So many of us are experiencing Trumpaphobia that I am compelled to write about the election again. We are afraid that he will do a lot of the things that he said he would do if he got elected. We have to watch and observe, but let us try not to be afraid yet. In our search for peace of mind let us remember that Barack Obama is still the president until Jan 20.

We try to respect the office of presidency, but can we respect the man who is holding the office? We usually do, but in this case, I don’t know. Isn’t Trump the man who taught us to disrespect the man in the office? How much respect did he give Obama? How much respect did he give the media? He said that the media is biased against him even though they gave him more  air time than anyone else who has ever run for president. He complains about people being inappropriate, but who was more inappropriate than he was?

How many times did Trump say that the election was rigged? Now he is complaining about a recount. I disagree with the recount, but he is the one who planted the seed of doubt in our voting system. Years ago, he complained about the electoral college being outdated. Well, it’s how he got elected, because Hillary had 2 million more popular votes than he did. I do not understand that whole situation.

 Trump has become president without following any of the usual procedures. He did not show his tax returns. He did not try to instill togetherness in the country. He has many lawsuits against him. He has many conflicts of interest in his maze of business affairs. He is parading his family before us and says that he is counting on them to take over his businesses. I believe they are capable, but I don’t believe that he is going to stay out of it. His family is the beautiful people. At least on the outside.

Many people did not like Hillary, but they weren’t afraid of her. He had planted the seed that she couldn’t be trusted. I trusted her to have the best interests of the country in mind. She has always looked out for the “little people”. She tried to reform health care when her husband was president, but they thwarted her and dismissed her efforts and all the work she had done. I admire her courage to even try for the office, because they have bullied and abused her for her whole career. Can you believe that they had her on the stand for 11 hours and could not find anything to charge her with? Yet, they still tried to shoot her down every step of the way.

Many years ago, one of our great thinkers and writers, John Kenneth Galbraith , said that elections were a choice between the disastrous and the unpalatable. It has not gotten any better. But I have read that the people best suited to run the country will not apply for the job because of all the scrutiny. So much for scrutiny with Trump. He seems to have some of the teflon that Reagan had.

I am so disappointed in our congressional leaders. They have proven themselves to be petty and personal and not fit for their positions. They decided at the beginning of Obama’s term not to co-operate with him. I have had this sinking feeling about our democracy because they have obstructed most of the good that he tried to accomplish. And thry still call themselves “leaders.’

I have great respect for Obama. He conducted himself with dignity and intelligence during his terms of office.  He was full of character and integrity. We are going to miss that. He did not get credit for all the good that he did. In fact, they seem not to care about the millions of people without health insurance in the richest nation in the world. I hope they do not undo all the good he has done.

President Jimmy Carter once said, “The best way to enhance freedom in other lands is to demonstrate that our democratic system is worthy of emulation”. I hope that we don’t lose any of our core values. In fact, I am writing to take advantage of my freedom of speech while I still have it.

May the Power of God protect us. May the Love of God enfold us.

Claudreen Jackson 

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Election Aftermath

This is not about autism, but sometimes I have to focus on something other than autism. This time it’s the election.

We all really need a spoonful of comfort right about now. I called this blog by that name because a spoonful is the smallest amount of anything that we can give anyone. We can all give a spoonful of comfort to someone including ourselves.

I was stunned by the election results, and at this age, it is hard to stun me. At 77, I have seen and voted in many elections. The first one I can remember being interested in was when Truman was elected. I have been disappointed by election results before, but this is the first time I have been scared for myself and for my son. I understand the protests. The election results have struck fear into the hearts of many, including me.

I have to remember the words of one of my heroes, Norman Vincent Peale. “The only thing stronger than fear is faith. When you have fear, counter it with an affirmation of faith”. No matter what we face in life, we can choose how we respond to it. I choose to respond with faith. Faith in our Democracy and our political checks and balances. Trump has surprised and stunned us every step of the way. Let us hope that he surprises us again by being a better president than we expect.

