Tag Archives: wheelchair

Moments from the Women’s March


by Lillian Csernica on January 23, 2018

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Joining the march. Stepping into the flow, holding my sign up high, seeing the people lining the route with their phones out, taking photos and making videos. Recording a piece of history. Thirty thousand people, according to the Santa Cruz Police Department.

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A boy not more than ten years old marching ahead of me, holding up a cardboard sign that read, “I’d rather be home building LEGOs, but I have to build #TheResistance.

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Two older women carried a banner with #MeToo on it. As we passed by, the two women offered people Sharpies so they could sign the banner. Only recently did I realize that I had faced sexual harassment several times in the workplace. I signed that banner!

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A man carried a large piece of cardboard. On it had been painted the figure of a judge, complete with white wig and holding the Scales. The empty oval where the face should be allowed anyone to stand behind the cardboard and have a photo taken, proclaiming her or him “A Future Supreme Court Justice.” How cool is that?

Chanting “Hey, hey! Oh no! Donald Trump has got to GO!”

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Our destination was the Louden Nelson Community Center. Inside on the stage stood the American Shrine. You can see from the photo that it was just breathtaking.

While I was inside the Center, I crossed paths with a woman and her son, who had Downs Syndrome. The mother asked if she could take a photo of me holding my sign. Sure thing! Then she asked if I would mind taking a photo of her and her son holding my sign. I tell you, that nearly brought me to tears.

Later, as I walked a few blocks back  to where I’d parked my car, drivers saw my sign. Horns honked and I saw some thumbs-up as people applauded equal rights for people with special needs.

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On my way home, I stopped at Peet’s for a Green Tea Mojito, one of the few guilty pleasures I can get away with on my weight loss program. I had my Women’s March T shirt on, which got me into conversations with at least three people.

My favorite barista was on duty. She wanted to see my sign, so I got it out of the trunk and brought it inside to show her. She said she didn’t know many people with special needs, so equal rights for them wasn’t something she’d thought about. She was glad to see the sign and know about the issue. Accessibility and health care are SO important these days, now more than ever.

I need more exercise. Thanks to the Women’s March 2018, I exercised my constitutional rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. When it’s time for the elections this year, I will once again make my voice heard by voting.

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Filed under autism, charity, dreams, Family, family tradition, frustration, Goals, history, Lillian Csernica, memoirs, mother, neurodiversity, perspective, Special needs, Writing

Where To Find Holiday Gifts for Your Special Needs Teenager


by Lillian Csernica on December 12, 2015

The holiday season is here and we’re all out there in the stores or at home shopping online.  The grandparents, aunts, and uncles all want to know what they should get for that special needs child.

The key word there is child.

 

I’ve been browsing through various holiday shopping guides for special needs children.  Most of them address the needs of children in preschool through elementary.  I spent considerable time rephrasing my search keywords until I started to find guides that are useful for teenagers and the kids who are on the edge of becoming adults.

As the mother of two teenage boys with very different sets of special needs, one of the toughest questions I have to answer is, “What should we get for him?”  Our extended family looks to me to know what subjects the boys are interested in, which specific items the boys want, and of those which ones the boys will really get some use out of.

 

Michael’s physical limitations are a key factor.  Fortunately, he’s become fond of fashionable clothing and keeping his hair in a good cut.  He also likes classic rock and roll along with some country and western music.  Audiobooks are now a good option for him.  He’s always up for new art supplies.

Some people think it’s strange when I say it’s so much harder to shop for John.  He’s verbal, he has the same physical skills other teenage boys have, and he loves electronics.  No problem, right?  John has a closet full of toys he never plays with.  He’ll get fixated on a particular subject for a month or two, then abandon it and move on to something else.  Then, a year or two later, he’ll come back to that first subject and get fixated on it again, but at a different level of cognition and application.

I know how hard this can be.  I know the frustration of seeing what your child can’t have because of what he or she can’t do.

Here’s a list of links that will take you to the holiday guides where I’ve been looking for gifts for my boys.  I hope this information helps you make your kids’ holiday wishes come true!

Special Needs Toys

8 Great Gift Ideas

Special Needs Gift Giving Guide

National Autism Resources Gift Guide

Therapy Shoppe gift ideas

T shirts, jewelry, tote bags, etc. with special needs-related themes

5 Ways to Get a Free iPad for Your Special Needs Child

 

EDIT:  I’m very happy to say I just found two excellent gifts for Michael at Fat Brain Toys.  The site is well-organized, the prices are reasonable, and the shipping is a bargain!

 

 

 

 

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Filed under autism, Christmas, creativity, Depression, doctors, dreams, Family, frustration, Goals, mother, neurodiversity, parenting, special education, Special needs, Uncategorized, worry, Writing

My Steampunk Debut!


by Lillian Csernica on May 6, 2015

 

 

I am delighted to announce the release of Twelve Hours Later.  Two of my stories appear here, “In the Midnight Hour” and “A Demon in the Noonday Sun.”  They are my first venture into the wonderful world of steampunk.  Instead of Victorian England, my stories are set in Kyoto, Japan.  The book blurb summarizes the plots nicely:

A devoted nursemaid braves mythical Japanese spirits to save a little girl’s life, only to bring down the wrath of a demon on the child’s father.

 

Kiyomizudera, the Pure Water Temple, which encompasses Otowa Falls.  This is the primary setting for both of my stories.

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Filed under charity, fairy tales, Family, fantasy, Fiction, history, Japan, legend, sword and sorcery, Writing