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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Super Duper vs. Mattel

"Say and Do" Phonemic Awareness: Stories and Activities (Super Duper Series)An awesome special needs product company has been sued by Mattel for using the words "Say" and "and Say" on some of their materials. Mattel thinks they are ripping off the See 'n' Say toy.

Aside from the fact that the products with the words in question don't make sounds and don't have a pull handle, these materials are catalog and internet sales only.

You're not going to walk into a Toys'R'Us and find a speech pathology game (to use an example) called "See It!, Say It!" and think to yourself, "Hmm, my kids just loved that See'n'Say toy. This must be made by the same company. I'll buy it because my kids had so much fun with the other toys by this company!"

Mattel already won some money from Super Duper, but now they are trying to make them destroy all of the materials that currently have the words "say" or "and say" on them and produce all new copies of the materials with new titles. This, in addition to the money Mattel is suing for, would probably bankrupt the company, I'm guessing. They aren't a huge business.

I've ordered from them several times. They have items that are great for kids with autism, speech/language delays, and other special needs. I hope they win their appeal.

Here is an email I received from the company asking for help distributing this info, so I thought I'd share it:

This message is NOT an advertisement. It concerns the Super Duper-Mattel case.

We at Super Duper ask that you consider helping us in our fight with Mattel over the use of the words SAY and AND SAY in our product titles.

If you are a member of any state or national organizations, please encourage them to contact me, Thomas Webber, and join with other organizations in support of filing an amicus brief (friend of the court brief) with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the Court to hear Super Duper’s appeal. I will explain the rest.

My email is and my cell phone is 864-884-1079.

Thank you for taking time to consider helping us.

Thomas Webber

This is a special message from Super Duper® Publications ©2010 dealing with the Mattel case.

I also copied this press release from

Mattel wants Small Special Education Co Super Duper to Pay $5.46 million, and More...

Not satisfied with a $400,000 verdict against small special education company Super Duper Publications (based upon SD using the word SAY in some of its special needs product titles), Mattel has asked the trial court to make Super Duper pay $5.46 million dollars in attorneys fees and costs, plus stop Super Duper from selling these SAY products until it takes SAY out of the product names.

At trial, Mattel lost on two of the claims it brought against Super Duper (alleged unfair competition, and alleged fraud before the federal Trademark Office), and also lost on its trademark and infringement claims relating to eight (8) of Super Duper's fifteen (15) SAY titles.

Despite the mixed verdict, Mattel wants Super Duper to fully reimburse it for all of its fees and costs of the lawsuit.

In addition, Mattel has asked the trial court to permanently prohibit Super Duper from selling seven lines of its SAY products until Super Duper changes the names in the titles of these products to something that does not use the SAY word. If the court grants this request, Super Duper would have to destroy hundreds of thousands of dollars in special education product inventory, stop selling these products indefinitely, and spend hundreds of thousand of more dollars to replace these products with ones that have new titles.

Thomas Webber, co-owner of Super Duper, has previously indicated that Super Duper will appeal the $400,000 judgment to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals because Super Duper believes it has done nothing wrong in using the SAY word on product titles that are directed specifically to teachers and parents of autistic children and other children with speech and language delays or disabilities.

Mr. Webber also stated that should the trial court grant Mattel’s request for $5.46 in attorneys’ fees and costs, Super Duper will ask the Appeals Court to suspend collection of this sum until the appeal is heard. He further indicated that If the trial court orders that Super Duper stop selling the SAY titles involved in the judgment, he will ask the Appeals Court to allow Super Duper to continue to selling these products until the Court renders its decision on appeal.

Monday, August 23, 2010

It's 1:27 am...

And Celest is up crying and singing/whining that she's a baby because I won't let her "watch please" or "watch TV now". At first I thought she was asking for a watch to wear, since she said she wanted a green watch, then a yellow watch. Finally she threw on the "TV" part so I knew what she meant. She is so tired and grouchy. I can't imagine she's going to be any happier when we have to wake up in five hours to get ready for the first day of school.

