Death by Social Media


This post is not a review, but I feel it is a very important subject. There’s a a couple of wrongful death suits against TikTok because of the deaths of 3 young kids who did TikTok challenges. I also know there are attempts of suits against YouTube for for similar incidents, but most of those are for dangerous “life hacks” that have been pointed out as dangerous or deadly, but the content has not been removed.

I write this not just for the special needs families, but for families of all children as ANY child’s brain is still developing, surprisingly, until the age 25. That’s right, most people don’t reach fully maturity until age 25. This is why so many of these trends and challenges affect children, teens, and young adults. Helping them understand the dangers from an early age will help them recognize it when they are not around you and are subject to peer pressure.

Note – when I refer to people being dumb or stupid in this article, I don’t mean intelligence… I mean when a person chooses to do something they know is dangerous just because they are hoping to become popular. The younger they are, the more lenient I am regarding this, which is why so many of these deaths and injuries are tragic. They’re 100% preventable.

“Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.”

Brandon Mull, author of Fablehaven, Dragon Watch, Beyonders, Five Kingdoms, the Candy Shop War, and more

Media is Reconditioning our Brains

We didn’t allow YouTube in the house unless we were watching it as a family because of wide variety of content. And thanks to their algorithm, if you start watching a certain type of video, it continues to force feed those videos to you. Of course, the kids who lived in other houses, we didn’t have control over, but we noticed issues. They would watch videos similar to the America’s Funniest Home Videos, a compellation of videos with some cheesy music and a laugh track. However, what I noticed was instead of minor injuries shown like in the original show, these would have resulted in major trauma or death (insert my medical background here). I was horrified they found this funny. They started laughing every time anyone in real life was injured or was ill, they were completely desensitized (no, they do not have Autism). I had to recondition their brains and went about it rather untraditionally and unconventionally. (I also noticed Thing 3 started planning his own stupid, dangerous stunts and planned on recording them… yeah, no.)

There are lots of studies of the effects of laugh tracks on people. You can see it in real time by watching 100 Humans on Netflix, I think it’s the Pain vs. Pleasure episode.

So, I went back and watched some old Jackass clips. There is no laugh track in that show, most of the cast are professional stunt men. So I searched for clips where the end result showed them getting injured, possibly with the need of an ambulance. I started out with some easy ones. We all laughed out loud (it was all a ploy). Then I went to one with Johnny Knoxville on a dirt bike. I can’t remember what exactly happened, but he ended up unconscious. His crew called for an ambulance. The kids I was trying to recondition got really quiet. I decided to fake laugh and ask if it was funny. They told it wasn’t funny. I asked them why. They told me why. I replayed the video but added in a laugh track from my phone. They were horrified. I have not seen them watch one of those compellation shows again. It wasn’t my first choice, but sometimes a visual representation is the only way a child can learn. (Let me say that letting my kids watch Jackass would never be my first choice, but I do have to say, that show always showed the effects of their decisions, whether their friends getting angry with pranks, them getting hurt or sick, or even arrested. There was no sugar coating and it didn’t fade out after the stunt or prank leaving the audience wondering what happened next or leaving us thinking everything was ok. But I will also mention Jackass below in the challenges).

We do not allow the teens to have most of the social media. The teens that do have it usually only have it to connect with their friends or use it for art purposes. We are very involved with their “social networking” (not cyber stalking, but check in regularly and we do require some family to be social contacts for safety).

Back to the challenges:

Challenges

Most “challenges” appear on TikTok, but can show up on any platform. I will not be putting specific dosages of any of the challenges as I do not want to encourage them. (Some of these challenges have caused substance addictions with ordinary house hold items are are known in the medical community as “TikTok Drugs”, which can often lead to more dangerous drugs). Most of my statistics are based on the US, unless I say otherwise. (If I say “you, I don’t specifically mean you as the reader, I mean you and in any human being, but I get tired of writing people or humans.. the research for this was exhausting).

Banned Challenges

These Challenges are banned from TikTok. It’s not enough…


The Devious Licks Challenge

The Purpose:

To vandalize or steal from a school, usually the bathroom.

The Dangers:

Kids were recording themselves doing a crime, uploading it to the public… IT’S VIDEO EVIDENCE! SELF ENCRIMINATING!!

