In the United States, approximately one in 54 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This makes it likely that your kids know someone with ASD. In honor of World Autism Awareness Day, which takes place every year on April 2, here are a few tips you can share with your kids to help them be better friends with people with autism.
1. Invite them to join in. A child with autism might not know how to ask to play with others, so encourage your kids to show the person how the game works and suggest exactly how they can participate.
2. Find ways to communicate. Explain to your kids that people with autism tend to express themselves differently (repeating words, using objects, pointing, etc.), and a good way to understand what they want is to get to know them.
3. Stand up to bullies. It’s not uncommon for children with autism to get picked on because of their differences. Remind your kids that it’s important to speak up if they see this type of behavior and report it to a trusted adult.
4. Be patient and keep trying. Teach your kids that a friend with autism might take a long time to respond or have trouble making eye contact, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t paying attention. There might also be times when their friend needs space, and that’s OK.
Finally, remind your children that no two people are the same, and it’s these differences that make everyone interesting in their own way — including them.
Book Review – The Attributes: 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance
If any year told us how we would react under pressure, 2020 was it. And one person who understands the intricacies of working under stress is Rich Diviney, a retired Navy SEAL-turned-author.
In fact, Diviney used 2020 as an example in the first chapter of his latest book, The Attributes: 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance. In the three introductory scenarios of uniquely stressful situations, Diviney says, each has plunged you into the depths of uncertainty, into a dark and unfamiliar place where panic rises with every heartbeat or confusion bleeds into fear.
In those moments, he claims, skills aren’t necessarily important. Attributes are. Attributes are wired into our internal circuitry and dictate how we behave, react, and perform.
Diviney explains that beneath obvious skills are hidden drivers of performance — what he calls core attributes. These determine how resilient or perseverant we are, how situationally aware, and how conscientious. Core attributes inform how we approach and handle stress, challenges, and uncertainty.
The methodology that Diviney used in the military can be used in our personal and professional lives, and understanding these attributes can allow readers and their teams to perform optimally, at any time and in any situation.
These core attributes include grit, drive, teamwork ability, mental acuity, and leadership. Diviney breaks them down even further within the sections of the book, including things like task switching, empathy, cunning, open-mindedness, even narcissism.
As one reviewer put it, Diviney’s book explains how some people thrive even when things get hard.
April Celebrity Birthdays!
Do you share a birthday with a celebrity?
1 – Randy Orton, 41, professional wrestler, Knoxville, TN, 1980.
2 – Camille Paglia, 74, literature professor and literary and cultural critic, Endicott, NY, 1947.
3 – Rachel Bloom, 34, actress (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Los Angeles, CA, 1987.
4 – Jill Scott, 49, actress (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency), Philadelphia, PA, 1972.
5 – Pharrell Williams, 48, singer, producer, songwriter, Virginia Beach, VA, 1973.
6 – James Watson, 93, discoverer (with Francis Crick) of the structure of DNA, Chicago, IL, 1928.
7 – Jackie Chan, 67, actor, Hong Kong, 1954.
8 – Katee Sackho , 41, actress (Battlestar Galactica), Portland, OR, 1980.
9 – Leighton Meester, 35, actress (Gossip Girl), Marco Island, FL, 1986.
10 – Paul Theroux, 80, author (The Mosquito Coast), Medford, MS, 1941.
11 – Jeremy Clarkson, 61, television personality (Top Gear), Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England, 1960.
12 – Claire Danes, 42, actress (Temple Grandin), New York, NY, 1979.
13 – Paul Sorvino, 82, actor (Law & Order), Brooklyn, NY, 1939.
14 – Abigail Breslin, 25, actress (Little Miss Sunshine), New York, NY, 1996.
15 – Emma Watson, 31, actress (Harry Potter), Paris, France, 1990.
16 – Anya Taylor-Joy, 25, actress, Miami, FL, 1996.
17 – Liz Phair, 54, rock singer/songwriter, New Haven, CT, 1967.
18 – Eric McCormack, 58, actor (Lonesome Dove), Toronto, ON, Canada, 1963.
19 – Tony Plana, 67, actor (Ugly Betty), Havana, Cuba, 1954.
20 – Crispin Glover, 57, actor (Back to the Future), New York, NY, 1964.
21 – James McAvoy, 42, actor (X-Men ), Glasgow, Scotland, 1979.
22 – Kaka, 39, soccer player, born Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, Brasília, Brazil,1982.
23 – Chloe Kim, 21, Olympic gold medal snowboarder, Long Beach, CA, 2000.
24 – Djimon Hounsou, 57, actor (Blood Diamond), Cotonou, Benin, 1964.
25 – Gina Torres, 52, actress (Suits), New York, NY, 1969.
26 – Tom Welling, 44, actor (Smallville), New York, NY, 1977.
27 – Jenna Coleman, 35, actress (Doctor Who), Blackpool, England, 1986.
28 – Jay Leno, 71, comedian, New Rochelle, NY, 1950.
29 – Jerry Seinfeld, 67, comedian, Brooklyn, NY, 1954.
30 – Travis Scott, 29, hip-hop artist, Jacques Webster II, Houston, TX,1992.