Do I have faith in our President-Elect? I am trying to keep an open mind, which, at this point is all that I can do. President Obama has asked us to keep an open mind and give President-elect Trump a chance. I know that is difficult for some of us, because half the country is scared and disappointed and are voicing their disappointment. Now is the time when some of us are angry and depressed to remember Karma. Karma means that what you put out into the Universe is what you get back from the Universe.

I saw a pastor on TV asking the question, “Could it be  that the bigger our trials and tribulations, the more it pulls out of us, the more we have to grow?” Those of us who are parents of a child with handicaps already know this. We have been forced to grow. I remember when PJ was born in 1975, I was 35 years old. I thought I was “grown”.  I have grown so much more since he came into my life. I am thankful for my growth. Let us hope that this is a time of growth for our country and for our President-elect.

I am so proud of President Obama. He has conducted himself with dignity and intelligence through his whole presidency and is holding on to that dignity and intelligence through this transition period. He said that he will help Trump every step of the way. That if Trump succeeds, our country succeeds. Trump said that he will seek counsel from Obama as he makes the transition. We will see.

President Obama reminded us that he is still the president, that our country only has one president at a time. He is trying to reassure us that there is only so much that the president can accomplish because our Democracy has built in checks and balances. Now, he is on an overseas trip and has to reassure our allies. I was on a cruise in June and met people from around the world, who talked to me about Trump. Every conversation was surprise and fear of what would happen if he got elected. I was asked.’How did he get so far?” My answer was that I don’t know. I still don’t know. Nor do our journalists and commentators, who are presenting theories about how the election was won by Trump.

President Obama reminds us that the office is bigger than the man. He advised the Democrats that they have work to do. He said that they have to start at the grassroots level and work hard to see that our core values are not lost. I think that is the reason for the fear. We feel that our core values are threatened. I really hope not, because I am a double minority and my son is a triple minority. His category would be one of the casualties if we don’t retain our core values.

One of my spoonfuls of comfort is the scriptures. I choose to remember  Romans 24 and 25.  “For we are saved by hope. But hope seen is not hope, for what a man or woman seeth is not hope. But if we hope for that we seeth not, then we do with patience wait for it”.

Until next time, May the Love of God enfold you: May the Power of God protect you.

Claudreen Jackson 

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Old Age Discoveries

(Taking a break from autism).

I don’t have anything bad to say about old age because the alternative is unacceptable. Those of us past the age of 70 with our health intact (mostly) and our mental abilities intact (mostly) are greatly blessed. We should be grateful. I know that I am old, but I don’t have the time to be “Old”, and I can make that decision.  Romans 12:2 tells us “Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”. Once we renew our mind, we can work on renewing and restoring our body.

I have discovered that you are only as old as you feel. When I felt old, I was “old”. Once I decided that I wasn’t ready to be old, I started doing things differently (eating better, yoga, drinking more water, etc.) All the things that the experts have told us to do. The experts on aging say that we are living longer than ever before. They say that we have to counteract the wear and tear on our body by exercise and taking supplements.

I have discovered that the wisdom and experience we have gained through these years will help us manage our future. I have discovered that we still have a future. We have Life in us yet, and we can still make a contribution to Life. We can’t let younger people count us out because we do have wisdom and experience. We are living in the best of times to be old. George Burns said, “You have to get older, but you don’t have to get old”. I know some old people who are “old”,  but I also know some who are young (like me). What makes the difference?

I have been re-reading “The Greatest Miracle In The World”, by Og Mandino. He is one of my Heroes that I mentioned in my book, “Inspired By Autism”.  Mr. Mandino reminds us that our body is constantly renewing itself, even when we are old. Our heart, lungs, brain, skin, etc are created to constantly recreate us. This had such an impact on me, that when Mr. Mandino came to town, I just had to meet him and tell what an impact he had on my life. I was greatly surprised that he mentioned meeting me in one of his books, “The Secrets For Success & Happiness”.  I was greatly honored.

I’ve discovered that we are survivors. Look at what we’ve been through. Look at all the crises that we have survived. Look at all that we thought was going to be our undoing, but we came through it.  Og Mandino says that we can adjust to any climate, any hardship, any challenge. Joel Osteen says that the troubles that come in your life do not come to break you, that God never intended for you to go through something and get nothing from it. Our trials and tribulations have made us stronger and wiser. Think of all the mistakes that we will never make again. Think of all we have to offer because of what we’ve been through.

