Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Apps In Review ~ Ten Giggly Gorillas

Since getting an ipad the YuckMouths have been all over the app scene! Other then the learning apps that I have tons of we have really gotten into interactive books. Now my kids LOVE to read but there is something about a book that comes to life when you touch different parts of the book.

Today I bring you Ten Giggly Gorillas , its an app brought to you by Wasabi Productions. That link will take you to their facebook page. I find it super easy to see whats going on with an app and to keep in touch with developers by following them on their pages. Plus it gives you insight to whats next!

 That link will take you to their facebook page. I find it super easy to see whats going on with an app and to keep in touch with developers by following them on their pages. Plus it gives you insight to whats next!

Ten Giggly Gorillas is a cute story about ten gorillas in a tree, you tickle each one till there is one left. The story is cute and easy to follow along. It gives you an option to read alone or have it read to you. The narrators voice is awesome as is the gorillas voices! Each of the ten gorillas say something different when touched and keep a eye out for the hidden toucan!  In addition to the book there is a memory match game with pictures of the gorillas as the cards.

The YuckMouths have quite a few books on their ipad but since downloading this one its been in constant play. They can't get enough of it! I highly recommend this app!!

YuckMouths give this app THUMBS UP!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dearly Beloved, We Are Gathered Together Today...

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today, three bloggers together, to address a serious issue that has become so commonplace throughout social media for special needs parents and the special needs community as a whole, we aren't shocked when it happens anymore. Please welcome Jill from Yeah. Good Times., Lisa, the Yuckmouth Mommy from 7 Yuckmouths and Autism, and Caryn, from Living with Logan. This post will go live simultaneously on all three sites today, because we are united in our desire to get the word out. Please help us in this effort, and pass it along.

The issue, as you may have guessed, is the frequency with which the special needs community is getting scammed through false organizations and individuals, who prey on our desire to help our children. We've put together a little dialogue that we hope will be helpful in learning to protect ourselves as thoroughly as we protect our children. The truth of the matter is this: if we don't protect ourselves, no one else will. Each comment will be followed by the initials of the author, and we welcome comments and questions from all. Please be respectful in your comments, or they will be deleted. There is enough drama and cat fighting. We don't need more.

And now, welcome to our conversation!

  • Do you think the Special Needs Parenting Community as a whole is vulnerable to cyber scammers?

Yes, I do. I think we are easily targeted for a number of reasons. We are fighters. We are strong. We have to be so, to advocate for our children. People desiring to scam us love this attribute, because they don’t have to teach us to work toward the goal. We are focused, as every parent is, in getting whatever our child/children needs. We hit so many dead ends, we are told “No” so many times in so many different ways that we love it when someone says yes. There is a veritable target on our backs. I don’t mean that we are stupid. Certainly we are not. We are intelligent, we work hard, and we fight for what we believe in. And, let’s face it, people. We like to talk. If we find something we think is awesome for our kids, it’s all over the twitter and the facebook the very same day. What scammer wouldn’t love any of that?! Not only that, those of us that blog are only too happy to blog about our good fortune, because we want others to benefit as well. This is a win/win for a scammer.  People who will promote online, at their own expense of time and effort, with no cost to the scammer but one or two iPads or a couple of apps, and then they never have to make good again. They already have all the good exposure they need.  It’s scary how easy we have made it for the slime balls of the internet. CH

  • What are some “red flags” that somebody might be scamming you. Jill
Generally, I follow the “if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is” rule. Someone asking you for money when offering a “free” product or service such as purchasing a raffle ticket or forking over a nominal fee to “keep your reservation valid” is a sign of a scam. Likewise, someone asking you to write a blog post, collect donations, or generate votes to qualify your child for a free service dog, for instance, is a sign of a scam.  CH

Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right to you, it’s likely that it isn’t, so ask questions. Who are these people? Where are they located? Do they have any other sources of funding? Do they have (valid) testimonials and references? A huge red flag is if you ask direct questions and consistently do not get direct answers. If they can’t provide you with valid financial information, or they refuse to provide any personally identifiable information about themselves: be careful. Scammers are like politicians; they will talk around the issue, touching on their key “talking points,” but they will rarely ever actually answer your question directly. A reputable organization will be easily able to provide you with whatever you need to know to prove their validity. Jill

Also, anybody who requires any money from you, in any form (i.e. directly from you, solicited by you, etc.) before you can proceed with an application process is definitely scamming you. Trustworthy organizations will not require that you pay to complete an application process. Jill

  • How can you protect yourself?

