Thursday, December 31, 2015

Check Out Novaura Autism!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsYsHmisD5rcu-yCCpIsZgQ

Here's one quick notice for blog readers out there who are interested in watching video game content. The link above will take you to the YouTube channel of Novaura Autism, a channel that is run by a passionate gamer who has been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. A snip-it of the message Matthew Griffin sent me will be posted below.

If you guys would like to check out a special Let's Play project that spans over the course of the New year of 2016, then please check out Novaura Autism. I happen to have a passion for video games, as you would see when you read my other blog called the Gaming Journalist Gazette (http://gamingjournalistgazette.blogspot.com/), and I clearly enjoy watching Let's Play content, so beginning January 1, 2016 you guys can have an entertainment outlet to use.

Also, please read the message that Matthew sent me below. He has his own unique story to tell regarding his condition and what he intends to do with his gaming content.

[From Matthew Griffin]

I am writing to you after hearing about your blog through the StephenVlog YouTube channel and I always appreciate hearing about people like myself who seek to bring awareness through various media. Like you, I have Aspergers and was diagnosed over 20 years ago. Since finding out about my own diagnosis, I have wanted to demonstrate our ability to persevere even though I have Autism.

This has included being involved with 2 different volunteer groups over the years. One of which, I have been involved with for over 15 years and recently completed a 4-year term as the president of my local chapter and have been dealing in promoting youth oriented activities centered around sports, writing and art. The second I have been with for about 4 years. I have done some motivational speaking for this group as well as serving as a mentor for a program that seeks to support young people of both physical and mental afflictions.

The most memorable experience I have had as a volunteer however, was in 2010 where I worked at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada at the Cross Country Skiing/Ski Jumping venue performing tasks as a bus conductor to put it in layman's terms.

Aside from my volunteer work, I like Stephen Georg, have my own YouTube gaming channel. I started in 2012 with the goal of being an Autistic gamer who can show perseverance and enjoy the games I have played. It is called Novaura Autism and I am currently playing Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward and EarthBound and I am preparing for a major Let's Play project which will encompass all of 2016 which will be known as "#Elite6" and will feature 6 games which are celebrating milestones in 2016 and will cover multiple generations.

I would certainly encourage your support and invite those who visit your blog to come and support me as well. I wish you the best of luck and continued success with your blog and that it will serve its purpose as much as my YouTube channel seeks to do the same.
 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

17 Things to Go By (2015 Summary)




1) Your legacy is more than your name.
2) Your word is your bond when all else is lost.
3) Keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and your family the closest.
4) When you see an opportunity, don't let it walk past you.
5) Where do you want to go in life, and why?
6) Forget about family for a moment. What are you about?
7) It isn't over until it's over. 
8) You can't be someone you're not.
9) No matter who it is, everyone needs help at some point.
10) When compassion is needed, when do you know to show it?
11) You live by the sword, you die by the sword.
12) Having a passion for what you do means something.
13) Don't judge a book by its cover.
14) Don't let the past steal your future.
15) Respect is a 2-way street, and it always will be.
16) A dream should be explored, not ignored.
17) It ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done.  

I admit something to you, whoever might be reading this blog post right now, this one thing. I haven't had much to talk about lately. It saddens me to type that down because I want to keep this blog active enough to talk about some things with you, but the sad fact is that not much ever goes on in my life that's truly noteworthy. I live an existence that is really lonely. I feel alone, and that's the truth.

Now as for the list of 17 things you see above, those 17 sayings pretty much sum up my 2015 in a nutshell. These 17 sayings apply to a wide variety of events that have happened to me this past year. Some of my experiences have been good and refreshing, while others... not so much. Though I need to remind you, the reader, that that's life for you. You're going to have your good days, and then you're going to have your terrible days where you don't feel like talking to anybody.

Life is about making sacrifices in order to get to where you want to go, and some of these sacrifices that you make are going to have a lasting impact in more ways than one. Simply put, the older I get the more I have to be willing to let go of, as hard as that may be for me to do. You have to learn to let go of certain things in order to move forward in life. There's a time to take the hits, and then there's a time to dodge those same hits altogether.

If I may be blunt for a moment, let me say this. This world we live in today is getting dark, and more dark than I think some of you may realize. This world is dark and it's a mean and nasty place. Almost everywhere you turn when you try to ask for help, you will most likely not get that help. When you look for a new friend, the fact is that new friend isn't going to be just around the corner anymore. What's worse is that the friends that you thought would stick with you through the good and the bad times are no longer there for you. They've abandoned you and have started to treat you like an afterthought.

Read through my list of 17 sayings. Re-read them as many times as you need to in order to get my overall underlying message. I don't say anything that's outlandish or weird. I only speak on what I see, and what I see today I haven't liked for a long time now. Look around you. What is there to say? What could I possibly add to all the situations that are unfolding in this world today? Again, just look around you. Do these 17 sayings hit the spot? I would surely hope in some of your cases that they do.

I hope that you find this blog informative as always. I hope that I do a good enough job of making sure that you get the information that you need to be aware of what's out there in the world The world is not your friend, contrary to how they like to tell you otherwise. I hope to provide more topics for The Autistic Help as time goes on. There are no guarantees of that, such as everyday life, but when the light bulb goes over my head, you will get a new blog post.

Now, to pull a Morgan Freeman, I'm outta here. Have a good start to 2016.

"Until we meet again, my friends." *leaves*

Friday, November 20, 2015

Autism and Social Media



What effect does social media have on those who are autistic? The effects could vary and there's no real way of knowing whether the social media experience will be good or bad for someone who is autistic until one social media platform is tested. Now personally for me, I have some experience using social media platforms. For the record, I use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Blogger to communicate. These are social media platforms that I do find to be helpful as long as one paces himself or herself. I also use YouTube, but only for viewing purposes. I used to chat on YouTube but because of the numerous changes that YouTube (Google) kept making just to make them, I have stopped using YouTube to comment on videos.

Contrary to what critics feel, I don't believe that social media in general is bad. I believe that there's a right way to use social media and a wrong way. Unfortunately, people have a tendency to use social media the wrong way, as in they will either get too full of themselves and go crazy on these platforms by posting multiple messages that don't make much sense. Other times people will just waste time on social media platforms, spending countless hours making 1 line posts just to get their points across.

I believe the key to social media, much like many other things in life, is to be able to pace yourself and balance your priorities. I feel that it's okay for one to have a Facebook account, for example, and post some stuff here and there. I check my Facebook account often enough, but I don't always go up on it to post. I never feel pressured to post every time I get up on Facebook. Sometimes I just feel like reading posts made by other people and I'm fine with that.

Does it make any difference to me that I happen to be autistic and I use social media platforms? I don't see much difference if there's any, to be honest with you. There are only a few rules that I put in place for myself before I get on and interact with these platforms.