Think of all the times  in our life that we’ve had to try to  “hold  it together”. We did! Think of all the times that we’ve had to “get it together”. We did! Think of the times when we finally got it together, but forgot where we put it. (that’s me). We know that we have more past than future, so let’s try to make our future count. 

“For we are saved by hope, but hope seen is not hope. For what a man or woman seeth, why does he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then we do with patience wait for it”.  Romans 8:24,25.

Until next time,’May the Power of  God protect you; May the Love of God enfold you.

Claudreen Jackson

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Puushing 80

Pushing 80. That’s me. So now I am feeling the urgency of old age, but I don’t have the time to get old yet.  I am still trying to accomplish goals for autism. I am trying to make sure that my son will have a good quality of life after I am gone. I feel great for my age, but how much time do I have left? I just heard about the death of a 40 year old acquaintance, so I realize that death has no age.

What if I don’t live to see the fruits of my labor? What will happen to my son? He is so much better now, but he is still handicapped by autism, and I still don’t have any answers.  His father, Pervis Jackson Sr was so sure that we could accomplish something meaningful for people with autism. It was his goal, which is why we formed the Pervis Jackson Autism Foundation. I am pushed by both the Pervises to continue to try to help others, but it would have been easier with my husband’s help. He died so suddenly that I am aware of how fast circumstances can change.

I am so thankful that old age is not what it used to be. We seniors have redefined old age. 70 is now the new 50. I remember when I was old. I was trying to manage the arthritis pain in my knees and shoulders. Various body parts were dropping or drooping. I felt weary and worn.  I realized that if you lived long enough, these things were bound to happen. Old age had come to me and I would have to adjust. I thought about who I would give my high-heeled shoes too,  who I would get to run errands for me.

I thought about the old people that I knew when I was a child, how they looked, (toothless and bent over), how they smelled (liniment). Now I was one of them. Oh well, this is inevitable if you live long enough. I was old for about two months. Then, I realized that I was not ready to be old.

I thought about Phyllis Diller, the comedian. When they asked her about getting old, her reply was. “I was old, I didn’t like it”.  I agreed with Phyllis.  I was not going to be old before my time. I thought about one of my heroes, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. He said that the attitude is more important than the fact, that if you can’t change the fact, you can change your attitude about the fact. I had changed my attitude about autism, now I would have to change my attitude about old age.

This is actually  the best time in history to be old. They make arthritis medicine that doesn’t smell. They make solutions for dropping or drooping body parts. Us old folks now can buy teeth and hair. They make pretty shoes that don’t have high heels. Medical advancements have made treatments and medications that help keep us young. You are only as old as you feel.

I started back doing yoga for exercise. I started drinking more water and eating more nutritious foods. You know, all the healthy things that we are told to do. I started feeling better.  My mind and my Spirit are still young.  You have the same Spirit in old age that you have when you are young.   That was a close call. I decided not to be old, yet. There are still many things that I want to do. I still want to travel and see more of the world. I still want to speak for my son who can’t speak for himself. I still want to enjoy life.

Until next time I leave you with the words of Psalm 92:14, “They will still bear fruit in old age. They will remain fresh and flourishing.”

May the love of God enfold you. May the Power of God protect you.

Claudreen Jackson

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Positive Energy

How would it be if we could see Positive Energy?  The energy that is the key to set us free  and keep us young and well and strong ? and help us bloom our whole life long.

Would it be bright like a light to help us make it through the night? Would it make sunshine in our soul? and keep us warm and help us grow?

Would it sparkle and shine like silver and gold? Would it reveal a lie we’ve been told? Would it help us not to guess if we should say no or yes? Could we always do our best?

Would it lift us up above the fray? Give us the strength to find our way? Would it soothe our Spirit and dry our tears, and help us keep away our fears?

I know you may be tired of me speaking of this energy. But wouldn’t it be nice to see?

