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A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
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A pediatrician told this mom her son had autism. A second opinion changed everything.

True
Dignity Health

When Jacob was just 3 years old, his mom noticed that he was acting a little differently than his siblings had at that age.

He had started to develop certain habits and tendencies that were somewhat disconcerting to his family. By the time he turned 5, his pediatrician had diagnosed him with autism.

But after that, his behavioral issues only got worse.


All photos via Dignity Health.

Not only was he falling behind academically, he started acting out uncontrollably in class. One time, he had such a bad tantrum that the students had to be evacuated from the classroom while members of the faculty subdued him.

His teacher saw enormous potential in Jacob, but she was unable to get through to him.

"He's a brilliant kid, he has great ideas," she says, "Putting that on paper is really hard."

His mother, Erika, felt similarly.

"I know he felt alone, and he didn't know how to express himself well enough to have us even understand how it was impacting him, but we could see it in his face," Erika explains.

She felt at the end of her rope. She knew she had to do something new to help him since what they were currently doing didn't seem to be working.

So Erika decided to take him to see a new pediatrician — Dignity Health's Dr. Andrew Katz.

And he made a surprising suggestion — maybe Jacob's autism diagnosis was wrong?

"Erika's main concern was does my child have autism, but it wasn't really my leading thought," Katz says.

Katz with Jacob and his mom.

While this second opinion was certainly momentous, it's not all that strange given this country's pre-occupation with autism.

Studies have shown that ever since researchers started tracking autism rates in the United States in 2000, the number of cases has risen dramatically, almost in tandem with the growing awareness. This suggests that it's more likely to come up as a possible diagnosis simply because it's on parents' and doctors' radars.

Thankfully, however, Katz is very discerning. He listened intently to what both Erika and Jacob had to say and came to a totally different conclusion than what they'd heard in the past.

Katz told Erika he thought her son actually had a severe case of attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD).

He also said that Jacob's behavioral issues would likely resolve once he was on the right medication.

Sure enough, within just a few days of being properly medicated, Jacob's behavior totally turned around. He began talking more articulately and focusing on tasks. His experience at school changed; he was more social, he was able to deal with disappointments in much more constructive ways, and his academic performance improved significantly.

The switch was truly amazing for everyone who cared about him to behold.

"For a while with the diagnosis of autism, we were wondering if Jacob would ever be able to live on his own or get a job," Erika remarks. "And now, he's capable of taking care of himself, and I really don't question that anymore."

Of course, not all diagnoses are misdiagnoses, but sometimes it's worth getting a second opinion, especially when you're dealing with unfamiliar territory.

For Jacob's family, the move was life-changing. Anyone who's met him can see that.

"He's compassionate, he's intelligent, he's thoughtful, he's organized, which is amazing for someone with the diagnosis he has," Jacob's teacher says. "In the future, I think Jacob can do whatever he wants. I think he'll be just fine."

Check out the whole story behind Jacob's diagnosis here:

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Identity

75-year-old ‘hip-hop granny’ impresses and inspires with her dance moves

Ms. Stephanie didn’t even start formal dance lessons until she was almost 30.

Ms. Stephanie bringing it at her hip-hop class.

Stephanie Walsh isn't your average hip-hop dancer. At 75, "Ms. Stephanie" is still able to hold her own on the dance floor, popping and locking with people a third her age, and she loves it.

When you see her dance—and her enviable muscle tone—you might think she'd been a trained dancer all her life. But she actually didn't take any formal dance lessons until she was almost 30.

Walsh told Growing Bolder that she had wanted her daughter to dance when she was little, so she got her ballet lessons, which the daughter hated. Realizing that dancing was her dream and not her daughter's, Walsh took her kiddo out of ballet and started classes herself right away.

She had always loved to dance and developing her skills only led to more and more dancing.


These days, Ms. Stephanie gets her dance moves on at Fusion Fitness, where she encourages people to "dance like EVERYONE is watching." One video of her dancing at Fusion has gone viral multiple times, and it's easy to see why. Check this out:

@fiercefitnessty

Reposting this video of Ms.Stephanie & I since it going viral again. This video will always be a vibe. One thing Ms.Stephanie and I created was magic. We dance from our hearts. My classes are always about creating a Fierce vibe for everyone to show up and show out! . #fiercefitness #dancefit #fiercefitnessty #hiphopfitness #fyp #viral

"Reposting this video of Ms.Stephanie & I since it going viral again," shared @fiercefitnessty on TikTok. "This video will always be a vibe. One thing Ms.Stephanie and I created was magic. We dance from our hearts. My classes are always about creating a Fierce vibe for everyone to show up and show out!"

