Autism Speaks Many Languages, Fear Isn’t One of Them

So recently I watched a new Autism documentary called “Sounding the Alarm: Battling the Autism Epidemic” or as I like to call it, a 57 minute commercial for Autism Speaks’ vile agenda. Now I stumbled upon a trailer for the documentary on Facebook a few days ago and already I felt uneasy with the tone of the trailer. The title itself was enough to turn my stomach a bit. First of all, the words “Autism” and “Epidemic” should NEVER be used in the same sentence. It also shouldn’t be in the same sentence as “Disease”. A disease shortens ones life expectancy has a negative impact on ones way of living. Being Autistic may make it difficult a times for me to connect with people but my way of living is no different than that of a healthy person. Now the point of this movie is to shed light on a big problem in this country and that is the fact that not every single state has insurance coverage for service for those on the spectrum such as ABA therapy and other early intervention services. The problem with this documentary/57 minute public service announcement is that at some points of this documentary it conveys this problem using the same fear tactics used by Autism Speaks. As a matter of fact, members of Autism Speaks including Suzanne Wright have a decent amount of airtime in this documentary.  Continue reading

There is No Spoon, Then You’ll See That it is Not The Spoon That Bends, It is Only Yourself.

For a while I’ve often been asked a question that I never truly knew how to give a precise answer to. It should be self explanatory but that sad thing is that when you dig deeper things tend to get a bit complicated. Most people who follow Autism awareness know the puzzle piece to be the symbol of Autism and that’s essentially how people perceive the disorder, a puzzle, a mystery that needs to be solved. I often get asked what the point of the puzzle piece and I always approached it symbolically but, yesterday when a friend of mine asked I decided to take a more literal approach to it and when I did it exposed inherent flaws within our society and our approach to the disorder. We as humans make things far more complicated than they’re supposed to be. Continue reading

The League of Extraordinary Women

Over the course of this roller coaster ride of a life there have been many people who have entered my life with the sole purpose of helping me and getting to where I am to day. While many have left their mark in their own unique ways, there are a few of them that have had a bigger impact than they intended to. Coincidentally these five people are all women not that I’m complaining, it’s just an interesting coincidence. If there was a League of Extraordinary women, these ladies would be it and with out further adieu I present to you these lovely women in no particular order. Continue reading

Dance, When You’re Broken Open. Dance, If You’ve Torn the Bandage Off.

A month ago I celebrated nine years of playing DDR (Dance Dance Revolution). Now people who have known me through college and high school know me as a pro DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) player who moves like lightning across a DDR pad and almost never misses a step. While it seems like a simple hobby on the surface, there is a story to this madness that dates as far back as Sophomore year of high school. Now you’re probably wondering what DDR has to do with me being Autistic, it has a lot to do with the subject in ways people couldn’t ever imagine. Those who read my Autism Awareness posts last year will remember the basis of this story however this post goes into greater depth. Continue reading

But If I’m So Smart, Why Does Everyone Hate Me (Picking Up the Pieces of Your Bullied Child’s Psyche)

TRIGGER WARNING AND PARENTHOOD SPOILER ALERT

So those who watched last night’s episode of Parenthood were greeted to probably one of the most hear breaking talks you will ever have with a child who is different from the rest. To those who watch the show and haven’t watched last night’s episode I suggest you stop reading this and go watch it on “On Demand” or “Hulu” or “nbc.com” or whatever means you have of catching up on episodes. Go on, I’ll be waiting right here. Well what are you waiting for? Go! I’m just gonna stand here as awkwardly as Dora the Explorer does when she waits for you to answer her questions aimed at her “audience”.

