A (very) inclusive CrossFit gym - in Reno Nevada
Fitness is a problem for many people, not least special needs teens and adults. Diabetes and obesity are common in our population.Diet is a factor — it takes a lot of cognitive work to outrun the American junk food industry. The special needs population is vulnerable to deceptive advertising implying health benefits of " sports drinks " .Exercise is also a problem. Special Olympics and Special Hockey programs are low volume — typically once a week. Group classes may be intimidating or unwelcoming. Incomes are low and gyms can be costly [1]. Workout music may be intolerable. The feel and odor of sweat ...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - March 13, 2019 Category: Disability Tags: adult Asperger ' autism community exercise Source Type: blogs

How did the story end?
Istarted writing this particular blog in September of 2004. At that time Explorer #1 was 7 and #2 was 5. They are adults now.The early years before this blog are a blur now. I think by the time I started writing we had developed a reasonably effective approach and seen some progress. The years between 2000 and 2004 were harder.We aged a lot in those years.Now this blog is infrequently updated. That ’s partly because of myrelated book project, partly because adult Explorer challenges are personal, and partly because the complex educational and financial (SSD, etc) challenges we deal with now are managed by my wife &md...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - January 27, 2019 Category: Disability Tags: adult Asperger ' autism cognitive impairment Explosive Child Source Type: blogs

On autistic meltdown and exhaustion
Via Twitter I ’m reminded of two autism blogs that have passed on - Musings of an Aspie (ended Jan 2015) andEveryday Aspie (2017)/Everyday Aspergers (2016).@mxmackpoet called out 3 in particular [1]:From the Inside Out: An Autistic Shutdown – Everyday Aspie Feb 2017Where I Go When I Shutdown | Musings of an Aspie   Oct 2012Autistic Regression and Fluid Adaptation | Musings of an Aspie Dec 2013. This concept oftransient autistic regression does not appear in the medical literature. Which speaks volumes about themiserable state of modern clinical research into autism i...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - October 20, 2018 Category: Disability Tags: adolescence adult Asperger ' autism brain and mind cognition neurodiversity support Source Type: blogs

ABLE Plans and Special Needs Trusts
#1 is now on either SSI or SSDI or both. Yeah, we ’re not sure. Might even have changed. This is a lot weirder than I expected.There is, with one or the other, apparently a peculiar incentive for caregivers to retire at 62 rather than, say, 67 (something to do with family Social Security caps and spouses).  There’s also something in there about Medicare with MA Backup after two years on SSDI, claims that it’s best to do at least one year of SSI before SSDI, 9 month income averages, retroactive payments that can be clawed back and so on.The accounting is interesting — trying to stay below income...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - July 26, 2018 Category: Disability Tags: adult finance support Source Type: blogs

Catch 22: Special needs students in transition programs can't take community college classes in Minnesota
We ’ve discovered  an interesting “Catch-22. It applies to Minnesota but may be common elsewhere.In MN a student entering a state funded transition program cannot do courses at a community college — even if they pay for them directly and even if they were doing them while in High School through Minnesota’s PSEO program.The reason is that Community Colleges require a High School diploma, but transition programs require that a studentnot have a High School diploma [1]. While in High School students may attend Community Colleges for advanced courses through programs like PSEO (MN), but not after f...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - May 19, 2018 Category: Disability Tags: autism college education transition Source Type: blogs

Catch 22: Special needs students in transition programs can't take community college classes in Minnesota
We ’ve discovered  an interesting “Catch-22. It applies to Minnesota but may be common elsewhere.In MN a student entering a state funded transition program cannot do courses at a community college — even if they pay for them directly and even if they were doing them while in High School through Minnesota’s PSEO program.The reason is that Community Colleges require a High School diploma, but transition programs require that a studentnot have a High School diploma [1]. While in High School students may attend Community Colleges for advanced courses through programs like PSEO (MN), but not after f...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - May 19, 2018 Category: Disability Tags: autism college education transition Source Type: blogs

What I'm up to these days - Smartphones for all
This blog is quieter than it used to be. There are a few reasons for that, but mostly I ’m spending blogging time slogging away on theSmartphones for All book project— which is now iPhone specific. I publish chapter excerpts on a blog there every few weeks. Here are a few recent examples:Chapter excerpt: Location Sharing for Explorers – techniques – Smartphones for AllChapter excerpt: The ethics of location sharing – Smartphones for AllChapter excerpt: managing phone spam for special needs iPhone users – Smartphones for AllVoice and Video options for iPhone Explorers – Smartphones ...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - April 15, 2018 Category: Disability Tags: smartphone smartphone4all support technology Source Type: blogs