  1. Never ever ever log onto social media platforms while you're angry. This is pretty much a surefire way of getting into trouble because while angry you open yourself up to foolishness. Even if what you angrily post is accurate and truthful, it will be viewed as whining and childish. Perception is often skewed on social media platforms, sadly. Don't put yourself in such positions.
  2. When you reply to anyone, make sure to get all your thoughts in as few posts as possible. Don't go on and on and separate your replies into a multitude of 1-line responses. When I reply to someone, I just say as much as I can on a particular subject and try to move on. It helps not to forget what is most important to you in a conversation. 
  3. Ignore the trolls.  I think you know what I mean by this. There will sadly always be a certain few rotten eggs of the bunch on social media platforms that will specifically aim to ruin your social media experience for the day by posting the most outlandish, weird, rude and obnoxious things. To them it may be a funny prank, but to you and me, it shouldn't be tolerated. Why? Because trolling can lead to more dangerous things, such as cyber bullying. 
  4. Keep a time limit for how long you will be on a social media platform. You don't need to be 100% accurate in keeping track of the time, but you need to have a basic idea of how long you are spending on a platform. It's easy as telling yourself "Okay, I will be up on Twitter for around 10-15 minutes and then I will go do something else." If you have something like this in mind, then chances are you will do just fine on the internet for the day.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Poem - Where the Wind Blows


Where the Wind Blows

Where the wind blows, I do not know.
Wind is something I can feel and not see.
When the trees move and sway freely, then I will know.
The force behind the wind strikes me in an odd way.

 Wind can often symbolize life. Both are quite unpredictable.
You don't know where both will take you.
The wind can either be harmful of harmless, depending on which side you're on.
Life is a tornado of tests for your spirit.

The wind will pass you by faster than you can think.
The heavier the wind becomes, the more you will sink to the ground.
When the wind blows, its whistling sounds will reach your ears.
The wind blows at any time, throughout all the years.

Wind can often symbolize life. Breathe in life, and you breathe your last.
Life, like the wind, goes by very fast. Be careful.
Wind can either be a warning or a pleasant surprise.
There's nothing to theorize about the wind. It has its purpose.

Sometimes we don't want to go where the wind takes us.
Sometimes we just like to stay where we are.
But we will never get anywhere far if we don't explore.
The wind was meant to carry us elsewhere. That we can't ignore.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Stay True To Your Word


There's a problem that many people have in this day and age. They can be highly intellectual and they can be highly influential. They can be inspiring and they can be some of the most creative people you may come across in your life, but what do they have to say about truth? What do they have to say about being honest about their actions? What do they have to say about staying true to their word?

I can freely admit that as a high functioning autistic person that not only do I make mistakes, but I am forgetful, and I tend to overlook a few details. There are times when I feel like I am completely organized when in fact the exact opposite turns out to be true. It happens. That's life. I naturally feel bad when I make such errors in judgement because I want to be on top of things. I want to be organized and I want to make sure that I can stay consistent with what I say and with what I intend to do.

One problem that many people have today is that they struggle to stay true to their word. It doesn't matter how much money you have. It doesn't matter how much power you have in a company, organization or even in a government. It doesn't how great of a standing you have with your peers. Your word is your bond, and if you go back on your word, you will lose your integrity. You will lose your true identity as a person.

So many times recently I have come across people who initially were on my good side, but they fell by the wayside and then resorted to doing things that were anything but authentic. So many times in my life have I encountered people who told me one thing and then did the exact opposite of what they said. Especially now when some people know that I am autistic, they use this information as another way for them to dodge me and try to manipulate me. If they can dance around the bush and not stay true to their word, they will think that they can get by leaving me hanging, stringing me along, if you will.

In summary, I will give my readers, autistic and otherwise, this advice. No matter what the other side does to you, make sure to stay true to your word. Honor what you say and do. Don't back down from a promise that you make. If you have no choice but to change plans, then make sure you do the right thing and let people know beforehand that you need to change your original plans. Don't keep people in the dark and don't mislead them. I have often said this and I still believe this to be a legitimate statement. I would rather be known for telling the truth and being hated than to be known for being a habitual liar and being loved.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Take In the Experience



Ever thought about what might go wrong if you were to experience an event that didn't relate to your normal daily routine? Why would you think about it? Why would you consider all the possible negative things that could happen in your new experiences? Autistic people have a tendency to stick to their normal routines to a fault, and sometimes by doing this they cost themselves the opportunity of taking in new experiences.

Case and point, I recently attended a gaming convention called the Ohio Game Developer Expo, which is based in Columbus, and it was a completely new experience for me to take in. Was there some things that I could have done differently while I was at this event? Of course. Losing track of the time and not knowing where to go to see certain events at the convention was something that happened, but I didn't let such setbacks get me down. I had previously never been to a gaming convention in my entire life, so yes, I didn't know what to expect when I entered a COSI building for the first time in 20 years.

The fact of the matter is that we don't live in "What Ifs", but rather we live in reality. We live in what we know to be true. We know that being autistic will have its setbacks, but we also know that there some things that we can take advantage of. When a a new experience is available for you to take in, don't question it. Especially if that new experience is sure to be a positive one for you, then why would you question it?

We can only do so much living in isolation. We can only do so much making limited contact with other people. Speaking spiritually, I don't believe God intended for us to live under a rock 24/7. I don't believe He would put autistic people into the world just to let them curl up in a ball and not do anything significant. That's not how a life is lived. We may have our worries and concerns, and some of the reasoning behind it may be valid, but that's where faith needs to kick in. You need to have faith and recognize what you have been called to do in your life. That's what I have been trying to do, and attending the gaming convention in Columbus is just another example.

An experience in general becomes either good or bad depending on how you make it out to be. If you are having a fun time, then most likely it was a good experience for you. If you have the "deer in the headlights" look and you get frustrated, then you might look at something as a bad experience. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy considering our autistic conditions. However, sometimes we can also bring out the best of us by going to events such as the one I have highlighted.

In closing, just take in the experience that is offered to you. Especially if it's about something that you really like, such as me being interested in video games, then go for it. What do you have to lose? The better question for me to ask would be... What do you have to gain?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Impact of Bullying



http://www.littlethings.com/firefighters-defend-bullied-kid/?utm_source=LTas&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_campaign=inspiring

Here is another uplifting story of a young boy named Jonathan who is a 7th grade student, but is also high-functioning autistic. Now as the story in the link above describes, Jonathan wasn't bothering anybody as he was just minding his own business. He just wanted to get back to his New Jersey home when all of a sudden a bully approached him and beat him up. This bully would end up breaking Jonathan's glasses, bruising him and splitting his lip.

The neat thing about this is what the local Cramden, NJ EMT's did to protect Jonathan. They called his mom and drove him home themselves. After they dropped Jonathan off at his home, the EMT's got to planning on what they could do to make Jonathan happy, and it turns out that later on that night they would come back to greet Jonathan again. The EMT's returned with some gifts for Jonathan as they would give him an American flag, a t-shirt that reads "Your Mother's Favorite Firemen" and a new pair of sneakers.

Bullying has been a hot topic for some time now, and it only stays a hot topic because the mentality of certain people doesn't change. We live in a society today where it's okay to trample over someone's dreams and ambitions. We live in a society today where it's the cool thing to single someone out and pick on them just because we feel like we can get away with it. We live in a society today that, by all intents and purposes, is simply apathetic and too much in a hurry to get things done without taking into account how hurtful some people's actions may be.

