Friday May 26, 2017

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STILLWATER, Okla. – A wave of dangerous storms that recently rolled through the state brought large amounts rain and snow and now may also have sparked a rise in the population of giant pests known as floodwater mosquitoes.

Common in Oklahoma, floodwater mosquitoes, sometimes called gallinippers, can grow up to six times larger than common mosquitoes.
While the disease potential is low with this particular species of mosquito, the nuisance factor is high, said Justin Talley, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension livestock entomologist.

“Floodwater mosquitoes are associated with very painful bites. They are huge so people may begin to notice them if the weather warms up,” Talley said. “We’re not really concerned about the disease potential so much as having a lot of breeding material available to them, which in this case is water.”

Oklahoma often sees large populations of floodwater mosquitoes in May and June, especially after heavy rains.

Getting rid of as much standing water as possible around the property will help prevent mosquitoes from building up.

That means checking places that have the potential to hold water, such as bird baths, containers in gardens and even tree holes and making sure the water is draining.

If standing water is not draining from the property, then products are available that can be applied to the water. Known as insect growth regulators, they usually can be applied as a granular from a standard lawn fertilizer spreader.

“The main concern with standing water is the potential to serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes,” Talley said. “For floodwater mosquitoes, it’s usually wooded habitats or roadside ditches where the water is not moving or slow-moving. If the water is moving, there’s really no mosquito development going on.”

Following some general precautions can reduce the chances of getting an unpleasant bite from a floodwater mosquito.

The pests are typically more active around sunset and in shady areas. They will bite humans, livestock and pets.

Especially while enjoying outdoor activities, wear long sleeves and long pants. Although floodwater mosquitoes are large enough to bite through clothing, some coverage can provide a first line of defense.

The most effective protection, however, comes from repellants containing at least 25 percent DEET.

Some natural products, such as lemon eucalyptus oil, also may work as repellants but have varying results.

Repellants with DEET should not be applied on children 3 years or younger and no repellent of any kind should be used on children 2 months or younger.


Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 408 Whitehurst, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; phone 405-744-5371; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity. Any person (student, faculty, or staff) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator 405-744-9154.

Leilana McKindra
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
Oklahoma State University
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Monday, 01 May 2017 12:51

I’ve Been Really Trying Lately

Pervasive Parenting


This is part two from my visit to the Tulsa Autism Conference a couple weeks ago.

I think most everyone has been to church on Sunday morning when you feel like the preacher has chosen his sermon just for you. You get a little uncomfortable and start squirming in your seat just because you feel the pastor is talking directly to you. This is exactly how I feel each time I hear Dr. Jed Baker Speak.

Baker is a behavior specialist that works with all age groups, but particularly he has many books and programs for transitioning-aged students with disabilities.

I was fortunate to have an opportunity to speak with him in between sessions and he was very helpful and approachable. We talked about a new program that we are working on with the Pervasive Parenting Center that we want to begin in the summer to help with transition and social skills.
However, when he started speaking in the conference it was back to church for me. He started pointing out everything that I’m doing wrong as a father. Let me stop and explain something that I have said several times, I am not the perfect father. In fact, I am far from it.


I talk to parents everyday about ways to work with their children to help with behaviors, and ways to be better parents. However, when it comes to everyday parenting with my sons I sometimes forget those things. I guess that’s why I always say I’m not an expert. I get caught up in the moment and forget all of my training that I’ve been through. I yell, and I make situations worse which breaks the first rule that Dr. Baker brought up.

He stated, “If I can be chill I can help you be chill.” This is great advice and makes so much sense, and in the middle of my rants with the kids I often think this to myself and then I get upset with myself. I know better.

If we can keep our composure when our children are already overstimulated and on the verge of a meltdown then we can help them to stay calm. Your child can feel your frustration and feelings, even though we think they don’t fully understand emotions, they know when you are upset.

Which brings us to his next point. He said we don’t want to put out fires after they have been spread. We want to help prevent fires. I am always telling parents, educators, and professionals that the main focus for meltdowns or behavior is to stop it before it starts. I know that is easier said than done, but for the most part we are just looking for stemming behaviors or signs and then trying to find the reason behind the behavior.