It's not just the dancing. It's the intensity. It's the full presence in the moment in her face and in her movements. She's there for it, and she brings everybody with her.

"It’s the “I’m a badass” facial expression for me! ☺️" wrote one commenter on Facebook.

"I dislocated my shoulder just watching that 🤣🤣👌🏼" shared another.

"She can throw it back like the rest of them. You go girl!" shared another.

Walsh shared that dancing has helped her get through many difficult periods in her life. Watch her share her story:


Love it when people prove that age truly is just a number.

The studio set up a fan page for Ms. Stephanie on Instagram, where you can see more of her joyful dancing here.


This article originally appeared on 10.20.23

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

via Kelsey Dawn Williamson / Facebook

An unexpected statement on a Frog and Toad T-shirt.



Kelsey Dawn Williamson, 23, from Benton, Illinois has ordered over 50 shirts from AliExpress, an online retailer based out of Hangzhou, China. But when the Frog and Toad shirt she ordered on May 10 arrived, she "literally did not know how to react so I just took a few moments to stare at it and try to process."

The infant-sized shirt has a picture of the iconic reptiles from the children's book series riding old-fashioned bikes with "FUCK THE POLICE" written at the bottom.


Williamson posted a photo of her daughter Salem in the shirt on Facebook and it quickly went viral.

The shirt that was delivered looked exactly like the one in the online store, just without the caustic N.W.A. lyric.

China, comedy, NWA

Frog and Toad T-shirt that was advertised.

aliexpress.com

While it seems utterly bizarre that someone would create a shirt with "FUCK THE POLICE" written beneath a picture of Frog and Toad — a duo who've never been known to harbor ill will against law enforcement — there's a good reason.

Memes featuring Frog and Toad are so popular they have their own subreddit. The shirtmaker, who probably doesn't have a license to use Frog and Toad, must have got the photo from a Google search. The person who made the shirt was most likely Chinese and either didn't speak English or has a very poor eye for detail.

After Williamson received the shirt, she Facetimed her husband and they screamed together. "We both just lost it, dying of laughter," she told Buzzfeed. "All he could say was 'Oh shit.'"

"I've told [Salem], 'People really like your frog shirt!'" Williamson said. But she's not letting her child wear the offensive shirt to preschool. "It's going in her baby box so we can bring it up when she's older."

Unfortunately, the incident has been all laughs for Williamson. She's received messages from people who've fat-shamed her daughter.

trolling, body shaming, negative feedback

The online trolling.

via Kelsey Dawn Williamson / Facebook

Frog and Toad memes, memes, fuck the police

Nothing nice to say.

via Kelsey Dawn Williamson / Facebook

e-commerce, Facebook, children\u2019s books

A positive message.

via Kelsey Dawn Williamson / Facebook

"People were actually messaging me just to say mean things about her," she said. "A ton of people calling her fat, asking me what I feed her to make her so big, telling me the shirt I bought was too small."

But Williamson has remained strong and fought back against the shamers. She edited her post to address her daughter's weight but refuses to take it down. "SHE SEES SPECIALISTS FOR HER WEIGHT. SHE CANT HELP IT. I CANT HELP IT. MY HUSBAND CANT HELP IT. IT IS OUT OF OUR CONTROL. JUST LAUGH AT THE FUNNY SHIRT," Williamson wrote on Facebook.

That's right people, just laugh at the funny shirt, and stay out of people's business.

children\u2019s literature, encouragement, education, social behavior

Frog says, “Come at me, bro!"

This article originally appeared on 06.01.19

Michael B. Jordan speaking at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con International, for "Black Panther", at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California.

As long as humans have endeavored to do anything great, there have been those who have tried to take them down. These are the opposite of the creators in life: the bullies, haters and naysayers who only want to bring people down to their level.

But when you have a dream and desire, its easy to tune out the voices of negativity. "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better,” Theodore Roosevelt once said. “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena."

Some folks use the naysayers as fuel to push them to work even harder. Basketball legend Michael Jordan was infamous for letting his thirst for revenge drive him to even greater heights on the court.


Another Michael Jordan, "Black Panther" star, Michael B. Jordan, came face to face with someone who doubted that he could reach his dreams, and he wasn’t shy about letting her know that he remembered. What's Upworthy about the encounter is that he did so with class and confidence.

In 2023, Jordan was on the red carpet for the premiere of "Creed III," a film he starred in and directed. He was interviewed by “The Morning Hustle” radio show host Lore’l, who had recently admitted on the “Undressing Room” podcast that she used to make fun of him in school.

“You know what’s so crazy? I went to school with Michael B. Jordan at a point in life,” Lore’l said. “And to be honest with you, we teased him all the damn time because his name was Michael Jordan. Let’s start there, and he was no Michael Jordan.”

