a piece of reflective glass is held up showing a sliver of a persons face.
a piece of reflective glass is held up showing a sliver of a persons face.
Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash.

Turning Cognitive Bias On Its Ear, A Path to Societal Good.

Someone I know shared a “listicle from the World Economic Forum on cognitive biases that could be holding some of us back at work”. I love that kind of list. It mentioned:

The sunk cost fallacy :: Confirmation bias :: The halo effect :: Groupthink :: The spotlight effect

How these intersect in business is clear. What may seem less obvious to many is how each of these biases occur in the sphere of special needs and disability. …

In the last couple of weeks, we have all received COVID-19-specific emails from companies we have interacted with as customers or clients. I’ve even heard from that one company I bought that one shampoo online from once three years ago. I have even written several of these letters for my own clients to distribute to their customer base

The goal of such communications is simple: inform clientele about what to expect in terms of workflow, services, communication channels, and timelines and provide assurance that they are complying with recommended COVID-19 protocols. …

Line drawing depicting an upside down child and a right side up child with a heart and a parent. Illustration: Ariana Jalfen
Line drawing depicting an upside down child and a right side up child with a heart and a parent. Illustration: Ariana Jalfen
Illustration by Ariana Jalfen.

It's not normal.

It’s so often not normal that it has become normal…and still not.

How does a parent go from sitting at her desk, working, to flying down a flight of stairs and leaping into her car to get to school where her daughter has been given rescue meds for a series of back-to-back tonic and convulsive seizures, park, sprint up the stairs to the class and as she races to the class, slow her pace to a brisk walk — enough to take in a few breaths so that when she enters the room her air is one…

L to R: Sienna, Téa, and Naya © Ariana Jalfen

It was 6 am and the paramedics were rolling my 8-year-old out the front door as her 10-year-old sister watched from the landing above and her 12-year-old sister, Naya watched from our living room. She walked over to me with arms outstretched and hugged me as I saw the first responders out the door before grabbing our “go” bag and leaping into the back of the ambulance.

“It’s tough to see, but it’ll be alright and she will be safe. I’ve got you.” I said as I squeezed her long and hard.

“Mom, I’m fine. I’ve got you.” she answered.

Photo by Ben Dutton on Unsplash

Way back in 2014 kick-off post for RedBootWarrior’s facebook page was a link to an article narrating what it feels like to be the parent of a child on the Autism Spectrum. I shared it then because I had advocacy & awareness-raising on the brain and sharing an insiders view at what life is like for fellow parents whose children happen to fall on the margins of what is “typical” (be it by a little or a lot) seemed an excellent way to begin a new life journey. …

Photo by Morgan Vander Hart on Unsplash

“God only gives special children to special people” is likely the most hated sentiment for a parent of a kid with special needs. Usually, it’s expressed by a person who doesn't have a clue what to say but wants to somehow be reassuring. Straight-up, that’s crap.

What your kids are like and what they will deal with in life is akin to a spin of the roulette table. Maybe your kid will be gifted, or kind, or creative, or an asshole. Maybe your kid will be born with or develop a disability. …

Téa’s eldest sister is a fireball. The kind of kid for whom you always need to be at your best and brightest because her questions, insights, and observations rival those of thoughtful, intelligent people many times older than she is.

When we opened up the conversation about Autism at our house I tried to edit all the worries, thoughts and perceptions I have and give the girls a clean, non-judgemental, totally PC, and simple description of the word and what it might mean for Téa.

I came up with: “Autism is a word that describes how a person’s brain works…

Illustration by: Ariana Jalfen ©2019

pop

slide

swallow

hope.

pop

slide

place

hope.

wrestle

slide

toss

swallow

hope.

Tiny red boots in a tube.

My nightly routine of taking a low dose of anti-anxiety/depression medication always ends with hope. Hope that these little pills which feel a little magic will soothe my mind and fortify my spirit.

A few years ago I started wearing fire-engine red hunter wellies. They made me feel like I could handle things. They did the walking for me when I felt that I couldn’t take. another. step.

Drug pusher.

The multiple times a day routine of pushing drugs on my daughter, Téa. …

Recently, someone I love shared news with me that I experience as difficult and painful.

In our conversation, we chatted about how others she told received the news and she shared that it went as expected, with the other person taking the lead from her. She said she was honest but optimistic, and that led us to a conversation about how telling the truth, even when hard — and maybe especially when hard — is so very, very important.

There are times when we receive difficult news, “bad news”. Other times, it’s we who have to deliver news that is…

How to tell if something is a big deal or not has most of us second-guessing ourselves, and I’m no exception. There has been many a time when I made a fairly big stink about something that wasn’t necessarily as big a deal as I felt it was at the time. To be fair, like you, there is a ton that I am accountable and responsible for. A lot of people depend on me making the best decisions possible, and there are times I have stepped in the proverbial pile with both feet…no doubt, I will again. …

Ariana Jalfen

Word-slinging, humourizing, sr. marketer with a philanthropic yen. Corporations, organizations & associations hire me to speak, train, and engage community.

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