The Fallout:

Participants were arrested and charged. Some stole so much they have felony charges. Other fallouts include schools shutting down class-time bathroom breaks, reducing the number of bathrooms in use, especially for the boys. Students that require in class bathroom breaks may be ostracized or have to be physically accompanied by an adult. Special needs kids requiring breaks may have to go to the nurse’s bathroom, which may not be near them, which can increase the chance of an accident…

The Milk Crate Challenge

The Purpose:

Show your skills by climbing a pyramid of milkcrates and making it back down the other side without falling.

The Dangers:

Falling, falling on top of the crates…

The Fallout:

People fell… injuries included but were not limited to:

  • dislocated shoulders
  • rotator cuff tears
  • ACL tears
  • meniscus tears
  • broken wrists
  • spinal cord injuries

Not Banned Challenges

These Challenges are not banned from TikTok as I write this. They may later..


The I know Something You Dont Challenge

The Purpose:

Post embarrassing secrets about something in a funny and lighthearted manner.

The Danger:

This is a form of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can be charged as a crime in some jurisdictions.

The Fallout:

Cyberbullying can result in depression and even suicide.


The Kiss Your Best Friend Challenge

The Purpose:

Teens recorded themselves kissing or attempting to kiss their best friend on the lips without consent.

The Dangers:

Without consent is the key here, this left many feeling violated and even assaulted.

The Fallout:

Many friendships ended, some even reported the friends for harassment when the video posted. It is technically assault when you try to force yourself on another individual. When you post it and don’t have their permission to do so, not only is it in bad taste, it can result in legal repercussions. (This trend tried to make a comeback in the spring earlier this year).


The Blackout Challenge

The Purpose:

Hold your breath until your pass out… recently it got an upgrade and encouraged people to strangle themselves until they pass out.

The Danger:

Strangulation.. plain and simple. My belief is this challenge comes from a syndrome called Autoerotic Asphyxiation. It is not uncommon and is linked to accidental hangings, especially in pediatrics and young adults. Please look it up for more info… add psychology or you might end up with something weird as it is a sexual syndrome.

The Fallout:

The lawsuit I previously mentioned is related to this exact challenge. 2 tweens and a younger child (unrelated) died while attempting this.


The Coronavirus Challenge

The Purpose:

Lick random items in public in hopes of catching C-19… or proving you can’t catch C-19??

The Dangers:

There are worse things than C-19 that live on surfaces of items.

The Fallout:

Thankfully, most of the general population had the common sense to NOT do this, but one person went so far to lick a toilet on an airplane. Imagine having to explain how you got Chlamydia of the throat to your doctor by doing this. So besides complications of some real nasty diseases out there, you can die from embarrassment.


The Ice and Salt Challenge

The Purpose:

You put salt on your skin and then an ice cube on top… then you see how long you can tough it out. 🙄

The Dangers:

Science once again. The salt lowers the temperature of the ice, causing it to burn the skin.

The Fallout:

Most people don’t realize you can get third degree burns from cold, not to mention frost bite.


The Duct Tape Challenge

The Purpose:

You’re supposed to duct tape someone to something (a chair, a wall) and watch them try to free themselves. Fun and hilarity ensue.

The Dangers:

Besides the chance of adhesive allergies… many people fall while trying to free themselves, often resulting in injuries.

The Fallout:

Head injuries galore. A 14 year old did this challenge, except his friends wrapped him like a mummy. He fell into a concrete wall and a metal window frame suffering an aneurysm and crushed his eye socket. He’s currently blind in that eye.


The kiki challenge

The Purpose:

You get out of a moving vehicle (as the passenger) and dance along side the moving vehicle to whatever song is playing.

The Dangers:

Drivers have done this challenge… leaving a moving vehicle unattended is illegal. In several states, it is illegal to be doing ANY activity around a moving vehicle. The physical dangers are numerous, you can still be injured by a vehicle at slow speeds, people even run into poles. It causes car accidents.

The Fallout:

Besides the infractions from the legal issues, injuries are not limited to fractured jaws, being hit by oncoming cars, broking arms and legs, head injuries…


The Skullbreaker Challenge

The Purpose:

As its names states, you cause your victim to fall on the floor. Usually this happens by having a person one each side of the victim. The victim is instructed to jump, while in the air, the other two kick the legs out from the victim, causing them to fall backwards in mid air…. because it’s funny??

The Dangers:

The victims fall on their backs and heads. The name of the challenge is there for a reason.