I’m sorry, but someone offering a “free” iPad or service dog or therapy or miracle “cure” for autism just doesn’t ring like the real deal to me.  I’m a BIG believer in doing my homework. Read the fine print. What strings are attached? What commitments are they asking from you? Are they registered as a 501 3(c)? If so, have they been reported at any time in any way? Are they registered with the BBB? Is it a company, foundation, or individual? Are they based in your country or somewhere you’ve never heard of in Bangladesh? Do they offer transparency if they are a donation based company? Will they provide statements to anyone who asks? Are the founders or other officials easily accessible to their followers by chat, message board, email, facebook, twitter, or corporate phone number? Is there a message board/review panel of any kind for feedback from people who have worked with this person or company in the past? Does the person or company bash other similar entities regularly? These are questions you should ask yourself before becoming involved with ANY internet based company or foundation. CH

  • What to do when you have already been scammed, or private info has been published on social networking sites. LG

There are many ways to protect yourself on facebook and twitter. Both sites have very firm TOS (Terms Of Service) in place to protect their users, its just a matter of finding where to do all of this. LG

First you can report any and all comments you feel are attacking you in any way. You need to make sure that you first screen shot for proof later because once a comment or post is reported it is removed.   I find it much easier to watch a video of what I should be doing and this google search has all the info for how to screen shot on various devices. LG

On twitter there is a way to report people twitter has a really handy page that is clear as how to report a number of violations of their TOS. In addition you have to give them the url to the post so make sure you click on details in the tweet, that will open to a new page and give you the url to give to twitter. LG

On Facebook you can find out lots about your account in your general account setting tab. From there click on security settings. On that page is a wealth of info in regards to what, when and who has had access to your account that you may not have known about. LG

From that page it is easy to click on the help button towards the bottom of the page, there you can report violations from harassment,  to copyright infringement, and intellectual property infringement. Because even as a fan page you have rights on facebook just like everyone else. LG

For more information on cyber crimes, how to report them, and definitions of cyber crimes, please visit the following websites:

What Are Your Legal Rights?

Image in this post from Google images

Monday, January 9, 2012

When Reputations Are At Stake

I hadn't planned on writing another bully blog. The content is there but it is emotionally draining to be attached to it on a daily basis. I thought about this for two days, wrote two regular blogs, the hubs blogged for me and then I sat here staring at the blank screen wondering what to do next. While no real attacks have happened on my blog it has happened else where.

The pictures posted below are pulled from this blog they Aspergermom78 is the husband and wife from A4 this isn't even all the comments, but this is how the conduct themselves.

I've scraped this blog about five times already. In my mind I imagine what it must look like from the outside to the people looking in. Wondering how all this madness even started, wondering if its worth it to keep poking the lion. In the end I think that until my name stops appearing in place where I am banned it...I won't stop blogging about it. 

As a blogger this is never good, my reputation beyond my readers could be in jeopardy. In today's technology its so easy to google someone's name and see what is being said about them. My readers trust me, my tweeps trust me...friends and family know me.

I refuse to keep calling anyone out but I refuse to let it keep happening to me!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Batman and Rodger ~~ By YuckMouth Daddy

Had another dream last night about my dog Batman, I was standing on the balcony to a two story house, I was looking down and there on the other side of the gate was my dog Batman. He was on his two legs standing begging and whimpering to be let inside my yard. I was awaken by my kids who wanted breakfast, but the dream seemed so real. This is the second dream I had like this. The first dream I had, we were all sitting in the living room when Batman appears outside the sliding door, dirty and beat up as if it had taken him months to search and finally find us.