“He also would come to school with a headshot,” she added. “We lived in Newark. That’s the hood. We would make fun of him like, ‘What you gonna do with your stupid headshot?’ And now look at him!”

In addition, her co-host, Eva Marcille, referred to Jordan as “corny.”

Jordan had no problem discussing their past on the red carpet. “We go way back, all the way back to Chad Science [Academy] in Newark,” Lore’l told the actor. Oh yeah, I was the corny kid, right?” Jordan responded with a smirk.

“No, you did not hear me say that! I said we used to make fun of the name,” Lore’l said.

“I heard it,” Jordan said. “I heard it. It’s all good. What’s up?” he responded. “But yeah, [you are] obviously killing things out here…you’re not corny anymore,” Lore’l clarified.

After the exchange went viral, Lore’l admitted that she teased Jordan in school, but they were only classmates for one year.

“So the narrative that I bullied him all throughout high school—this was 7th grade. We were like 12 years old, and everyone made fun of each other,” Lore’l said. “That was school, you know. That was one year. And, again, I’ve never bullied him. That just sounds so outrageous to me.”

Jordan later shared some advice on how to deal with bullies.

"Just stay focused, just stay locked in,” he told a reporter from Complex. “You know, just follow your heart, try to block out the noise and distractions as much as possible and run your race. Don't compare yourself to anybody else. Just keep going."


This article originally appeared on 4.19.24

The fireman William Ziegler of New Orleans, Louisiana.



After you're gone, people will probably forget the exact things you said to them while you were alive, but they'll never forget how you made them feel.

Unfortunately, when people write obituaries that sum up a person's life they're often just a chronological list of factual details of their lives such as where they lived, where they worked, and how many children they had.

While those facts are important, they don't really explain the type of person the deceased was or how they made people feel. An obituary for fireman William Ziegler of New Orleans, Louisiana has attracted a lot of attention for how it hilariously summed up the life of a man who was a real raconteur.


Zeigler's daughter, Sharah Currier, said that he used to read funny obituaries to his children, so they decided to write one that would make him laugh. "He would have loved this," she told the Times-Picayune. "He probably would have forwarded this obituary to us.”

Zeigler began his career as a volunteer in the U.S. Navy.

William volunteered for service in the United States Navy at the ripe old age of 17 and immediately realized he didn't much enjoy being bossed around. He only stuck it out for one war. Before his discharge, however, the government exchanged numerous ribbons and medals for various honorable acts. Upon his return to the City of New Orleans in 1971, thinking it best to keep an eye on him, government officials hired William as a fireman.

He then continued his life of service by joining the fire department.

After twenty-five years, he suddenly realized that running away from burning buildings made more sense than running toward them. He promptly retired. Looking back, William stated that there was no better group of morons and mental patients than those he had the privilege of serving with (except Bob, he never liked you, Bob).

Ziegler's children believe that he's in heaven with his alcoholic dog.

Following his wishes, there will not be a service, but well-wishers are encouraged to write a note of farewell on a Schaefer Light beer can and drink it in his honor. He was never one for sentiment or religiosity, but he wanted you to know that if he owes you a beer, and if you can find him in Heaven, he will gladly allow you to buy him another. He can likely be found forwarding tasteless internet jokes (check your spam folder, but don't open these at work). Expect to find an alcoholic dog named Judge passed out at his feet.

His children end the obituary stressing the fact that he's actually dead.

Unlike previous times, this is not a ploy to avoid creditors or old girlfriends. He assures us that he is gone. He will be greatly missed.

You can read the whole obituary at the Times-Picayune.

This article originally appeared on 8.16.16

Marcos Alberti's "3 Glasses" project began with a joke and a few drinks with his friends.

The photo project originally depicted Alberti's friends drinking, first immediately after work and then after one, two, and three glasses of wine.

But after Imgur user minabear circulated the story, "3 Glasses" became more than just a joke. In fact, it went viral, garnering more than 1 million views and nearly 1,800 comments in its first week. So Alberti started taking more pictures and not just of his friends.



"The first picture was taken right away when our guests (had) just arrived at the studio in order to capture the stress and the fatigue after a full day after working all day long and from also facing rush hour traffic to get here," Alberti explained on his website. "Only then fun time and my project could begin. At the end of every glass of wine, a snapshot, nothing fancy, a face and a wall, 3 times."

Why was the series so popular? Anyone who has ever had a long day at work and needed to "wine" down will quickly see why.

Take a look:

Photos of person after drinking glasses of win

All photos by Marcos Alberti, used with permission.

assets.rebelmouse.io

Photos of person after drinking glasses of win

assets.rebelmouse.io

This article originally appeared on 11.19.16