Like Jonathan I have experienced at least one form of bullying in my life. When I was a child I would get picked on a lot. I was singled out by the other kids in elementary school. I was even roughed up a couple times, but thankfully I never came home with a black eye or with a broken bone. Bullying isn't something that you should just accept because it isn't normal and it isn't healthy for society. However, like Jonathan demonstrated here, it is ideal to show restraint and keep your cool even when things get bad for you.

As an autistic person, just because I may look different and act differently compared to you doesn't mean that you can stand tall over me like an antagonist and tell me how things are going to be. Life isn't meant to work that way, and any sensible person would know that life doesn't work that way. You can't talk behind my back and create enemies for me just because you personally feel insecure about how I live my life. Bullying takes on more than one form, and sometimes some people aren't even aware that they are bullying others. In the case of autistic people, you can't blame us for wanting to be a little more guarded than other people.

I would like to congratulate Jonathan for his courage and I wish him the best in the future.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Friend Wish List



http://news.yahoo.com/7-year-old-girl-with-autism-writes-heartbreaking-161740146.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory&soc_trk=ma

Take out the time to read this article posted in Yahoo! News about a 7-year-old girl named Molly-Raine Adams, who was asked what qualities she would like to have in a friend of hers. She wrote down a list of qualities that she found to be the most valuable, and as you can see when you read this article, it becomes clear as to what Molly-Raine is looking for.

It is not only honest and innocent of Molly-Raine to do this, but is also something that we should remember and not just brush it off after a few moments. One fact that I do know would be this. When you have any form of autism, you will experience plenty of moments when you feel lonely and excluded. My heart goes out to Molly-Raine and other autistic kids who are like her because I understand that feeling. I went through that feeling when I was a kid, even though I had no idea that I was autistic during my childhood.

Molly-Raine's story is one that you can relate to, but it's also something that if you happen to be a parent of an autistic child, you can rally behind. If you have an autistic child, son, daughter, nephew, niece, etc., you are obligated to defend that child. You would defend that child anyway if he or she weren't autistic, right? When your child needs something more than just the normal everyday care, you have to detect that. You have to be able to know the signs of your child going through rough times.

Don't we all wish that we had at least one friend in the world who not only understood us but knew how we were with our disabilities such as autism? Wouldn't we like to have that friend who we could turn to at any given time? Regardless of whether or not that friend of ours is autistic, wouldn't it be reassuring to know that someone out there has the compassion and empathy to listen to us and to get to know us better?

If Molly-Raine's family ever comes across this blog post, then I would like to extend my offer of interacting with the family in some capacity. If advice is needed as to how to deal with life issues as an autistic person, then I would like to help in any way. I would like to tell Molly-Raine's family that she is going to be okay as long as her family takes proper care of her and guide her through both the good times and the rough times.

Feel free to contact me at stevenvitte12@yahoo.com

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Steven's Gigantic Rant: Chillicothe, Ohio

Chillicothe, Ohio - The hypocrisy needs to stop

Now it's time for something entirely different. Having a different view on things partly because of the fact that I am high-functioning autistic, I feel that occasionally I should express my opinions on certain things that are on my mind. These comments that you are about to read are candid and not scripted in any way. This is how I truly feel about certain topics and I know that not everyone will agree with these opinions of mine. When you have a different point of view on things, sometimes you tend to pick up on some things that other people aren't picking up on, and hopefully I will bring up some good points, so away we go.

Comment on the Erosion of Chillicothe, Ohio and Ross County:


It seems like everything that you hear that comes out of this little town isn't so pleasant, and there are many reasons for this. Sadly, Chillicothe and the Ross County area have been in the news for all the wrong reasons, such as the controversy surrounding the 6 missing women and a serial killer being on the loose, and the ever growing problem that is drug abuse. When I was a kid in the 1990's I lived in an apartment complex in Chillicothe, and there never was an out of control drug problem that stretched throughout the Chillicothe area. Now in 2015 that's all you hear. People resorting to smoking pot and taking other drugs in order to feel better about themselves.

"Chillicothe has gone to the dogs" 

This is one quote that I recently heard that pretty much sums up everything about this place. Chillicothe has indeed gone to the dogs. It's a haven for drug abusers, but it's also a utopia for people who just go with the flow. What do I mean by that? I mean that people who will follow the status quo of everything that has been developing in this area won't do anything to change Chillicothe for the better. I mean we have local elections coming up very soon as Mayor Jack Everson is stepping down, and most likely he isn't running for another term as mayor because he wants to get out of a kitchen that is becoming too hot for him.

Of course, it would have helped had Everson not pushed the status quo even more than it already has been. Should I be surprised? No. Especially when I consider how poorly he has handled the Chillicothe Police Department concerning issues regarding Roger Moore's dismissal and how lackluster of a job George Lavender has done in conducting the search for any clues and leads to the serial killer of the 6 women, it has become 100% clear to me that not only do the inmates run the asylum that is Chillicothe, Ohio, but whatever "leadership group" we have here lacks the integrity and spine that's needed to move this community forward.

Case and point, I once had a phone conversation with Jack Everson himself, and as I arrived at making my suggestion of implementing more creative outlets for Chillicothe, as in develop more representation for freelance writers, artists and people who are looking to improve the creative side of this town, he instantly shot it down. Everson basically told me that "his department doesn't do those sorts of things". Here is the Mayor of Chillicothe telling me that his part of the local government doesn't handle the sorts of things that revolve around the expansion of creative activities, the kind that would actually improve the atmosphere and well being of this community.

Everson also got around to telling me that basically the reason for establishing a multitude of restaurants was that he and other local leaders had to look at the culture of Chillicothe and Ross County and they had to make sure that whatever they brought into this community had to be in line with the culture.

This has got to be one of the most bogus, hypocritical and oblivious explanations that I have ever heard. First of all, let me provide a news flash. Chillicothe doesn't have a true culture to speak of. None whatsoever. Period. You do not defend putting up 1,000 to 10,000 new restaurant joints by saying that they make up the culture of your town. A culture of a town or city isn't developed through the placement of countless new restaurants that will go out of business 5 to 10 years after they are established, simply because of the fact that you basically stack restaurants on top of each other and right next to each other everywhere you turn in this town.


There is basically nothing to do in the Chillicothe-Ross County area. I know that this opinion is going to hurt some people when they read this, but deep down inside, I believe some of them know this to be true. The sad part of this is that we should know by now who is responsible for there not being anything to really do in this area. When you have a community being absorbed by drug addicts who apparently find it very easy to get their "fix", you only need to direct your attention back to those who are the top of the food chain, so to speak and pardon the pun.

So if I were to make suggestions of establishing something actually creative and helpful in Chillicothe, such as a chess club, a small writers guild-like group, programs for those who relate to Autism Awareness, or even a talent workshop where folks can just go in and try and see if they are talented in some areas, that would immediately get shot down? What's the alternative? Think about it... Why do you think many people in and around Chillicothe are turning to drugs? Because there is basically nothing to do here.