I miss my dogs, Batman was a Rottweiler, very big dog. We got him when he was only a few months old the kids loved him right away. The biggest test was to see if One Sock would be okay and comfortable with a dog in the house. I didn't really want a dog, but the old place we were living we had too many people walking inside our backyard stealing tools or recyclables. (bunch of savages I tell you) Made sense to why everyone in the neighborhood had dogs in their yards. Batman stood in the house till he was big enough to hack it outside. Once outside we had no more break ins in your yard, and boy was he a perfect alarm, barking at everyone who came near the fence.

Months later we decided to get another dog, a much smaller dog we named Rodger. Rodger was a combination of a chihuahua and poodle. Batman used him as a rag toy the first meeting the both had. Rodger stood in the house much longer than Batman did. Rodger was a playful dog, he was able to leap over tall surfaces. Rodger would leap into our backyard window into our room every chance he would get just to get away from Batman or wanting to come back inside the house. Rodger was also the great escape dog. He was a digger, and every now and then he would dig a tunnel leading to the front yard and into freedom. Yes Rodger was a runner but one thing about him, after he was done with his adventures he would always come back. Rodger was a barker so we always knew when the mail man was near or that matter if anyone was. Both dogs loved the kids and the kids loved both dogs. Rodger was the jumper and barker while Batman was the biter, but never bit any of the kids. The only thing about Batman was never be near him while he eats, Then he would growl or snap, never too me but with anyone else he would.

News came about us having to move out of our home since the owner sold it without telling us a word. At the last minute of everything going on, we found a place to live. The drawback was we weren't allowed to have any dogs living with us. We searched and searched for a place for the dogs to go, but in the end no one came thru. i had to make the hardest call I eve had to make and that was to the pound. Since they wanted us to pay two hundred dollars for each dog to be submitted, I had to make up a lie and tell them the other roommate who lived here left his dogs and we took care of them till he came back. That was the only way to get out of the paying the $200 fee. When the pound came, it was hard seeing Batman and Rodger being taken away, I had the dogs for over a year and seeing them gone was hard and tough.

I really didn't put too much thought into it at the time, since I was so exhausted from moving. But, every now and then I catch myself telling the kids to save their scraps for the dogs. In my happy ending I see both dogs in new homes and once again filling kids with fun and play. I try not to think too much about the other possibility. Batman and Rodger were great dogs who did their job in keeping my kids and house safe at the same time brining smiles to our faces with their animal tactics and being the best friend a man can have.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Welcome Home of Sorts

The internet has been a interesting place to be lately...I truly think that is an understatement. You see I don't get out of the house much. I go places...pick up the kids from school, walk to the corner store, walk to the grocery store maybe take a trip to Target. What I mean when I say "I don't get out much" is that I have no life, my friends are on the internet, my support groups are online, my support system is online. There are people that I have never met in real life that I would truly lay my life and my word on the line for....they know who they are. Because some of them..like me also have no life. I wouldn't expect anyone to feel sorry for me, I don't feel sorry for me.

I have come to the realization that this is just the way life is. But when this life is tampered with, when my friends are harassed  or one of my support systems is yanked out from underneath me it sort of skews the world just a tiny bit.

As you all know recently I've been the target of an online bully. I think most of you have read it but if not you can find it here. Its had a lot of hits, but here's the thing, I worry that while I post the truth about one place who else is having their support system ripped out from under them? Who is still not open to the truth and bring people into a place where they can and will be taken advantage of?

So here is what I want to do. I'm opening myself up for support, offering to tell people where they can find support else where. Want to know about apps? Well so do I and I know where I can tell you about them. What to talk about your kids and issues at home? I know places with like minded people where it isn't about donating your last dime, where it isn't about having to stay silent about those nagging questions.

