## Monday, December 29, 2014

### Exploring Other Places

At one point or another everyone goes out to explore certain parts of the world. In some cases, people can only go to certain parts of their home country and explore what's out there. There have been many places in the past where I have wanted to go to, but sadly I haven't been able to obtain the opportunities to go to these places. In the past I have been able to go to places like the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and Reno, Tulsa, Oklahoma and even Southern California, especially that ghost town called Calico which was a nice treat, but some places have eluded me in my travels. In this final post of 2014 I will review some of the places that I would like to go to in the future, and I promise to tie this in with the theme of this blog.

 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is definitely one place I would like to go to in the future. What's so special about Myrtle Beach? Well, for one thing it can be a nice beach resort paradise along the Atlantic Ocean coastline at the right time and it's a place where you can go to relax. That's pretty key for someone like me who has Asperger's Syndrome. Sometimes I just feel like I need to be in a place where I can relax, kick my feet up and not worry about any of the troubles that overly preoccupy me in Ohio. Going to Myrtle Beach would be a unique experience for me because it would introduce me to the Atlantic Ocean for the very first time.

 Cleveland, Ohio
Now this is definitely in complete contrast to Myrtle Beach, but there is a bit of significance behind this choice. I would love to visit Cleveland, Ohio because it is the only big city in Ohio that I have never been to. That's right. I have lived in the Buckeye State for most of my life but I have never been able to go to Cleveland. I would like to complete the "Ohio Trifecta", so to speak, and be able to say that I've been to Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland. I have been to the first two and now all there's left is the latter.

Cleveland has always been a city that has caught my interest dating back to when I was a kid. I always wanted to know some things about Cleveland, some unique things that I didn't previously know. I have heard plenty of stories about Cleveland and it sounds like they have plenty of things to offer as far as restaurants and entertainment go. I would like to catch a glimpse of Lake Erie too.

 Boston, Massachusetts
"You ah in Boston! Beantown! Go to the bubbla and take in the New England experience!"

The above line was something that I would imagine saying in the Boston accent. I am also motivated to go to Boston, Massachusetts because of the fact that some facets of this city's culture are interesting. I wouldn't say every facet, but some facets. Preparing myself as a voice actor, I would like to get a better grip on the Boston accent, and what better way for me to do that than to go to Boston itself? To be sure, there are spots in Boston that I would like to see, such as the Boston Harbor and the beautiful parks. If it's in the middle of baseball season, I would like to attend a Red Sox baseball game but that's probably wishful thinking since tickets for those games are super expensive at times.

It also wouldn't hurt for me to see Cap Cod if I had the chance. Aside from that, though, Boston holds an annual video game convention called Pax East and I would definitely jump at the chance of going to Pax East if I were given a cheap or free ticket to that event. I love playing video games and Pax East would be my chance to take in the experience of a gaming convention for the first time.

 Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington looks like another interesting place for me to visit because it would be the furthest up the Pacific Northwest that I would ever get to. In the past I was only able to make up to the Pacific Ocean shores of Oregon. I believed I stopped by Medford, Oregon once specifically. When it comes to Seattle, I would love to take a look at all the different restaurant joints here, considering that not all food is made the same way. I would also like to take a look at the fish markets and see how the people who work there handle the fish.

As far as entertainment goes, this is where things get interesting. Like Boston, Seattle also has their own gaming convention called Pax Prime and if I were to receive an opportunity to go up to Seattle for Pax Prime, I would definitely jump at the chance. It is one dream of mine to finally attend a gaming convention like Pax. Aside from the gaming experience, though, I have heard good stories about the local zoo, the patches of forest lands around Seattle and of course the Space Needle. I will be sure to bundle up if it gets cold, but rest assured this is an ideal destination for me.

 Sydney, Australia
The land down under... What an interesting tourist detour for me to take! This choice is similar to Boston in the sense that as an aspiring voice actor I am trying to learn how to use the Australian accent. There is just something intriguing about the Australian culture that I can't take my mind off of. Whether it's Sydney, Melbourne or any other city, I would definitely love to travel to Australia and take in a few days of this beautiful land. I believe it would be a nice change of pace for me to visit a country (or continent) completely different from the United States way of life and I believe there will be some things about the Australian culture that I will get to know more about if I were to make the travel.

If I have time to see kangaroos and other outback animals, then I'll do what I can to take a picture of them.

 Tokyo, Japan

Although I wouldn't want to live here because of how crowded this large city already is, I wouldn't mind spending a few days in Tokyo, Japan. There are a few motivating factors behind me visiting Tokyo, with one of the factors being gaming-related. I would like to better understand the Japanese culture of gaming because most of the ideas that are transferred and translated to the United States come from Japan. Oftentimes people do experience culture shock when they move to Japan and permanently live there, but I don't think I'll experience that just by visiting. You take advantage of your surroundings in one sense as a tourist. You just have fun and be respectful and you will be just fine.

Japan has a different way of distributing products compared to the United States, so I would have to be careful when I see a vending machine that I'm not exactly used to, for example. Also, I don't speak Japanese and I don't know how to read Japanese symbols, so that will be a communication barrier I will have to get around. I do believe this would be a fun place to go to for a few days overall.

 Dublin, Ireland
I make no mistake about it when I say this. I love Ireland. I love the Irish atmosphere. I love the beautiful lands that are featured in Ireland. This is a country that is very green, and I don't necessarily mean the energy-conserving kind of green. I mean Ireland is literally filled with green patches of land that you can observe with a smile on your face and say "This is just beautiful!"

I wouldn't be surprised if I were to bump into Irish soccer fans who were passionate about their favorite teams, and that's cool because I can relate to them in being a sports fan. I don't regularly drink alcohol, though, so you can rule me out of most Irish pubs (unless they serve good food there). I believe I would have fun in Ireland even if I were to hear classic Irish music, especially if it were Gaelic. I have a pen pal who loved to practice speaking in Gaelic. Most importantly, though, some of my family roots direct back to Ireland, so this would be a prime opportunity to get in better touch with my family roots.I am also curious to know the artistic side of Ireland as well the entertainment side.

 Jerusalem, Israel
Finally, this destination probably carries the most significant value to me on a spiritual level. The land of Israel. The city of Jerusalem. This is the place that I always have a soft spot for in my heart and in my spirit. I love everything that is genuine about Jerusalem. I love the history of this place and I would do anything to go to this place for even just a few days. As a Christian, I would never get a truly proper visual of what Jerusalem was like in the days of the Holy Bible unless I were to go to Jerusalem one day. This destination is way up on my list of places to go to ultimately, and most likely it is at the very top.