What I'm up to these days - Smartphones for all
This blog is quieter than it used to be. There are a few reasons for that, but mostly I ’m spending blogging time slogging away on theSmartphones for All book project— which is now iPhone specific. I publish chapter excerpts on a blog there every few weeks. Here are a few recent examples:Chapter excerpt: Location Sharing for Explorers – techniques – Smartphones for AllChapter excerpt: The ethics of location sharing – Smartphones for AllChapter excerpt: managing phone spam for special needs iPhone users – Smartphones for AllVoice and Video options for iPhone Explorers – Smartphones ...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - April 15, 2018 Category: Disability Tags: smartphone smartphone4all support technology Source Type: blogs

Adventures in Special Needs travel: Hawaii
The family went to Hawaii. Two special needs adults, one neurotypical daughter and two parents. There was a lot of planning work and a lot of on-the-fly adjustment. We chose Honolulu/Waikiki because our Explorers are more comfortable with concrete than with nature. The trip was a success, in part because, by sheer luck, the atypical rainfall spared both golf outings with #1.  Luck aside — some things that worked well:Direct flight. A five hour mechanical delay (Delta) was stressful though.Single residence located in Waikiki with kitchen and good parking. We ate most meals there. Nearby groceries. Many things we ...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - April 15, 2018 Category: Disability Tags: family vacation Source Type: blogs

When imagination becomes memory
I think this is terribly important, but I ’ve never seen it described. So, in a few minutes, I’ll share what I think.Almost animals have memory, save perhaps the simplest single celled organisms. We think plants have a form of memory as well. There ’s nothing uniquely human about memory.Imagination is less common. It ’s not uniquely human either; crows, wolves, cephalopods, cetaceans, primates — they all have some form of something that looks like imagination. We think humans have much more of it though. We can create memories of things that have not happened or did not happen. Imagination is ...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - March 10, 2018 Category: Disability Tags: adult brain and mind cognition cognitive impairment legal neurodiversity Source Type: blogs

Qustodio " parental " controls for iOS - no longer compatible with modern web
MyQustodio review [1] was delayed because I signed up for the School (professional) version rather than the Home version (long story, not interesting). The two versions seem to have a lot in common, but there important differences. The Home version has an iOS app for managing users, the School version must be managed by a desktop browser (no app, no support for iOS browsers).Unfortunately I discovered fatal flaws to Qustodio ’s approach that mean I won’t be testing their home version. The short version is that they route all traffic through a VPN that isn’t compatible with modern requirements for SSL conn...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - February 11, 2018 Category: Disability Tags: smartphone smartphone4all technology Source Type: blogs

Qustodio " parental " controls for iOS - no longer compatible with modern web
MyQustodio review [1] was delayed because I signed up for the School (professional) version rather than the Home version (long story, not interesting). The two versions seem to have a lot in common, but there important differences. The Home version has an iOS app for managing users, the School version must be managed by a desktop browser (no app, no support for iOS browsers).Unfortunately I discovered fatal flaws to Qustodio ’s approach that mean I won’t be testing their home version. The short version is that they route all traffic through a VPN that isn’t compatible with modern requirements for SSL conn...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - February 11, 2018 Category: Disability Tags: smartphone smartphone4all technology Source Type: blogs

Vulnerable user support: Qustodio review and PC Magazine parental control page
It ’s been a while since I reviewedMMGuardian andsimilar parental control apps. The last time I did this I promised to took at Qustodio, but life got in the way. Now I ’m back to the topic, preparing to update one of the tougher chapters inmy book - Smartphones for All.I signed up for Qustodio and quickly ran into some issues withpossibly outdated documentation. I say “possibly” because there may be some quirks related to my subscribing with an old test account they gave me. So I’ll get to evaluate their user support too. I’ll put that post out after I get things fixed.In the meantimeI &...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - January 28, 2018 Category: Disability Tags: smartphone smartphone4all support technology Source Type: blogs

Vulnerable user support: Qustudio review and PC Magazine parental control page
It ’s been a while since I reviewedMMGuardian andsimilar parental control apps. The last time I did this I promised to took at Qustudio, but life got in the way. Now I ’m back to the topic, preparing to update one of the tougher chapters inmy book - Smartphones for All.I signed up for Qustudio and quickly ran into some issues withpossibly outdated documentation. I say “possibly” because there’s some quirks related to my reuse of an old test account they gave me. So I’ll also be evaluating their user support. More on that when I hear more.In the meantimeI ’ve put out a call for feed...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - January 28, 2018 Category: Disability Tags: technology Source Type: blogs

