Tag Archives: Autism

Autism Art Project Celebrates 1,000 Ausome Things #AutismPositivity2013

This post was originally published on Autism Art Project at http://autismartproject.blogspot.com/2013/04/1000-ausome-things.html and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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I used to think that preschool graduations were ridiculous.  That was before Derek.  That was before autism.

My perspective has changed.

They say a picture is worth 1000 words.  My son doesn’t have 1000 words.  By definition, Derek is still considered “non-verbal.”  Does that matter?  Not at all.  Derek has found ways to communicate.  If he can’t find the words verbally, he’ll take my hand and show me what he wants or point to things. If you ask me, his smile alone speaks volumes.  So do his eyes.

When I look at this picture, I don’t see a little boy with a cheesy grin in a cap and gown.  I see a million other moments that led to this one, great moment.  I see a 2-year-old struggling to learn how to use PECS.  I see a child with so many sensory issues that putting a hat on his head hurt him.  I see the same boy with tears streaming down his cheeks on his very first day of preschool.  And I see a child with big, shining eyes chasing after bubbles and finally saying his first word, “bubba.”

The cap and gown are symbols of how much Derek has accomplished; how much he has overcome in the past few years.  My son learned more than just the ABC’s and 123’s in preschool.  He discovered how to interact and play with other children.  He figured out how to follow directions and ask for help.  He learned how to dress himself and use the toilet on his own.  I could go on and on…

I couldn’t possibly be more proud of this little boy.

He deserves a cap and gown.
He deserves cake and ice cream.
He deserves a party.
He deserves all that I have to offer as a parent.
He deserves every opportunity that the teachers and the school can provide.

He deserves the world.
(Because he’s ausome.)

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Carla, and son Joel – 1000 Ausome Things: About Me #AutismPositivity2013

We’ve always been very open with our son about his diagnoses of Asperger’s and severe ADHD. It has helped him understand that he is not a bad guy for his behavior, that it is explainable and that he can work to improve. Last year he began public school, 6th grade middle school, and was bullied and taunted – the kids did not understand his quirks – so we convinced the principal to allow him to read this paper that he composed about himself. The beginning to solving the problem was his classmates knowing the ‘why’. His openness helped tremendously! and encouraged others to be open with their differences <3

“About me:
I really like to play on the computer, mostly Garry’s Mod. I have 3 cats, a dog and a bunch of fish and I really like animals. I really love Jolly Ranchers. I have a great memory and I like to learn new things. I’m just a regular kid, but you may have noticed that something about me is a little different. My doctor says I have Asperger’s, which is a kind of autism. I’m not sick. I’m not contagious. My brain is just ‘wired’ differently. It’s like it has a short circuit; sometimes it’s on, sometimes it’s off, and sometimes it misfires.
I have to think about a lot of things that I do, things that other kids can do without even thinking about them, so that takes more time for me to figure out. It can be really hard for me to explain what I mean, or understand what someone else means..
When I start saying something it’s really hard for me to stop until I finish the comment or statement.
Sometimes I can act a little weirder than I am – I don’t know when to quit – I can’t change gears very fast from one thing to another, or from one thought to another.
My hearing is extra-sensitive. It’s like everything is either too loud or not loud enough, so sometimes I make noises because it helps me to feel better. I don’t know why. I just do.
I don’t mean to make people uncomfortable when I get too close or when I look at them too long – I’m working on not being clumsy and not getting in people’s personal space.
I like things to stay normal – change is hard – I don’t really like surprises – little things can bother me, like noises and movement.
I’m trying to learn how to act right and be a friend, but I have a hard time getting along with other people.
If I ever offend you, you should tell me right away because sometimes I really don’t know when I’ve done something upsetting or silly. Please be patient with me while I keep learning.
My Asperger’s does not make me any less special than anybody else, but it also does not make me more special, just different. If you ever have any questions about Asperger’s, you can look on-line, or it’s perfectly okay to ask me! The more I talk about it the more I figure it out. If I don’t know the answer I’ll find it out and get back to you on it!
Thank you for listening.”

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Deciphering Morgan 1000 Ausome Things: His Ausomeness #AutismPositivity2013

This post was originally published by Jessi Cash on Deciphering Morgan at http://www.decipher-morgan.com/2013/04/his-ausomeness.html and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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*Just a final note for Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month. Figured I’d bookend the month. 