Having said that, though, there are ongoing threats of danger in Israel. It's well documented that there is an abundance of hostility and disputes that I believe will never be resolved, which is a sad truth that we need to accept at some point. There are more significant spots in Jerusalem than I can count, but that doesn't matter. Whenever I get the opportunity to go to Israel and develop a better understanding of what my Christian faith is all about, I will jump at that chance without hesitation.

So... how does this tie in with The Autistic Help?

Now why am I describing these places to readers of this blog? Why would I be discussing this to an audience that would mostly be in the same boat as I am in, being on the Autism Spectrum? I believe I can simply say that there are times in our lives when we feel like we need to do something outside of our comfort zones to aid our self-esteem and give ourselves a better perspective on life in general. I know that being in your comfort zone has its benefits. I won't deny that. For a stretch of time I felt that way too. I felt that if I just stayed in my comfort zone and stayed isolated from the rest of the world I would be fine. However, I feel that at some point in life I have to be willing to step out in faith and explore places that I feel like are meant to be explored.

I find it really sad when I hear or read stories about autistic people not being able to leave their houses or being completely unwilling to even leave their rooms because I know they are wasting their time staying in such bubbles. I understand why fellow autistic people do this. I understand that the world we live in today is a cruel, mean and rotten place and that some people are just waiting to knock us down without hesitation. I understand why autistic people would be concerned about such dangerous surroundings, but there is a difference between being concerned about what's out there and being outright afraid of what's out there. This is only my opinion and belief, but we were not given the spirit of fear to begin with. We were not meant to live a life where we isolate ourselves 24/7 and never do anything productive. I don't think that's the kind of life God would want us to live. Look at the pictures I have posted here and tell me how beautiful and interesting those places are.

We have one life to live and we have opportunities to go to places that we would like to visit. If given those opportunities, I won't look back. Here's to 2015.

## Monday, December 22, 2014

Life has many twists and turns and it's sometimes hard for any of us to know beforehand when those twists and turns are going to occur. If you happen to be on the Autism Spectrum, things can especially be difficult for you. Since we are initially hesitant we tend to pause for longer periods of time compared to others. We don't initially commit to making a choice of where we are going to go, why we are going there and how we are going to make it work once we choose our paths in life.

Maybe this picture I have posted above properly represents most of our situations in life? I have no way of knowing how easy or how difficult it is for my readers have it when they exit The Autistic Help blog and live life the best way they can off the internet. I don't have all the answers fellow autistic people are looking for. I can only speak on my own experiences as someone with Asperger's Syndrome. There have been many times in my life where I felt like I have chosen the right path, the smooth and clear path that was easy for me to see. There have also been many times in my life where I felt like I made mistake after mistake and I was miserable because of those choices. Going up that rough road, filled with tree branches, rocks and potentially mud, I could only shake my head and ask myself "Why did I choose this route to begin with?"

No matter where you are on the Autism Spectrum, you should never expect to go through life 100% smoothly. There is no such thing as facing no adversity whatsoever in life. There is no such thing as going through life and never having brutally tough battles that challenge your characters and your principles. On the same hand, though, you should never expect to go through life and experience bad things 24/7. There are positives in life that you need to take along with as you go on your long journey. Everyone has weaknesses but everyone also has strengths. What is your strength? What is it that you do best at? What do you like to do? What calms you down when you are having a bad day? Answering those questions is key.

Sometimes having forks in the road could be the best thing that ever happened to your life. Why is this? Sometimes not all forks in the road are terrible to deal with. There are some forks in the road in your life that don't contain a "wrong" path. You may face a fork in the road where you can either experience a short-term gain or a long-term gain, and regardless of the path you take, you will gain something out of that experience. Are you looking to learn something critical just for now, for a few months? That's a short-term gain. Are you really looking at the big picture and you want to learn something that will benefit you for years to come? That's a long-term gain. With choices like these, how exactly can you lose?

One of the things that helped me get out of my shell would be the fact that I loved to play Chess. It was something that truly interested me when I was a teenager. I wanted to learn how to play the game of Chess and it didn't matter to me who else would be learning alongside of me in my Chess classes. I had that desire to learn. I wanted to get good at playing Chess and I did get good at it. I played in a simul competition against a Master Chess player along with a class of around 20 other kids, I think, and I ended up being the last kid eliminated by this Chess Master. I held my own and watched the other kids around me get eliminated first. That is one example of resiliency.

Writing in general has always been an interest of mine and it shows with each blog post that I make here and on my other blog the Gaming Journalist Gazette. (http://gamingjournalistgazette.blogspot.com/) Writing relaxes me. Writing is something that I know I am good at because I developed great writing skills when I was being home schooled by my mother, who I give a lot of credit to. It all began with simple written reports on home school topics that I had to complete every day, and slowly but surely I got the grasp of it. I grew very interested in writing and today I truly believe that I have what it takes to write for companies worldwide. I am an established and published freelance writer. I have a portfolio to speak of. I will probably go into more depth about that soon enough.

 ^ Good Question
For fellow autistic people who are at this point in their lives where they are facing a fork in the road, you are probably asking yourselves "What now?" Believe me, I have been at this point numerous times. I have second guessed myself and sometimes third guessed myself, if that's even possible. I definitely regret making some of the choices that I have made, but I also cherish the better decisions I have made as well. You can't look at things from a completely arrogant and overconfident standpoint, but you also can't look at things from a completely "Woe is me" defeatist standpoint neither. You have a fork in the road and you need to address it. Make a choice. Don't be afraid to do so. We won't always win in life but we can't be afraid to make the tough decisions in life. I hope you make the right choices in life.

## Wednesday, December 17, 2014

### Autism and Romance

 Words from Dr. Seuss that don't need to rhyme.
Now here's a topic I don't really have experience with, but not on the account that I don't want to have experience with. I do find this to be an interesting topic to study on because it really isn't discussed at length. What exactly does an autistic person feel when he or she falls in love? What happens when an autistic person actually goes through a romantic period in life? How differently do autistic people approach romance compared to those who aren't autistic?

I have had only very few occurrences where I felt like I had a real crush on a woman, and mainly because of the fact that I find that woman to be so nice and kind. When I find a woman to be so helpful and thoughtful of others around her, I develop a respect for her and I get curious as to what she's like, what she represents and what her views are on life. Basically I will want to know more about her and I will want to find out how she conducts herself. What I mean is I don't just look at a woman and immediately go "She's awesome! She looks pretty, so she must be the one for me!" Um... No. If I viewed a woman like that, I would probably be given the label of "jerk" and she probably wouldn't want to talk to me for much longer. That's not how guys should approach this.