Down syndrome traits -- many also true of non-Down low IQ adult
Recently I had the privilege of taking about  smartphone support for special needs adults for the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota. As a speaker I could attend the conference for free, including a talk by a psychologist,Dennis McGuire.I don ’t have a child with Down Syndrome (John Langdon Down ’s syndrome has become Down Syndrome) but #1 ’s IQ is in the typical Down Syndrome range. So I was curious how much of Dr McGuire’s talk applied to my son. I decided about 80% or so — even though #1’s temperament is very different from the Down Syndrome athletes I know from Special Olymp...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - September 11, 2017 Category: Disability Tags: adolescence adult behavioral therapy cognitive impairment support Source Type: blogs

Adventures of the autistic family - the Duluth Traverse mountain biking trail.
Sowe did this. We ’ve comea long way in 7 years. It ’s not like there weren’t issues, but, really, it is kind of amazing. (Source: Be the Best You can Be)
Source: Be the Best You can Be - July 24, 2017 Category: Disability Tags: adolescence adult Asperger ' athletics autism exercise vacation Source Type: blogs

Apartheid in Minnesota: Disabled need not apply
This shocked me:West St. Paul, South St. Paul restrict housing for disabledWest St. Paul and South St. Paul have taken steps to restrict housing options for people who receive state assistance for being both low-income and disabled ……. “We have enough of these properties in the community,” said Tom Seaberg, a South St. Paul City Council member. “It’s not a discriminatory thing, it’s an economic issue.”…… West St. Paul passed an ordinance in November prohibiting people who get government rental assistance and support services, a category the state calls “...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - July 7, 2017 Category: Disability Tags: adult legal Source Type: blogs

Minnesota adoption assistance and disability support
We have been told, and I think this is true, that if a Minnesota child with a cognitive disability receives state adoption assistance, which includes medicaid coverage it ’s not possible to get disability support until the adoption assistance ends at age 21. It appears to be an unwritten rule. I wonder if in some cases it would be better, with a special needs adoption, to forego the adoption assistance and take the disability path instead. I ’m sure this exclusion is an unintended consequence.The transition from medicaid coverage under adoption assistance to medicaid coverage under the disability program i...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - June 29, 2017 Category: Disability Tags: adult cognitive impairment disability law money transition Source Type: blogs

Smartphones for all has a new web site
I ’ve created a separate blog for mybook project on smartphone support for special needs and autism spectrum teens and adults. I replaced an older static site with a wordpress site withblog (feed) and static pages.  I ’ll post links to the best stuff here. This site will continue with non-book posts focused on supporting special needs persons. They are less frequent now because I’m focused on the book work.I ’m also refreshing companion Facebook pages and a Twitter account; I’ve put that into anintro blog post over on the book site. Check it out! (Source: Be the Best You can Be)
Source: Be the Best You can Be - June 11, 2017 Category: Disability Tags: smartphone smartphone4all Source Type: blogs

Configuring an iPhone for special needs users - the summary table
I've been using Facebook to share my book work (still ongoing!). It has limitations though so sharing today's update here.SettingRecommendedWiFiTurn “Ask to Join Networks” Off to reduce noisy prompts. I dislike the way Apple does automatic WiFi connections, but if you turn WiFi off completely location finding becomes less accurate. So leave WiFi on.BluetoothOff to simplify use until neededCellularSee “Controlling data use”, aboveNotificationsAMBER alerts may be upsetting and are certainly disruptive. Turn them off. Emergency Alerts are much less frequent and may be valuable in tornado country. Appli...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - May 21, 2017 Category: Disability Tags: smartphone4all Source Type: blogs

Configuring an iPhone for special needs users - the summary table
I've been using Facebook to share my book work (still ongoing!). It has limitations though so sharing today's update here. Apologies for the formatting ...SettingRecommendedWiFiOff to reduce noisy prompts. I dislike the way Apple does WiFi connections, but if you turn WiFi off completely location finding becomes less accurate. So leave it on.BluetoothOff to simplify use until neededCellularSee “Controlling data use”, aboveNotificationsAMBER alerts may be upsetting and are certainly disruptive. Turn them off. Emergency Alerts are much less frequent and may be valuable in tornado country. Application Notification...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - May 21, 2017 Category: Disability Tags: smartphone4all Source Type: blogs

