Category Archives: Autism Positivity Flash Blog

1000 Ausome Things #AutismPositivity2013 Flashblog Announcement

We know you have been waiting… and we have been working and organizing behind the scenes. Now we are ready and we are excited to announce the theme for the second annual Autism Positivity Flashblog Event on April 30th, 2013: AutismPositivity2013button“1000 Ausome Things #AutismPositivity2013″

Last year hundreds of bloggers came together in a show of support and solidarity in response to an anonymous person’s Google search “I wish I didn’t have Aspergers”. The posts that came flooding in from all over the world were a beautiful example of the power of strength in numbers. With so much negativity still surrounding Autism and the misinformation and misconceptions that continue to abound, we invite each of you to share one, or two, or more “Ausome” things!

We invite all of you, anyone who is Autistic, anyone who has an Autistic person in their life and all who blog about autism to share a message of support, wisdom, hope, and pride to this year’s flashblog by posting to https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dDdPQjAxV244VjdCcXdYX0pPQ0RBblE6MQ

Please join with us on the last day of Autism Acceptance Month – April 30th, 2013 – in a Flash Blog of Autism Positivity.

To participate:

1. Publish your post on April 30th in the following title format: “ [Your Blog] celebrates 1000 Ausome Things #AutismPositivity2013″

2. Share your post on Twitter, Facebook, and any other social media site using that hashtag (#AutismPositivity2013)

3. Add your link to the Autism Positivity website (submit here or above) and grab the badge from the page tab above.

4. Share/reblog this message to your blog, page, etc.

cropped-autismpositivitybanner3.jpg

Thank you,

The Autism Positivity Project Flashblog Team, 2013

If you have any questions, please contact us at autismpositivity@gmail.com

We can also be found on

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThinkingAboutPerspectivesAutismPositivity

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/positivityautie/autism-positivity-2012/

Tumblr: http://autismpositivity.tumblr.com/

Twitter: @PositivityAutie

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Autism Positivity Flash Blog


This past April, someone, somewhere googled “I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers”. The phrase popped up in a blogging dashboard and struck the blogger as being particularly sad. She wished she could have answered.

We don’t know who it was. We don’t know where he/she lives. We have no idea if he/she found what he/she was looking for in that search.

We do know that search directed that person to a blog. We do know the searcher clicked on it in an attempt to find what they needed. And we do know enough about the challenges of autism to know that person is likely not alone in that sentiment.

So, we got to thinking. What would we say to that person? What if it was a kid, desperately trying to make it through tough years of intolerance and ignorance? What if it were a person who might never stumble across the amazing voices speaking for autism acceptance? What if that person thought himself/herself all alone? What would we say about the present? What would we say about the future? What would we say about happiness? And hope?

Each of us in the autism community –- self-advocates, parent advocates, friends and family, teachers, health professionals—we would all have different messages for #IWishIDidn’tHaveAspergers. But likely we would all try to send the message that there is a brighter future and that friendship and support are out there.

So we asked the autism blogging community (and everyone else) to write a message of positivity to #IWishIDidntHaveAspergers, so that next time that individual (or another) types that sad statement into Google, he or she will find what they need – support, wisdom, and messages of hope from those who understand. We created a flash blog event for the last day of Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month: April 30th, 2012.

This website is a tribute to the powerful responses from the hundreds of people who participated, by reading, writing, commenting, and sharing their stories.

If you have stumbled across this website, we hope that you are able to find solace and comfort, and to know that you are not alone. Welcome to the family.

 

This Autism Positivity Flash Blog Event is the brainchild of Thinking About Perspectives, a group of bloggers committed to increasing autism awareness and acceptance via open and respectful dialogue. We are: 30 Days of Autism, Outrunning the Storm, The Third Glance, Aspie Kid, Flappiness Is, Quirky and Laughing, Life on the Spectrum, Fairy Tale Forgotten, The Aspie Side of Life, and Inner Aspie.

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SBKM TO I WISH I DIDN’T HAVE ASPERGERS: #AUTISMPOSITIVITY2012

This post originally appeared at http://smallbutkindamighty.com/2012/04/30/sbkm-to-i-wish-i-didnt-have-aspergers-autismpositivity2012/ and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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SBKM TO I WISH I DIDN’T HAVE ASPERGERS: #AUTISMPOSITIVITY2012

 

Please go here to read about what prompted a number of us to blog today, see links to all the Autism Positivity blogs and, so no-one feels left out, read contributions sent in by folks who don’t have a blog.