What I mean is that there are more factors I have to take into account. I have seen plenty of women who looked pretty, but they ended up doing things that I didn't agree with at all. There have been some women who ended up revealing to me that they had big egos and that their attitudes weren't anything at all to write home about. I can simply observe some women when I walk by them and find out where their minds are at. Especially considering that I have autism, I wouldn't want to find myself in a relationship with a woman who has a big ego and is demanding that she gets things done her way all the time. I don't want to get the feeling of being overwhelmed in general, and the same certainly applies for relationships, so no dice there.

I have a pen pal who is now a friend of mine on Facebook and she is a very nice lady. She isn't autistic but that doesn't matter to me. I find her to be very interesting and she tells me some unique stories. We have always had great conversations where we talk about our lives, what we're doing and what we plan on doing. We keep our conversations simple and we we have kept our friendship for some time now. It has only been a friendship, though. We have a long distance relationship where we live in opposite parts of America, for one, and really I have never been one to ever jump into the mode of quickly establishing a romantic relationship. I have things in my life that I want to accomplish first before I can seriously start thinking about romance. As a male, I need to get my ducks in a row, so to speak, establish what I want to do for a career, and then think about things related to romance down the road.

I don't know what it's like for an autistic guy and an autistic lady to fall in love with each other, and there isn't much to rely on when it comes to documented events of such relationships. All I can believe is that such a couple would have a mutual respect for each other because of the fact that they are both on the Autism Spectrum, but also that they genuinely love each other because they can relate to each other on more trivial things. Perhaps there are obstacles to overcome when the guy is autistic and the lady isn't or vice versa, mainly communication issues, but as long as the love is genuine and not fake, then I don't see why these relationships can't work.

There are plenty of couples where the husband is permanently disabled and in a wheelchair and the wife is healthy in comparison, but this difference doesn't separate them from loving each other. It isn't a red flag. There are couples where the husband has a condition that is much worse than autism, such as significant brain damage, and the wife is just fine. Even though there is this functional difference, the wife stays loyal to the husband. Why is this? It is said before the husband and wife are married that "'Til death do us part", and that should hold true. I believe that loyalty, respect and trust are key components to establishing true love, but these aren't the only components.

I also want to know where a woman is spiritually coming from first before I can consider expanding my friendship with her closer to relationship territory. I am a Christian and I am a firm believer in Jesus Christ my Savior, and I know it is important that I find a woman who believes in God and accepts Jesus as the Christ. There is no way that I can associate myself with a woman who is an atheist because she will be stubborn and she will try to dismiss and belittle my Christian beliefs. The Holy Bible warns us not to be unevenly yoked and I don't want to be spiritually unevenly yoked with a woman. For example, it wouldn't make sense for me to marry a woman who is either a Catholic, a Hindu, a Scientologist or a Buddhist because that woman just doesn't share the same beliefs as me. Unless she converted to Christianity, then there would be no way for me to continue on in a relationship with her.

In closing, I believe that if I get the opportunity to have a romantic relationship with a woman, I will do everything I can to make her happy. I know that I will show my girlfriend respect and show her the love that she deserves. Whether she's autistic or not, the point is that both of us would need to be in love for the right reasons. Love is something that you just can't fake. When a guy falls in love with a lady, he should no longer think only about himself. He should be mindful of what the lady wants and he should remain strong and firm for his lady. Women appreciate men who have backbones. I won't let Asperger's Syndrome get in the way of having a backbone and defending the love of my life. Love takes precedent over any condition.

## Saturday, December 13, 2014

"So what if you have autism? Your condition doesn't matter!"

One clear example of people not understanding how serious it is for someone to have any form of autism would be if they told you anything similar to the tagline I posted above. So what if I have autism? My condition doesn't matter? What exactly are people thinking when they respond in such a way? What prompts them to react in obnoxious ways when it comes to someone like you or me announcing that we are on the Autism Spectrum? Sometimes it's easy to explain and at other times it's really difficult.

For anyone to tell me that my condition doesn't matter, I would have to say that they need to really educate themselves on the Autism Spectrum, what it's all about and how impactful it can be on society because I don't think these people 100% grasp the severity of this. Perhaps it doesn't matter to you as much as it does to me because you don't have to live with autistic conditions. Perhaps it doesn't matter to you so much because you can avoid being labeled "out of tune" when it comes to situations that directly effect autistic people.

So why should you tell me that my condition doesn't matter when I have to deal with it every single day?

There are certain crowds in society that we just don't belong in, and it doesn't matter how hard we try to "fit" into these crowds. No matter what we do, there will always be people in these certain crowds that will try everything to kick you out of their groups. They didn't agree with the way you thought out things initially, they didn't agree with your mindset during your stay in the group, and they never will. There are just some people in the world that can't be bothered to understand what makes us autistic people tick, what negatively effects us and what bothers us. They have their own habits that they are used to and they don't feel the need to change their habits just to accommodate to your needs.

Don't get me wrong, as a fellow autistic person I often feel the sting of not being accepted even after I tried my best to adapt to situations that are best handled by people who aren't autistic. I feel the hurt of not being able to advance with people who were experts in certain fields and be able to learn with them in certain crowds. Sometimes it truly does suck for me to know that there would be something that I would really like to do, but because of the overwhelming negative attitudes of other people putting me down and basically "barring" me from continuing in their presence, I have to stop right there.

However, I will never accept the response of "my condition doesn't matter" because that response just doesn't make any sense. I am officially diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, paperwork and all, and it does matter to me. When I was diagnosed it changed my perspective on life in one way, so how doesn't it matter? I am not afraid to be bold and defend myself and my condition if I need to. Yeah, I struggle with responding sometimes as I will get nervous, but there are times when I do feel bold enough to respond, and I just let it all out. I don't swear because I don't believe in swearing, but thoroughly describing how I feel is something that feels like an option to me.

Don't be afraid to speak up and defend yourself and your condition if you are able to, but don't go overboard. Keep your message consistent with what you believe in and stick to what brought you to the dance, so to speak.

## Friday, December 5, 2014

### Bright Lights and Loud Sounds

 Bright Lights

This is a known fact about people who are on the Autism Spectrum. We don't take to bright lights well and we don't take to loud sounds well neither. I have mentioned this at least a few times before on The Autistic Help, but I haven't really gone in depth about it. Why is this the case with us? Well, we also have to consider that we can get overwhelmed by things that don't normally overwhelm people who aren't autistic, and since our brains function differently in comparison, we view things differently. When I see bright lights in general, it's not like I have any phobias pertaining to them. If I can handle them, I like seeing bright lights. Let me repeat that. If I can handle them... There are times when the bright lights become too annoying and excessive and I have to turn away from seeing them because I don't feel like my eyes can take to these bright lights like other people can.