Majestic Theatre - One creative resource Chillicothe does have

We have some people here who have the drive and the passion to pursue their goals and dreams and would like to get even a minimal form of help from a community that they grew up in, but guess what? They can't get that help because their local leadership decided that it would be more beneficial for them to put up restaurants in places where there doesn't need to be restaurants. People here are basically being told that flipping burgers and making food is the ultimate high priority compared to everything else. That is the message that is being conveyed through the establishing of all these restaurants, and I feel that this is absolutely the wrong message to send to your community.

In an area where hope for improvement of one's self is sorely in need, that hope is nowhere to be found, and why is that? In my opinion, the why is this. Chillicothe, Ohio has established a system that is designed for you, the Chillicothe citizen, to FAIL. Any hopes and dreams that you may come up with will get crushed under this iron blanket of a foolish idea that "Being Chillicothe, if we just stick to what we know without ever asking questions nor changing anything, we will be just fine in the long run!"

In 2008 I watched the decline and eventual demise of the Frontier League baseball club known as the Chillicothe Paints, and while today they still operate in a lower ranked, college wood bat league called the Prospect League, nothing will ever allow me to forget just how little this same Chillicothe and Ross County community fought to keep the Paints in the Frontier League, as they resorted to excuses at the time. Remember the high gas prices in 2008?

That was your calling card for not doing anything, Chillicothe, and look where that got you. I remember we had a guy who reported for the Columbus Dispatch come down to Chillicothe once, and he ended up writing a SUPER negative article on the Paints, basically stating that since the team's ballpark, VA Memorial Stadium, was located next to the prison yard, that people should stay away from the place at all costs. I remember that time vividly, and yeah, it was terrible to find out what that Dispatch reporter stated. Sadly, everything snowballed from there, the Paints lost money, and soon lost their right to compete in the Frontier League, and the U.S. economy collapse of 2008 didn't help matters either. 

I will state this again for emphasis. The local leadership group in Chillicothe, Ohio has a system that is designed for you, the people, to FAIL. 

It also doesn't surprise me that more and more people are contemplating leaving Chillicothe altogether and moving out to other parts of Ohio (or out of Ohio entirely) where they can get such opportunities to be more creative and helpful, because these people have figured out that it's no use to try and fight a system that is so ironclad set in its ways that it won't change for even the slightest of suggestions, like the ones I made to Everson.

I could use either the huge excess of restaurants as an example or I could use the growing number of car dealerships in the Chillicothe area as an example, but let me make this point. Chillicothe and Ross County basically suffer from what is known as the "Put Too Many Eggs in One Basket Syndrome", and I think you know what I mean by that. At some point in the future, I can guarantee that both the Restaurant Industry and the Car Industry are going to collapse and fail, and when that day comes, what exactly will Chillicothe and Ross County do about it? What will their response be? You see, when you put way too many eggs in one basket, that basket is going to break at some point, and you will drop all of those eggs. Perhaps some of those eggs will come back to hit Southern Ohio leadership square in the face, but by then it will be too late to repair the damage that's already been done to this area.

This was a gigantic rant made by an autistic person, and while I am no expert in politics, I do happen to know the difference between having common sense and being downright foolish. Just connect the dots and see where Southern Ohio leadership stands on that spectrum. Their system has failed the people.

Steven's Epitaph for Chillicothe, Ohio: "A community that could have done more, but always settled for much less."

Chillicothe, Ohio: Where to be? I don't think so...

Friday, October 2, 2015

In The News: What We Have to Deal With

Singled out for abuse: It's not that hard to see

I have previously been posting editions of In The News as a recap of news events that happened in a single month, just highlighting the news stories that involved autistic people for that month. With this story, however, I feel that it's important to give this its own spotlight because it basically represents what we as autistic people go through on a normal basis. While this story talks about a kid at the age of 4 who is autistic, it should strike a cord with autistic people of any age.

http://news.yahoo.com/man-charged-assaulting-autistic-boy-pulling-teeth-194408000.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory&soc_trk=ma

A man whose girlfriend had a 4-yeard-old autistic boy was given the responsibility of taking care of the boy until the girlfriend came back home from work. Of course, if you read the story by clicking the link above, you will notice that this man not only neglected his duties, but he did everything to win the award of "Worst Parent-Like Role Model of All-Time".  It is absolutely horrific what this man ended up doing to this innocent and defenseless child.

To make it worse, the man actually tried to cover up his heinous act of violence by claiming that the boy had an accident and fell so hard that his teeth got knocked out. No. It's painfully obvious that this event was NOT an accident of any sort. How can anyone seriously imagine someone in their right mind doing this to any child, whether that child is autistic or not? Ripping out teeth by force? Why do we let certain people like this get away with such acts in today's world?

Truth be told, it looks like this man will be serving a very, very long prison sentence, and let's hope that is the case. This world doesn't need people like this man living free and plotting to commit other horrible acts of violence. As a society we should be able to know the warning signs of people like this, but unfortunately since the lines of morality have become so incredibly blurred in just a short period of time, many of us don't know the warning signs.

I have said it many times on this blog, and it really doesn't need to be repeated. As autistic people we live a hard life, and this life is harder than it should be. We live a life where other people make it virtually impossible for us to function and breathe, and you wonder why so many stories like this keep developing? Do you really wonder why that communication barrier between autistic people and people who are normal by comparison exists?

I'm not going to lie when I say this. Sometimes I really get sick and tired of other people's attitudes towards my condition. I really get sick and tired of people looking down at me and talking down to me, undermining my work and taking whatever value I have for granted. The rules of society are not fair for everyone, and I'm sure some readers of this blog can see that by now. If people just stepped back and thought about what they were going to do to improve the life of someone who is autistic and how they were going to be a positive role model for that autistic person, then maybe we would have less stories like the one in the link? Unfortunately, society contradicts itself all the time and loving the lie that a person lives leads to a failure of understanding the big picture. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Poem - As Time Has Gone By


As Time Has Gone By
Random Poem by Steven Vitte

 As time has gone by, I have noticed some changing.
I've watched people I know go by the wayside.
I've listened to the fading echoes of once relevant conversations.
I've seen the blind lead the blind, straight into the ditch.
Most of all, the changing of attitudes, which involves spiritual battles.

Change can be good and it can be bad.
Distancing myself from those I've been close to has made me sad.
I have my explanations for wanting to change for the better.
Some will understand me, and some won't.
As time has gone by, I've learned to move on.

As time has gone by, I've had to give up a lot.
I've had to decide for myself what is truly important.
If others don't have a slot left open for me, then I will move on.
Not because of envy nor jealousy have I decided. 
I just wanted to preserve my spiritual armor in my battles.

Some people are simply too afraid of change.
They will stick to what they know and not question anything.
I see it in them, their hesitation toward new developments.
If only they could see their underlying folly.
As time has gone by, I've realized that they will stay asleep.

