Tag Archives: Autism Acceptance

Moments: Happy Birthday, Teenagers! #AutismPositivity2013

By Tyann Sheldon Rouw

More than ten years ago, I worked with Clark, a man at the University of Northern Iowa who was nearing retirement age. I was pregnant with twins at the time, and many of my colleagues had children of their own. Once in a while, Clark would sit with us in our cubicles late on a Friday afternoon after a long week of work and shoot the breeze. One day he shared that when he thought about his life and how it unfolded, there were certain moments he would never forget. He listed them: getting married while being surrounded by family and friends, becoming a father when his first son was born, and becoming the father of two boys when his youngest son entered the world. Then he told the story of putting pajamas on his two young boys after dinner, loading them into the car with his wife, and taking them out for ice cream. He said it became a fun family tradition.

I’ve never forgotten those words.

At the time I didn’t know if he was just talking to talk, but now I think he had a more important message for us young people: Don’t lose sight of your relationships and your roles. Remember who is important. And have fun.

This week my twin sons turn thirteen years old. Teenagers. We celebrated last Easter weekend with my in-laws at their home. We stayed at a hotel because Isaac is hard to buy for, but he loves experiences. Hotels are at the top of his list. What’s not to love? Elevators, a swimming pool, a breakfast buffet . . . it doesn’t get much better for him.

I’ve been thinking about the moments from the last week I won’t soon forget:

I stood in the kitchen one morning and asked the boys if they wanted to dye eggs after school. Isaac,who was sitting in the living room, shouted, “Yes!”  (He was in another room and answered me. Wowza!) Last year he put two eggs in different cups of dye and retreated to the basement. Not this year. Every boy had an equal number of eggs to color, but I’m pretty sure Isaac colored more than his fair share. He even stuck around to wash all of the cups…

Read this post in its entirety at:http://tyannsheldonrouw.weebly.com/1/post/2014/04/weekend-moments-happy-birthday-teenagers.html

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What is Autism Positivity? Expressions of PosAutivity: #AutismPositivity2014

By Amy Sequenzia

We fight against stigmas. We fight to be heard.
The world is not generally friendly to Autistics. We still need to remind people that the same rights they have, rights they expect to be recognized, also apply to us.

We celebrate Autism Positivity because we know we are not a collection of deficits. We know that because we, like everyone else, have assets, abilities and gifts.

We know this because we are human beings.Autism Positivity 2014

Autistics can be extra sensitive to sound and light. While this is seen as a deficit by a majority that is still not accepting of the need for accommodations, Autistics can experience the beauty of the colors in music, in the words we hear, and in the people around us. We can see the wind and hear the silence.

We celebrate Autism Positivity because we experience amazing beauty most people can’t see.

Many of us can’t speak like the majority can. That’s also is seen as a broken feature. But we are listening and learning at a faster pace than the neuromajority is. Give us the opportunity and the right technology, and our thoughts will enrich your life.

We celebrate Autism Positivity because what is inside our minds is worthy the wait to hear our typed, written voices.

Autism Positivity is the freedom to flap, rock, spin and jump.
It is the accepting presence of those who “get it”.

Autism Positivity is feeling intensely every emotion around us.
It is felling safe and finding comfort being alone, with ourselves.

Autism Positivity is having the courage to be ourselves.
It is seeing our lives and actions help young autistics to do the same.

Autism positivity is learning to say “no” to forced compliance.
It is refusing stereotypes, it is fighting stigma and wrong assumptions.

Autism Positivity is reclaiming our right to make decisions.
It is rebelling against practices that seek to fix what is not broken.
We are not broken.

Autism Positivity is exercising our humanity.

We celebrate Autism Positivity because we are human beings and we are pretty awesome, in our Autistic way.

 

Original post at AWN (Autism Women’s Network): http://autismwomensnetwork.org/what-is-autism-positivity-expressions-of-posautivity-autismpositivity2014/

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Pensiveaspie Expressions of PosAutivity: #AutismPositivity2014

By Pensiveaspie

Image
I wanted to write a blog about all the positive and supportive things friends/family members have said to us.

I wanted to fill this post with hope and love so others could be inspired, so I reached out again to my aspie groups and asked for their stories.

What I found was disheartening. I guess I should say what I didn’t find: support.  When I asked my fellow aspies to share hurtful things friends and family had said to them, I was overwhelmed with responses.  When I asked for positive and supportive things from friends and family, I gave them over a week to respond.  Still, the answers were sparse:

Wendy W. – “Wow, that must have been tough

Candice S. – When I told my husband, his reply was “I know” in a very casual tone. His 2 words said everything. They said that he loves the way I am and that includes the AS.