Migraine headaches also play a factor to my sensitivity to light. I suffer from migraine headaches, the type where I see flashes of light that float around in my eyes. I have suffered from migraines my entire life and I have had this hope that one day I would clear myself from them. It seems to me that as the years have gone by and as the migraines have stayed with me, it does make me wonder if they will ever go away permanently. For some people it's just a matter of time until they age out of their migraine phases. When a migraine hits me, I get hit pretty hard by it and I have to lay down to rest. I have to be in a dark place. Taking chocolate helps too along with migraine relief tablets.

In general, though, I just don't like it when I have bright lights flashing in my face every 5 seconds. I don't want to intentionally put myself into a position where I can get a migraine headache, which is why I favor going into darker places from time to time. While the sunlight can make outdoor scenes look beautiful, I would never dare to look at it for more than a few seconds. Like they always say "Don't stare at the sun," and they are obviously right.

For the Autism Spectrum, I suppose bright lights have that sort of effect on our eyes that triggers something in our rewired minds. We are given this notification that "This (bright light) is bad for me. I need to get away from it before I look at it for too long," and we acknowledge that. The brain receives signals through seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting, the 5 senses, and the brain is always processing information about things. I suppose my brain processes the conclusion that bright lights are setbacks of some sort.

 Loud Sounds
It is also hard for autistic people to handle loud sounds. By the way, I chose to use this picture above to see if I could get a laugh from my audience. Believe me, our reactions aren't always of this magnitude. I don't always cover my ears whenever I hear brutally loud sounds, but they are unpleasant and hard to bear nonetheless. I definitely cringe and shake my head when I do hear loud noises, especially if they occur in the early morning. I just find obnoxiously loud noises in the early morning to be completely unnecessary.

Why is there a need to be so loud in the morning? The majority of people are sleeping around 5:00 AM and they surely wouldn't want to hear continuous beeping sounds (Example: construction vehicles) go through the streets. The only acceptable occasion where loud noises are necessary would be the sounds of an emergency siren, as in if there is a real threat of a tornado hitting an area. I can understand why you would need loud sounds there.

Loud sounds don't always need to come from objects to be considered annoying, and I have plenty of experience dealing with these other sounds. I have had people, young and old, raise their voices at me for no apparent reason. Perhaps they want to feel like they have control over me? Perhaps they are just insecure and love to make loud noises just to feel relieved? Perhaps they are just silly and goofy? Whatever the case may be, people need to know when to be loud and when to quiet down a little. I don't like it when I have some random person who bumps into me give me the verbal business and tell me to watch where I'm going. Accidentally getting in the way of people happens all the time. It shouldn't be a big deal, but sadly it is.

However, some people on the Autism Spectrum simply can't deal with either bright lights or loud noises at all and they will do everything to shield themselves from these things. Covering one's eyes with or without sunglasses or covering one's ears and crouching down because of discomfort... I do believe that people need to be respectful of the space that they should give to autistic people. I do believe that if people intentionally offend autistic people by putting out (way too) loud music or break out distracting bright lights, then they deserve to be blamed. If it's accidental, then no harm no foul, but don't make these actions intentional. As an autistic person I have my own space that I need to protect and I won't have a "party pooper" ruin my day with intentionally distracting actions. Respect an autistic person's space and there will be no problem.

## Saturday, November 29, 2014

### Disappointment

I have went through an 8-week online course called Game Theory and I did experience interesting things while studying this course. I did manage to pick up on a few things about Game Theory that interested me and I felt like I did get some things out of it, that I can take with me for future projects. I believe that I was able to understand the general language of what the professors were trying to say.

I needed to get at least 70% on the final exam to get a Statement of Accomplishment and... unfortunately I wasn't able to get the job done. I just fell short. I scored 34.7% on the final exam, a test that was timed 4 hours which put some added pressure on me for obvious reasons.

I have stated it before on this blog that I don't take to pressure well. I have stated it before that I don't like the feeling of being rushed to make certain decisions. This final exam was yet another example of me not being able to adjust because of these particular restrictions. When you sign up for an online course, you have to abide by the rules that are in place. I understand that and I did the best that I could to make this online course work for me. I studied hard and I studied often. I studied for long periods of time.

The fact of the matter is that there were certain things in the Game Theory course that not only flew over my head but stayed over my head as well, as in no matter how hard I tried to understand what certain notations and terms meant, I always ended up scratching my head. The final exam was something that I felt was going to be a relaxing experience for me since it signaled the end of my studies. However, it just reaffirmed the belief that this was something I can't wrap my head around 100% no matter what I do to simplify my studying of it.

The title of this blog entry is fitting in a sense. I feel disappointed in myself. I feel like I fumbled the football, so to speak. I feel like I had an open lane to run to (another football analogy) but I chose not to go into that lane. I found myself questioning whether or not it was worth getting into, if I should have even went through with the online course. I knew there was a light amount of calculus to deal with in Game Theory. I knew there were going to be names of things that I have never heard about before. The entire 8 week journey was up and down and I felt like my mind would shut down if I studied too hard. On some nights I made myself so tired that I had to go to bed because of my studying of Game Theory.

I know it's nothing new in the realm of the Autism Spectrum for autistic people to feel disappointed in themselves. Autistic people know how they feel and they can be hard on themselves. I am guilty of that. Even when I do an okay job at something I feel like I do a poor job instead, as if I let someone else (like a family member) down. We feel disappointed because we thought that things would go over better than they actually did. We feel disappointed because we believed that we would do better than what we actually did. We feel disappointed because our creativity, space, time, and dreams all get stifled in some way, whether it's just us abiding by the rules or if it's something that is unjust. The pressure mounts and we don't adjust. The entirety of this picture hurts.

I guess it's just the fact that I put so much time into this online course, and basically since I didn't pass this course, the professors overseeing this will treat my final results as if I never even tried to understand Game Theory. I know it's not for a lack of effort. I was just overwhelmed and I think I can put it like that.

I know some of my readers out there have felt like this or are feeling like this right now. You probably feel like you had set out to do something really positive for yourself, and then the bottom dropped out and everything turned out negative. You probably feel like in one sense you are at fault for what went wrong and you don't understand why some things became such a mess. This feeling hurts and I understand this feeling. I have dealt with it and I still deal with it. Some days are ruined emotionally because of one bad thing that happened even if it wasn't our fault. We have to learn how to fight off these emotions of guilt and disappointment because life is unpredictable. We don't know when our good days will show up and when our bad days will show up.