After the last month I have had I've thought about the changes I want to make to this blog. About where I see the YuckMouths going. So here it is readers, lurkers, parents....I open myself up to you. This blog has always been about giving myself a place to be myself. To talk about what stresses me, to talk about what my kids are doing or aren't doing. But now I give the rest of you the chance to do the same.

In the next few days I will be opening a email directly for this blog. It can be for your questions, or maybe you want to guest blog.

Because at the end of the day we have all fought the bullies. We fight them at the school districts, in early intervention, at home, with family, in support groups, online and in public places. I vow to give a place for parents to say I'M FED UP, NOW WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?

Friday, January 6, 2012

To Short For Light Switches

As its 2012 now I've spent some time looking back at 2011, things that have happened, things I want to change and things I wish never happened. Though I know they have in some way shaped my future it still makes it hard to have had to deal with them.

In that respect I've thought a lot about my lil PigPen and all the changes that either have or haven't happened for her

This pic sums it up pretty much, my goofy girly child. Under that smile though is tiny pounds of frustration. With speech delays, major sensory issues and just being a shorty, life is fairly hard for her. Its taken days sometimes to finally figure out what she's saying sometimes. 

I will admit that I've wanted to write this blog for a long time but I have a mommy confession to make. I've been living in the land of denial with her. I spend so much time working Racer and fighting for services that everything else just falls by the wayside. Add to that the new battle for Wolverine and I haven't had time to notice that PigPen just wasn't progressing like she should be. So this year is going to be her year, I've made the calls to have her tested and we will see how that goes. 

So for now mommy is extra vigilant on PigPen and working with her. She has step stools cause you know what...it sucks to be to short for light switches! It just added to frustration to not even be able to turn on the dang light when she needs to. 

I'm making a promise to her this year...she will not be lost in the shuffle!

Monday, January 2, 2012

When Online Bullying Attacks Parents

While we are so busy protecting our children from online bullies and bullies on the playground and in the classroom, do we notice when we are being bullied ourselves. What happens when adults get bullied by another adults? My sane mine tells me that I could just turn off my computer and connected devices and it goes away right? But what happens when you are a special needs parent and they only means of support is online? When you've done all the blocking you can and you still get harassed by others supporting this bully?

With the New Year now in full swing I have made lots of promises to myself and this blog. I want to reconnect with you all and bring you news about apps and people who make a difference and maybe those who need help. But I also want to make you aware of other things that are going on. Maybe its people who don't deserve our support or things we should fight and rally against. So today becomes the first day I do this for you all.

I'm all for supporting a community or person who deserves it and for a long time my devotion  went to A4CWSN. I wanted the world to know what good this group was doing for the special needs community. But now I want you all to know this

See that blacked out spot right there? That's my cell phone number posted on a public social networking site, posted to my hubs who was interacting with my husband at the time. Now let it be known that my number is NO WHERE on the internet except for facebook BUT you have to be a friend to view it and @A4CWSN is not a friend on my facebook page. Way back in July of last year I had contact with A4 and that was the only and last time I heard from A4. 

I used to be a part of that community on facebook, but when I asked questions like "why are main people being banned and blocked" I was removed for questioning A4 and if you are questioning it then you must be against it. 

The same day my number was posted on twitter my name was also on a listed of blacklisted folks who are trying to bring down A4. 

I blocked out others names because I will not be a party to "naming" people. But there is my name on a list, along with emails and PM's that he claims to have. Not a single person on that list has contacted him privately as of late. So anything he has he is getting others to copy paste for him.

There are more screen shots of the bullying, this blog could probably go on for quite a bit. But this is a small proof of what the A4 has become. It is not longer a group for special needs parents to come together and unite and support. I dare each one of my readers to go to the page and ask questions. Ask why numbers, private information was posted. Ask why names have been listed as a sort of "hit list"? See the response you get, are you welcomed with open arms or are you attacked by the lions den?

But parents should NOT be bullied! Information you can't find anywhere online should not be posted and lists should not be made of people who supposedly don't support A4. You decide for yourself.