Autism - updating my thinking
This blog is about two very different people with atypical minds connected by family. One is now an adult, the other is almost there. I call them #1 and #2.#1 wants to be independent. He does less with me now, and more on his own. That ’s a sad thing for me, but I’m hardly the first father to miss time with an adult son. #2, at the moment, wants Dad time even as he takes on new things that test his limits. Things like joining a neurotypical high school mountain biking team [1].Seeing him in that setting I have more insight into how his world looks. When he ’s stressed I see him move into a mode where the ...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - October 5, 2016 Category: Disability Tags: adult Asperger ' athletics autism community exercise Source Type: blogs

Smartphones for all: Restriction apps update
I reviewed the world of Android and iPhone restrictions for mySmartphones for All book in May 2016:Gordon ’s Tech: Android restriction (parental control) solutions: Screen Time and MMGuardian advance to next step (MMGuardian, Funamo, AppLock, Kids Place, Screen Time, Net Nanny, Norton Family) 5/2016Gordon ’s Tech: Android restriction (parental control) solutions: Screen Time and MMGuardian advance to next step 5/2016Be the Best You Can Be: MMGuardian - Review of an iPhone parental control and usage monitoring service 5/2016Be the Best You Can Be: MMGuardian - review of an Android parental control...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - September 23, 2016 Category: Disability Tags: smartphone smartphone4all Source Type: blogs

Smartphones for all: Restriction apps update
I reviewed the world of Android and iPhone restrictions for mySmartphones for All book in May 2016:Gordon ’s Tech: Android restriction (parental control) solutions: Screen Time and MMGuardian advance to next step (MMGuardian, Funamo, AppLock, Kids Place, Screen Time, Net Nanny, Norton Family) 5/2016Gordon ’s Tech: Android restriction (parental control) solutions: Screen Time and MMGuardian advance to next step 5/2016Be the Best You Can Be: MMGuardian - Review of an iPhone parental control and usage monitoring service 5/2016Be the Best You Can Be: MMGuardian - review of an Android parental control...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - September 23, 2016 Category: Disability Tags: smartphone smartphone4all Source Type: blogs

Employment - not.
Almost 4 months ago #1 accepted a mainstream (unsupported) hardware job that sounded just about perfect. Two days ago, returning from a 1 week family holiday, he quit. Without notice. He gave us no real warning, and, not atypically, disregarded our strenuous advice. In follow-up we hear he was doing the job well enough, his supervisor was surprised he quit. And annoyed he quit without notice. #1 has had various explanations for why he left. I doubt he knows. The one he currently favors is that the work wasn ’t interesting enough — he was doing grounds maintenance and he wanted to work with machin...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - August 25, 2016 Category: Disability Tags: ADHD adult cognitive impairment employment Explosive Child school Source Type: blogs

The dream job scam - schools are doing us no favors
Sometime in the past decade or two US schools were infected with a “you can do what you dream” meme.This made some sense for cohorts oppressed by poverty and racism. It makes less sense for privileged whites where employment is constrained more by native abilities than environmental constraints. It makes no sense at all for the special needs cognitively disabled population. In fact, it ’s malignant.Throughout his school life #1 ’s IEP’s featured his “dream job”. Often this was K-9 training officer.  A job he did not have a snowball in hell chance of getting. My childhood dream...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - August 25, 2016 Category: Disability Tags: culture education employment Source Type: blogs

Exercising with autism: working within the energy budget
A post aboutenergy levels and autism activity reminded me how #2 has managed his mountain biking team participation.He is one of the more consistent attendees of practices, but he doesn ’t do a full practice. He started out doing about half a practice. Over time that’s edged up to perhaps 2/3 of a practice. He goes at a pace that feels very slow to a near 60yo father/coach — but he goes.His consistency is remarkable. It ’s the same with inline skating. He shows up. He goes at his own pace. He does it.He is almost always limited by his “emotional energy”, not his lungs and muscles. H...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - August 10, 2016 Category: Disability Tags: adolescence Asperger ' autism exercise Source Type: blogs

Tips for managing one Asperger's athlete
Both #1 and #2 are physically active. This is very much by design and lifelong persistence. #1 often enjoys team sports and personal bicycling, but these activities are also agitating, disturbing, and anxiety provoking. He ’s very sensitive to criticism, very insensitive to advice and feedback, and by nature macho and blunt. That is a hard combination, but #2 is harder.  I think #2 may be more typical of the active Asperger’s athlete.#2 does not like exercise. He does it because it helps him psychologically as well as physically and because he wants to please me. I encourage it because it ’s critical...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - July 18, 2016 Category: Disability Tags: adolescence Asperger ' exercise sport Source Type: blogs