Keep swimming.

## Thursday, November 27, 2014

### What It Means To Be Thankful

I would like to wish all of my readers who support The Autistic Help blog a Happy Thanksgiving and I would like to thank all of you who have supported this blog for the first year of its existence. To be honest, it hasn't always been easy for me to delegate time to putting entries in this blog since my schedule has been up and down like a roller coaster. I definitely care about this blog and I want to see it grow. I want to see The Autistic Help become a successful blog that promotes Autism Awareness and I want to see it receive more recognition as time goes on.

The title of this entry reads "What It Means To Be Thankful" and I think this is an important topic for everybody who is autistic to dissect. What exactly are we thankful for? Why are we thankful for those things? How often are we thankful for the things we receive? How thankful are we even when things go wrong for us? How thankful are we when we go out in public and have a successful day communicating with other people who are not on the Autism Spectrum?

I am thankful for many things. I am thankful of the fact that I am still alive today at the age of 25 and I am thankful that I am still active as a writer. There have plenty of times where I have felt as if my own writing abilities have betrayed me, and sometimes I have felt as if I have done too much or too little of one aspect of writing to see the whole picture of writing. I have a habit of overlooking things and I keep thinking to myself "Why do I keep focusing on that thing and not on that other thing?"

I am a human being and I have my faults. I am far from perfect and I don't pretend to know everything about any subjects. If you were to ask me how to fix certain parts of a car, most likely I would have a blank look on my face because I really don't know the answer to that question. There are just some subjects where I am truly lost and I have no way of telling someone the correct answer to. It isn't something I am proud about because I should know some things about fixing a car, but I am always trying to open up. I am always as honest as I can when I answer people.

I am thankful to be alive. I am thankful to have knowledge on some things that truly interest me. I am thankful for being an outside-the-box thinker. These 3 things alone are the most important to me.

I am thankful for just being myself through the good and the bad. I know I have Asperger's Syndrome and I know people will view me differently because of this condition. I know that many people out there in the world will flat out despise me and will hate the way I think. I am thankful that I am bold enough to voice my opinions in this day and age because at this point 10 years ago, I probably would have been super quiet and shy, not wanting to talk to anybody.

This is the main point I want to drive home for this special blog entry. Be thankful. Be thankful for what you have accomplished. Be thankful for the improvements that you have made for your life. Be thankful that you have a support group that has your back, no matter how big or small it is. Be thankful that you have your integrity in tact. Be thankful for all the good days that you have in your life, because you only have one life to live.

For me as a Christian believer, I am thankful that God has guided my steps to even get to this point, and yes, there are still many battles for me to face. There are many spiritual battles that I have endured in the past and will endure in the future. That's just how life goes for a Christian. Without struggling a Christian cannot have a completely joyful life. Without any battles to take on, a Christian can't truly experience what it's like exactly to be a Christian. This goes far beyond donating to charity groups. I am thankful I didn't slip and fall into the wrong crowd, unlike a few people who I considered to be friends back in the day.

Be thankful above all else. I am thankful to be writing for Autism Awareness and I am thankful that fellow autists are reading this blog. I promise to update The Autistic Help. Thanks and take care.

## Friday, November 21, 2014

### Dark Clouds of Freelance Writing

Have you ever had that feeling that no matter how much you love doing a certain thing that you will be consistently challenged by those who don't quite understand why you love doing that certain thing?

For me that's freelance writing in one nutshell. I love to write. I make that no secret. I care about what I write. I put in a lot of time to write down my thoughts, my journal entries and my articles. I probably put in more time than what people think. I got at my own pace when it comes to writing and sometimes that pace of mine just isn't good enough for some people. Putting it into basic terms, freelance writing can be a jungle. It is either very pleasant for you or it can be very rough.

Like all jungles, you can see the potential beauty of it. You can see the tall trees, the colorful plants and the streams of water that flow from side to side. Freelance writing is sadly also a jungle where blockades are set up to try and take away your joy. Sometimes you are in a struggle for survival as a writer because you are faced with tasks that initially looked like they could be accomplished in no time, but after a while you step back and realize that the clients who have given you these tasks are either completely unreasonable or they just don't understand.

I will refrain from mentioning any names of clients, but I will say this. When they demand something, they are truly convinced that that's the way it should be done and very rarely will they ever compromise on that stance. If you come across a client who starts acting nosy or bossy when you have online chats with him or her, be prepared to endure nitpicking and sometimes even unfair criticism of your work as a writer. That's the way things go in this jungle of freelance writing. If an unreasonable client lures you into a trap of his or hers, you will have the short end of the stick. You will be pushed and pushed to get specific details done, and then for good measure they will want to push you some more just for the kicks and thrills.

I'm not saying that this is the case for every single freelance writing client out there. That isn't my message here. My message is only that when writers meet clients that are so hard to deal with, and their standards are so ridiculously out of whack compared to others, writers need to pick up on these clients' tendencies right away. These kinds of clients only exist to take your precious time and joy away from you as a writer so that they can feel better about themselves. They set the bar either way too high or way too low that it becomes pointless for the writer to even care about the assignment anymore, and this is a problem that I feel will plague the freelance writing industry as a whole if nothing is done to stop this in the future.

Take this little tidbit as an example of the nonsense that I have to put up with when I search for online freelance writing jobs.

$1 per 500 words!$1.25 per 300 words! \$2.50 per 700 words!

I honestly don't know where some clients' heads are at when they post nonsensical numbers like these but no writer can live off doing assignments for peanuts. No sane writer can function normally if this is what he or she has to put up with on a regular basis. I find these kinds of rates absolutely insulting and disrespectful towards the very principle of writing in general.

So what does this have to do with the autistic community? Well, considering that I have Asperger's Syndrome, which is on the Autism Spectrum, it has been especially difficult for someone like me to obtain freelance writing work. I mentioned this in just my last blog entry, but I feel that clients have intentionally set up this Anti-Autism Bias where they will not even touch a writer who is on the Autism Spectrum no matter how much success that writer has seen in this field. Do I have definitive, concrete proof of this Anti-Autism Bias? No. However, when you sometimes have a gut feeling that a bias is in place to prevent you from obtaining certain things, such as a job, then you might just be right if the pattern continues to form.

Autistic people are smart and gifted and it's just a matter of how to utilize the strengths of autistic people. Other people are so easy to forget the good things that we bring to the table and they will only highlight the negative things about us. Other people only want to focus on what's "wrong" with us instead of coming up with creative ways to use the best things about us. Writing clients are more or less like these other people who will acknowledge your condition on the Autism Spectrum, but sadly will fail to truly understand what it means to be be autistic.