The Fallout:

As you’d expect, there were numerous injuries reported. 2 teens were charged with a misdemeanor for the injuries they caused to their friend while doing this challenge. Remember, there is no consent by the victim. The victim is 100% a victim.


The Fire Challenge

So this actually started before the big social media boom. A lot of people blame Jackass for this one, among others like shopping cart sledding/jousting. But it really gained hype in 2014.

The Purpose:

Pour flammable liquid on self, light self on fire, hose self off with water OR see how long it takes to put themselves out.

The Dangers:

Besides second and third degree burns, the chemicals and smoke that is inhaled can cause permanent damage to the lungs. AND when you have a liquid accelerant and you add water, the water can cause the accelerant to just splash somewhere else, still on fire, rather than putting it out. Think oil fires in the kitchen.

The Fallout:

Life-threatening and life-altering burns. I can’t find the exact number, numerous. There’s a case where a mother was arrested for aiding her son in making the video, in which he was badly burned.


The Car Surfing Challenge

The Purpose:

Surf your car like Teen Wolf.

Michael J Fox in Teen Wolf

The Dangers:

You’re not a werewolf, you are a squishy human. No super strength, agility, or speed.

The Fallout:

Injuries and 7 deaths in 2016 alone.


The Dry Scoop Challenge

The Purpose:

You ingest a mound of undiluted supplemental energy powder (I don’t know why).

The Dangers:

An overdose of whatever is in it.

The Fallout:

A professional stripper suffered a heart attack at the age of 20 due to this. The medical professionals initially missed it and thought it was only an anxiety attack due to her age and profession.


The Scalp Popping Challenge

The Purpose:

To pull a bunch of hair or have someone pull your hair to “pop” your scalp.

The Dangers:

Your scalp is not a joint, it is not meant to pop.

The Fallout:

Bruising, scalp damage, bald spots, hair loss.

Dr. Youn, dermatologist
The Nutmeg Challenge

The Purpose:

To make a concoction of nutmeg and water to induce a high. 🙄

The Danger:

Science stuff… affects the central nervous system, causing:

  • hallucinations
  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • seizures
  • breathing difficulties
  • increased heart rate
  • stomach pain and GI issues

The Fallout:

Nutmeg poising can easily cause organ failure when the individual is taking other medications. This is highly important when a special needs individual is trying these “challenges”. From 2001-2011, in Illinois, there were 32 cases of Nutmeg poisoning, 17 were accidental, 10 were under the age of 13.

Chubbyemu is a PharmD who specializes in toxicology…

The Benadryl Challenge

The Purpose:

Take enough Benadryl to experience hallucinations…. yay (sarcasm).

The Danger:

Benadryl is an antihistamine. The symptom list is long in overdoses, not limited to:

  • increased heart rate
  • delirium psychosis
  • seizures
  • coma
  • death

The Fallout:

Numerous overdoses linked to this challenge including the death of a 15 year old.

Chubbyemu is a PharmD who specializes in toxicology…

The Sunburn Art/Sunburn Tattoo Challenge

The Purpose:

Create art using your body, the sun, and sunscreen/clothing/objects.

The Dangers:

Sunburns literally burn your DNA. This can cause it to mutate which can lead to skin cancer. 1 in 5 Americans develop a form on skin cancer during their lifetime.

The Fallout:

Some of these people have second and even third degree burns from doing this. But others will probably develop skin cancer later because they are repeat posters.


The planking challenge

The Purpose:

To show off your mad planking skills by planking in unusual places.

The Dangers:

Some people went to the extreme and planked in dangerous places.

The Fallout:

Many people were injured as they fell from heights while planking (light posts were a popular spot). An Australian man fell to his death in 2011 while attempting to plank from his balcony.


The Bird Box Challenge

The Purpose:

Because Sandra Bullock navigated rapids while wearing a blindfold, the challenge is to see what every day task you can do blindfolded…

The Dangers:

The Fallout:


The Outlet challenge/The Penny challenge

I can’t believe I’m even writing this right now.

The Purpose:

Partially plug a charger into the wall outlet and drop a coin into the gap.

The Dangers:

The Fallout:

Some teens prove to be larger, hormonal toddlers… If you are lucky, you have a fried outlet or a tripped breaker. This has caused some electrical fires and shocks. No reported electrocutions at this time…


The Hot Water Challenge

The Purpose:

It’s supposed to be a prank involving pouring boiling water onto an unsuspecting or sleeping friend. I don’t understand how ANYONE is this stupid.