Kelly S. – “Don’t worry, you’ve always done things in your own time.”

Sue A. – “I’m glad you found answers and are embracing who you are.”
“Thank you for being so open and sharing your experience!”
“It’s good that you know this about yourself and what you can do to work on the things you want to improve on.”

So I changed the question.
Last night, I asked “Tell me something that another ASPIE has said to you that made you feel loved and supported.”  I was delighted to see this many responses in less than 24 hours!:

Abby N. – I am kind and understanding

Colin S. – I‘m glad to have met you. Your knowledge is a gift.

Aletheia K. – “I’ve felt the same way all my life, but you actually put it into words!” Or, more simply and profoundly: “Me too.”

Aubrey M. – “We are so much alike”

J.J. B. – My aspie friend has helped me by just listening and not judging

Ron K. – I understand.

Claudia A – Well, you are different. I think it’s great, and if someone doesn’t like it they can go f*** themselves.

Alyce A. – Twins!

Debby T. – We can be weird together!

Julia R.  – Being with other people with ASD can be amazing, especially if you have similar interests, and similar ways of being and communicating. I have several family members with ASD, and just being around them can feel so good because there’s no pressure to be anything different. Also I’ve finally started to understand and appreciate how earlier generations of people with AS in my family organized their lives so as to benefit from the positive aspects of AS and to minimize the more challenging and potentially disabling parts. So it’s not so much what anyone has said, it’s just the sense of the pleasure of feeling completely normal while being around others who are very similar. While also learning from them that you can be autistic and live a good life.

John T. – You guys are the only Aspies I know and you always say nice things to me.

Anne. L. – The facilitator of the Aspie Womens Group commented on how lucky my daughter is to have an Aspie Mom. I bring a level of insight and empathy to her parenting that it is unlikely an NT parent could. I really hadn’t thought about it that way before.

Sherri S. – I admire you a lot. You seem so self-possessed and competent and unruffled.  You have a golden heart.  That’s not weird. I do that too! It is more than just words. It’s a feeling of connection and acceptance. Immediate, unconditional acceptance.

Robin H. – Often times, when others say they have “been there”, they say it with a sharp tone that we’ve learned means we’re stupid and implies “quit your whining you aren’t the only one”. Whereas when my friends who are Aspies say they have “been there”, it is explained with distinct empathy showing their hearts are in sync with mine. If only the rest of the world could know how lonely of a place it is when others do not connect in that way with us.

Kerrilynn H. – You are an inspiration to others. You help others in their journeys by being so open about mine.

Anna W. –  You’re not mad, you’re not wrong, and I rather like you.  You’re neither mad nor hopeless, you’re wonderful.  You are Anna and regardless of what label anyone chooses to slap on you or whatever metaphorical box you may be put in, you will still be Anna.

Ashley M. – I know you asked what supportive things others have said to me, but being supportive of others makes me feel loved and supported myself!  Here is something another Aspie said to me: You give me strength. Because you have been so open about your Asperger’s, I finally feel like I have the strength to find my own voice. Thank you for always being so supportive.

Jenny S. – I get you. Nobody had ever told me that before.

Wendy W. – I feel a connection with you that I’ve never felt with anyone else before- I feel like we’re twins.

gowhere

I was sad to see such a lack of support from our friends and family.  At the same time I was overjoyed with how accepting and supportive other Aspies are to each other.  Sometimes, our family isn’t our best support system.  Sometimes, we have to find our own.

If you have Asperger’s or Autism and you are not feeling supported by friends and family, reach out.

There are many support groups online – especially on facebook.  Search twitter for #aspie. Email me.  There is connection and acceptance here. There is friendship here.  You are most definitely NOT alone. <3
Go where the love is.

Screen shot 2014-04-21 at 6.45.04 PM

 

 

Original post at:http://wp.me/p4qqov-4v

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A is for Anxiety: Expressions of PosAutivity: #AutismPositivity2014

By R

Recently I’ve blogged about the possibility that my son has Aspergers syndrome and the long journey we have started as parents trying to get him an assesment and appropriate help at school (indeed today we had a positive meeting with the Special Needs Co-ordinator (Senco) at his school).

Today, as my small part of Autism Positivity, I thought I’d go off topic on this blog again (after all, it’s supposed to be about my mental health) and shout something out to anyone that’s listening.

My son is wonderful and there’s is absolutely nothing wrong with him!

And I absolutely mean that. He is kind, helpful, inquisitive, friendly, cuddly, energetic, generous, inventive, knowledgable, thoughtful. Actually I’m a bit wary of writing a list of adjectives about him, as I’m bound to leave some of his great qualities out. I love him and he’s great. There is nothing wrong with him and I don’t want to change him in any way.