As time has gone by, I've grown more jolly in knowing that I will be just fine.
As time has gone by, I've gotten closer to the truth in which I read.
As time has gone by, I've realized that soon I will rest in my final destination.
As time has gone by, I have seen just who will win and lose these battles.
When the time is at hand, my exit will be grand.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Learn How To Let It Go

Learning how to let go of certain things or certain people can be tough, but at the end of the day you will sometimes be better off in you life if you take away the things and the people that have been anchoring you down. You don't want to feel trapped in the confines of your own home and you don't want to feel like you're a slave in your own neighborhood. You don't want to feel burdened by the idea that you have meet the needs and demands of family members who just don't understand you.

It really is this simple
I have felt it for a long time as someone with Asperger's Syndrome, the need for me to just let go of things that have brought me down to spite me. I have stated this before and I will state this again. Being autistic is absolutely not the same thing as being stupid. If anything, being autistic means that you are highly intelligent and gifted in certain things, but you are just wired differently. That's it. No sugar coating around it. Unfortunately, other people still don't get this, and for some, they won't want to get it.

If you are autistic, be prepared to make sacrifices in your life that initially won't look pleasant in your sight. I have had to let go of some friends and family members who either were close to me but then forgot about me, stopped caring about me, or pretended to care about me but never did in the first place. Be prepared to dig out all the weeds in your cluttered garden, so to speak. If you see an unnecessary weed sprouting in your garden, you should promptly pluck it out and get rid of it.

The sad fact in this autistic life is that some people just won't want to deal with you, and it doesn't matter how much you try to befriend them or how hard you try to convince yourself that they are out there to help you. In this life as an autistic person, you are meant to find your own way. You are not meant to be micromanaged by anyone. Once you find your own way, you go down that path and you don't look back. You don't think back to the times when you had your troubles with other people. You just move forward.

Many people have their own unique ways of letting go and moving forward. Sometimes this event will occur out in the open, and yes, in public. Other times it will be a quiet and gradual transition period. You can handle letting go just by being sarcastic and humorous as long as you clearly make your point. You can also handle letting go by going straight to the point with a serious tone, and this especially works with someone in your life who you know hasn't been taking you seriously and makes light of everything that you do.



There's no way around this
When you know that you've reached a point where you have to let go of certain things and certain people, it becomes a matter of survival and self-preservation on your part. When you know you need to let it go but you still try so hard to hold on to that same thing or person that keeps you down in your life, you are ultimately cheating yourself out of future opportunities and experiences that will benefit you. Take it from me since I have had an abundance of experience doing this already. Learn how to let it go and move forward, and don't try to hold on to the negative things. Don't try to stay surrounded by people who don't have your best interests in mind. To quote Johnny Cash, just walk the line.



Thursday, September 17, 2015

Depression


Depression is common among autistic people. Sometimes the feeling of depression striking down an autistic person occurs too often. Depression is something that's incredibly hard to fake, and I know from my experiences that whenever I get depressed it's a legitimate feeling. There's no reason for me to fake my depression when I consider everything that I have seen and experienced in my life. I live an existence where I know I'm being protected, but it's an existence where no matter where I go or who I turn to, I am always the door slammed in my face. My depression is triggered by other people's inability to recognize my needs and what I am looking for.

Depression hits when nothing seems to go right in a single day. Depression hits when a person with autism gets that lonely feeling, and the kind of feeling where nobody truly understands what's effecting or bothering that autistic person. Depression hits when everything just seems to come at a stop, and not for the right reasons. Depression also hits when a person with autism tries as hard as he or she can to get something done, but because of outside factors, whether it be the environment, circumstances or other people, that autistic person can't get anything done.

It's hard for me to put into words what depression really means to me because most of the people I talk to will not really understand what I am trying to say. It's rooted in what I have been telling people for some time now. I ask for help but ultimately I don't get the help, and not the kind of help that I need considering my circumstances. I have dreams I want to realize, but other people are too busy doing a multitude of things to have any time for me. I have projects I want to finish, but instead of people sincerely wanting to dig into my projects and helping me, my projects gather dust in a corner of my room. Out of sight, out of mind...

Depression is real and the signs are more clear than you think. This will be a short post because I don't want to be dwelling on this topic too much, but I'm sure you get the gist of what I'm saying, right?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Being Organized






Being organized has been one of my biggest problems. I will sort out my stuff and think that I have everything in order, but then I realize I'm missing one part of my stuff and I will go looking for it. Too often I find myself participating in a scavenger hunt that is anything but fun, but rather irritating and stressful.

When I set aside certain objects, and mainly notebooks, that are filled with important stuff, I tend to forget the last place where I put these objects. It happens to me a lot. One reason why I become so disorganized within a short period of time is because of me being autistic. I tend to lose focus on the little details of stuff. I have a good grasp on the technical details of the content I make, but when it comes to trivial issues like where I put a notebook, my memory gets foggy. It's hard for me to explain.


I had my messy moments as a kid. My room would be filled with clutter and junk and I would just resort to moving my stuff from one part of my room to another. In essence I didn't really clean my room sometimes, but rather I just rearranged it to make it look less messy. I remember during my days as a kid living in an apartment when I had my toys and stuffed animals laid out on the floor in my room and I had many sheets of paper I was writing on just scattered about.

Organizing your stuff is a key thing. Don't take it for granted. You will have a harder time getting anything done if you aren't organized. Let your writing stuff be your writing stuff and don't let it blend in with your digital gadgets and collectibles. If you have perfume or cologne in your closet, let those things stay in your closet and don't mix those things with your video game console. Again, it's just the little things that you can't afford to overlook.

Being disorganized can sometimes be a sign of something going on in your life, something more than just being messy. Maybe it's a sign of depression, lack of motivation, heartbreak, etc. but whatever the case may be, you can't let any issues that are bothering you in your life to get in the way of something that you should control; your own space.

My advice to you is that if you ever find yourself having trouble staying organized in your workplace or even in your own home, take out some time to clean up your act. Don't put pressure on yourself, of course, but make that time available. Have that time to clean up the things you need to clean and find the things you need to find. Memorize the new places where you put your things and write them down on a sheet of paper if you need to. Knowing where your stuff is will give you the freedom to do things you would like to do.

Friday, August 28, 2015

A World Not Meant For Us



This will probably be the deepest opinion article that I have ever posted on The Autistic Help blog, and it touches on certain things that I had hoped I wouldn't talk about, but I believe as we get closer to September, I might as well say how I feel so that I can get it out there to everybody who desires to read this blog.

If you are an autistic person like me, chances are you have had this thought floating to the top surface of your mind from time to time. Especially if you share the same beliefs that I have, as in if you are a Christian like me, then you would know what I am talking about here. Sometimes I'm sure that many of us think about just how long we actually have in this world. Sometimes we wonder just how long God will give us in this world, how long He will allow us to live here in this otherwise crooked and corrupt world until He sees it fit to call us back to Him.

I guess we sometimes feel that we are just running on borrowed time, and that it is only a matter of time until people like us are gone, out of this world that has become miserable, apathetic and lazy.

People can enjoy text messaging all they want. They can preach whatever gossip that their souls subscribe to as much as they want. People can try to find ways to "simplify" their lives by creating a brand spanking new mobile app that does all sort of hi tech stuff. At the end of the day, though, how much of these trivial things actually matter in the grand scheme of things? How do these trivial things actually apply to your spiritual salvation?

