis of the month, year or decade. why must everyone fit a mold. Instead of seeking out special funding, treatment, diagnoses, etc., why couldn't we look for jobs and living situations that are suitable for such people. If parents who have basically nothing are willing to uproot and drag their families across the country to get more funding, why can they not do the same in the name of a more fitting lifestyle for their slightly non-neurotypical offspring? If suitable work can be found for the severely intellectually disabled in sheltered workshops, why could families not try a bit harder to perhaps stat small businesses tht might utilize the skills possessed by their not-quite-typical children. They could use the money they make to supplement the government support payments they receive.

    This is mildly off-topic, as she was not autisttic, but suggestions concerning Rosmeary Kennedy, late sister of the late JFK and other famous siblings, are tht she been born the third of ninein a large midwestern farm family, she would have been fine. She would have been absorbed into the family operation in various ways. The stigma would not have been so salient, as almost every large family in the area would have had a child like her. Appropriate chores and work would have been vailable to her, nd, perhas even with support, she might have been able to marry and have a family of her own. Cetainly she would not have been lobotomized, 9I noticed People Mgazine just featured her.) And perhaps most importantly of ll, when the urge to push came to her laboring mother, her mother would have pushed instead of holding her legs crossed and, later, having a nurse hold her head in the birth canal so that she would not emerge before the doctor arrived, thus denying him the right to collect his fees. (I can't even imagine how horrific that labor and delivery were, never mind the outcome, which was then, of course, made much worse by Rosemary's evil father's self-serving decision.) Out in the middle of Hooterville, people would have been much to sensible to have engaged in such a foolish practice.

  2. Amendment: My reference to work for those on the autism Spectrum Disorder" refers to those whose afflictions are mild to moderate, obviously. am autistic person who has such severe sensory issues that he or she cannot be trained to keep his or her clothing on his or her body obviously may not be an ideal candidate for most forms of work that would be considered either legal or ethical.

    Regarding the bitch ex (she may be his ex-wife, but he's still a bitch) and the possibility that she, with her amazing credentials, may have provided the diagnoses to her children, i would be surprised though not floored if a state were to accept for benefit purposes any mentl health diagnoses provided by a parent even if her qualifications were stellar, which they obviously are not. 9They're stellar only in the sense that perhaps she obtaine them from the Moonbeam-Stargazer Online School of Academic Credentials and Certifications ("You name the credentials and certificates you want to appear on the pretty sheet of faux parchment and we'll print it up provided that your check or credit card clears in a timely manner").

    When I needed to be treated for traumatic stress disorder, which eventually became POST-traumatic stress disorder, my mother was allowed neither by the court system, the state, nor the insurance carriers to provide the diagnosis despite a doctorate in clinical psychology and an MFCC (both were current), not that she would have wanted to be the one to provide the diagnosis anyway. If all she needed was to provide a diagnosis for me to maintain her status of fame or infamy in the blogosphere as the mother of a dysfunctional weirdo with whatever condition she cared to diagnose me, such would probably be considered perfectly legit, though.

    1. I doubt Ex would be allowed to diagnose her own kids either, however, she can be very persuasive. It wouldn't surprise me if she managed to convince someone else to diagnose the kids. And, again, I will believe she has credentials when I see it. Anyone can claim credentials on the Internet and I doubt most would question her.


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