This is one of my original poems.  I know that I have written about Positive Energy before, but with hearing so much bad news daily, I thought I should repeat it. I want to do my bit to add a little Positive Energy to the World.  (Lord knows the negative energy people are busy). I hope those of us who believe in the power of Positive Energy will share it and not let the negative energy people drag us down. When I was saturated in negative energy, I felt like I was drowning, and I was.

I didn’t come up with the Positive Energy idea by myself. One of my heroes, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale wrote the book, “The Power of Positive Thinking”, which had a great impact on me. He was the founder of the Guideposts and Daily Word booklets. His booklet, “Thought Conditioners” helped me to shift my thinking to be a Positive Energy person. Dr Peale has been one of my mentors and heroes. I even had an article published in one of his booklets.  My article about coming to terms with autism, titled,”The Realization” was published in Plus Magazine. It was a great honor for me.

I used to read a phenomenal little newspaper called “PhenoneNews. One of the writers shared a quote that stuck with me. “Darkness is capable of anything. I will not contribute to this horrifying twilight. Though the terrors of the night be all around me, still will I celebrate the Light and glorify the dawn”.  by Rishikavi Raghudas.  This has become one of my Guiding Principles. We see what happens  when too many negative thinkers get together.  One of the things that having a child with autism has opened my eyes to is how many Positive, helpful people there are and I have learned a lot from them.

In the same newspaper Susan  Fine says, “All major religions believe that each hunan being contains a light inside which is pure and beautiful, but sometimes this light is covered, hidden by so much dirt.” Miss Fine states that we can work on removing the dirt by making a clean place inside our minds and finding the light inside our hearts. This  message had a great impact on me when I was teaching.

We had a song that we sang often in my class. “This Little Light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.” My students loved singing and this was a good message for them. I reminded them that they all had a light that they should let shine. When one of them would be sad or upset, I would ask. “Who  put your light out?” They always knew. I would tell them to not  to let that person drag them down.  

We hear bad news every day, but we still have to have hope. “For we are saved by hope; but hope seen is not hope, for what a man (or woman) seeth , why does he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then we do with patience wait for it.” Romans 8:24, 25 

Until next time; May the Power of God protect you; May the Love of God enfold you.

Claudreen Jackson

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The Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame!!

The Spinners were inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame on October 4, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. The event was a black tie gala held at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. There was a red carpet and a VIP reception. The evening featured a great concert along with the Induction Ceremony. Many of the honorees performed. There were new versions of old groups  and old versions of old groups who performed hit after hit after hit. The music was entertaining and brought back many memories. It was great to see old friends in a celebration of their talent.

The mission of the Hall of Fame is to preserve the music of Rhythm and Blues.    It was founded by Lamont “Showboat” Robinson who was actually a basketball star. The executive director is Dr. Fred Wheatt. They are committed to honoring our Rhythm and Blues Legends. Their plan is to build a facility here in Detroit to showcase these artists.

We had a moment of silence for the memory of members who were being inducted who are no longer with us. Of course, my husband, Pervis Jackson is one of those and I was honored to pick up his award.  Henry Fambrough, the only remaining original member of the Spinners mentioned Pervis, Bobbie Smith, Phillippe Wynne and Billie Henderson in his acceptance speech. He said that he still misses them.

Dr. Wheatt and Mr. Robinson lamented the fact that they didn’t start this years ago while some of the inductees were still alive. Many of us were picking up awards for our talented loved ones who have gone on. Somehow, we feel that they know they are being honored even if it was not while they were here. This induction means that their legacy will not be forgotten.

The Spinners also received the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1997. The award was in recognition of their “artistry and lifelong contributions to Rhythm and Blues music”. However, the foundation does not have a physical building. I am grateful that the Hall of Fame is building a museum where people can come to see videos of performers and hear the music of our Rhythm and Blues artists.

Performers of today need to hear  the music that gave them their foundation. I believe that there was more “real music” back in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Lyrics had a great deal more meaning. Whatever you wanted to say, but couldn’t put into words, you could find a song to say it for you. Not so today. You wouldn’t dare repeat some of what is being sung about today.