That isn’t a typo in the header. “Ausomeness” or being “ausome” is being Autistic. It’s being my son, or like him. Of course, I’m biased, but I’m told by pretty much everyone who comes into contact with Morgan that he’s an ausome kid.

You know what? He’s going to grow up to be an ausome man, too.

My son doesn’t see bad in people, not that I’m aware of, and if he does, he doesn’t say anything about it. Well, if he sees you breaking the rules, he’ll say something.

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Arizona Baker: My Hope for the Future #AutismPositivity2013

I’ve been there. I know how easily one internalizes society’s prejudices toward disability, and I’ve been fighting it for years now. It’s okay.
I’m not quite ready to say it gets better, to be honest. I’m living alone in a small apartment in a small town, underemployed and constantly worrying about money, and moreover, about my future. But I can say in the past few years, I’ve had some fantastic friends. In my last semester of college, my friend Aurora said that getting to know me was the highlight of her, and her friends’, semester. The world that seemed so daunting and confusing a few years ago is only half as daunting, half as confusing now.
So I’m not going to be insensitive to the challenges we autistic people face today, but I can say that our lives have so much capacity for growth and change, and in our darkest hours it might be all too easy to forget that, but it’s still true. The world has capacity for growth and change too, and if we all work together, we can change it.

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livnautistic celebrates 1000 Ausome Things #AutismPositivity2013

 

This post was originally published on livinautistic, at  http://livnautistic.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/livnautistic-celebrates-1000-ausome-things-autismpositivity2013/ and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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I found out I’m autistic almost 2 years ago. It was the BEST MOMENT of my life. Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of wonderful moments in my life. But in that moment, it was simply Ausome! In that moment, I felt like Clark Kent. In that moment, I was no longer a lonely stranger wandering in a strange land. In that moment, I found my true identity. In that moment, I had a true sense of belonging. In that moment, my life took on a much more meaningful purpose. In that moment…I’m not going to list all the 1000 Ausome things I had in my life since I made the self-discovery, but I’m proud to say, finding out I’m autistic completely changed the direction of my life.

I used to be a unhappy person. Like many autistic people, I once was totally lost in this world. I was the cat who thought itself as a dog. I thought I was a neurotypical and I was ashamed of my neurological difference because I thought them as my weakness. I tried my best fitting into this neurotypical world but it wasn’t very successful. I felt I have to consistently apologize for whom I am. I felt I was somehow different but I didn’t know why or how. And because of that, I was angry, defensive and very insecure.

Finding out I’m autistic changed the person I am. It helps me to understand why I am different. I began to know myself better. I became mindful of my own being. I changed my self-perception. No more negative feelings of doubt and guilty. What takes its place is self-accpetance. Now I can concentrate my energy on living positively — how to work around my weakness and utilize my strengths. I’m no longer disabled by my sense of worthlessness. I know now, I am who I am. I’m aware. I have finally come to my own self.  At last, I found the key to my true happiness.

As part of my self-discovery, I looked around for other autistic people like me. And I have found them. There is a huge autistic community on Facebook. There are many of us. We share our stories, our interests, knowledge, support and camaraderie. We talked, we joked, we laughed and we celebrated. I’m no longer alone. We are no longer alone. We have each other. Is that not the most Ausome thing in the world?

In days to come, I hope to meet my autistic friends face to face. I look forward for new adventures and new friendships. My son is 7 right now and I am looking forward to introducing him to the autistic community. There are so many wonderful things we autistic people can do. Together we will build a better world for our future generation. And that is Ausome!

 

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The Caffeinated Autistic celebrates 1000 Ausome Things #AutismPositivity2013

This post was originally published by Rose at The Caffeinated Autistic at http://thecaffeinatedautistic.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/the-caffeinated-autistic-celebrates-1000-ausome-things/, and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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I meant to write a post on my birthday (a week ago today) and failed. April is always a difficult month for a variety of personal reasons, but it’s become even more so with the knowledge that April is Autism Awareness month. I have seen far too many blue puzzle pieces or rainbow puzzle ribbons.

But today isn’t about that. Today is Autism Positivity day, and I’m going to tell you the best things about being autistic, for me.