For those of you who are autistic and love to write but have experienced difficulty finding writing assignments, just know that I am going through this same dark tunnel right now. It's hard for me to obtain any sort of work when I am just starting to go all out with my freelance writing ventures. Sometimes I feel like it's unreasonably hard and it should be easier than it is right now. I should be finding the right kind of writing assignments and not the typical boring assignments that I have no interest in, and certainly not the peanut-paying jobs.

Our battles are long and tiring sometimes, but we need to endure. We need to find a way to move forward.

## Wednesday, November 12, 2014

### Autism and Careers

Inevitably I was going to have to create a topic like this one because as of right now I am beginning my serious pursuit of establishing myself in the world of freelance writing. I am filled with joy in the sense that I finally have the time to dig into these endeavors and take on jobs that could possibly raise my profile. I am also taken back by the fact that freelance writing is a very competitive arena that I am entering, and I am not just competing against other writers in the United States. On various freelance job hunting websites, I am pitted against many other writers from all over the world and I have to stay on top of things in order to snag a job from the global competition.

I am also being pitted against writers who are much more experienced than me, as in these writers have much more officially recognized experience. Of course, I have experience in blog writing and such, but honestly anyone can get up on a computer and start a blog if they really wanted to. Potential clients that I am proposing my offers to are looking for official experience and they would certainly prefer it. Plenty of clients want their jobs done as fast as possible and other clients want something specific done to some written materials.

My adventures in freelance writing have been both interesting and perplexing early on. I find it interesting how varied the writing assignments are and I find it interesting just how much money one freelancer can accumulate depending on how successful he or she is. However, I find certain procedures on some freelance websites to be perplexing, as in I have no idea why those websites thought it was a such a good idea to go down that route. Freelance websites are generally not allowed to help freelancers in any way when it comes to getting set up with clients. There can't be any direct aid from the freelance websites, which is something I do understand.

Unfortunately, not all freelance websites go about things the same way. One freelance website will allow a freelancer to spend 40 "credits" or "tokens" when it comes to applications. Other websites will only allow 10 credits or tokens to be spent. There are some websites that will allow one to spend an infinite amount of credits or tokens, but then they will feature their own restrictions in other areas of a freelancer's profile.

Writing is something I put infinite value in. I believe that I was born with the gift of writing. I don't know how good I am at writing exactly but I definitely know that I am good enough to carry significant written material and bring that out into the limelight. Being a writer is the kind of career that I want to have. Writing relaxes me and it helps represent me, Steven Vitte. If anyone were to tell me that I had to give up writing or else they would punish me, to be honest with you, I would most likely say my peace, defend my love for writing, and get punished. I won't let anyone tell me what I can and cannot do and I won't let anyone micromanage my life.

Many people close to me know by now how much I value The Autistic Help blog. This blog frees me up to say how I feel about topics related to the Autism Spectrum. I haven't shied away from this blog and I won't shy away from this blog as long as I can help it. I'm far too invested in this blog to just give it up now. The same goes for my other video game blog and my freelance writing profiles.

Here is the meat of my issue. Beginning in November I have spent days searching for freelance writing jobs, varying from article writing to script writing, content writing, eBook writing, poetry, etc. and I have spent consecutive hours in those days to either work on a writing assignment or look for an assignment on the various freelance websites that I have accounts on. I fill out my profiles and I talk about myself a little bit. I talk about my strengths as a writer and I show clients what I have done. I show them the link to the article that I wrote on technology in the state of Ohio, which is a big plus in my opinion.

http://www.idgconnect.com/blog-abstract/8951/columbus-tech-overlooked-ohio

Many people have read the article that I have posted above and they all say that I have a way with words and that I am gifted with a certain unique writing style. It stands to reason that when a client sees a sample like this article would be inclined to think positively about a writer such as myself. One would think that a client would pause and think of the possibility of someone like me writing for his or her company and benefit from having such a good quality piece.

I suppose that if you are on the Autism Spectrum, you tend to automatically get shut out from certain writing opportunities just because you are autistic.

Unintentional Prejudice Against Autistic Workers?

I'm sure that this strikes the hearts of those who are autistic but want to seriously pursue a career in something that they really want to do and love doing. As an autistic person, have you ever approached a possible employer about wanting to work for them, submitted your application to a person, and then after your application was reviewed that person came back to you and said that they couldn't hire you? Considering that you absolutely had the qualifications to work that particular job, did you ever feel like that employer used one of your own features against you?

Recently I have felt that has been the case with me and my online applications to clients on these freelance writing websites. Although I don't have concrete proof of this, I have begun to feel as if the very mentioning of The Autistic Help blog, this same blog you are on right now, has been the thing that for whatever reason scares clients away from me. Simply because of the thought that these clients possibly don't have a clue on what autism is all about, they could easily get spooked by the fact that I mention my condition of Asperger's Syndrome, and they eventually choose not to hire me specifically because of that.

Now how am I supposed to feel about that? How am I supposed to feel about placing an adequate and reasonable bid for a job listing that I want to have, and then be turned away at the last possible moment by the client in favor of someone else? How am I supposed to feel about being qualified for certain positions, apply for them, and then be sniped at the last second by another freelance writer who doesn't share the same kind of enthusiasm as me on those particular topics of the jobs?

Especially for the clients who would know some things about autism and what goes on in the life of autistic people, how would they explain to me why I didn't get a certain job if there wasn't some sort of Anti-Autism Bias being played? Lacking experience is one thing as well as not putting in the right delivery times, and I understand these parts well, but if I'm fit for a writing job regardless of what mental condition I have and I meet your requirements, then why won't you at least contact me and treat me fairly like all the other freelance writers?

Discrimination comes in many forms and it's not just limited to racial and spiritual issues. People can intentionally or unintentionally discriminate against you if you have a mental or physical condition as well. It's sad for me to know that there are people in the world who not only look down on us autistic people, but proceed to treat us lower than dirt. I have read many stories recently about autistic children being physically abused just because of the fact that they were autistic. Some abused autistic children have either been severely injured as a result, or they have died. This is just one bit of harsh reality people like us who are on the Autism Spectrum have to be aware of and accept, the fact that some people really just can't stand us and our autistic habits.

I want to have a career in writing. I am in desperate need of getting that career in writing. I am serious in my pursuits of obtaining work as a freelance writer and I refuse to allow the Corporate World to dictate what I can and can't do as a writer just because I happen to have Asperger's Syndrome. Just because some corporate suits aren't that familiar with the Autism Spectrum and the ins and outs of it doesn't mean that they should have the right to punish autistic people and prevent them from having the careers they want to have.