I'll give you a quick answer. God doesn't care about whatever new mobile app you created. You can be the next Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Phil Spencer or Mark Cuban as far as business creativity goes, but none of your successes in this world will matter if you fall short of the Kingdom of God.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised as to how negative other people view us autistic people. I shouldn't be too surprised that all I come in contact with are people who are initially nice to me, but then they will become double-tongued and will do anything and everything to use and abuse people like me simply because they know that I am autistic and that I am sensitive to certain things. After all, most of the hardships that I face clearly reside in spiritual battles, the kinds of battles that you can't see with your own two eyes.

God sees everything and allows certain things to happen to us. God knew who would become autistic and who wouldn't. God knows ahead of time how you are going to turn out before you are even born. God is omnipresent and He is my king. As a Christian, I follow God and accept His Son Jesus Christ as the Savior and Messiah. If anyone has a problem with my views, I will let you know that there's nothing you can do to change how I feel spiritually. It's just not happening.

Both spiritually and mentally I have endured my fair share of criticism, persecution and abuse. I'm no stranger to it at this point. Sometimes I have become numb to it. All the negativity that my enemies try to give me on a daily basis is pretty much normal in this day and age. I try my best to be friendly to other people, whether or not they are Christians themselves, and I try my best not to rock the boat, so to speak. I try to keep to myself and I try to humble myself as much as I can.

I am in a minority and I know it. I am in a minority as far as my autism goes, not in quantity but in quality and freedoms. I am in a minority spiritually as I am constantly looked down upon by others. My love for the truth that is in God's word, the Holy Bible, is the reason why I am hated, and with that being the case, I am fine with that.

As I have said in the title of this blog post, if you are like me, this world is simply not meant for us. Don't expect your path to any successes here in this world to be easy because it won't. If you love God then those who hate God will do anything and everything to prevent you from having success. They will try to prevent you from having the peace that you desire to have. That's how the world today works.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Childhood Memories

The Little House - A Children's Picture Book
There are just memories that we have all had when we were children that stick with us for some time. Even when we are adults and we become very focused on performing actions that only adults can relate to, there are some things about our childhood that we just can't forget, and nor should we. Childhood is a very special part of life and once you grow out of your childhood you will never have it back. Sometimes childhood memories fade away from us and we forget how awesome certain activities were. At some point in our lives we will step back and think about the simpler times of life, when we were able to do things that we clearly can't do now as adults.

My childhood involved me reading books. I was an avid reader and I wasn't afraid to pick up a new book and read it. I had the mind for reading and I didn't find it boring. There were some childhood books that I forget about, but there are some that I still remember. For example, The Little House was a book that carried a certain significance to me. It was just a children's picture book with few words on each page, but it told a good enough story. You knew what it was about when you read it. The Little House is a story about a little house that was taken care of by a family, and it was a house that was given a lot of love. As time went on and as things changed all around it, such as the area it was in becoming a huge city like New York, the little house lost the love that people had for it and it would be neglected.

Don't worry, though. There is a good ending to this story. Even today when I look back at The Little House is that the moral to this story still resonates with me on many levels. A home, or a foundation, is so precious and valuable and it is where the heart is. If a home is given love and is protected, then it will survive. If a home loses its loves and is torn down, then it won't survive.

The Giving Tree - A Silverstein Classic

The Giving Tree is another children's book that I read very often in my childhood, and this was clearly one of Shel Silverstein's best books. This was a fictional story about a boy who grew up playing with this tree, which was called "The Giving Tree" as it would give the boy whatever he asked for. As we venture through this book, we see the boy grow up and we see him live his life by just the representation of pictures as we read. Through all the boy's moments, the tree sees it all, and we can't help but feel something for this tree as the story progresses.

I will not spoil the ending to this story neither, but I will let it be known that it has a poetic ending to it. The ending is fitting for the theme that it's based around and it left a lasting impression on me. This was the kind of childhood story that you could go back to and read again for as many times as you like. This has staying power.

I mention these picture books because I am currently taking an online course that discusses writing for younger audiences. I have always had this desire to give back to young audiences myself. I am motivated to give children some of the experiences that I had when I was a child, therefore I would like to give children a chance to use their imagination for all the right reasons.

Childhood memories aren't just limited to the books that you read as a kid. I remember other things such as going to a go-kart racing track and miniature golf course, going swimming in a community pool and in a lake, trying to learn how to ride a bike (and failing miserably at it), going down to a creek to catch a frog or a turtle, entering in a pinecar derby event as a cub scout... There are many things that I still remember because they help represent me. These memories helped me in some shape or form. You can never forget about where you came from nor why you became who you are today. This is one reason why I truly worry about today's generation of kids. Will they truly value the memories they have as kids, or will they take them all for granted?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Continue to Educate Yourself


I have made a post in the past about an online course I was taking. I once took an online course in game Theory, and needless to say, that didn't go too well. My Game Theory course didn't go as well as I had hoped because there was too much mathematics involved. Having said that, though, I have gone on to experience much better courses in just the span of a single year.

I have an official Statement of Accomplishment in Gamification, a course that was provided by the University of Pennsylvania. I have passed a few courses which didn't give out Statements of Accomplishment, but rather Verified Certificates. These certificates are the kind that you pay for, but considering that I'm more broke than a guy flipping burgers for a living, there is no way that I can pay to obtain any Verified Certificate. On Coursera, the online college network I use, you have to pay at least $50 to get a certificate, so of course I will pass on that option.

Very soon I will be receiving my Statement of Accomplishment for Social Entrepreneurship, which is basically like entrepreneurship but it takes into account the social causes that you believe in and fight for. You make a social enterprise with the idea that you are going to help society in some way, no matter what happens financially. 

I have passed a couple of entrepreneurship courses as well as a course run by the University of London (England) called Managing the Company of the Future, and I just recently passed a course that talked about the global perspective of sports and business. Ever since the Fall season of 2014 I have been able to obtain more knowledge about the world around me and I have been given some insight as to how to go about planning some things. The education I received has helped me in some ways, in my opinion.


Educating yourself on things that you want to know more about is a good way of preparing you for what you want to do next in your life. It can be hard for us as autistic people to know what exactly we would like to do for a career, but when we figure out what we're the most knowledgeable in and what we're good at, there shouldn't be anything holding us back from entering through that door.

What's more important is that even if you are around my age, which is 26, and you feel that you already have enough of an education, don't be afraid to re-evaluate that part of your life. Don't be afraid to look at online education networks like Coursera and think to yourself "You know what? I probably could learn more about this subject! It will probably help me get that job I've always wanted!" 

At the age of 26, I am at a point in my life where I could just go with what I already know and do my own thing, but I choose to continue educating myself. Why? Because it's a challenge. I continue to educate myself because I know there are some things I will need to brush up on in the future if I am going to achieve certain feats. Without certain pieces of knowledge it will be difficult for me to understand what certain people will be talking about. That's what I want to change every time I take a course.


