Thursday, June 26, 2014

Marty's Words

Martin DeMaat was an improv teacher at Columbia College and the Artistic Director at Second City Chicago. I took every improve class I could with Marty because he was such an amazing and inspiring person. He genuinely cared and his approach to imrpov was to create as safe a place as possible for the performer. It was a true joy to be instructed by him and his passion for the art form was contagious.

I wrote down in my notebook at the start of my second class with Marty a few things that I noticed he had said at the start of the previous class I took with him as well. Marty said many memorable things, but a couple of things he said have stuck with me to this day.

"You do not have the right to feel inadequate."
"You are pure potential."

Monday, June 16, 2014

El Mero Mero

Well... not quite the Father's Day I had prepared for from an advocate perspective. I had a post about half written that I had planned on finishing yesterday, and I had some ideas from a sharing perspective as well... all of that got placed on the back burner though.

The patriarch of my wife's family, Bianca's abuelito and hero passed away Saturday at the age of 92.

He was my wife's everything. I always say that I am the third most important man in my wife's life... her dad, our son and then me. And I am fine with that.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Cut Above the Rest

Today I paid $20 for a $10 haircut... and couldn't be happier.

I took Bianca to get her haircut today, and as soon as we walked into the place, she started to melt down. I sat her in my lap to try and keep her calm but she wanted none of it. She was flailing about, grinding her teeth, trying to head-butt me and kicking all over… and the stylist had yet to even touch her.

As Bianca weeps uncontrollably I wonder why I even bothered giving our name ahead of time and killing time at Target. The whole reason I didn’t stick around was because I didn’t want Bianca to get agitated while waiting. I was trying to be Superdad and was out with my three kids and adult male cousin who is great with our kids, but certainly not used to Bianca blowing a gasket in a public place. My bride was attending the graduation of a family friend and I wanted to surprise her with a new summer “do” for Binks.

A very meek and demure looking lady looked at me as two of my kids were chasing after one another like maniacs and Bianca was in hysterics and hesitantly asks who I was with. “Bianca” I reply while giving a head gesture towards the kid who is now on the floor with tears streaming down her face and snot bubbles coming out of her nose.

Monday, January 27, 2014

School Safety: Avonte Oquendo's Legacy

The Riverview School as seen via satellite from Google Earth.
The name of the school sends shivers down the spine of any parent to an autistic child. The Riverview School, a school for children with special needs, screams danger right there in the title yet the security provided the children of that school was nowhere close to being proportionate to the level of danger provided by its surroundings. A satellite view from Google Earth of The Riverview School. It indicates that those warning bells are justified.

On October 4th 2013, 14 year-old Avonte Oquendo slipped away from his class while on the way to a technology room. He allegedly ran past a security guard, out a side door and was never seen again.

Friday, December 13, 2013

VICTORY! - Comcast/NBCU and ABA Coverage



As many of you know on April 2nd, 2013 I released "An Open Letter to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and NBCU CEO Steve Burke"

In the letter, I pleaded with Mr. Roberts and Mr. Burke as fathers to do the right thing and voluntarily elect meaningful autism benefits (ABA) to our company’s self-funded insurance plan.

I can honestly say that I thought I would be fired.

There were a few things in my favor. My new boss has been a friend since 1995 and I went to him before I released the letter and asked him for his advice before I published it. He was incredibly supportive as were all of my fellow employees.