If we can see that a child is starting to pace then we know there is a reason. If we can find the reason then we can start to deescalate the situation.

The refreshing part of his session was when he talked about going to the grocery store and his children act up, he’s dragging them down the aisle, and they are being loud and people think, “Aren’t you the behavior specialist?” It makes me feel good that I’m not the only one that is supposed to know better and still has problems.

Just remember, if you do your best, and you understand that you may have made things worse, then you can at least understand and try to change things the next time. I really do try to make things better the next time.

According to a newly released study, there are an estimated 94,200 Oklahomans living with Hepatitis C virus infection. Estimates were developed by researchers at Emory University in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to better understand the number of people in each state living with Hepatitis C.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is encouraging residents to be tested for the virus as Oklahoma had the highest estimated prevalence in the nation at 3.34 percent, while the national prevalence was 1.67 percent. The report also indicates 523 Oklahomans died due to Hepatitis C from 1999-2012, ranking our state among the highest for Hepatitis C mortality.

Hepatitis C is a virus which can cause serious liver disease. In the early stage of infection, some people will have symptoms of illness including fever, nausea, abdominal pain, or jaundice; however, many persons will not have any symptoms at all. Approximately 75 to 85 percent of people who are infected with the virus will develop a chronic condition which can lead to liver problems, including cirrhosis, liver failure, liver cancer or death. New medications are available to treat chronic Hepatitis C, including new drugs which appear to be more effective and have fewer side effects than previous options. Although treatment for Hepatitis C is expensive, new drug regimens can result in a cure.

The virus is spread from exposure to an infected person’s blood. Exposure can occur when sharing needles or other injection drug equipment. Prior to 1992, Hepatitis C was commonly spread through blood transfusions and organ transplants. Although rare, the virus has also been transmitted in medical settings in which strict compliance with infection control standards was not observed.

The OSDH is working to combat the issue by supporting Hepatitis C testing efforts at community-based organizations which offer HIV testing, offering educational programs for medical professionals and providing education in drug and alcohol treatment centers. Additionally, the agency conducts surveillance of Hepatitis C and has recently been awarded a CDC grant to expand upon these surveillance efforts.

The only way to know if a person has Hepatitis C is to obtain a blood test. The OSDH recommends testing for the following persons:

• Anyone born from 1945 through 1965.
• Anyone who has injected drugs, even just once or many years ago.
• Anyone with certain medical conditions, such as chronic liver disease and HIV or AIDS.
• Anyone who has received donated blood or organs before 1992.
• Anyone with abnormal liver tests or liver disease.
• Anyone who has been exposed to the blood from a person who has Hepatitis C.
• Anyone on hemodialysis.
• Anyone born to a mother with Hepatitis C.

Although there is no vaccine to prevent the virus, there are ways to avoid becoming infected.


These include:
• Avoid sharing or reusing needles, syringes or any other equipment to prepare and inject drugs, steroids, hormones or other substances.
• Do not use personal items which may have come into contact with an infected person’s blood, even in amounts too small to see, such as razors, nail  clippers, toothbrushes or glucose monitors.
• Do not get tattoos or body piercings from an unlicensed facility or in an informal setting.

Hepatitis C testing is available through private medical providers, or at the following locations:

Oklahoma City
Expressions Community Center
2245 NW 39th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
(405) 528-2210 /


Red Rock Behavioral Health Services
4400 N Lincoln Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 424-7711 / 1-877-339-3330 /


Guiding Right, Inc.
7901 NE 10th Street, Suite A-111
Midwest City, OK 73110
(405) 733-0771 /


Latino Community Development Agency (Habla Español)
420 SW 10th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73109
(405) 236-0701 /

H.O.P.E. Health Outreach Prevention and Education
3540 E 31st Street, #3
Tulsa, OK 74135
(918) 749-TEST (8378) /

Guiding Right, Inc.
549-A East 36th Street North
Tulsa, OK 74106
(918) 986-8400 /

MAMA Knows, Inc.
10 W Main Street
Ardmore, OK 73401
(580) 226-4238 /



For additional information about Hepatitis C, visit



The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) will be leading a “Day of Advocacy” for Oklahoma’s children on Wednesday, May 10 at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Beginning at 9:15 AM, advocates from across the state will be rallying for policies that positively impact Oklahoma children. Attendees will be meeting directly with dozens of lawmakers and hearing from guest speakers. A special luncheon will also be held at Will Rogers Theatre for OICA supporters.