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The R Rating of a Different Kind

It’s been quite sometime since I wrote one of these and honestly, the reasons for my absence are irrelevant. I’m back and I’m ready to kick some more ass. Apparently this month within the disabilities community is “Spread the Word to End the Word” month. Now I had no idea this month was devoted that cause which is a little sad because it is a reminder of how out of touch I have been with the world as of late. For those who are completely unaware of what word I’m talking about, it’s a word a lot of us use very nonchalantly and even I have been guilty of using this word a lot in my youth. It’s a word we use so much we sometimes forget who that word hurts the most and is also a reminder of how disregarded the fight for disability rights is. I’m talking about the word “Retarded” or “Retard”, a word which from personal experience even as a black person I find more offensive than the N word. Now before every African American person or person of color goes batshit crazy over this statement, allow me to explain myself and my own personal struggle. Continue reading

The Little Machine That Could (Autism, Robots, and Artificial Intelligence)

Okay show of hands, who has watched “The Terminator Trilogy”, ‘The Matrix Trilogy”, I-Robot”, “The 13th Floor”, and “Tron”? If you have then you may have an idea of where this post is going but of course with me, you never know where ANY post is going until it gets there. Anyways, for those who haven’t seen these movies then you don’t necessarily need to know the plots, you need only to know the central theme that drives these plots. It is them concept of artificial intelligence and how a machine taught solely to follow instructions and routines can become self aware and eventually make their own decisions, their decisions usually cataclysmic. Each movie focuses on the protagonist(s) attempting to stop a rogue artificial intelligence from enslaving the entire human race. These movies shed light on a concept computer programmers had been toying with long before Hollywood existed. Now you’re probably wondering once again what this madness has to do with Autism, allow me to elaborate in a way that will blow your mind harder than snorting 15 lines of cocaine (Disclaimer: I don’t do drugs, they’re simply twisted analogies). Before we can get into the meat of this blog post, I have to tell a little tale that will tie into this blog post. Continue reading

Those Days Where Your Best Doesn’t Feel Like it’s Good Enough

So one day I’m at an arcade playing DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) and as usual, a crowd forms around me because it isn’t everyday that they see people who could move so fast with such precision. When the song is said and done with, everyone applauds and is totally floored by my performance. Everyone is in awe and people think it’s the greatest thing they’ve seen. Everyone watching believes it was incredibly stellar, everyone except me. You see, every seems to be in awe that I managed to hit about 490/500+ steps in one song. I on the other hand am in awe that I missed those ten arrows and should have been able to hit them. While everyone is in awe about what they just saw, I’m sitting there analyzing EVERYTHING I did wrong. There is no longer “I did the best I could”, there is only “that totally sucked, I can do so much better, that was pathetic”. In those moments I realized that I ‘m perfectionist and that I seem t never take what I can get. Continue reading

Perseverance is Failing 19 Times and Succeeding the 20th

Imagine a world where in order to get to where you needed to everyone around you simply had to ride an elevator while you on the other hand constantly had to take the stairs because for you the elevator was always broken. Suddenly the climb up those stairs became the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest without a map and to add insult to injury the weather gets turbulent and before you know it you’re left to your own device to weather the storm because not many people feel that they can help you out of the shithole that life has graciously decided it needed to throw you in. Take this wonderfully horrific analogy and you have my life in the jungle known as an education.

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Challenges of Friending Within the Spectrum

Anyone with an intellectual disability knows the struggle of trying to blend in to society. Lets face it, as much as you want to be yourself you know that some of your habits and rituals and even obsessions don’t belong in public for the sake of keeping friends and acquaintances. Now while there are high functioning people that are fully aware of what’s socially acceptable and what’s not, there are those who don’t not do they even try to correct their quirks. Whether no one pointed out their quirks or if they just flat out don’t give a shit is beyond me. The reason I bring this up is because though connecting with neurotypicals (a big ass word meaning those not on the spectrum) can be a challenge, connecting with those on the spectrum can be even trickier. I bet ya everyone is completely flabbergasted and wondering why such a thing can be do difficult. Allow me to go back to the snowflake analogy for the umpteenth time, people on the spectrum are like snow flakes, everyone on the spectrum is different. Now we’re not even just talking about differences in function, we’re talking differences in rituals, interests, and personalities. Those who have worked with people on the spectrum know very well how radically different the personalities can be due to the complex wiring which 90% of the time can look like the back of our entertainment centers. It looks like a jungle to others and only you know how it works and where everything works and that’s all that matters. This difference in personality can make it very tricky for me to be friends with those on the spectrum cause when we have a clash of opinions it happens in the worse way possible, you’d think a blood bath was about to ensue with the way we were arguing. Now there’s another obstacle that makes connections difficult for me but in order for you guys to understand I’ll have to go back to the early years of my life in order to explain an issue that every person with a high functioning form of a learning disability has had to deal with.

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