Monthly Archives: April 2013

Henry Frost: I celebrate 1000 Ausome Things #AutismPositivity2013

This post was originally published by Henry Frost (of I Stand With Henry) on Olliebean, at http://ollibean.com/2013/04/30/celebrate-1000-ausome-autismpositivity2013/, and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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People are ausome.

Every kind of ausome.

just look.

you will see.

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Teaching Through Turbulence Celebrates 1000 Ausome Things #AutismPositivity2013

This post was originally published by Heather S. on Teaching Through Turbulence, at http://www.teachingthroughturbulence.com/2013/04/teaching-through-turbulence-celebrates.html, and is reprinted here with permission from the author.
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I am joining with other bloggers for the Autism Positivity Flash Blog 2013.  Over the years I have worked with many individuals with Autism and have enjoyed the uniqueness of each one.  I am amazed at the way the brain works in a visual way.  My cousin, Wayne, is a high-functioning Autistic with Asperber’s Syndrome and Sensory Integration Dysfunction.  He made a great video last year for Autism Awareness that explains life through his eyes so well.  I hope that you will watch and gain the admiration of their individuality as I have grown to over the years.  This video explains things in such a great way.  He has been so successful over the years.  I am so proud of him for everything that he has attempted and for his ability to share with us in such a great way.

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Appalachian Aspie celebrates 1000 Ausome Things: People with Autism rock!! #AutismPositivity2013

This post was originally published on Appalachian aspie, at http://wvaspie4christ.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/people-with-autism-rock/, and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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Autistic people are

!. intelligent

2. independent

3. compassionate

4. focused

5. often gifted

6. honest

7. needed in this world

8. a source of encouragement for me

9. A great group of people

 

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Purple Aspie Celebrates 1000 Ausome Things #Autism Positivity 2013

This post was originally published on by Purple Aspie at http://purpleaspie.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/purple-aspie-celebrates-1000-ausome-things-autism-positivity-2013/, and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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What is positive about autism? What is awesome (ausome) about autism?

I thought about this a lot last night when I was trying to work out what to write for the autism positivity flash blog. At first I thought I would write about myself, but I couldn’t think of anything about me that is awesome. I’ve had people tell me that I’m an awesome writer, editor, cat mom, and autism/Asperger advocate. But I could be any of those things without being autistic.

I could write about the positive things that I find come along with being autistic. I could write about how my being very auditory-oriented helps me to write dialogue when I write fiction. I could write about how being extremely detail-oriented makes me a good editor. I could write about how my auditory hypersensitivity makes me good at transcription.

I have decided, however, to write about what I find to be one of the most ausome things about autism, and that is the autism community and the ausome people in that community.

In the eight years since I was diagnosed autistic — and the eight years before that, when I was looking for a diagnosis — I have met many ausome people. In that time I’ve also worked to bring people together, to help autistic people meet and support and learn from each other through my Asperger Meetup Group and my participation in the ANCA Naturally Autistic organization. After I attended the Naturally Autistic Awards, Convention and Festival last year I made dozens of new friends from all over the world.

I belong to many online autism communities where people post questions and ask for help and information, and there are always autistic people and parents of autistic children who are willing to give help and advice to those who ask for it.

There are many people in the larger autistic community who work hard to change people’s attitudes about autism from negativity to positivity. There are self-advocacy organizations and parent organizations. There are probably more than a thousand ausome autistic people who are working to make the world a more positive place for us, and I am just one of them. I guess that makes me ausome too.

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Brain&Body: The Ausome Look of Love 1000 Ausome Things #AutismPositivity2013

One of my favorite things about autism is that – if you are willing to learn – loving someone with autism teaches one how to recognize love.

When I was young I constantly failed at romantic relationships, partly because I thought love had a ‘look’. For example: I mistakenly believed that love remembered your birthday, bought you things, held you when you cried and massaged your feet (my particular fetish). Once I began raising autism I discovered that love is THE ACTIVE EXPRESSION OF CARING IN THE MANNER POSSIBLE FOR THE ONE DOING THE CARING. Let me explain:

My son was echolalic and hypersensitive to sounds, sights and smells (among many other things). He was eight years old but still undersized. When he was seven I had been helping him in the public restroom. Once he was done his ‘business’, I stuck him on my hip and leaned in to flush the toilet. His head was angled down towards the bowl and the flush was so robust and loud it even scared me. Needless to say his depth perception sensory hypersensitivity kicked in and he melted down for hours. After that he had what the professionals called an irrational fear of toilets. (They called it that even though I repeatedly explained the total rationality of his naturally acquired fear.) Thus by the time he was eight we were used to this pee-pee panic.