The world's system of education, which involves you going to a college for 4 years, get your education on whatever it is you prefer, and then out the door you go and into society where you hope things will make more sense for you in the future, is definitely flawed. The problem I have always had with this worldly system is that even after you get your education in this setting, you are never given a guarantee that your education will actually be put to work. You are never guaranteed of the opportunity of actually applying what you have learned into the profession that you are shooting for.

My words of advice are simple. Continue to educate yourself. When you have the time to do so, just do it. You might just find something that truly interests you and it may just be the thing that rekindles that creative fire inside you. You won't know until you try.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Poem - The Box

 The Box
By Steven Vitte

Description: This is a poem that defines how I feel being in my current environment. I believe this poem speaks for itself as to what my response is to those who oppose me.

Ignored by many and respected by few,
All I want to do is blaze a new trail,
It is my desire to rise above the doubts of those who do evil,
It is these same people who desire my hurt and want to see me fail,
Therefore they will feel good about themselves,
Because they see the door I want to go through,
And because they know what I want, they won't give it to me.

 Talked down to because I tell the truth,
Disrespected because I go my own way, separate of their way,
They speak evil of me, putting the black cowboy hat on my head,
They target me like a victim, some of them wish me dead,
What reassures me is that I am led by the Spirit to keep moving ahead,
Because of the truth I know, I ignore what my enemies may have said,
Because there is no life in a lie, and there is no credibility in them.

My reality is like a box, confined by the evil pleasures of others,
The Box smothers my creative fuel, telling me what I should and shouldn't do,
The Box has 4 walls which are all dead ends,
These walls laugh at me, antagonizing me,
These walls and this box represent today's society,
Hardened cold hearts, clouded defiled minds,
Attitudes of people who are unable to find and show empathy and compassion.

 I am not the only one who is put inside The Box,
There are many like me who suffer all the same,
There are many like me who are used like pawns in a twisted game,
For myself, I feel like a captured fox held against his will,
Offensive remarks can harm, and narcissistic looks can kill,
I have been through it all, knowing others want me to feel ill,
All because there are mountains and hills that they'll never climb.

It's a crime to keep me inside The Box,
There's no rhyme nor reason to keep the locks on the doors,
For you know that one day my wounds and sores will heal,
And you won't be able to steal my freedom and joy anymore,
Because of your wicked actions, you have sealed your final day,
Because like a bird, my feathers were too bright to remain concealed,
Opportunity knocks, I think outside The Box... and I get out. 


Monday, July 27, 2015

"It Is What It Is"



"It is what it is"

The content that you read on The Autistic Help blog is what it is. Everything that you read on this blog is real, authentic, to the point and as candid as I possibly can make it. I'm not strict about the SEO dynamic and the technical mumbo jumbo that goes along with the internet these days. The Autistic Help isn't a blog that I want to micromanage. The Autistic Help is a free space for autistic readers (and non-autistic readers) to express their opinions on the topics that I present if they so wish. I put emphasis on the word "free", a word that many people abuse these days.

Nowadays when people use the word "free", they only use that word to their own liking and interpretation. What they consider "free" may not always actually be "free" in reality, if you know what I mean. If they're happy with the content that is written and put out there, for example, then they'll consider that free space to be acceptable. If they're not happy with that content, then of course they will throw a hissy fit and undermine and devalue everything a writer writes. "That's not free space! No freedom for you!", they'll say.

That's the world we live in today and society in general is at fault for letting issues like this get this bad. Society in general has lost so much sense of itself that whenever rules are put up for people to follow, it becomes very easy for people to get confused, as in people don't know how to interpret rules anymore. As a writer, I would know plenty about this. As an autistic person, it hurts especially. I don't like to be confused about any sets of rules that I would need to follow. I don't want to be confused. I never purposely try to scramble my brain just by reading rules, whether they be for a job listing or what have you. Stuff just happens, and even after I ask for help to clarify the rules, people get upset at me. Hey, that's the world we live in today.

I want to get the point across through The Autistic Help blog that freedom is just that; freedom. I am free to write about anything that touches my heart and moves me in such a way to write about it. If people have a problem with what I write and how I write it, then I say that's just too bad. They can instead read glorified sensationalism content like the Huffington Post, for example. No, I don't take that last sentence back.

^ I will NEVER let anyone treat me like this.

Just because I state that I'm autistic shouldn't give people the license to undermine my work, disrespect my standing as a writer and string me along like a puppet to fulfill their wishes. I don't like to be micromanaged. I don't like to be bullied. I don't like to be told what I can and cannot do, especially if it means sacrificing my identity and my integrity. Just because my brain is wired differently compared to others doesn't give people the right to label me as uneducated or someone who just doesn't "get it". If this is how society behaves, thinks and acts, then maybe we need to start lightening up on all the technical mumbo jumbo and start getting back to basics?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Poem - Keep Trying

Keep Trying
By Steven Vitte

Description: A poem that basically sends the message to other autistic people or those with general disabilities to keep moving forward no matter what.

When all seems lost,
When all seems to be for nothing,
When everything becomes an illusion,
When everything becomes a glorified joke...
Keep trying.

When everything appears to lose its purpose,
When all the ugly truths rise to the surface,
When all you've seen starts to hurt your eyes,
When all you've felt starts to hurt your heart...
Keep fighting.

When everyone you knew before betrays you now,
When everyone you asked for help ignores you,
When all that they do pushes you aside,
When all that they say excludes you...
Keep moving forward.

When everyone makes fun of you,
When everyone voices their doubts of you,
When everyone forgets your existence,
When everyone you wanted support from is now the opposing resistance...
Keep moving toward the goal.

My dreams are to be protected to the utmost,
Not everyone can see what I see,
They don't have the vision that I have,
 Some say I shouldn't be a dreamer,
Some say that I should be of the status quo,
Perhaps not me, but it is they who don't know?
Those who say I can't are usually those who "can't" themselves...

When all you do fails,
When all that you say falls on deaf ears,
When all your hard work only results in agony and tears,
 When everyone around you desires your hurt...
Keep pushing your dreams.

When they try to destroy your character,
When they try to destroy your confidence,
When they try to break your spirit,
When they try to spit on your legacy...
 Keep living for the truth.

Keep trying to do all that you can.
Keep trying.

Friday, July 10, 2015

When Days Just Drag On



I am sure many of us have felt this way many times in our lives. I am sure that we have developed great levels of boredom at some point in time, times when there really isn't anything to do and you don't know exactly what to do. It isn't a feeling I want to often have. I want to be doing something constructive with my time. I want to be doing something that makes a difference in not only my own life but in other people's lives.

Sometimes, though, the world has a way of forcing one to be bored no matter how hard one tries to be productive in life.

There are different types of boredom, to be sure. There is the harmless type of boredom where things are smooth sailing and you are otherwise enjoying yourself during the day. You have completed pretty much everything you wanted to do in a single day and now you're just kicking back and relaxing. Yeah, boredom may set in if you consider this scenario, but this isn't the type of boredom to be worried about.