With respect to my contribution… Well, I don’t feel able to address ‘I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers’ directly. There’s so many wonderful blogs by individuals on the spectrum that I hope you read something from them that speaks loudly and personally to you. I’m one of those neurotypical types and honestly, I can’t even begin to presume to understand what your life is like, so instead, if I may, I’d like to address you indirectly.

Those of you who have read my blog before know I feel no need to wish for a cure for my sons’ autism and that I don’t hate their autism either. Leah Kelley wrote a wonderfully eloquent postlast week, which really encapsulated what is for me a crucial point – that even though we understand where other parents are coming from, our children’s self-esteem is endangered when they hear people say they hate autism. We know that children on the spectrum are at much higher risk of being bullied and of being bullies themselves. Bolstering our kids’ self-worth is crucial if we hope to do anything at all in terms of reversing this trend.

One of the things I want to state clearly and unequivocally about autism positivity is that, for me, it does not preclude venting. I’m privileged to be in the position of knowing many other autism parents online. Those parents who know me well will tell you, I don’t care what your position is on vaccines or person-first language, or anything else for that matter; if you are having a tough time, I’m there. Sometimes all I can offer is a virtual hug but I understand that what we go through as parents is difficult and autism positivity is not seeking to minimize that. A good friend of mine, who is also someone supportive of the concept of autism positivity, has, like myself, more than one son on the spectrum. This friend found out a couple of days ago that her youngest child and only daughter likely has Asperger’s. My reaction to her sharing this news wasn’t “Woo hoo! Congratulations!” because I understand that this is tough for her to digest. She needs time to process and get used to this new reality but I know she will and she knows I’ll be there for her every step of the way.

So what am I trying to do here? Well, a lot of my blogging about my boys’ autism is a way for me to process my feelings, hopefully in a way that ends up making sense. What I’m also secretly hoping against hope to do, is maybe reach just one parent and help them start on the road to understanding why hating their child’s autism does nothing to help either themselves or their children. In my opinion, if you hate your child’s autism, you haven’t yet come to terms with their diagnosis. A lot of people don’t want to come to terms with it and that’s their prerogative, but keeping hate alive requires a lot of energy and personally, I’d rather that energy was focused elsewhere. We’re all so (excuse me) fucking tired, why waste the precious energy we do have fuelling hatred?

In practical terms, you may be wondering, well how does one just stop hating autism? It’s not like you can just flick a switch. In some cases that hatred is long-standing and deep-rooted and it’s going to be tough to get rid of. One of the best techniques I have found to re-frame the way I think about my sons’ challenges is one I learned indirectly, from attending ABA workshops. I know a lot of autistic individuals have concerns about ABA, but I have found it extremely beneficial in terms of fostering an understanding of my children’s behaviour. So I’m going to use it as an example of how you can start on the road to stopping hatred of autism.

In learning the process of how to record data about behaviours, over and over again I was told and shown how to be descriptive and specific about behaviour and not assign value judgements to it. I was taught not to record behaviours using language like: ‘Oliver behaved badly’ ‘Owen was upset’ ‘Oliver behaved inappropriately’ ‘Owen was angry’. Instead I use descriptions like: ‘Oliver pushed Owen’ ‘Owen covered his ears and bent over’ ‘Oliver kicked his playmate’ and ‘Owen banged his head on the table’.

Looking at behaviours in this way was a revelation. It drained away the very strong emotions these behaviours often generated in me and I was able to see them for what they were: communication. I didn’t (and still don’t) always understand right away what my children are trying to communicate, but I was a step closer because recording data gave me more information. What has come across loud and clear to me is that these behaviours are not their autism speaking; the behaviours are how my children express themselves when they don’t otherwise know how. Aggression towards Owen (for example) is not Oliver’s autism. Oliver’s autism means that at times he has difficulty expressing himself and this is particularly the case when he is anxious. Oliver’s aggression towards his brother is an example of him trying to tell me something when he doesn’t know how else to do it. What I have been helping Oliver to do is ensure he knows he is heard and teach him strategies to cope with his anxiety and stress. As he is learning all of these things his autism isn’t receding but the aggressive behaviour towards his brother is.

If you find yourself thinking or saying that you hate autism, try instead to focus your attention on what it is that’s problematic for you and your child right now. For example: ‘I hate that he bites his nails so much that his fingers bleed.’ ‘I hate that she plays with her poop when she has a bowel movement. ‘I hate that he can’t tell me where it hurts.’ Focus on the specific issue rather than expressing a generalized hatred. Then work on how that issue can be managed, redirected, or resolved.