1. Obsessions. I never really understand why people consider this a negative trait, and refuse to allow autistic children to indulge in their obsessions, rather than using them as an opportunity to learn (or even maybe as a reward if it’s difficult to use it in education). If you meet me in person, I can guarantee you that at some point in time, I will launch into an infodump about why Sherlock Holmes is autistic, why all the female characters are amazeballs, why Susan Pevensie’s ending was the saddest thing I’ve ever read and why I hate C.S. Lewis for what he did to her, and why platonic friendships in all sorts of media aren’t specific to gender and are amazing. Just to name a few.

2. Stimming. There is angry stimming and panicky stimming, and the cause of these is no fun, but stimming itself is AWESOME. And I’ve handflapped and rocked in happiness and contentment and drew patterns over the skin of a fellow autistic person. And co-stimming with another autistic person is by far one of the best things to do.

3. Another way of thinking. This isn’t very concrete, but I find more and more that I think I’m thinking in a similar manner to a neurotypical person, but then I mention what I’m thinking out loud and yeah, I’m not. But so many times, this means I have the solution to a problem that no one else thought of, and sometimes? This makes the life of an autistic child better because their parents get it because I was able to articulate it.

4. Repetition is amazing. This applies to so much and has to do with echolalia as well as repetitive movements like stimming, but also? It is why I am good at my job. I’ve been employed for just 2 1/2 months, and you’d think that isn’t even long enough to be good at my job, but I’ve already been training people. I’m fast and accurate and no one at my job but me likes being in the back because it’s boring, and yeah, when it’s slow, it is, but it’s repetitive and perfect and lovely.

5. Language. Language and words are fantastic and I’ve been an avid reader since I learned right before my 4th birthday – when I apparently taught myself. I was reading at a post high school level in the 2nd grade, and I was often in trouble for trying to read novels behind my science textbooks. I majored in English in college, and even taught it myself for two years (a job that I found too stressful because of red tape and paperwork). I love words, and I love what they can do, the images they can evoke, or the things they do to my ears when they’re spoken. There’s a segment from an episode of Sesame Street that includes the phrase “lilting Liliputian lullaby”, and isn’t that just the best thing to say and hear?

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The Tripped Up Life celebrates 1000 Ausome Things #AutismPositivity2013

This post was originally published by Tripped Up Mommy on The Tripped Up Life at http://trippeduplife.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-tripped-up-life-celebrates-1000.html and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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Today I’m participating in the Autism Positivity Project Flash Blog by celebrating two of the most “ausome” parts of my world: Angel and Princess triplets. This flash blog is about showing the world the positive side of autism, the acceptance part of autism. And, on the last day of Autism Awareness month, I felt it was important to participate in – even though I’m really late in the day.

Here is a description from the author of The Third Glance blog, who is one of the major organizers in this effort. I couldn’t have explained it any better than this: 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! 

Princess and Angel triplets

No matter how difficult life can be when raising triplets, two of which have neurological differences which make communication extremely difficult, there’s never a day without moments of pure and overwhelming love and pride in my children – all my children, those with autism and those who are neurotypical.

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Konabarbie Celebrates ‘1000 Ausome Things’ #AutismPositivity2013

This post was originally published by Kristy on Konabarbie at http://konabarbie.blogspot.com/2013/04/konabarbie-celebrates-1000-ausome.html, and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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Today is the last day of April and the end of Autism Awareness month, but hopefully not the end of autism awareness and acceptance. It is also autism flash blog day. Autism flash blog day was started last year in response to a google search by an unknown person typing in the search words “I wish I didn’t have Aspergers.” The flash blog was created to counter the negativity of those words with something more positive.

This year the focus of the flash blog is 1000 ‘Ausome’ Things. As anyone who’s been reading my blog for awhile knows, my son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a high functioning form of autism, when he was 13 years old. It’s hard to believe, but he will turn 21 years old next month!

Gosh I’m old!!

To us the diagnosis was never a negative one. It was actually a relief to finally have a name to something because we knew he was different. Us meaning me and my son because at the time of his diagnosis I was a single mom and it was just the two of us dealing with the school issues, the stomach issues and the sleeping issues.