Alternatives include drinking boiling water and throwing boiling water into the air during winter to create pretty patterns.

The Dangers:

Obviously burns, life altering burns than can require surgery. Death even. These kids must have never stepped foot into a kitchen.

The Fallout:

Severe burns. The worst being an 11 year old who had to be rushed to the hospital after her friend thew boiling water on her. An 8 year old died after drinking boiling water at a sleep over.


The cha-cha slide driving challenge
The Cha-Cha Slide, NASCAR edition, same effect as “influencers”

The Purpose:

To do the dance move, but with your car… so when it say slide to the left, you turn to the left. Criss cross means swerve back and forth.

The Dangers:

It’s reckless driving.

The Fallout:

Property damage, injury, no deaths yet

(why can’t people just do this on roller skates).


The Frozen Honey Challenge

The Purpose:

To freeze honey and eat it like a popsicle. Yum!

The Dangers:

Although tasty, this can drastically raise ones blood sugar all at once, causing a host of problems. Botulism spores do not die from being frozen, so the more honey you consume, the higher chance you have of getting botulism. Honey in small quantities is known to support respiratory health, in large quantities it does the opposite causing cough and congestion.

The Fallout:

The most common complaint associated with this challenge (and has even been caught on video) is headache and gastric distress including nausea, vomiting, bloating, and diarrhea.


The Silhouette Challenge

The Purpose:

To record yourself with music and a red filter so you can promote body positivity.

The Dangers:

People were manipulating the videos using software to find out the original footage, revealing if they were wearing clothes, reveal faces, and repost them online. This fed into child pornography.

The Fallout:

Ramifications of having nude photos or partially nude photos leaked on the internet. The distribution of child pornography. Need I go on.

Fake or Over Hyped Challenges

I have these in a separate category because they were either elaborately staged or not many people participated in them, but the media hyped them up.

  • Tide Pod Challenge – can be deadly. Very few participants. Was primarily a media mass hysteria
  • Corn Cob Challenge – This involved putting a corn cob on a drill bit and eating it. Was overly hyped, but was connected with a man chipping a tooth and a woman partially scalping herself.
  • Cereal Challenge – pouring cereal and milk into someone’s mouth, then eating it from said mouth. 🤢Rumors this one got banned even though it didn’t catch on. Alternative is they have a pet eat out of their mouth. 🤮
  • The Pee Your Pants Challenge – Billy Maddison, that you?
  • The Poop Pranks – They’re EVERYWHERE, I say fake because they’re done with melted chocolate or Nutella. Usually asking for help regarding a poop incident and to see what the reaction is.
  • Full Face Waxing – this isn’t hair removal wax, but exfoliation hot wax. I mainly see videos from one barber, so I don’t think it’s a big trend. They’re pouring it on the eyes!!! And it’s in the nose and covering the mouth!! Looks like they’re from a budget version of House of Wax… and that’s saying something.
  • Bright Eye Challenge – It started as fake, you can change your eye color naturally with bleach or alcohol drops! Surprisingly, or unsurprisingly, a few people actually tried this and it resulted in blindness/temporary blindness. Thankfully most people had common sense. The original posters did come out and say it wasn’t real, but people still did it…
  • Snorting Condoms – Rumored to be fake, but you know someone out there is dumb enough to do it.

Dangerous DIY “Life Hacks”

YouTube is probably the worst at pushing these with channels like 5 Minute Crafts, Blossom, Instructables and TroomTroom. Not only do the hacks not work, some of them are dangerous or deadly:

  • DIY Vampire teeth – many use nail glue… it’s toxic and it won’t come off
  • Tooth Filing – most of these individuals end up having to get veneers and those have to be replaced periodically. They’re expensive. This ruins your teeth. It’s better to leave cosmetic procedures to the professionals.
  • Erection Cream to Plump your Lips – Besides the chance of skin reactions, this can cause a drop in blood pressure.
  • Lemon Juice for Skin Care – It burns, It’s worse on your face.. don’t get it near your eyes!
  • Diet Cleanses – they’re either a starvation diet or they give you diarrhea. They’re called cleanse for a reason. Either way it will mess up your electrolytes and can make you sick.
  • Fractal Burning – 33 have died since 2016, not to count the near deaths, burns, and house fires.
  • and many more

Excellent Debunkers for DIY:

These individuals are our favorites for posting debunking videos regarding life hacks or trends. Some of these are great to watch with the kids, others you may want to screen first.

