In my former life I held various careers in sales, recruiting and management. I attended seminars and read books about personal and professional success. This ever popular guideline by Robert Fulghum was long my mantra:
ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN.
All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.
These are the things I learned:
- Share everything.
- Play fair.
- Don’t hit people.
- Put things back where you found them.
- Clean up your own mess.
- Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
- Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
- Wash your hands before you eat.
- Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
- Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
- Take a nap every afternoon.
- When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
- Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
- Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
- And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.
Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – had cookies and milk at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.
Here is my adaptation, written from the perspective of a contemporary child in 2013. The year chronic illness, autism, ADHD, auto-inflammatory illness and obesity have claimed over 50% of our children. The year after the Congressional Hearings on the Federal Response to Autism. The year congress knew, and yet… still… STILL… did… NOTHING. Time is ticking. Nothing…
ALL I EVER REALLY NEEDED TO KNOW I TRIED REALLY HARD TO EMULATE FROM THE APPROPRIATE BEHAVIORS THAT WERE MODELED FOR ME BY MY THERAPISTS IN ADAPTIVE INCLUSION KINDERGARTEN CLASS.
All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I am trying to learn in kindergarten. Wisdom is not at the top of the specialized adaptive special-needs graduate school mountain where over 30% of the population will attend school in the next two decades, but rather there in the arsenic-laden sand pile at school; where my mother no longer allows me to play (she says I get plenty of arsenic in my chicken and juice).
These are the things I am trying so hard to learn:
- “Sharing” seems to be important. I have no idea what that means because I have not yet mastered parallel play which my teachers tell me is a real problem. I like to spin things and line them up and no one gets me on this. Except of course, for the other five kids in my class who do the exact same thing. I don’t like to be touched, nor do they. Easy for us to understand, not so much for everyone else. A lot of the other kids are out most of the time because they have auto-inflammatory diseases just like me. My friend Jim just got diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. My friend Marcy has really bad asthma and they just found out Rorie has diabetes. The healthy ones get colds all the time, but my mom says if they keep eating school lunches, taking antibiotics and get vaccinated they will be spinning things like me soon enough.
- “Playing fair” seems like a biggie too. If I can figure out what I want, I take it. It takes A LOT of effort for me to figure it out and I am so glad when I finally get it, I tend to lack diplomacy when acquiring it. Hope the therapists can help me with this one because it makes my mom cry and even though they say I don’t care about that, I do. I just wish I could find a way to tell her. Wish they would help me with that instead of trying to get me to add and subtract and do flashcards. Not sure why that’s so important when I still wear a diaper. Oh well, they’re the “experts.”
- When they say “don’t hit people” I get that. But how else am I supposed to get my point across? I used to be docile. Really calm. Then I got five shots that were actually nine. Live, dead viruses, adjuvants, human and animal DNA, heavy metals poked into me, in one day. I’m not lying around waiting for that to happen again. My mom didn’t read the package inserts because the doctor told her she didn’t need to. Vaccine injury is “rare” he said.
- I’m a stickler for “putting things back where I found them,” and I wish everyone in my life could get on board with this one. The central nervous system and brain damage I sustained after my vaccinations precludes me from using my pincer grasp, so I cannot yet effectively do this for myself. My fine and gross motor skills are shot despite the 800 hours of therapy I had before my fourth birthday. Therapy for a kid like me is like prescribing an antibiotic for a cold. It does nothing except make everyone around me feel like they are doing something to help. Let me be crystal clear on this one. It. does. nothing. Like a band-aid on cancer. A tourniquet on heart disease. Cough medicine for a stab wound. N-o-t-h-i-n-g. Just detracts from the actual problem which is not behavioral but, rather, medical.
- I try not to take what does not belong to me. But, I am so confused half the time. My senses don’t work, I have a hard time identifying where my body is in space, and, for the most part, my stomach and head hurt real bad. So—you’ll forgive me if I take something that belongs to you. Not asking for special treatment or a pass here—just—I can honestly say I have no idea most the time if it’s yours or not. Ownership is such a sophisticated concept. I spend a lot of time just trying to discipline myself to sit for two minutes. This is a herculean effort and I wish you could understand.
- I would like to “say I’m sorry” but the apraxia, brain damage and vestibular system issues, in conjunction with my severe mitochondrial disease that was not caused by, but resulted from vaccines, took away my speech. It will come. At least that’s what my mom keeps telling me when she kisses me good night as I kick her in the neck and spit in her hair. “It will come back buddy.” She says. Lots of people hate her. And my dad too. They say they’re stupid and anti-vaccine. I think they are just doing the best they can.
- I do wash my hands before I eat, with help of course, but what about all those kids in my class who get their shots and those diseases they are carrying shed all over my class room? Lots of kids who got the flu shot got the flu. One kid got chicken pox. I got vaccinated for it, and I still got chicken pox. Turns out—that kid got vaccinated for it too! Why don’t people talk about this stuff? I’m little and I have autism, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have common sense. Come on people. And even though I do wash my hands before I eat, meals are a straight-up bitch. I end up screaming and throwing food most the time. After I got the pica (see nine vaccines in one day) it’s been really hard for me to eat real food. Even applesauce feels like a million staples on my tongue. The doctors say, “It’s just sensory you’ll have to work on it.” I would like him to come to my house so I can staple his tongue a million times.
- When my parents get to the bottom of my autistic enterocolitis I promise I will flush. Right now just making it to the toilet the 15 plus times a day I have to go is a huge accomplishment.