OICA CEO Joe Dorman is encouraging people to attend the rally and get active on behalf of Oklahoma’s children.


“We’ve got a $900 million revenue shortfall this year and we need parents at the State Capitol telling our lawmakers ‘do not balance the budget on the backs of my children,’” said Dorman. “’Do not slash spending to the education, nutrition, health and child welfare services that the state’s most vulnerable kids rely on.’


“Lawmakers hear every day from corporations and other special interests; we’ll be at the Capitol to make sure they also hear from children and parents. We are hoping for a big turnout, and we want Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and independents from across the state to come together and send a bipartisan message to our lawmakers on behalf of Oklahoma’s kids,” said Dorman. "Even if you've never voted or aren't registered to vote, now is the time to get politically active and take a stand."


Click here for more information or to register for OICA’s Day of Advocacy or go to

Monday, 03 April 2017 12:16


Pervasive Parenting


As I write this on World Autism Day I am reminded of many things that I've learned, said, and thought over the nine years since Konner's diagnosis. I'm going to share some of them this week. For some this will be like a flashback episode of your favorite sitcom. For others hopefully it will just help you better understand autism.

I feel that on this Autism Awareness Day I should share something that I say often when I'm talking to groups or at trainings. It's nothing that I really came up with on my own. I always tell people I just regurgitate the things that I've learned from my mentors, but I feel it's important and my philosophy if you will.

The Center for Disease Control says that 1 in 68 children in America are diagnosed with autism. That's up from 1 in 88 a couple years ago, 1 in 110 when Konner was diagnosed in 2007, and 1 in 1000 in 1980. That is a 72% increase since 2007, and more than 200% since 1980. More than 1.5 million Americans are affected. According to Autism Speaks, that is more than are affected by diabetes, AIDS, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or Down syndrome – combined. These numbers are staggering, but it means that we are very aware of autism. I would bet that everyone reading this knows someone with autism.

It's no longer about awareness; IT'S ABOUT ACCEPTANCE! We have to accept children, adults, and everyone with autism for who they are. We have to love them for their quirks. That's what makes them who they are. We have to help them be who they are, and stop trying to change them into who they are not.

That is something that I share at trainings and speaking engagements because I think it best describes why I do what I do, and my philosophy on advocacy.

I have heard this gen since day one, and I'm reminded each day, as I meet new kids and adults with autism, just how true it is. The famous, "Once you've met one person with autism you've met one person with autism." While they have similar characteristics they are all different, and they are all awesome in their own ways.

"Autism is not the end of the world, just the beginning of a new one." Man, this couldn't be more true for me. Nine years ago I would have never seen myself in the role I'm in now. I was working on being a rock star on the road, but as they say, if you want to hear God laugh tell him your plans. God has shifted my life in a whole other direction, and I can't be happier than doing what I'm doing now. I owe it all to God, Konner, and my wife.

And finally, "Autism is not a tragedy, ignorance is." I feel personally it has gotten better over the years. I don't know if that is because I have learned enough to combat the ignorance in the world, or that people are becoming more aware and accepting, but I do know that it seems more people are on board with the differences in our children. There is still a lot of work to do, but that's pretty cool.


April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), along with its networking partners, is working to raise awareness about the importance of ensuring great childhoods for all Oklahoma children. Organizations across the state are working together to host events that demonstrate their commitment to preventing child abuse and promoting a brighter future for Oklahoma children.

Thousands of Oklahoma children suffer abuse and neglect each year. According to a report by the Oklahoma State Department of Human Services, in 2016 there were 15,187 substantiated child abuse and neglect victims in Oklahoma. These statistics are a reminder that every possible effort needs to be made in preventing child abuse in Oklahoma.
“We encourage every citizen to ‘do one thing’ when it comes to protecting children and strengthening families. Even small gestures like being kind and supportive to parents challenged in public and/or assisting parents by offering help (i.e. reading a book to a child in the waiting room, providing an extra set of hands at the supermarket, or offering respite for parents experiencing tough challenges),” said Sherie Trice, OSDH Community Based Child Abuse Prevention Grant Coordinator. “These efforts are instrumental in helping families reduce stress and make life just a little easier.”