So why all the letters to doctors and conversations with schools?

Because I want to change other people. I want to change the way they behave with him.

Whatever diagnosis he does or doesn’t end up with, I know that he’s not your average child. I mean, every mum thinks their child is extra special, but more than that he certainly seems to think and behave a little differntly from some of his peers.

But different doesn’t mean wrong…

Read the complete post here: http://aisforanxiety.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/expressions-of-posautivity-autismpositivity2014/

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Pizza #AutismPositivity2014

By Amy

My husband and I had planned a beautiful meal. Tom had spent the afternoon smoking a turkey, while I prepared the usual turkey fare of “riced” potatoes with gravy, candied yams, home made bread, and side salads. There was no particular reason for the dinner; we just wanted a nice evening with our son to celebrate family.

Well, after cooking the turkey, my husband’s arms were too full to open the door, so he leaned his elbow against the doorbell to get my attention. Teasingly, I yelled at my husband, “Oh, it must be the pizza man”. So, fast forward about 30 minutes, when myself, my loving husband, and my magnificent, nonverbal, 19 year old son were sitting at this amazing dinner, waiting as my husband carved the turkey.

I had noticed an odd look on my son’s face, but thought nothing of it as I dished out the various side dishes. I placed the plate in front of him and suddenly Zachary started turning bright red.

His arms flung straight out from his body and he began to stim and shake.

Tom and I were in shock, what had set off this very rare, and quite random temper tantrum?

Then, out of nowhere, my son, who’s last words were whispered 5 years early, mustered all he could to scream, “PIZZA!”

I honestly didn’t know if I should send him to his room for the tantrum or hug and praise him for the word.

Zachary is 24 now and we still get strange, food oriented words here and there…salt…pie.

I guess they’re right when they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

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“The Sun and the Moon” – Expressions of PosAutivity: #AutismPositivity2014

By Erin and her Daughter

My 13 year old daughter wanted to share a second poem for the Autism Positivity Flashblog 2014 – Expressions of PosAutivity. You can find her other poem here, “Down by the Riverside.”

My daughter loves to write poetry and songs as well as draw. She uses art to communicate and express herself. She is also very interested in Science. She wants to go into the field of Environmental Science when she grows up.

The kids and I are also very interested in Astronomy and love laying out in the yard in the summer time just looking up at the night sky. We look for constellations and tell stories about the myths behind them. We also look for satellites, observe the Moon, and watch meteor showers. A few weeks ago, we were watching the first episode of Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson. Cosmos is an amazing show and after we watched the episode my daughter proceeded to write this poem.

 

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March 13, 2014 – Inspired and written after watching the first episode of Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson.

The Sun and the Moon

By: H 

The Sun in day

The Moon in night

We look up at them and wonder 

 

They are different but connected,

In an odd way.

The whole universe is connected in an odd way,

But we don’t understand. 

 

Specifically the Sun is a star of gases

And the Moon is part of the Earth

That was blasted off by collision.

 

 

(Image found at naruhinaph.tumblr.com)

Original post on Geeky Science Mom’s Tumblr: http://geekysciencemom.tumblr.com/post/84206484547/the-sun-and-the-moon-expressions-of-posautivity

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Tales From An Autism Family #AutismPositivity2014

By Mandy Klein

April 30th is Autism Positivity Flashblog day and I can’t think right now so I am having trouble coming up with something.  I have too many exciting plans that I can’t talk about yet!
Autism has never meant anything bad to me.  Being autistic is just the way I am.  I was born this way and always will be this way.  It is a way of being.  I like being “a little different”.
I have a lot of anxiety, especially when I am at meetings with other people.  I also struggle to focus when listening to a speaker.  Autism has given me the skill to be able to repetitively draw circles.  I try to draw the perfect circle which of course never happens!  It helps me focus and decrease my anxiety while at meetings and groups.  It may come across as rude to the speaker but it is actually more of a compliment to them since I am trying to focus on them.  I am able to focus the more distractable and anxious part of my brain on my circles while giving the rest of my brain the ability to focus on the speaker.  See, we can multitask!
Once my circles are drawn, I spend hours colouring them.  I try to find just the right colours for each picture.
I have now progressed from just filling a page with circles to actually drawing something and filling it and the rest of the page with circles.  I’m not very skilled at drawing so the designs are simple but neat looking when filled with circles and coloured!

  The old version!
New Version

Original Post at: http://talesfromanautismfamily.blogspot.ca/2014/04/autism-positivity-flashblog-day-2014.html?utm_source=BP_recent

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