In my verbose and indirect way, I now come back to ‘I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s’. It’s my belief that whatever you’re struggling with isn’t your autism. Whatever it is, there are ways you can get help and support. Once you find the help and support you need and the challenges you’re facing become more manageable, your autism will still be there. And that’s not a bad thing.

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#AutismPositivity2012 Flash Blog is TOMORROW

The #AutismPositivity2012 Flash Blog is TOMORROW, MONDAY APRIL 30th!

Thanks for your interest in the AutismPositivity Flash Blog! This awesome event is going to take place tomorrow, April 30th, on the last day of Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month. We all look forward to seeing all the wonderful words, thoughts, and ideas that will be shared. As a reminder, this event was born from a google search of “I Wish I didn’t have Asperger’s”. Please click HERE to learn about the concept.

There are several ways to participate:

Once you have written your post, please put it up on your own blog, and leave us a link, either by commenting on the “Links” tab, or sending us an email to autismpositivity@gmail.com. We will add your link to the “links” page of the website.

ADDITIONALLY, we are hoping to build this site up as a major resource for autistic individuals and family/friends who are looking for support. As such, we would love to reprint as many of the letters as possible as blog entries here. When sending us your link, please let us know if you give permission for your post to be reprinted here. If so, we will reprint your post, adding the following line at the top: “From <your blog, with link>, reprinted here with permission of the author”.

If you do not have a blog, and still want to participate, that’s fantastic! We have already received several submissions, and look forward to posting these and more. Please send your entry to autismpositivity@gmail.com and we will post it tomorrow as a blog entry here. If you have a twitter handle, we’ll include that in the post title, so that it links to you. You can also leave it as a comment here.

We will also be reposting some of the longer, relevant comments that people have left here.

And finally, there will be a “quotes” page going live tomorrow, if you would like to leave a short quote or comment. The quotes page was inspired by a program put on by a university student group several weeks ago, which shared short “Autism Positivity Statements from Autistic People”. If you have a short statement to leave, that is a great place to do so.

Thank you for your contributions to help make the world a safer and happier place for those on the Autism Spectrum. :)

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To “I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers”: An #AutismPositivity2012 Flash Blog Event

A couple of weeks ago, someone somewhere googled “I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers”.  The phrase popped up in a blogging dashboard and struck the blogger as being particularly sad.  She wished she could have answered.

We don’t know who it was.  We don’t know where he/she lives.  We have no idea if he/she found what he/she was looking for in that search.

We do know that search directed that person to a blog.  We do know the searcher clicked on it in an attempt to find what they needed.  And we do know enough about the challenges of autism to know that person is likely not alone in that sentiment.

So, we got to thinking.  What would we say to that person?  What if it was a kid, desperately trying to make it through tough years of intolerance and ignorance?  What if it were a person who might never stumble across the amazing voices speaking for autism acceptance?  What if that person thought himself/herself all alone?  What would we say about the present?  What would we say about the future?  What would we say about happiness?  And hope?

Each of us in the autism community –- self-advocates, parent advocates, friends and family, teachers, health professionals—we would all have different messages for #IWishIDidn’tHaveAspergers.  But likely we would all try to send the message that there is a brighter future and that friendship and support are out there.

We are asking every blogger in the autism community to write a message of positivity to #IWishIDidntHaveAspergers.  So that next time that individual (or another) types that sad statement into Google, he or she will find what they need – support, wisdom, and messages of hope from those who understand.

And – for those of you who do not blog but wish to join in – please post your positivity message to http://autismpositivity.wordpress.com/ or send us an email at autismpositivity@gmail.com

Please join with us on the last day of Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month – April 30th – in a flash blog of autism positivity.

To participate:

  1. Publish your post on April 30th in the following title format:  “[Your Blog] to ‘I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers: #AutismPositivity2012”.
  2. Share your post on Twitter and Facebook, using that hashtag.
  3. Add your link to the Autism Positivity website and grab the badge:
  4. Share/reblog this message to your blog, page, etc.

This Autism Positivity Flash Blog Event is the brainchild of Thinking About Perspectives, a group of bloggers committed to increasing autism awareness and acceptance via open and respectful dialogue.  We are:  30 Days of Autism, Outrunning the Storm, The Third Glance, Aspie Kid, Flappiness Is, Quirky and Laughing, Life on the Spectrum, Fairy Tale Forgotten, The Aspie Side of Life, and Inner Aspie.

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