There are numerous events and activities across the state to support National Child Abuse Prevention Month:

Build a Blue Ribbon Tree for Kids Campaign
Find a tree in a highly visible location and add blue ribbon for the number of new babies born in your community; or number of children abused and neglected in your county; or to represent something that shows your support for children. Remember to register your tree and invite the media and public for a kickoff event. Visit this link for more information:

Happiest Day Coloring Challenge
Children are encouraged to simply draw or color their “happiest day”. Children may work individually or in a group with family or as a class. Parents and teachers are encouraged to share these pictures on social media using #PictureaBrighterFuture. For more information, visit this link:

Wear Blue Selfie Day
Friday, April 7th is designated as the day to wear blue to help promote and strengthen child abuse prevention efforts in communities. Share your best selfie with others and ask your co-workers to join you! Post your BLUE picture on social media using #PictureaBrighterFuture

Child Abuse Prevention Awards of Excellence Ceremony
Tuesday, April 11th, 11 a.m., Blue Room, Oklahoma State Capitol honoring excellence in prevention.

24th Oklahoma Child Abuse and Neglect Conference
OSDH Family and Prevention Services and the University of Oklahoma Center on Child Abuse and Neglect are co-sponsoring this event. Visit this link for more information:

Connect families with parentPRO
Families can connect with parentPRO to receive free parenting support delivered in their homes. Specially trained professionals, who teach parents how to reduce stress, provide parenting tips, teach child development, and connect them with additional services and resources if necessary.

To learn more, go to or call (877) 271-7611.

Get involved with Prevent Child Abuse Oklahoma by calling Parent Promise at (405) 232-2500.

Volunteer to serve on the statewide CAP ACTION Committee and to help with future activities by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For additional information about child abuse prevention or how to get involved with other activities in your community, contact your local county health department or Sherie Trice at (405) 271-7611.


Monday, 27 March 2017 22:43

Take The Highway




Pervasive Parenting


I usually try to keep up with what’s going on in the world of autism, and one of the best out there to follow on social media is Ellen Notbohm. She is an author of some great books, and a champion for all with autism.


This morning I saw a post that she made that made me stop to think a little, and so I wanted to try and hit on my opinion a little.

Her post was as follows: “Can we please be done with "high-functioning" as a way of describing a child with (autism)? Every (autistic) kid I ever knew was functioning at the highest s/he was capable of at that point in development, and every one of them was capable of more ("higher") given appropriate supports, encouragement and opportunities.


Meaningless comparatives help no one, not the child nor anyone trying to formulate how best to help the child. As I am quite fond of pointing out, watch how low-functioning I am in that boring, boring meeting after a large lunch.”

Great points in there. While I agree completely I will counter a little.

I always tell parents that I hate labels, but they are necessary when they are necessary. What that means is, we don’t need to point out disabilities unless we have to in order to get services. That is the only time it is required to point it out. Think of it this way; why don’t we say that someone is near-sighted. We know they have a vision impairment because they have glasses. We don’t need to tell someone that a person is in a wheelchair. That is obvious.

So, we shouldn’t have to point out autism, although I will say that it is not visually as obvious as other disabilities. However, stick around long enough, and know what you are looking for, and you will see the apparent signs.

With that, then Notbohm is correct. We don’t need to say high-functioning or low functioning. They are functioning the best they can. It is our job to make sure that they are operating at full capacity, and then increasing that to push them further in life.

If for some reason you have to let someone know; let’s say you are on the phone and they ask where your child is on the spectrum, they can’t see them to tell the signs, and they are trying to evaluate for some strange reason, then you can tell them what level they may be functioning at on the spectrum.

Remember, this is a spectrum, so there are many levels. Every child is different after all. You should probably just let them know what they can do, and what they are NOT YET CAPABLE OF and leave it at that. Yes, I put that in all caps because I want people to understand that the only limitations on a child are the ones we set for them, or they set for themselves. Otherwise they can do anything they want to with the proper tools and encouragement.