- Warm baked organic apples with cinnamon and cold camel’s milk are good for you, provided you are not sensitive to phenols and do not have a cerebral folate deficiency like me. In which case, clean water, processed by reverse osmosis, makes for a great afternoon refresher. Stay alkalized my friends, it does a body good.
- I would love to play and dance and sing and work each day. I hope someone will have the patience to teach me these things through all my screaming. Truth be told, these are all great ideas, but I am in a lot of pain. Not sure why this is so hard for all the big people to get. You are miserable you hit and kick and scream, right? They just keep saying its behavior. I will try to get balanced, but if you don’t mind me saying so, I think everyone who could do something about what happened to me is imbalanced and doesn’t know what the hell they are talking about most of the time.
- I have to take a nap in the afternoon because I cannot methylate or metabolize properly. I wake up laughing and screaming at 3:00 a.m., and I often do not return to sleep. Makes for a long day. Oh, and if you decide to reward me with a cookie and a glass of cow’s milk after a nap my mom will come at you like a starved pitbull at a heifer show.
- I get out into the world all the time! The big people call it “eloping.” I do not hold hands. With ANYONE. The last time I did I was lead right into my pediatrician’s office. I had a cold and I got a bunch of those shots. I no longer hold hands because I do not know where the people who supposedly have my best interest at heart are taking me. They jacked me up so bad I had to relearn how to walk! Once I did, I ran into a lake. Another time I almost made it to a building site where they were pouring concrete to make someone’s basement. I like to scale buildings and climb on top of cars. I do not need anyone, and I will go where I please, thank you very much. Just for review for you newbies and the slower folks… I could walk; I got shots, and then I couldn’t. Then they told my mom I had “autism” which means, “We are absolved of any wrongdoing that may have lead to this child’s inability to walk. Or his sudden inability digest food. Or his sudden inability speak. Or his sudden inability to hold a writing utensil. Or control his emotions. Or sleep.” Yep—autism covers A LOT of iatrogenic problems, doesn’t it? Not sure if you know, but it’s just a made-up word! Absolutely NO medical defining criteria. If something is wrong with you or someone you love and it gets labeled, “autism,” “unknown auto-immune disease,” or “SIDS” odds are really good a doctor, or a medicine prescribed by a doctor, caused it.
- What’s happening in that cup is photosynthesis. Not such a big mystery there Robert-oh. See, I have a pretty remarkable mind. But, again, all the big people who supposedly know better than me thought it would be awful if I got the chicken pox or flu. Now, I cannot hold a cup or use the toilet. But it all works on the inside of my mind. I wonder about buildings, Santa Claus, angels, mathematics, art and science. How did my mom and dad meet? Why does my sister only wear pink? Why is Jesus crying when he looks over the children in that one stained glass window at church? Why does my mom only take me there when no one is around and why am I not allowed to touch those 300 candles that are lit in perpetual prayer? I wonder about so many things. Especially about why my body does not do what I tell it to. My parents are working on thi,s but my God, GOD… I am asking you… HOW MUCH LONGER?
- Yes, we all die. I get that and I’m like five. Not sure all the doctors who were “taking care of me” know. They thought they could artificially make me immune to every malaise under the sun. They took my body, but left my mind. Brain here. Body in space. In pain. Tortured. Day in. Day out. And while my mom says I gotta forgive, this one is really hard. I want to swim and play and run and jump and bike and fish with my family. And I want to not have seizures. Yes, I think this one the doctors need to understand. They are not GOD. Even though they might think they are. Listen to me… YOU ARE NOT GOD MR. DOCTORMAN. Oh and newsflash: if mom and dad were “anti-vaccine,” why do you think they took me in for each and every single shot as scheduled ON TIME until I “went away”? They diagnosed me a full four months before a doctor confirmed it. Even then, the doctor was in awe that my parents knew so much. “Are you therapists?” they asked. “No,” my mom said, “We just pay attention. We had a healthy little boy. He got his shots, and now he’s gone. We’re just observant.”
- I read books upside down and backwards because even my eyesight has been damaged. “LOOK” looks like KOOL to me. I can read in mirrors. It’s also how I watch television. I wish someone “LOOK”ed at the package inserts on all those vaccines before they gave them to me. Because what happened to me and my friends is not kool. See Dick and Jane go in for their shots. Dick gets full-blown autism. They will call it better diagnosis. Jane will get ADD, eczema and food allergies. A peanut will now kill her. They’ll call it “more and more common these days.”
Yes, I guess everything I need to know is in there as Robert says, “The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.” Except, these are not sane times. Terrible, terrible things are happening to children in kindergarten. Terrible things are happening to our newborn babies and toddlers. Our government DOES NOT abide by the golden rule. When they realized basic sanitation (clean water and garbage collection) was saving lives, but not nearly as profitable as vaccines, they decided to scare the pants off all the grownups and make shots mandatory. Mandatory does not mean medically necessary, it means scantily researched, but extraordinarily profitable. But, since those politicians, lobbyists and vaccine makers do not “…have a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess(es),” the kids they damage (and continue to damage each day) and their parents are left without support. They are silencing the doctors who take away our children’s pain. They are squelching the science that shows causation. They are destroying us. I wish Robert’s kindergarten lessons still held true, but they don’t any longer. It is time to take the blinders off.
~ The Rev
This post by Lisa Joyce Goes originally appeared in Age of Autism.
For more blogs by The Rev click here.