I have long waited for the opportunity to write in an official capacity and the door was opened with my article with IDG Connect, but there has to be more than that. I am not satisfied with just one officially published article. I want more assignments and I need more assignments to do the things that I want to do down the road in life and be happy with what I'm doing as a writer.

Remember the Pursuit of Happiness? If you want to think about the movie title that featured Will Smith then that's cool, but I'm talking about the actual Pursuit of Happiness, what was written in the United States Declaration of Independence, a document that still means something to me.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

All I ask my future potential clients for my freelance writing assignments is to do what's right, not what they think is right but aren't totally sure, but what is practically right according to the laws of the United States and according to our forefathers who built this country. I deserve to be treated just the same as everybody else. I deserve to obtain the rights to write articles, scripts and general content just like every other writer who isn't autistic. For any clients who may find this blog and this article in particular, what are you going to do to help give me the help that I need to become a firmly established writer? What is it about my writing style that you don't like? What is it about my writing that pales in comparison to other writers?

Just because I'm autistic means that I don't opportunities? It's time to wake up, and I'm going to be a driving force in making people wake up...

## Friday, October 31, 2014

### 20 Questions Part 1

I wanted to experiment with a theme like this one because I know that there are questions that some people have either asked me in the past or there are questions that people are wanting to ask me in the future. This is loosely based off the game that is called 20 Questions where a group of people ask a randomly selected person 20 questions and then they have to guess what that person is doing, or who that person is, or where that person is going. This won't be a game, but I figure that it would help to answer questions such as the ones below. Here we go.

1) Did you ever feel out of place whenever you attended a special event? (i.e. county fair, sporting event, parade, entertainment show, etc.)

Yes, I have felt out of place many times. I have felt out of place in a number of places where I initially thought I would be okay being in, but then after a while I realized that I had no business being there. It's hard for someone on the Autism Spectrum to know for sure where exactly he or she belongs. It does come down to a matter of interest in some cases, and for others it's only a matter of being comfortable even if an autistic person isn't necessarily super interested in what he or she is seeing.

I know what my interests are and I try my best to go to places that relate to my interests in some way. I love sports, video games, writing, reading, art, a little bit of technology and a scoop of entertainment like movies and theatrics. If the place I go to contains anything similar to my interests, then most likely I'll try to give it a go. Whatever happens there happens.

2) Do you see yourself as different compared to other people, those who aren't autistic?

I see myself as different in the sense that I know I am processing information differently then others. I don't think that. I know that. The messages that I receive about certain issues register with me differently and obviously I deal with issues in ways that others wouldn't normally go about handling them. Not that my methods are wrong per say, but more like my methods need a little explaining first before I am able to either move on or be corrected.

However, I don't see myself as different in the sense that I am functioning normally at least in physical actions. I walk just like everyone else. My form of speech is understandable. I have a sense of humor people not on the Autism Spectrum can easily relate to. I can have conversations with people when the times are appropriate. I can drive a car, and it wasn't too hard for me to obtain a driver's license. I have two answers for this question.

3) How often do people antagonize you and put you down?

Well, it's easy to answer this one. Even today people who don't know me well at all will look at me funny and think that I'm crazy for not answering certain questions the way that they expect a person to answer them. Some of the people who antagonize don't like the way that my eyes wander away from them, not making eye contact. As I have mentioned before, I have a habit of bumping into narcissists who think everything they do is so wonderful, and in return, they will instantly put down my actions and ideas and throw dirt on my interests.

Whether you are autistic or not, you will always have people who just won't like you no matter what you do. No matter how nice you are to your enemies, they will be mean and rude to you. All you can do when handling an enemy is to show your enemy that he or she doesn't bother you. Enemies want to get a rise out of you, a reaction that is. They want to break you and they want to celebrate when you are miserable. The true test of your character is to stand your ground and stay true to yourself.

4) Are some days harder than others?

A short but sweet question. There are some days when I feel like I can take on any writing assignments, be as creative as I possibly can be and express my talents in various forms. I will feel very good about myself and I will want to explore new creative territories. On good days I get the confirmation I'm looking for and I move forward. These are the days when I feel free, when I feel like myself and when I feel useful.

However, there have been some days when I have barely felt awake, as if I were in a daze. Some days I just felt like everything that could go wrong did go wrong, and it put me in the wrong mood. I put pressure on myself at times. I am a harsh critic of myself and I do underestimate myself. Some days I just feel like I don't have enough time to get done with the things I want to get done. I feel rushed and overwhelmed when things get out of hand. I don't take to bright lights and loud sounds well at all, especially in the early morning.

5)  What drives you to succeed in writing?

What drives me to succeed in writing is the fact that I know I have this gift. I believe I was born with this gift of writing materials such as this blog post, and every experience, positive or negative, that I go through in my life fuels me to write about those experiences in some shape or form. Letting the words flow in every blog entry and news article comes to me very naturally, and yes, sometimes finding specific structures to write those words down may take some careful planning, but the whole process relaxes me.

All of us at some point in our lives have had to deal with a crossroads of sorts where we didn't exactly know what we were doing, why we were doing it, and where we were going with it. There were those moments when we just asked ourselves "Why am I even here?", "What's the big picture for all this?", and "How do I get to my desired destination?" There are some things that we really wanted to do, but for one reason or another we just weren't able to or we just weren't allowed to.

I have said this before but I will say it again. You gotta love what you do and you gotta have a passion for it. I know I have a passion for writing, no matter what form of writing it is. Writing is my niche that I carved out for myself. That's what I am good at. That's my calling. That's what I want to officially do for years to come. I feel that deep inside and I try to express these feelings with other people.

To Be Continued...

## Monday, October 20, 2014

### Autistic Definition: Pressure

This is true for just about everybody, but it escalates once you consider people who are on the Autism Spectrum are the ones who go through this. The act of dealing with pressure is what I am talking about and it's something that isn't dealt with so easily in the Autism community. To be honest, it can be challenging to understand how even the most subtle setbacks occurred and we think it through in our minds why we could allow certain things to happen. "If only I could've done this." "Maybe I should've done that instead." "Why didn't I understand what he or she was saying in the beginning?"

We ask ourselves such questions and we ask those questions often, and probably too often to the point where we drive ourselves crazy. Wherever you are on the Autism Spectrum, it's true that we all dwell on certain things that are otherwise seen as insignificant to other people, and that's just how we operate. Even though we are really good in certain areas of our lives, we can't forget that there are always learning experiences for us. There are always things that we need to better adjust towards and there are always things that we simply need to let go of.

