Sunday, June 21, 2015

In The News: June 2015

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.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

My Go Fund Me Campaign

I have started a campaign of my own on Go Fund Me, and this is a campaign that truly matters to me. This campaign is called the Writer's Travel Fund for Autism, and it's exactly as the title says. This campaign carries multiple purposes that I hope people can relate to. The Writer's Travel Fund for Autism will be something for me to reflect on. This will be a fund I can use to travel to a few places and then discuss my experiences visiting those places in blogs like this one.

My travels will involve, in one sense, to promote autism awareness. I will tie this in with my travels in some way. I can't deny what I am. I am on the Autism Spectrum and this fact alone matters. I want to be able to make these travels so that I can give out good reports about them for my blog audiences. For my Gaming Journalist Gazette blog, I would like to travel to a hot spot that features a video game convention (i.e. Boston, Seattle, San Antonio, etc.) where I can interact with gaming personalities and then talk about these experiences on the GJG.

For The Autistic Help blog, I will feel more free to go to places where I feel will relate to people who are on the Autism Spectrum. I want to be able to come back to this blog after I go on my travels and tell others who are autistic that these are the kinds of places you can go to have a good time. I think something like this makes a difference. I get the word out about this blog to a wider audience, to other people who aren't exactly close to me in proximity, and as a result, more people will get to know about The Autistic Help.

This is just one of the many goals that I have in mind whenever I start going on various travels to places. I want to get the word out about this blog and about the other things that I do. I want people to become more aware of what's out there on the internet.

When you travel out to places, no matter how far or nearby those places are, these are always the kinds of experiences that you keep no matter what. These experiences are your experiences. They carry a distinct value. When you go out somewhere to explore, you are setting aside the time to find out what's beyond your home, but you are also, in some ways, trying to find yourself. 

I have to think that in the perspectives of autistic people, they don't mind the general idea of going on a trip to places where they would want to go. Maybe seeing something for the very first time could be intimidating at first, but the point of visiting a place is subtly observing stuff. Just going out there to look around and take in a view that you are not used to should present itself as exciting. The idea of traveling excites me.

I encourage fellow autistic people who are shy about whether or not they want to travel to do so. Sometimes the most enjoyable moments in life are when you get up, pack up and leave home for a little while to venture out to places that appeal to you.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Creatively Speaking...

Those who are on the Autism Spectrum keep themselves going in a variety of ways, and most of all, there's a good chance that autistic people develop some form of creativity in the activities that they engage in. All of us have talent in certain areas. No matter what your background happens to be, you can develop your talent and skills in a field that you wish to pursue. As they always say, creativity sparks the imagination, and I believe that to be true.

For many people it's easy for them to realize what they are good at and what they want to end up doing with their lives. For many autistic people, this isn't the case. I don't use this as an indictment on autistic people, but I say this because this is a fact. Many of us autistic people take time to discover what we want to do, why we want to do a certain thing, and how we are going to improve and perfect that certain thing. There isn't a set-in-stone requirement for when a person should learn what he or she is good at. When that time comes for you to find out what your calling in life is, you should know it and you should feel it.

Creativity is something that you can't teach anyone. Creativity is something that you want to develop and use.

Creativity is one critical piece to the puzzle that helps fuel your mind. Creativity challenges you to do something different, to go against the norm, to improve on what you already have in ideas, and to keep your mind open to all the varying possibilities out there. Creativity contributes to you discovering new things about not only concepts and situations, but also sometimes about yourself as a person and what you can take from creative experiences.

Contrary to the picture above, there is no real key that can unlock creativity for you. If you don't want creativity, you most likely won't excel at being creative. There is no handbook on creativity. To put this in a polite way, you either have creativity or you don't. I do find it to be that simple. You need to have that desire inside yourself to create the things that you want to create.

