Thursday, February 27, 2014

Eligibility in High School

I have entered a whole new world at the High School. Eligibility. Eligibility is where they decide if you are eligible for special education services. This must be redone every three years. Sometimes everyone decides no further testing and you move on in the process. We were not so lucky.
During the three years since our initial eligibility we have moved school districts plus entered high school. So at our first meeting eligibility meeting it was said the school wanted to redo many of the tests that have already been done. This is partly because of the school district change and we have all of one round of testing for them to look at. So yes they need more information. We are not doing educational testing because it is not needed. We are also the only family that has a child in STAT academy with a IEP.
That's where things get fuzzy. It has already been said that they don't know how he will qualify again. The thing is while there is no issue with his grades right now all A'as and B's, if he loses services through the school he will lose the ability to use his iPad in class for schoolwork. If that is lost we will see a drop in grades. It is documented that since the implementation of the iPad his organization is better, work is getting turned in on time, and no more frustration with handwriting. You take it away and the frustration comes back, the behaviors gone back, everything.
This was just the first step. Next up is the actual eligibility meeting in May. Which will be good for another three years and will need to be done second semester of senior year.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

I'm Back

Ok so we had some issues with trolls. You know middle school like personal attacks. I mean really get a life come up with something better. Just the number of comments from one person I had to shut down for a bit. I mean really they used a fake profile. Didn't even have the balls to use their real name.

Which brings me to a new thing. Apparently rumor has it the new cool thing for bloggers to do is get fake profiles. These are not to protect their identity or anything like that. Nope it's to harass and be outright rude to others yet keep their squeaky clean I'm so great blogger act up. My understanding is the intent for these profiles is to cyber-bully.

Trust me I know by writing this the comments are going to come, they will bitch, they will cry. Even play the victim because someone wrote a blog about them. Well guess what if you think this blog is about you than you are a bitch who is doing more harm than good to our community. Go ahead whine. Get your mob to take up the pitchforks and come at me. In the end it speaks more to you and your mentality than it does me.

I will not be bullied into staying silent, just because I don't sit at the cool table. Your middle school behavior calling me fat, lazy, worthless, slut, etc.. Is just that middle school mean girl attitudes that you never grew out of. Your life must be pretty pathetic that you have to attack someone online that you don't even know. Cyber-bullying does not only affect kids. Adults can be victims as well.

"Why Don't We Call Adult Cyberharassment "Cyberbullying"? Parry Aftab reminds us that, with cyber-bullying and harassment, what we need to know as adults we already learned in kindergarten. How does that work when the Internet was a twinkle in Vint Cerf's eye when most of us were young? It's not complicated. We all understand name-calling, being excluded or being threatened at some point in our young lives. Now imagine that we could retaliate against anyone who has wronged us, made us angry, jealous or unfairly-judged and not get caught. If we were invisible, what would be do or say to those we dislike or hold in contempt? How would we lash out against others, what would we do that we would never consider doing openly? That is cyber-harassment, and when it involves spying, tracking and targeting our online activities, communications and friends, is "cyber-stalking." But for all purposes, they are interchangeable terms. Several things motivate cyber-harassment. These can range from boredom and the harasser seeking entertainment to personal vendettas, and include:
  1. Revenge
  2. Jealousy
  3. Righteousness
  4. Bigotry
  5. Fear
  6. Anger
  7. To get the attention of the target or others
Sometimes there is no motive at all, and the target was targeted merely because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. It becomes a cybercrime of convenience."

Facebook also has this mob mentality to it it. One person says something and then all of the sudden a bunch of people grab their pitchforks and jump in. Just watch it. If person A doesn't like person B Than none of their friends will like that person either. They do nothing to stop it they just join in. No one says hey wait this is wrong. Nope they just grab a pitchfork and attack. Frankly that is just as bad as the person who started it.

People are so tied up in people on Facebook liking them. people they don't even know. sure you think you know them but really you don't. You know what they allow you to know. What they want you to know. SO in this quest to be liked we give up common sense and decency and jump on their bandwagon. A simple Google search will bring up multiple articles on the mob effect. These two are just examples of hundreds.

"Individuals do not always think critically about the information they receive when they are in a crowd. It’s simply easier to go along with what everyone else seems to be supporting.  "

This is a great article on the Lynch-mob mentality of Facebook. "As mentioned earlier, social media has been lauded for the way it allows anyone with a social footprint to share their point of view. The trouble with anything that offers this kind of untethered “freedom” is that it often leads to untethered hate.
Instead of needing the bravery (stupidity?) to face someone head on and in person, the web allows the comfort of a screen and being thousands of miles away from the target of their abuse. Instead of leading to mature discussions around common goals, frustrations and injustices, it’s led to the bear pit mentality that we seem to be seeing more of. Ironically, as social media matures, the audience seems to be going the other way."
Here is the thing cyber-bullying can have legal repercussions as well. There have been a few cases of cyber-bullying that ended not only in suicide but the tormentors being charged with murder. So you think its cute and just a little fun to be a jerk well it could land your butt in jail.
Some legal ramifications include but are not limited too: (vary by state as well
" Civil causes of action for alleged torts like defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, premises liability, vicarious liability, and damages;Civil causes of action for alleged free speech, equal protection, and privacy violations;
• Student and employee discipline for harassment and violations of institutional policies and codes of conduct—Effective July 1, 2012, California elementary and secondary schools will also be able to suspend and expel students for cyberbullying that satisfies certain legal requirements under California Education Code section 48900(r); and
• Criminal charges and prosecution for hate crimes, impersonation, harassment, cyberbullying, and violations under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)."