Wednesday, 08 March 2017 09:38

March is National Nutrition Month



“Put Your Best Fork Forward!”

At the office or a restaurant, eating away from home doesn't have to undermine your healthful habits. To help find your healthy eating style during National Nutrition Month®, celebrated each March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to "Put Your Best Fork Forward" when dining out.

"Choosing healthful options at restaurants is easier today than it ever has been," says registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy spokesperson Robin Foroutan. "Use a smart-eating strategy to plan ahead, consider the menu and choose foods carefully."

According to Foroutan, how much you eat is as important as what you eat. For example, if you plan to have lunch with coworkers, eat a light dinner. If you know you’re going to a restaurant in the evening, plan to have lighter meals earlier in the day.

"It's important to consider meal options at different restaurants and choose places with a range of menu items," Foroutan says. "You can balance your meal by choosing healthier items such as lean protein foods, non-starchy vegetables and fruits."

Most restaurants offer healthy side dishes such as salads and steamed or roasted vegetables.

"Don't be afraid to ask questions about how the food is prepared or for a substitute or an extra side of veggies," Foroutan says. "Make special requests to meet your nutritional needs, like asking for a side salad instead of mashed potatoes or fries."

To-go boxes can help control portions. Eat half your meal at the restaurant and take the other half home for a second meal.

As part of National Nutrition Month, the Academy's website includes articles, recipes, videos and educational resources to spread the message of good nutrition and an overall healthy lifestyle for people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. Consumers can also follow National Nutrition Month on Facebook and Twitter (#NationalNutritionMonth).


According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, they are urging Oklahoma physicians to sign up to electronically certify death records before the legislatively mandated deadline of July 1, 2017. (Oklahoma Statute 63, Section 1-317a.)

ROVER (Registering Oklahoma Vital Event Records) is a free, web-based program provided by the OSDH Vital Records Division. It can be easily accessed through Internet Explorer 6.0 or later. For document generation, it uses Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Records certified using ROVER are filed in half the time of paper records. The timely signing of a death certificate is necessary to complete the care for patients. Moreover, it helps the family to emotionally process the loss of a loved one and allows them to more quickly resolve any probate, insurance or other financial issues following a death, reducing potential financial hardships. It also allows OSDH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to compile health data necessary to identify trends which direct future health policy.

Physicians can utilize their office support staff to complete the data entry into ROVER on their behalf. Once that is complete, the physician is required to briefly log-in, review and certify the record. The whole process should take less than five minutes and will prevent basic errors which require more time to correct once the record is filed. Both online and in-office training is available to physicians and any authorized personnel. All training material is provided at no charge by OSDH.

All physicians are reminded that Oklahoma State law requires death certificates be “filed with the State Department of Health within three (3) days of such death”.

Physicians and support staff may enroll in ROVER by e-mailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling the ROVER Enrollment and Training Team at 405-271-5380.

Sunday, 28 August 2016 22:33

You're Gonna Miss This

Pervasive Parenting

It just hit me today another breakthrough we've had with Konner that I've probably missed and am just now noticing.


It's because over the years it has just evolved and become something I wouldn't have thought of if Jen had not pointed it out to me.

When doing trainings with parents and educators I talk about parallel play. This is one of the signs we look for in children on the autism spectrum.

This is when children walk up beside their peers and begin to play with the same toys, but never really interact with the person next to them.


They may even go so far as to imitate them, but rarely ever talk to them.

The example I give is when Konner was in head start he would walk up to a little girl playing at the block station.


You could tell that he wanted to interact with the girl, but there was no way he was going to actually talk to her. He would mock her motions and build similar things.

There is a common misconception

With children on the spectrum that they want to be alone. However, this has been proven to be untrue. They just lack the social and language skills.

So that brings me to today. I was listening to a conversation in the next room with Konner and Kruz. Konner actually asked Kruz if he would play with him.


I know this may not seem like much to some, but looking back at eight years ago he would have never asked anyone to play with him. Heck, he could barely talk then.

He came in the other day and asked if I wanted to play trains with him. I of course did, because I know this is something that he couldn't do before.

It wasn't really that big of a deal at the time because he has been doing it a little while, but it snuck up on me. To thing I almost missed it.

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