Hopefully she will be tired enough tomorrow night to fall asleep at a decent hour. About three-to-four months of seeing a psychiatrist to get a sleeping medication that will work has been unsuccessful. I was informed at my last appointment that this new prescription will be the last the doctor will try. I guess we're just supposed to deal with little-to-no sleep for months on end. It seems like modern medicine would have something that works.

The one medicine that did work was causing involuntary muscle spasms on Celest's face (tardive dyskinesia), which would become permanent if we didn't stop the medicine. It figures. Hmm...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

School is starting Monday, and this year I'm sad

I usually am glad for school to start back up because I have very limited time and energy to do anything other than watch the girls during the summer. By August I'm usually very ready to send them off to school. This year, for some reason, I'm sad thinking about sending them to school.

Maybe it's because the older they get, the more difficult it is to handle them and I'm worried something will happen while they are at school. Or that now that they are both in middle school, I am worried about ridicule and/or harrassment from other kids their age. Maybe I just don't want to be alone while they are at school. None of these reasons seem right, but I'm not sure why I feel sad for this year to start.

I'm becoming more reclusive because there aren't many places that I can take the girls by myself. It's frustrating and depressing to know that I have to have help to take my own kids out for the day. I can manage visiting relatives, going to one particular gas station, two different McDonalds restaurants, and a couple of the local metro parks.

However, the parks sometimes present a problem because Lotus does not want to get out of the car. So, for anywhere from one to five or more minutes I have to try to lure Lotus out of the car. I'll have Celest help me by tugging on her hand (which once in a great while works). Or I might try to entice her with the promise of gum or candy. Most often I've found that I can get in on the other side of the car, slide across the seat until I'm sitting right next to her, and then I'll use my body to push her out of the car. Then I have to hurry up and close the door and lock it so she doesn't just hop right back in.

By this point I've usually lost most of my energy and patience for the park trip. However, I stick it out for a least a few minutes so that we get some play time in.

The biggest obstacles seem to be: getting both girls out of the car and heading in the right direction; keeping both girls close to me; and having one of the girls either lay/sit on the floor/ground/parking lot and not being able to get her to stand up and walk for a while. It's frustrating. It's exhausting. Occasionally we become a spectacle and I get to hear the wisdom of my fellow humans about either my kids or my parenting ability. I usually have a strong desire to curse them out, but I don't.

Since I no longer have a gym membership, I really have no desire to go anywhere. And when I did have a membership that's pretty much where I spent all of my time outside of the home. I usually don't have disposable income, so shopping isn't an option (I'm not much of a window shopper). I don't care too much for watching movies at a cinema (and again, that costs money). I don't really have the urge to leave the house and do anything.

Maybe that's sad and/or pathetic, but, at present, it doesn't bother me. I just don't have the desire to go out. I figure that some time in the future the desire will come back on its own. If not, I think the hermetic lifestyle of dwelling in my suburban home is okay. It's not quite the woods or a cave, where I might picture an actual hermit living. So that makes it okay, right?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

The following information is from the National ADA Symposium. July 26, 2010 marked the 20th anniversary of the passage of the ADA:

Become part of a nation-wide effort to collect 2,010 �Proclamations of Recommitment� to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the passage of the ADA. The goal of the 2010 by 2010 Campaign is to collect 2,010 �Proclamations of Recommitment� from state and local governments, schools and colleges, businesses, organizations, service providers, and advocates before the end of year. The current list of proclamation signees can be found of the 2010 by 2010 Campaign website: The 2010 by 2010 Campaign has already received the support of mayors, governors, business leaders, and organizations from across the United States. Find out how your community, business, or organization can become part of the ever growing list, visit today. Updates can be followed on Twitter at The 2010 by 2010 Campaign is an activity of the National ADA Symposium.