Ann Reardon, food scientist, tackles a lot of the cooking and kitchen hacks. Language safe
Dr. Mike “reacts” to medical hacks. Language usually safe (guests may not be)
Dr Youn tries out viral hacks and trends. Languages safe
NerdECrafter has followed “crafting guidelines” from diy channels and shows you the real results.
ImBrandonFarris tests hacks in funny and ridiculous ways to show how stupid these hacks are. Language mostly ok…
KallMeKris does reacts and tests out some hacks. Some swearing, some is censored.
Naomi Jon, a German Youtuber, tries out beauty trends and orders random stuff from questionable sites like Wish. Extreme language, no filters… but so funny.
Brad Mondo, professional hair dresser, reacts to hair videos and tries out viral trends and hacks on his dummies so you don’t have to. Bleeped out language, lots of bleeps.
Khaby Lame, a TikTok star who exposes the hacks as what they are… ridiculous. (This is not his channel, he doesn’t have a YouTube channel). No speech, generally.

Ending

I feel my IQ has dropped while writing this. I forgot how I was going to close this. I apologize. This stuff is brain melting. Rather than returning to this just so I can write a closing statement, I’m going to hope you can figure out what I’m trying to say. I don’t want to return to this, EVER.

“Learn from the mistakes from others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

And then I was all ready to post this and it wouldn’t post… so I brought up a second tab to see when my last save point was and it was about an hour into writing this page… Guys, I lost hours of work. Thankfully I have my initial tab open so I’m just sitting here copying and pasting, saving. Hoping it doesn’t happen again…. It took me 1 hour and 45 min to copy and paste everything. Please be understanding if there are tons of errors. It is late and I have been working on this for 12 hours now. Fingers crossed it actually posts this time.

PSA: Disgust and Disappointment


Photo by Mwabonje on Pexels.com

Warning

This post contains sensitive topics for readers including abuse. If you have issues reading about such topics, please stop reading now.

If you are a survivor of sexual abuse who needs help, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (or 800-656-4673) or chat with a trained professional at rainn.org

If you believe you or a family member is in danger, please call 9-1-1

I mulled over writing this. I wanted to hit this topic eventually, but not this early. Local current events decided to throw a curve ball. I will be addressing this from multiple angles, so please read through the post entirely before getting angry about any one thing. I have no quips and this post is not humorous, what-so-ever.

The current allegation prompting this post.

In our ISD, a junior high SPED (special needs education) teacher was arrested on allegations of sexual abuse towards one of her students. According to the sheriff’s office, the SPED teacher is accused of having oral sex with a minor in the back of a car. She is charged with improper relations with a student and indecent fondling. She has since been placed on administrative leave. According to news sources, she admitted to a friend she gave a student oral sex.

The news is explicit in details. I don’t feel I need to be. I’m not posting the links to the news source unless I absolutely have to because this story isn’t not the main point of this post. I’m also trying for some semblance of anonymity.

There is a mixed response in our community. Some are behind the family and awaiting the investigation. Others are upset with the ISD for taking action and are angry with the family, making disparaging remarks against the victim because he is in SPED and/or because they’ve known the teacher previously. (And the fact she previously was teacher of the year).

The teacher recently posted bail and we are all awaiting the investigation.

Emotions are running high for everyone right now. I completely understand both sides… let me tell you a little story:

Photo by Jill Rose on Pexels.com
A long Long time ago, in a land far far away

I was in college and I played in several semi-pro bands and orchestras for fun. A fresh-out-of-college band teacher moved to the area. Some of my fellow band mates, (a couple of which were my old band directors and other directors in neighboring towns) took it upon themselves to “set us up”. So we hung out quite a bit because we had a lot in common and we were only a few years apart.

A year or two later, allegations came out because officials found kiddie porn on his school computer. We were all in disbelief, but we waited for the investigation… and lo and behold… he was guilty. There was suspicions of other things, but they were never confirmed.

Statistics

RAINN:

  • 1 in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault by an adult
  • 82% of all victims under the age of 18 are female
  • Females ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault

WHO:

  • Children with disabilities are 3.6 times more likely to be victims of physical violence than children without disabilities
  • Children with disabilities are 2.9 times more likely to be victims of sexual violence than children without disabilities
  • Children with mental or intellectual impairments are 4.6 times the risk of sexual violence than non-disabled peers.