You also don't want to keep your creativity to yourself in an isolated corner. You want to share your creations with others. You want to get the word out there about your created content or materials. You want to showcase what kind of creativity you have and what you intend to do with that creativity going forward. I know that it's hard for autistic people to socialize with others, and I know that it can be really challenging to walk up to a podium and speak in front of a big crowd of people. I know what that feeling could be like. I know the nerves will kick in for you as an autistic person.

If you never share your creations with other people, how are you going to know whether or not your ideas are good ideas? If you never try to step forward and introduce a new concept or solution to something to someone, how are you going to know if your proposal was sufficient or not? There is a time to be quiet, but there is also a time to speak up. We just need to figure out how to find the appropriate times to do both.

"How do I know when I'm being creative?"

I honestly can't answer that question. Sometimes I myself don't know when I'm being creative until I dig deep into a particular activity. One day I will just get the feeling that I want to do something creative and I will just get to work on that activity. It comes and it goes for me. Every time I use a pen or a pencil to write something down, I'd like to think that it's some sort of unique adventure for me. Every time I have a job to accomplish as a freelance writer, I always embrace the challenge. I do my research, I form my words by writing them down, and then I type and format.

We all have different interpretations of what creativity is and what creativity should be. It's up to you, the reader, to find what fuels your creativity and what you can do to improve your creative skills.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Autism and Anger

I would like to make an apology for the tone of my last post "The Future of The Autistic Help". I've been told by at least one reader that the tone of this post came across as me being angry and that it was a far cry from what I have normally been posting here on this blog.

I figure that this might as well be a platform for me to discuss another topic that affects autistic people. How exactly do we deal with anger? What do we do when we know we are experiencing terrible days and we feel that we're going to have a meltdown of sorts? It's hard to answer such questions, especially in my case. There was a time in the past when I could handle my anger well. In recent years, however, that hasn't always been the case. Because of what has transpired these last few years to me, I've resorted to anger and frustration, succumbing to the overwhelming amounts of stress and pressure that I either put on myself or what's put onto me from others.

As of today, I live a stressful life. You wouldn't know that by just reading this blog, but if you were to keep an eye on me throughout one day and spend that day with me, you would know what exactly I have to put up with just to live. I used to have peace at home and within the family in the past, but now? Not so much, and I feel that from a mile away.

I have constantly expressed my feelings on various subjects, and I have expressed my desire to move forward in my life. I have exhausted myself in expressing my true love and passion for what I want to be doing in the future. I have dreams and aspirations that I try so hard to protect and maintain regardless of what other people around me think.

All the more, however, have people been bent on trying to destroy my dreams and aspirations through their twisted, calculated actions, and this above everything else has angered me.

Regardless of what the reasoning is, whether they know I am autistic and they try to take advantage of me, or personality-wise they just don't like me and want to hurt me in a variety of ways, my adversaries bother me at times. They bother me because of their intent, because they ultimately know better but choose to do something stupid when it particularly involves me. I guess this is what you call "being of the world", and being a spiritual person, I shouldn't be all that surprised.

I have stated it and have hinted at it that I am a Christian, and yes, even Christians get angry from time to time. Name one person in this world who has never gotten angry in his or her life. My anger isn't always justified, to be sure, but there are plenty of times when I felt like I needed to get that anger out but wasn't allowed to. As a result, I've bottled up anger which spills at some point. I can recall plenty of times when my anger in real life has spilled out onto the internet, stories I wish to not talk about for various reasons.

This has been constantly recurring in my life where I've felt stuck, and there are key components to this.

I ask for help, but ultimately I don't get help = Stress, Frustration and Anger
Not getting the feeling of being appreciated for anything I do = Stress, Frustration and Anger

^ These couple things make up a broken record for me, where I go around in a loop and I wind up feeling snake-bitten, disgusted, betrayed and annoyed. I feel like so many things get put on hold and I have to wait for long periods of time before I can progress to the next part of my life. It's been frustrating and it's the truth.

So that's one story I needed to tell. My apologies again for the tone of my "The Future of The Autistic Help" post.