I am so proud of Pervis! Though he is gone, he is still making history. He was a world class person both on and off stage. He taught me a lot. From him, I learned the meaning of persistence, perseverance and never giving up on your goals. He was my mentor. I would not be writing if it were not for Pervis pushing, nagging and encouraging me. He felt that we needed to speak for our son and now I am speaking for the two Pervises. He was the one with all the courage (or nerve), He is gone, but the lessons he taught me remain with me.

The Spinners are now nominated to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame which is located in Cleveland, Ohio. This is their third nomination. Hopefully, the third time is the charm. You can vote for them until December 9 at If you are not familiar with them, look them up on google or youtube.  The Spinners  had many hits in the 60s and 70s and did many TV shows.  They  were the second black group to get a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood. They were and still are a first  class group who put their all into their performances.  The newer members are keeping up the traditions of the founding members.

You are used to me writing about the other Pervis, Pervis Jr. But I had to write about Pervis Sr. who is still having an impact on my life. Of course, Pervis Jr is oblivious to all that his father accomplished, but he knew that his father loved him and wanted the best for him, as do I.

Until next time, May the love of God enfold you; May the Power of God protect you.

Claudreen Jackson

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The Autism Walk at Ford Field

The Pervis Jackson Autism Foundation joined others on October 4 for the Autism Walk at Ford Field in Detroit. People with autism, families, friends, caregivers, service providers, etc.  all joined together to make the day a success. The Autism Walks are held nationally and were started by the Autism Speaks, one of the biggest organizations that provide advocacy and services to people with autism.

Autism Speaks was founded by Suzanne and Bob Wright when they became grandparents of a child with autism. They started Autism Speaks about ten years ago and it has accomplished a great deal since then. They saw how much such an organization was needed. The autism walks are held to raise awareness, raise funds for research and to provide services to families with a person who has autism. 

The Pervis Foundation Team had walked in previous Autism Speaks Walks, but we did not walk last year. (I thought that I was too old). But this year, I remembered how I wished for an Autism Walk when Pervis Jr was younger and I vowed then that if we ever had such a walk, we would participate.

Pervis Jr likes to walk. He cannot talk, but his face is very expressive. If there is something that he does not want to do, his face shows it. Or his actions. I am thankful that he has become more pleasant and agreeable as he has gotten older. I would not have predicted this, as I would not have predicted that the diagnosis would increase so greatly. In 1975 when Pervis Jr was born, the diagnosis was 1 in 10,000 people. It was extremely rare and most people had not heard of autism. How has it increased so greatly? Maybe some of the  research will help answer that question. 

The walks help to raise awareness about autism. Children with handicaps are some of the most vulnerable people in society.  They are not on most peoples’ radar, but they are on my radar because I know these children. That’s why we formed the Pervis Jackson Autism Foundation. We want to do what we can to help children with handicaps who are in need. In the 40 years since Pervis Jr was born, I have heard many sad stories. At one point,  I was one of them. In my book, “Inspired By Autism” I tell of some of my challenges in being the parent of a child with autism.

We can not help everyone, but we can help someone. We have helped over 250 families since we were formed in 2009. We are nowhere near the level of Autism Speaks, but we do what we can from where we are. You can too. You don’t have to write a book or form a foundation to help people with autism. If you have family or friends who are struggling with a child handicapped by autism (and it is a struggle), see what you can do to help. Can you provide the family with dinner a couple of times a month? Can you take them to the park? Can you offer to stay with the child for a few hours so the parents can have a break. (If you can’t bring yourself to do that, then you know what they are up against).

We walk because we have hope for our children. One of my favorite scriptures is Romans 8:24,25. “For we are saved by hope, but hope seen is not hope. For what a man or woman seeth, why does he yet hope for. But if we hope for that we see not, then we do with patience wait for it”.

My hope is that every family has the means to do whatever it is that their child needs. All of my hopes for Pervis Jr did not come to pass, but he is greatly loved and seems to be content, for he does not hope for much.

Until next time: May the Light of God surround you, May the Love of God enfold you.

Claudreen Jackson

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