What would you call the Autistic definition of the word Pressure? Well, I believe I could break it down to just a few points:

1) Pressure is an opposing force that isn't dealt with easily by autistic people.

2) Pressure is like an ongoing pox, something that spreads through the mental and emotional states of autistic people.

3) Pressure is the unnecessary kind of attention that is put onto an autistic person, a spotlight trap that clamps down on that person.

I had the pleasure of watching a movie on TV recently, a movie which specifically targets the demographics of the Autism Spectrum. I believe that this is a movie for any autistic person to watch because it provides plenty of good points for autistic people to pick up right away. This movie is called A Mile In His Shoes and it involves an 18-year-old young man who is initially seen working on his family's farm. One day a man gets lost trying to find his way to a larger community and he ends up in a small town with a population of 75 people. This man, a manager for a semi-pro baseball team, makes a discovery he wasn't expecting. This 18-year-old farmer happens to be on the Autism Spectrum, having Asperger's Syndrome, but he also happens to be really good at one thing. This young man threw apples at a bucket while feeding his pig Oscar, and this was the equivalent to throwing a baseball with great velocity.

Once you watch A Mile In His Shoes, you will see the ups and downs that this 18-year-old farmer from Indiana will go through and this will hopefully be put into proper perspective as to how we who make up the Autism community go through our triumphs and our struggles.There are things that we find alarming that other people wouldn't find alarming. There are things that easily distract us that wouldn't distract other people at all. Surprises surely contribute to how we have our struggles dealing with some actions.

Pressure comes in different forms. Depending on who you ask, people have different ideas on what pressure is. Atmospheres that include the vibes of "This could possibly be overwhelming, so watch your step" do tend to throw us off. I'm sure people can relate to what I am talking about and I'm sure they know what those vibes are when they see certain settings.

I freely admit that as someone with Asperger's Syndrome, there are times when I just don't feel comfortable. There are places that I go to where I feel I will be just fine in, but after some time I realize that those places just aren't where I need to be. After a while I get the feeling that I just don't belong in certain places, and not because I don't want to be interacting with other people, but rather it's the mentality that communities as a whole adopt when they are in certain places, and whatever they metaphorically shove into my face to basically tell me "This is what we care about, so we don't care about anything you're doing" really puts me off.

Pressure will exist no matter where you go and it's hard to adjust. It's hard to just deal with the fact that there will be some people out there who will pressure you into doing something you don't want to do, or they will put pressure on you just to see if you will crack, for their own corrupted fun and joy. I've dealt with this for the majority of my life and it does get on my nerves. I keep asking myself "Why are they doing this to me in that way?" and I can't help but keep asking questions similar to that.

For those of you reading this, on the Autism Spectrum or not, I can tell you that I understand how pressure feels and I'm hanging in there. "Don't let it blow you out of the water" as a relative of mine always says.

## Saturday, October 11, 2014

### My Adventures In Online Courses

No matter what age you are, it's never too late to just take a step back and weigh out your options. When it comes to learning new things and developing a better understanding for certain topics that interest you, there is no harm at all in wanting to pursue some goals. I have had that feeling plenty of times when I just wanted to do something constructive even though I didn't necessarily know why I wanted to do that certain constructive thing. There are just those moments that come about when we really want to get the ball rolling in some direction, and what I'm going to talk about here is one example.

I am going on an adventure of sorts, an adventure where the learning process can possibly take many turns. I am taking an online college course to study Game Theory. Now what is this kind of Game Theory? Well, it isn't exactly the kind that features fun and exciting gameplay, such as the kind where you see people play video games and dissect those games for analysis. No, this isn't that kind of Game Theory at all. This is the kind of Game Theory where the emphasis is heavily placed on situational issues. While I am learning (or relearning) the concepts of a game in general and understanding the basic formulas that go into a game, I am also taking into account the habits that players will develop while they play these various games that are featured in this course.

I have gotten acquainted with terms such as Pure Strategy, Dominant Strategy, Paredo Dominant, Paredo Optimal, Nash Equilibrium, etc. and there have been a few things about this course that I have found to be challenging, but really, the general language of playing games and understanding the repetitions and habits of the players involved in games are things that my mind can get comfortable with. After all I love talking about various kinds of games whether it's video games, board games, card games, parlor games, sports, etc. There are a few things about the Game Theory language that I already know about in basic terms and it's just a matter of me needing to put the more technical things together.

I will provide a couple examples of the questions that I just tackled in the Week 1 Problem Set below.

Bertrand Duopoly

• Two firms produce identical goods, with a production cost of c>0 per unit.
• Each firm sets a nonnegative price (p1 and p2).
• All consumers buy from the firm with the lower price, if pipj. Half of the consumers buy from each firm if pi=pj.
• D is the total demand.
• Profit of firm i is:
• 0 if pi>pj (no one buys from firm i);
• D(pic)/2 if pi=pj(Half of customers buy from firm i);
• D(pic) if pi<pj (All customers buy from firm i);
Find the pure strategy Nash equilibrium:
Dominance

 1\ 2 x y z a 1,2 2,2 5,1 b 4,1 3,5 3,3 c 5,2 4,4 7,0 d 2,3 0,4 3,0
Find all strategy profiles that form pure strategy Nash equilibria (there may be more than one, or none):

I won't provide any answers to these two questions out of fairness, but I just want the readers to get the gist of what it is I'm observing in this course. For those of you who are on the Autism Spectrum and you are not quite sure as to what you want to do with online college courses, I believe that it would be okay for you to consider taking a few courses if that is what you really want to do. Nobody should feel pressured to either do or not do something. I didn't feel pressured to take this Game Theory online course. After initially reviewing it, I felt like it would be an interesting challenge for me to take on a course like this one. I want to see if I can hang with the rest of the class for something that is being run by the University of Stanford (Yeah, that Stanford out in Santa Clara, California) and the University of British Columbia.

My best advice for taking an online course, no matter what it is, would be to just focus on the subject at hand. It really is that easy. You should find the time to just put your focus on the online course and put aside the other things that you would like to do for the day. You have to spend a decent amount of time studying, taking notes and gathering information on other parts of the internet about the subject. Whatever work you do and whatever answers you provide on tests, it has to be your own original work. I don't believe in cheating. Above all else, just do your best and do everything you can to understand what the lectures are teaching you.

There is no specific time when one needs to start learning. We all have our own clocks that we operate on. Feel free to challenge yourself and have fun with educational adventures.