Candor Health Education:

  • The National Crime Victimization Survey concluded an average of  59,000 adults with disabilities are raped or sexually assaulted each year
  • Approximately 50% of all adults with intellectual disabilities will have endured ten or more incidents of sexual abuse in their lifetimes.

What can I do?

Parents, if your child (special needs or typical) is suddenly acting differently, please investigate. We have been lucky as to so far when we see a change it’s been due to bullying. I’d like to say our ISD has been awesome about nipping it in the bud.

Children don’t make up things that are sexual. They don’t know sexual. Unless they are exposed to sex, you can almost guarantee the story is real. Exposure to TV/magazines and older siblings is what makes that water muddy. Older children may be exposed through class mates. But by asking open ended questions, you can usually get down to it pretty quick.

If you are unsure, you can always ask for help. Counselors are available whether through your own ISD or referred by your doctor. Sometimes your child would feel more comfortable talking to someone else, and that’s ok! Encourage your child to talk to anyone who is a “safe person”. This will also make them more receptive to talking to you in the future.

How can I talk to my own child?

The ARC is an advocacy group that has many helpful things online including media. It isn’t just for children, so if you are taking care of an adult minor, there are resources there as well. You can use these videos and informational sheets as a link to start a conversation…

Fact: There were close to 3 million children with physical, emotional, and intellectual disabilities according to the Census Bureau in 2010. Often times, these children are excluded from sex education, including talks about puberty.

Candor Health Education

How many times have we seen a toddler talking about a baby growing in their mommy’s tummy? A toddler has already been given the basics of “The Talk”, yet many believe children with cognitive abilities behind their age, say equaling that of a 4-8 year old, doesn’t deserve the respect of knowing what is happening to them. Many ISDs won’t even send permission slips home to the families letting them make the ultimate decision.

Most children with disability will still go through puberty. They will still have the same sexual urges as their peers. However, without proper education, when they act on these urges they can often find themselves at a higher risk of abuse, can hurt someone else because they don’t understand consent, and a plethora of other complications.

The TALK:

There are resources available for you. I will list a few down below, hopefully you will be able to find what works best for you. Please understand this is just a handful.

Tip: Refer to body parts by their name or as “private parts” if you are uncomfortable. There are too many cases going missed because children have reported things like: “Johnny touched my ‘cookie’.” This is a common complaint I hear from police and teachers.

NameBenefitCon or ControversyFor Whom?
Sexuality Across the Lifespan: for Children and Adolescents with Developmental DisabilitiesEasy to read, includes photos, broken down by age groupParents and Caregivers
Sexuality Across the Lifespan….same as aboveEducator edition
King County (Seattle, WA) FLASH lesson plan for SPEDVery detailed, adheres to the Characteristics of an Effective Health Education Curriculum and is aligned to both the CDC’s National Health Education Standards for Sexual Health and the National Sexuality Education StandardsControversy:
Science based, not religion based, although it teaches to respect ALL backgrounds
The primary focus is educators, but parents can use it.
Woodbine HouseLots of self help books for special needsCon:
You have to find and buy the books
All
Puberty by MARSH mediaPamphlets and media about puberty written for/about special needs kids, includes HYGEINE and comes in SpanishChildren, Caregivers, and Nurses
Personal SPACE (Safety, Planning, Awareness, Choice, Empowerment)
A Violence Prevention Program for Women
This class is designed with older teens (18+) and adult women in mind. It readdresses sexual education for special needs for adult women.Con:
There is a list of locations on pg 139. Unsure if they offer the Personal SPACE class.
Educators, although a caregiver could probably touch up on subjects covered in the lesson
Amazon.comBooks and ebooks galore. And they have tons of reviews by people who have read them. Not freeE for Everyone
What’s Happening to Me80’s Animation about puberty. Very educational. It explains everything in detail.Controversy:
Everything… It leaves nothing to the imagination. And lots of cartoon nudity, please watch BEFORE you show your kids.
Con: Because it is old, some of the info may be out of date (like chocolate causes zits).
It’s an excellent tool if you don’t feel comfortable talking to your kid and you don’t want to censor anything.
Where Did I come FromAnother 80’s Animation about where babies come from; starting with conception, pregnancy, and childbirth. Controversy:
Cartoon nudity galore once again. Watch BEFORE you show your kids.
Con: And again, some things are out of date, but this can open the door to a discussion.
See above.
in no particular order

Should you not feel comfortable speaking with your child, reach out. Chances are you know someone who works in education or healthcare who can do the talk. Please don’t forget your local health department. A lot of people don’t know many of them offer services for having the talk, even with non-special needs parents. This is a service most commonly used with single parents of an opposite gendered child.