There is the harmful type of boredom where you feel stuck and you don't know what to do. The type of boredom you experience when you set out to do something interesting, and then you find out that something wasn't really that interesting to begin with. The type of boredom you experience when you are eager to accomplish something, and yet, you feel like you're being shut down at every corner you turn. It's this type of boredom that sometimes bothers me, I admit.



Especially recently, I have faced plenty of boring days where everything just seemed to drag on. I can't fully explain why I've had these kinds of days. Not all of these days were terrible, but they were definitely underwhelming and "blah", for lack of a better term. I just feel like there have been days in my life where I could have addressed something important, and yet, I never got around to doing that, and I ended up kicking myself because of this feeling.

I guess it's just that feeling of uncertainty I develop when a boring day becomes boring. Not knowing what to do, not knowing what the next move to make, and then realizing that I could have done something more interesting than what I ended up doing... Sometimes that feeling hurts.

I know there will be days ahead in the future when I will be as busy as a little ant with a hardhat on, digging through chunks of dirt with a little pickaxe. I know I will have my busy days. I know that I will have days where I feel really excited and relieved to have done something very interesting and important. Those days will come. However, since I don't have much of a support group, it gets really hard for me to deal with the boring days and the terrible days. I push myself as hard as I can, but sometimes even that's not enough to get me away from the bored feeling.

Overall, though, keep challenging yourself. Keep finding ways to motivate yourself, and if you hit a major bump in the road where you feel really bored about how the day is going, just endure. Find ways to feel comfortable and happy. Whatever you like to do, just do it. Do the things that you know you will enjoy doing, and don't let anyone else question what you're doing. It's none of their business, and it's not their decision to make anyway. You are your own person. The course of a day depends on how you want to handle that day. 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Perception Is Not Reality



There is one saying that is tossed around by many people "Perception is reality", and many of us know exactly what this saying means. How we perceive some people to be often gives us a first impression of those whom we haven't gotten to know yet. Just by looking at someone we can immediately develop the belief that something is very wrong with that person. In the sense of people who fall under the special needs category, there will often be others who walk by and put down these special needs people.

We live in a society today where bullies and antagonists exist just around every possible corner, and they are looking to target the weakest links of society. Those weakest links would be those who are of special needs or mentally disabled. The perception that people, especially bullies, have of us autistic people is the belief that we are such easy targets that anything they say, even if it's just slightly offensive, will throw us off track and upset us. That is the developed perception of the average autistic person.

Jokes are cracked about us autistic people all the time. Search through the internet and you will see a myriad of jokes that are made just to put us down. I know this to be true. Perhaps some of you who are reading this post right now are guilty of doing this, making jokes about autistic people. Perhaps some of you are even proud of making fun of autistic people because it makes you feel superior in some way.

Regardless of who reads this blog post, I want to make this perfectly clear. No matter who gets in my way, and no matter what anyone does to try and put me down for being on the Autism Spectrum, no amount of bullying nor antagonistic behavior will stop me in accomplishing my goals in life. I can't let the arrogance and stupidity of other people get in the way of what I want to do in my life. I can't dwell on their problems. I can't influence the decisions they make. That is beyond my control. That is not my problem that I need to solve.


Countless times in the past I have experienced people approaching me, offering friendship and whatnot, but only to have me turn around and realize that these people were never really my friends to begin with. They saw me at first glace, got to know me, and supposedly studied me to find any weaknesses in me, and if they did find a weakness in me, they exploited it. This was super frequent during my days in elementary school. I would have kids in my school invite me over to play video games one day, and then the next day they were making fun of me. I have tried to make friends online in more recent times, but only to have those bridges burn down to nothing because of something they expected me to agree with, but wouldn't. Sometimes considering the way I am, being autistic, I am not surprised why these things keep happening to me.

Let's face the facts of the world that we live in today. People love first impressions. People love the initial perceptions that they develop of others, as well as the initial perceptions of themselves that they want others to see. Many people have adopted this self-absorbed mentality where they need to be right all the time, regardless of whether this mentality hurts other people's feelings. It hurts for these people to be exposed for living a lie and not embracing the truth.

Perception is NOT reality. I will repeat this thousands of more times if I have to. Just because you see me and you become aware of the fact that I am autistic, doesn't mean that you know the full story of me. Just because you know I'm autistic doesn't mean that you know everything there is to know about me. Just because you know my weaknesses for being autistic doesn't give you a special right to exploit those weaknesses and take advantage of me only because it makes you feel better about your self-absorbed agenda.

Perception is not reality, and for some of us, reality never really hits home.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

In The News: June 2015



https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/special-needs-dad-allegedly-fired-for-objecting-to-120559332911.html
http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2015/06/grant-significantly-expands-vanderbilt%e2%80%99s-autism-training-for-tennessee-educators/
http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/
http://autismmemorial.blogspot.com/

There is a whole bunch of things for me to discuss here on this edition of In The News. Some of what I will be discussing won't be so flattering, but nonetheless, these things are noteworthy. It is important that blog audiences get the whole story on what's going on with people who are either autistic or those who associate themselves with autistic people.

The first story talks about a special needs dad who allegedly got fired for objecting to the use of the word "retarded" in his former workplace. He was working at the Chili's restaurant when he overheard some fellow employees use the word "retarded" in conversations. The youngest of this father's 3 children has Down Syndrome. Bruce Casper, the father, was offered another job at a different Chili's restaurant, but he promptly turned that offer down.

The second story is a little more upbeat in tone. The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center's Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD) received a $10 Million grant for 5 years to continue its program. Professional development and training opportunities are among some of the benefits. The TRIAD produces statewide initiatives that are aimed directly at understanding what autism means within the borders of Tennessee, and how that compares with the rest of the United States.

The last two links direct you to blogs that you can also find on Blogspot, which would be Adventures In Autism and Autism Rest. These blogs are different from each other. Adventures In Autism describes a parent's child who experiences life with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This blog basically provides a commentary on both the ups and downs of this little boy's life and how his family is helping him the best way they can.

Autism Rest, on the other hand, basically serves as an online memorial station for the families of those who were on the Autism Spectrum. All of the blog posts that you will read on this blog contain the names of the autistic people who died and what the actual cause of death was. There is a long list of autistic people who have had their lives cut short due to a variety of things. Sadly, some of these deaths were suicides, and I honestly can't help but wonder why help wasn't given to these autistic people in particular when they absolutely needed it the most. I'm not an advocate of anyone committing suicide since I believe that spiritually, it's a cowardly act.

I don't know how much more evidence one needs in finding out just how serious issues are related people who are either autistic or have autistic friends or family members. I don't know what else needs to be said at this point to get people to see that there are many autistic people struggling to find their way in this world, and the rest of the world only makes it even more unbearable if they choose not to help in any form.

Autistic people are targets, and most likely, we always have been targets. We have been victimized by circumstances, by environments and by people. We have been told that we just don't fit in like the rest of society because of our conditions. We have been told, whether directly or behind our backs, that we don't have what it takes to be productive in any facets of life. Autism Rest is a reminder of sorts of how autistic people spent their last days in this world, but memorial spots like Autism Rest shouldn't define us as an entire community of autistic people. We have to find ways to change these kinds of patterns.