So what should you do. says:

"When cyberbullying happens, it is important to document and report the behavior so it can be addressed.

Steps to Take Immediately

  • Don’t respond to and don’t forward cyberbullying messages.
  • Keep evidence of cyberbullying. Record the dates, times, and descriptions of instances when cyberbullying has occurred. Save and print screenshots, emails, and text messages. Use this evidence to report cyberbullying to web and cell phone service providers.
  • Block the person who is cyberbullying.

Report Cyberbullying to Online Service Providers

Cyberbullying often violates the terms of service established by social media sites and internet service providers.
  • Review their terms and conditions or rights and responsibilities sections. These describe content that is or is not appropriate.
  • Visit social media safety centers to learn how to block users and change settings to control who can contact you.
  • Report cyberbullying to the social media site so they can take action against users abusing the terms of service.  

Report Cyberbullying to Law Enforcement

When cyberbullying involves these activities it is considered a crime and should be reported to law enforcement:
  • Threats of violence
  • Child pornography or sending sexually explicit messages or photos
  • Taking a photo or video of someone in a place where he or she would expect privacy
  • Stalking and hate crimes
Some states consider other forms of cyberbullying criminal. Consult your state’s laws and law enforcement for additional guidance.

Report Cyberbullying to Schools

  • Cyberbullying can create a disruptive environment at school and is often related to in-person bullying. The school can use the information to help inform prevention and response strategies.
  • In many states, schools are required to address cyberbullying in their anti-bullying policy. Some state laws also cover off-campus behavior that creates a hostile school environment."
"While we may feel it’s funny to latch onto a trending topic or viral event, it’s all too easy to forget in the heat of the moment what the eventual outcome may be.
I'm just trying to say stop being jerks. The drama and bullying distracts from any message you may really have.

The following movie is long but worth a watch. 

Friday, February 7, 2014


We went to the eligibility meeting yesterday at Roger's school and he is eligible.  Now we just have to get together and write his IEP.  Good thing I went to an IEP writing seminar last month just so I have an idea of what I want in and how it should be written (detailed vs vague) Tomorrow's fun will be the dentist.

Only Way is Up

It's been a rough month. Husband hasn't had any work for over a month. The last person he worked for well he still owes a paycheck that he just is in no hurry to get to us. No when you are a general contractor there is no labor board to step in and make sure you get your paycheck. You are just pretty much screwed. Of course it happened right before Christmas.

Any bill you can think of we got behind on. Of course old employer is crying that his house might be foreclosed on. Yeah well holding husbands pay so you don't lose your house and putting us in line for eviction. Yeah not cool.  So needless to say its been a stressful couple months.

Things are looking up though. Husband has found some work. While it is not full time it is still money. I got a hold of a sewing machine so once I get the rest of the supplies and get it tuned up a bit I can start getting items up in the esty store. Some of the items will be made by Lucy.

I also have half my book written. Now that I have told all of you I have to finish it now. SO be on the look out for that.  I am hoping to have it out by the end of the month.

So even though things have been pretty stressful they are looking up. Things are getting better. All that good stuff.

Be on the look our for new projects from us.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Make The Call

There are situations in life that we end up being observers to. Sometimes we think I wish I could do something. I wish I could help. When it comes to even the thought someone may get hurt there is something you can do. Make a phone call.

If you hear screaming and yelling from the apartment upstairs, a friend says something that gets your attention, a perfect stranger posts something that just sets all your alarms off. Make the phone call. Pick up the phone and call the local police for whatever area the person is in. Doesn't matter if it's your neighbor or a friend across the country.

Yes you may be wrong, you may be overthinking everything but do it, it may save someone. You may be wrong. No harm is done. The police show up and do a welfare check, maybe it's just a normal marital fight. No one is hurt just a little heated. They check and go on their way.

What if it's not just a fight that got a little loud. You just turned the other way. It's none of your buisness. Then someone gets hurt. Or that friends posts that just doesn't seem right and they take their own life. That one phone call may have done something. Maybe not. Maybe the couple would lie and say everything's fine. Maybe the friend will say oh I'm fine. But you tried. You did something.

I have been that person in the apartment with the noise. No one called. No one did anything. They all ignored. They all figured someone else would call. No one ever did. I once even had someone tell me they heard everything but just figured if help was needed I would call myself. I look back at those times and think if just one person, one person had stepped out of their comfort zone and called the police on my behalf how much trauma could I have been saved.

I can promise you I am that person. I am the person that if I think you need you need help. I will make that call. There is no malice. I'm not out to get anyone in trouble or be a hero. I just don't want anyone to be in my place where they need that one person to call for help and no one does so help never comes.

So just remember if someone just seems out of sorts and your alarms are going off. Trust yourself. Make the call. Call a family member of the person, call for medical help, call the police if you have too. Just make a call. Sometime s the powers that be ignore one person asking for help but when others start asking on their behalf as well they have to listen.