Fishing rod buying guide: key factors to consider
Whether you’re buying your first fishing rod or making an upgrade, here are the key factors to consider when shopping for a rod.
Fishing rods come in a variety of sizes. Shorter ones don’t cast as far and are designed to be used with lightweight lures. They have the advantage of giving you greater control when fighting with a fish. In addition, they’re more powerful, which makes them a better option for big-game fishing.
Longer rods cast farther and are needed for fly-fishing or if you want to use heavier lures. In addition, they’re the best option for surfcasting, which is when you fish from the shore rather than a boat or pier.
The most common materials for rods are graphite, fiberglass, and composite, which is a combination of both materials. Graphite rods are lighter, stiffer, and more sensitive than fiberglass rods. As a result, they allow you to detect lighter bites. Fiberglass rods, in turn, are heavier, more flexible, and less sensitive. However, they have the advantage of lasting longer and costing less.
Composite rods offer the best of both worlds. However, they’re also the most expensive option.
Another factor to consider is the ease with which a rod flexes. This is referred to as its action, which can be categorized as light, medium, or heavy. When deciding on a rod, keep in mind the following:
• Light or slow-action rods bend near the butt of the rod. They’re ideal for fishing smaller species.
• Heavy or fast-action rods have a stiffer backbone and bend near the tip. They’re ideal for hunting bass and other large species of fish.
• Medium-action rods represent a middle-of-the-road option and are a good pick if you intend to fish a wide variety of species.
There are two types of reels: spinning and casting. Spinning reels are the best option for beginners, as they’re easier to use and control. However, many seasoned anglers prefer casting reels as they allow for more precise casting.
For more personalized advice, talk to a pro at your local tackle shop.
Earth Hour: Join the global movement on March 27
In 2007, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) launched Earth Hour, a global initiative to raise awareness about climate change. It’s since become one of the largest grassroots environmental movements in the world.
Do you want to join the millions of people who participate in Earth Hour every year? If so, simply turn off all your lights on March 27, 2021, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. This simple act demonstrates solidarity with global efforts to protect wildlife, forests, rivers, and oceans, all of which are crucial to the health and prosperity of people and the planet.
In addition, participating in Earth Hour can symbolize your commitment to making changes in your daily life that will help safeguard the environment. From recycling and buying locally to avoiding single-use plastics and turning off your computer at the end of the day, there are plenty of easy ways to take action.
For more information, visit worldwildlife.org.
Wild conspiracy theories highlight questions about tech regulation
Recently, a crude video making the rounds on social media claimed that John F. Kennedy, Jr. was alive and flying on Air Force One. The son of President John F. Kennedy died in 1999 at age 38 while piloting a small plane near Martha’s Vineyard.
Has JFK Jr. been hiding out, disguising his identity for more than 20 years? Or is this video a lie?
Near unanimous agreement makes it out to be one of the sillier stories proliferating across social media.
Politicians on both sides of the political divide think something should be done about false or misleading content on social media. One argument is that platforms should do not much about it and remain neutral, allowing users to comment (and mock) as they wish. Another argument is that platforms should police what is true and false and be held responsible for false content, at least to some degree.
Underlying the controversy is a simple statement in the Communications Decency Act, Section 230: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” That means that social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter cannot be held liable for something one of their users say. Illegal activity is an exception.
President Joe Biden has vowed to act, saying platforms have a responsibility to delete information they know to be false. Former President Donald Trump, whose Twitter account was deleted because of information Twitter deemed false, at one point issued an executive order saying powerful social media platforms showed political bias in what they allowed on their platforms and should be regulated. Both sides have claimed the position that the other limits free speech under the First Amendment.
The power of the tech companies revealed itself in January this year when Apple, Amazon, and Google simultaneously cut off web services to Parler, a platform competing with Twitter, and effectively killed that business. Political speech was at the center of that action.
No one has an answer yet as to how the matter will be resolved. There are many questions, among them: With the billions of posts throughout the internet, is it possible to fairly moderate content? Can private companies decide what content is acceptable on their private platforms?
3 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted agriculture
The disruptive effects of the coronavirus pandemic on global, national, and regional economies have been broad and varied. Here’s a look at some ways COVID-19 has impacted the agricultural system in the United States.
1. It exacerbated existing problems
The economic crisis triggered by the pandemic came after several years of challenging production and market conditions for farmers in the United States. A series of hurricanes in 2017 and 2018 devastated crops, and 2019 saw historically poor planting conditions along with tariffs that limited agricultural exports.
2. It caused a drastic shift in demand
Restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 had severe and unprecedented effects on the demand for agricultural products. For example, the sale of meat, dairy and specialty products to major buyers like restaurants and hotels decreased as the clientele for these industries stayed at home.
3. It reduced potential sources of income
The rate of unemployment in the summer of 2020 was lower in rural areas than in urban centers, and there tended to be fewer jobs lost in counties that depend on agriculture. However, many small-scale farmers rely on off-site jobs and agritourism income to help with things like health coverage and offsetting their operating losses.
While the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and other programs developed by the USDA over the last year have helped farmers and ranchers deal with financial losses, many continue to face significant challenges, and prospects for the agricultural sector remain uncertain.