We – my family of eight kids, one hippie sound man and me – were traveling North America performing in prisons (okay, okay– we were an unusual brood). Anyway, were were all sandwiched into a two double bed hotel room and needing the bathroom. My son was sprawled like a cat with all fours spread across the door, nails in the wood and creating a barrier while screeching MEOW!!!!! or as in his case NEEEEOOOOOO!!!!! We needed to pee (especially the four teenage girls) and had very little patience for his warnings of imminent death. His language was adorable, and since he mostly copied everything we said it was hard to understand exactly what he was trying to say but one thing was certain: He was trying to keep his family safe.

Of course his sisters weren’t about to pee in a pan to avoid the dastardly toilet (his idea) so I had to remove him from the room, repeatedly, on scheduled interludes, to allow for the families needs and ablutions. While this was all very challenging and problematic, fortunately I love to problem solve. Also, my heart was bursting with the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing your child loves you, loves his siblings, cares about others. In his world we were in danger and he was begging, pleading, screaming and fighting to keep us safe.

My son loved us, and he showed us by melting down. My son loved us and he taught me that love can have a ‘look’. And that look depends on the perspective of the one doing the loving. So if I wanted to feel it, I would have to be open enough to see their point of reference.

This has changed my heart and life forever.

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Editor’s note: The author requests a link to the following post: http://www.brainbody.net/BrainBody/Blog/Entries/2012/3/1_Prison_Tour_Teaching.html

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MindRetrofit Celebrates: 1000 Ausome Things #AutismPositivity2013

This was originally posted by Angel on MindRetrofit at http://www.mindretrofit.com/2013/04/30/mindretrofit-celebrates-1000-ausome-things-autismpositivity2013/, and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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Last year I contributed to the flash blog  To “I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s” #AutismPositivity2012 Flash Blog.

I remember feeling struck with heartbreak when I discovered that someone had put those words into a search engine. In my post, I shared some of the awesome things about Autism. I was excited to see what would happen this year’s flash blog. I was delighted to see that this year we were focusing on “1000 Ausome Things!” (Yes, I am using too many exclamation marks in this post because I am over-the-top excited, especially after reading so many of the positives that are rushing the internet.

However, my mind is in a spin and I am having a difficult time trying to articulate what I want to.

Because I enjoy words so much and one of my gifts is using them on multiple levels I am going to take the “Ausome” word for a moment and share with you what I am in “Awe” of in regards to Autism. I use the word in the terms “of an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration.” The first part that I share is about my son who is Autistic. There have been so many moments that Daniel has made me awestruck. He filled my mind with wonderment and excitement by his actions and/or questions. The way that his heart feels and how he sees joy in the most simple of things, such as a screwdriver. Who knew that a screwdriver could be such an entertaining toy! It does everything, from spinning to opening up clock radios. It can be used to write words in putty and for some great magnet experiments.

Daniel asks questions that stump me and I love that. 

Only yesterday, without any indication that he has been thinking of this he looked at me and asked, “How can God hear us and we hear him if he is not here?” Good question. I did not want to get into a theological discussion with my eight year-old because he can dismantle my logic in seconds. However, I had to try. I could tell that he really needed some sort of resolution to the question. In my feeble attempt, I told him that God is like a spirit that lives within our hearts and that many times God does not speak to us directly, but through people, situations, or actions. He sat there staring, processing for several minutes. Then asked, “How can God fit into our hearts?”

Good point. 

I tried my best to explain that he does not live in our heart like a little person, but that he is like air, in nature, in every part of being. That led to him asking, “Do we breathe God?” I had no good words other than, “I guess that would be a way to think of it.” I was in no mind frame to have the discussion. :-)  However, it made me think of all the times that Daniel has asked such questions. How do things work? Why do they work like that? Can we take it apart? Can we look at it on the internet? He wants to know every single detail and looks at the small things to connect the big things. His thoughts intrigue and amaze me. His kind spirit and deep emotions move me.

His laughter fills me with joy to the point that even now I have a little bit of tears filling my eyes. 

He sees the world in music; he lives in this world in constant curiosity. (Much like his mother.) He stims in drumbeats and claps. He hums any tune he hears in an instant. He delights and squeals when he gets his favorite food. His enthusiasm is contagious on some days. Yes, those are some grand marvelous (Awe) “Ausome” things that I get to enjoy. I am ever challenged, but the type of parent that I am I think that is Ausome! Those are a few great things about my little boy. This second half, I am not really sure where I am going.

Let us see …

The first thing that comes to mind is that October 2012 I was “officially” diagnosed as an Aspergers adult. I had a lot to process – I still do. I found that finally having answers and a community that I could actually relate to made my soul feel a little more whole. What I have I found is many people who are caring, kind, open, honest, and understanding. These are many of my Autistic peers. They are some of the most talented and articulate people I have encountered. They share their lives openly (as much as you can on the web. :-) ) I cherish all that they give and the many ways that they have helped me to understand my mom (an Aspergers adult), my son, and myself.