All of those issues were dealt with in time and now he is doing great in college and loving it and living on his own. I couldn’t imagine him any different than what he is, Asperger’s and all. Personally, with the exception of the school struggles and IEP nightmares that weren’t his fault, I think he was much easier to raise than an NT child.

He struggled in high school, but not only got into the college of his choice, but made the Dean’s list last semester.

He learned how to play the violin in third grade and then taught himself how to play the guitar when he was a teen using methods he learned from violin in third grade.

Not to mention he’s a computer genius!

And I’m not just saying that because I’m his mom!

Yes, he’s “ausome”!

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mylifeintriplicate: 1000 Ausome Things: No. 1 is… #AutismPositivity2013

This post was originally published on My Life in Triplicate at http://mylifeintriplicate.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/1000-ausome-things-no-1-is/, and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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… Walking around like you don’t have a care in the world!

Have you ever just gone out for a walk and along the way start skipping, or twirling, or giggling?

I have. At 40 years old I, in fact, just did ALL of that tonight! And it was wonderful.

Why? Because that’s what my son, Theodore, wanted to do.

While the girls were off playing soccer with coach Dad, me and my ASD prince went out for a walk. While on our street it can get pretty busy and cars and trucks rush through trying to skip a light or two on Route 5. It’s not a super busy street but as you could imagine at certain times it is busier than others. And people LOVE to speed down the street.

So we walk down the sidewalk, hand in hand, to the end of our street, cross over, and head toward the paved trails near the CSX/Amtrak RR lines.

It is here, in the late April sunshine, on a day that felt more like June, we dropped hands and walked all over that trail like we OWNED it. We skipped. We hopped. We ran. We stopped and cuddled. We took in the sun. We felt the wind in our hair. We twirled. We giggled. We looked at doggies. We splashed through puddles. We ran a few steps forward, turned around, and ran back toward each other.

Had my girls been there, they would have done the same and no one would have looked twice.

But somehow when Theo does it, and he is in full-on-happy mode, he likes to vocalize and make really LOUD happy noises. His gait is awkward. His movements aren’t the smoothest…and those flappy hands are always moving.

That’s what my non-verbal Autistic son does. And he’s not afraid to show it or do it. That’s a positive. To do what you want — twirl, flap, vocalize, hum — and to do so not caring if you have the approval of others.

And this comes after a day in which Theo did not want to do much of anything at school. But his day improved. His night got even better. And isn’t that what we all want… just  a chance to get out and do what we want in the sun?

Yes, autism is hard. Yes, it is challenging. Yes there are times when all we want to do is sit and rock the time away. And, yes, we have bad days too just like everyone else. It’s just that sometimes those bad spells multiply because we can’t get our feelings across.

So next time you go out for a walk think of my Theo, do a twirl or two, and live, laugh and love in the moment.

 

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Autism Acceptance Day Celebrates 1000 Ausome Things! #AutismPositivity2013 Paula C Durbin-Westby

This post was originally published by Paula C. Durbin-Westby on the Autism Acceptance Day blog, at http://autismacceptanceday.blogspot.com/2013/04/autism-acceptance-day-celebrates-1000.html, and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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Autism Acceptance Day Celebrates 1000 Ausome Things! #AutismPositivity2013

Check out the many many links on The Autism Positivity Project’s links page for the 2013 event, which …Celebrates 1000 Ausome Things! #AutismPositivity2013

The most AUSOME thing I learned this April (today being the last “official” day for Autism “awareness” month, but not even the mid-point of International Autism Acceptance Decade 2010-2020, International Autism Acceptance Decade 2010-2020 is that there are now people who were diagnosed as adults, who have actually always known about Autism Acceptance events the entire time they were going through the process of diagnosis.

Some day, children and parents of children who are being evaluated for autism will have access to materials about Autism Acceptance, created by Autistics and our allies. Although there may be non-accepting things tagged as “acceptance,” we will have made enough impact that it will be much easier for families to find positive and accepting messages about autism. Those families will be able to learn about what our lives are like through initiatives such as the Autism Positivity Project and through writings like the Autism Acceptance Day blog interviews.

I would like to write much more about Ausome things, but I am working on getting many more interviews ready to be posted. Those interviews are each so Ausome, that, while I don’t have 1000 of them yet, they add important voices to discussions about autism and should be a “required reading” for people wanting to learn more about what life is like for some of us.

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