Tips for managing one Asperger's athlete
Both #1 and #2 are physically active. This is very much by design and lifelong persistence. #1 often enjoys team sports and personal bicycling, but these activities are also agitating, disturbing, and anxiety provoking. He ’s very sensitive to criticism, very insensitive to advice and feedback, and by nature macho and blunt. That is a hard combination, but #2 is harder.  I think #2 may be more typical of the active Asperger’s athlete. #2 does not like exercise. He does it because it helps him psychologically as well as physically and because he wants to please me. I encourage it because it ’s critic...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - July 18, 2016 Category: Disability Tags: adolescence Asperger ' exercise sport Source Type: blogs

Tips for managing one Asperger's athlete
Both #1 and #2 are physically active. This is very much by design and lifelong persistence. #1 often enjoys team sports and personal bicycling, but these activities are also agitating, disturbing, and anxiety provoking. He’s very sensitive to criticism, very insensitive to advice and feedback, and by nature macho and blunt. That is a hard combination, but #2 is harder.  I think #2 may be more typical of the active Asperger’s athlete.#2 does not like exercise. He does it because it helps him psychologically as well as physically and because he wants to please me. I encourage it because it’s critical t...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - July 18, 2016 Category: Disability Tags: adolescence Asperger ' exercise sport Source Type: blogs

Besides this blog: Facebook page for my book project
My posts are always intermittent, but they ’re a bit less frequent as I’ve been posting on my book project in a Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/sphone4all. I’ll create some ‘check it out’ posts in future for people who don’t do Facebook, but if you’ve been assimilated there you might “Like” that Page.Here are some recent posts of possible interest to people reading this blog. You don ’t need to login to Facebook to read them, just dismiss the annoying dialogs that might appear:Book chaptersSafety and the smartphone - free chapterMessaging and texting - free chapte...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - July 14, 2016 Category: Disability Tags: smartphone smartphone4all Source Type: blogs

Besides this blog: Facebook page for my book project
My posts are always intermittent, but they’re a bit less frequent as I’ve been posting on my book project in a Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/sphone4all. I’ll create some ‘check it out’ posts in future for people who don’t do Facebook, but if you’ve been assimilated there you might “Like” that Page.Here are some recent posts of possible interest to people reading this blog. You don’t need to login to Facebook to read them, just dismiss the annoying dialogs that might appear:Book chaptersSafety and the smartphone - free chapterMessaging and texting - free chapterC...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - July 14, 2016 Category: Disability Tags: smartphone smartphone4all Source Type: blogs

Special needs urban bicycling - what streets are safe?
A few weeks ago I wrote abouttrying residential-urban (Saint Paul, MN) bicycle commute with #2. I realized he wasn ’t ready, so we’re focusing on his mountain biking. He rides with a team I manage. It’s hard work for him, but he keeps persisting. I now do a scaled practice with him — about 50-70% of our novice rider practice routine. I got the scaling idea from my own CrossFit hobby — where I’m about 50% of the male athlete standard.At that time I wrote that #1 was doing relatively well with his bike commuting. He has quite different cognitive traits; the two boys have complementary stre...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - July 14, 2016 Category: Disability Tags: ADHD adult autism brain and mind cognitive impairment exercise health smartphone smartphone4all transit Source Type: blogs

Special needs urban bicycling - what streets are safe?
A few weeks ago I wrote about trying residential-urban (Saint Paul, MN) bicycle commute with #2. I realized he wasn’t ready, so we’re focusing on his mountain biking. He rides with a team I manage. It’s hard work for him, but he keeps persisting. I now do a scaled practice with him — about 50-70% of our novice rider practice routine. I got the scaling idea from my own CrossFit hobby — where I’m about 50% of the male athlete standard.At that time I wrote that #1 was doing relatively well with his bike commuting. He has quite different cognitive traits; the two boys have complementary stre...
Source: Be the Best You can Be - July 14, 2016 Category: Disability Tags: ADHD adult autism brain and mind cognitive impairment exercise health smartphone smartphone4all transit Source Type: blogs

Ella enchanted: understanding ODD
#1 has more than a few features of oppositional defiant disorder. Especially before his meds kick-in.It occurred to us today that it's the opposite of the heroine's curse in " Ella Enchanted " . Instead of saying yes to everything he must oppose it, even if he has no particular objection.There is something comforting about the struggle. (Source: Be the Best You can Be)
Source: Be the Best You can Be - June 26, 2016 Category: Disability Source Type: blogs