I have found parents who are just as compassionate and caring as well.

They work hard at being advocates and I am amazed at all their efforts. They shine of positivity. There are some days when I feel a bit down and unsure about many things, but I have been able to bounce back much sooner because of all the “Ausome” words that our community pours into the internet waves. I have a better self-image because of all the positives that my peers and our advocates share. Being able to find answers, relate to other’s stories, and share my own stories knowing that others will understand has boosted my self-esteem. I am able to see positives about myself that I could not see before. The voices that are out there sharing and focusing on the good have helped spring board me in many ways to much soul searching and healing.

To me that is HUGE “Autism Ausomeness!”

I believe that the foundation is being laid for my son. (And for my other two children.) My kids will see their “quirks and oddities” their “stims and unique ways of thinking and processing” as Ausome! They will see a mom who (finally) sees and accepts her own talents and gifts. As well as someone who does not think of being Autistic as a negative, but who embraces it and seeks to help others to see the positives too. I admit it can be a challenge, but that is why we need more people to build us up and focus on our positives. We thrive when people acknowledge, accept, and point out the good things about us.

Ending with a short list.

  1. We see the world in unique and interesting ways.
  2. We have great abilities to seek out and dissect details.
  3. We are artists in whatever talents we have whether through poetry, painting, creating images, or in how we can write and share our ideas about math, science, animals or computers. (Obviously, a very limited list I shared here.)
  4. We can keep our childlikeness that can be a very good for stressful situations.
  5. We have some pretty entertaining (ingenious) thoughts and perspectives.
  6. We can be some of the most loyal and best friends you could ever ask for.

I will stop at six, it is a good number. (And some of us may see numbers dance and leap about in wonderful colors!) 

Oh, and words here are some of my dancing colorful words leaping about through poetry! Happy Ausome Day!

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Barb Rentenbach 1000 Ausome Things: The Cure #AutismPositivity2013

This post was originally published by Barb Rentenbach on http://muleandmuseproductions.com/, at http://muleandmuseproductions.com/the-cure-by-barb-rentenbach-celebrates-1000-ausome-things-autism-positivity-2013/, and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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The Cure

by Barb Rentenbach 

Being heard.

Being heard may as close to helping to cure all that ails ya as one prescription gets.  Ariane Zurcher, Autism Advocate rated #1 on the Internet by Dr. Oz, and eloquent voice of me in the audio-book version of “I Might Be You: An Exploration of  Autism and Connection”, heard me.  Then she loaned me her voice.  That selfless gift started a healing snowball.

This weekend I was heard again by thousands of listeners on David Alpern’s nationally syndicated radio show, “For You Ears Only”.  8 min Radio Segment Before some poor clerk from the DMV (Department of Miracle Validation) at the Vatican calls my number, please know I am still mute.   So my smiling shrink, SS, dutifully presented my words.    The experienced producers knowing that mutes are reliably bad for ratings authorized this Milli Vanilli esque substitution.

Like a drooly labrador bounding back pitch after pitch from lake Loudon , SS kept care of the words I threw in her smiling mouth and dropped them when and where she knew I wanted.

Hearing my words be heard in the audio book and the radio show, healed something in me.  It was more that scratching an itch.  It was surgical immediate healing like setting a bone or removing a tumor.  It is a lasting cure. This snowball has momentum now and knows to roll towards the wet snow and long hills.

Like me, like you, like “THEM”, poetry is best heard.  Two of my favorite lines from Derrick Brown’s poetry are, “Dumb as a bomb on a boomerang” and  “kiss like u couldn’t beat caner”.   Being heard is best.  Give that to someone.

We are all each other’s cure.  God cares about us all through us all.

Please say this out loud as I am borrowing your voice to be heard and God is watching if you deny an autistic mute such a simple request, “I will not be as dumb as a boomerang.  I will listen like I couldn’t beat cancer.”

My unique design gives me receptive language, but expressive is primarily nonsensical. I say “primarily” because, like a broken watch being accurate twice a day, sometimes my inexorable stock phrases, like “You are not going,”“It’s raining,”“You can’t go to the pool,” “Just a minute,” “It’s a mail truck,”  “No, Maam!”,“Nice,” “It’s a fire” and my personal favorite, “It’s mine, it’s mine,” are relevant.

One of my lovely smart-ass fiends (non-paid, I might add) emailed me this photo with no note.

itsafire

 

Funny… cruel to make fun of my echolalia, but funny.

It is nice to be heard.  It is even nicer not to be pitied.   Folk don’t make fun of people they pity.

May you also be heard.   Thanks for hearing B

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