H at 14 and 30 Days of Autism celebrate ’1000 Ausome Things’ #AutismPositivity2013

This post was originally published by Leah Kelley at 30 Days of Autism, at http://30daysofautism.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/h-at-14-and-30-days-of-autism-celebrate-1000-ausome-things-autismpositivity2013/, and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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AutismPositivityBanner1Today H asked me about “Autism Positivity” and about the purpose of the flash blog. After I answered in some detail, explaining the premise and the intent, he summed it all up rather neatly:

“Oh, I get it, Mom… Autism Positivity is the opposite of Autism Speaks!”

Um… ya…

So that is the first ausome thing. Right there!

That!

H is insightful and often cuts thought the noise to find the essence of the thing!

That is AUSOME!

Autism isn’t a coat of paint upon my child – and H and I both agree that looking for a cure is an assault and an insult to who his is. He knows that he is growing up to be an autistic adult… and he is learning skills to help him transition into adulthood.

It is not easy… there are things that he struggles with that a non-autisic person would probably breeze through… But there are things about this young man that are absolutely spectacular – and some of that (perhaps a huge amount of that) is related to him being autistic.

That is AUSOME!

cardboardknight.jpgThis boy is creative – and curious. He has been building since he was very young. He can imagine and visualize and create things out of nothing.

That is AUSOME!

When he was 5 we got a new barbeque – Craig spent the day (or a fair part of it) putting it together – and H spent the day exploring and constructing with the boxes and packing materials.

That is AUSOME!

This reminds me too – that he used to call the instruction booklets that came with his Lego – the “Contructions Book.” At a time when he was struggling with conventional reading and writing, he could read these directions with an ease and visual fluency and comprehension beyond most people.

That is AUSOME!

H is still building… here you see an example of his ever-changing experimentation with the exoskeleton. This version has a moving jaw and is built with carpet roll tubes (a favourite medium these days) and Meccano pieces and washers used for the hinges… or so I am told!

exoskeleton

H is resilient. He has the mind of an inventor. He works at something with a focus and determination that I greatly admire. His creations do not always work as he imagined and he literally goes back to the drawing board and uses his problem-solving skills to try another way. Sometimes he simply finds another way that does not work… and he celebrates that too.

That is AUSOME!

He built this Ghostbusters proton pack for Hallowe’en… and used only recycled or found items (except for the spray paint and the coveralls).

Protonpack8

He recently told me, “Mom, I love my inventive mind!” I think it was the day he was trying to make a hoverboard like the one in Back to the Future.

Seriously – that is sooo AUSOME – it almost brought me to my knees!

H loves LOVES retro pop culture, sci-fi, retro gaming systems, working in the garage, tacky horror B movies, and he is an ace at doing voice impressions. In fact, he is the kid who knows who Stanley Kubrick is, and he is working on making his own horror movie… complete with all the special effects and props.

Hdirectors-board.jpg

That is AUSOME!

H is learning about self-advocacy and appreciating his own authentic Autistic self. He has given presentations within his school district, for teachers in a graduate program at Simon Fraser University, and he presented at the Arizona TASH Conference in January, 2013.Fccebookprideshot

That is AUSOME!

I am sure I could keep going on… but I want to leave space for others to share as well.

So… my final ausome point is that there are amazing and reliable resources out there if you want to know more about autism, like The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism.

That is AUSOME!

boldlygo.jpg

images-1You can read information written by autistic people. There are books, like the Loud Hands Anthology, and there are also many wonderful and insightful blogs written by autistic adults.

You will get your best information from those who are autistic – I can promise you that!

And that is AUSOME!

This post is a part of the ’1000 Ausome Things’ #AutismPositivity2013 Flashblog Event

Related Posts:
• Autism Positivity… and the motivation to reframe “tragedy”
• 30 Days of Autism to ‘I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers’: a letter to my son #AutismPositivity2012
• The kid who knows who Stanley Kubrick is: Dreaming Big

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30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by ASD.

Pinterest2© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism, (2013)

I am not the only one who has a positive perspective to share with you. Please click this button to find an entire blog devoted to reframing negative stigma and celebrating the positive aspects of autism. This project was set up by The Autism Positivity Team, a group of people who are determined to shift the conversation, including myself and some spectacular friends of mine.

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