If you have a social worker or case worker, they may also be able to find resources local to you. Community centers sometimes have education for special needs individuals.

If you cannot find anything in your area, you have the right to request it.

And how does this pertain to games?

Tiddlywinks and Hijinks was primarily formed to talk about games and other items for special needs families. Other than sound like I’m on my soap box, how does this pertain to my main goal?

Gaming Group Safety

Many have no idea what this means. This primarily pertains to the older kids. A gaming group is when a group of friends or like minded people form a (for lack of a better word) group with the intent of playing games. A prime example of this is Dungeons & Dragons.* This has been in the news multiple times recently and I will share some of my experiences.

Photo by Armando Are on Pexels.com

I’ll keep this short: I got into D&D in high school. I initially played at school with some of my friends. I was invited over to some of the group’s house for some more extensive gaming. I went, was groped (no game was set up, needless to say), left, and I never played with that group ever again. I ended up using my character sheets on D&D Tactics for Sony PSP.

As an adult with children, I thought I found a group. I spelled out what I was looking for, explained I was not looking for any kind of relationship, it wasn’t an issue. Right before the first gathering, the DM (Dungeon Master) started propositioning me for sexual favors. He had been with his live in girlfriend for over 10 years….

There are some D&D DMs who take their torture of the gamers too far. It’s not uncommon to put the players through challenging trials and tribulations. Now, back in March of 2020 in Far Verona Season 2 (a D&D channel), the DM had a NPC (non-playable character) sexually assault one of the players. Let’s be clear: the player did not consent, the player’s character did not consent, none of the players approved of sexual role play in the game and they were all very disturbed by this (several quit Far Verona before they were even cancelled.

Unspoken but understood rules of roleplaying games:
  • Role playing games are built on trust. If your DM violates you or your child’s trust pertaining to basic human rights, consider quitting the group, because anyone who would violate human rights is likely to do it again and is unpredictable.
  • DMs hold the power. Other than the ability to quit, a player has 1 character. A DM has unlimited NPCs and monsters at their disposal. A responsible DM will not abuse that power, but others…

If your special needs or non special needs child is wanting to get involved in D&D or ANY RPG group, please go with them, especially in the beginning. If they are going alone at some point, make sure they have support person(s) to help prevent predators or who can help report if anything happens.

*All my negative comments are not about Dungeons & Dragons the game, but are instead about the players who decided to use D&D as their means to be predatory. Please understand this.

In close:

My platform is always going to be in favor of education. This is why I provide so many facts and statistics.

Listen to your child.

Be sure to be an advocate for your child or person; you know them best.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Photo by Cliff Booth on Pexels.com

More to come


Please be patient as our new site gets up and running. Like any new organization or business, there are always some issues to work out in the beginning.

So far our issues have been fun! (Totally kidding on this…) My desktop was my primary computer for doing media jobs in the past. I have taken a break from media jobs due to family and didn’t realize that Windows 10 doesn’t allow my pro Corel Paint/Photoshop program, permanently disabled my Bamboo drawing pad, and ate my pro movie studio. It also ate the old program to download my videos from my old camcorder; admittedly, it was getting obsolete since they were mini dvd-r’s. The web host I had been building with for over 10 years decided to go e-commerce only. Thanks….

So, new programs, new web host, and a new camera curtesy of my awesome dad and we are ready to go… almost. The camera is awesome, but it connects to the phone. My phone has an Otter Box so the camera doesn’t fit. Lmao!!! So I’ve had to rig it with extra wires that were hard to find. Ok. Crisis adverted, now to work this baby…. instructions…. ah here we are… and they are only in Chinese and Japanese. ~face palm~ I WILL figure this out after watching endless videos in any language I can figure out. So please bear with me. I may do some test videos and I want to have all the videos have subtitles.

Subtitles are a huge deal in our house, YouTube now automatically inserts them, but I am trying to figure out how to turn them off so I can type them up myself because I know the auto generated one will get them wrong.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please check out the Links page, it’s pretty fleshed out!