Hurting Heart Tonight

HNI_0100_MPOAnother Fourth of July has come and gone. I enjoyed watching the performances on Wawa Welcome America and watched the beautiful fireworks on TV. I also enjoyed my Fourth of July supper which was pork with gravy, a baked potato and mixed vegetables. I also watched Wawa Welcome America before and after breakfast this morning, and this afternoon I got to listen to Wee Sing America twice.

Tonight. as soon as I was out to take pictures of the Fourth of July sunset, my younger brother snapped at me to get out of his way. I wasn’t in his way, I was just putting my glass of ice water back where I had it. And after I took some sunset pics, I went in the house and told him to listen to me when I talk. Unfortunately he refused to listen and was singing to himself instead. He told me that he didn’t want to talk to me or nothing. He even told me to shut up. I was crying so hard. I couldn’t even take it anymore, so I had a meltdown and ended up forgetting my New Nintendo 3DS as I went upstairs the second time. But the first time I didn’t. I put it in my mouth as I took it upstairs.

In my room, I was crying uncontrollably and biting myself. My mom gave me an ice pack, but it melted in a couple of minutes so I put ice cubes in a big plastic baggie and put it on my bitten hand. I really wish that he and I could get along better, but unfortunately, I don’t know how that’s gonna happen. It just hurts my heart so much when some family members don’t treat autistic/disabled people the way they should. When you’re autistic and you have siblings or family members that don’t care about you, it really just puts a hurt in your heart. Life is hard for autistic/disabled people like me. I just hurt so much tonight, and this just isn’t fair.

Also, when you’re autistic, it’s hard when your family members don’t love you unconditionally and treat you like a piece of dirt. And my younger brother laughed at me when I had a meltdown on Saturday morning. Instead of helping me through the meltdown, laughing at me about it was the only reaction. I just hurt so much right now. I had a wonderful Fourth of July until he completely destroyed it for me. It hurts my heart to have a younger brother show no compassion for me, his autistic sister. It’s neither fair nor right.

My younger brother doesn’t even take the time to listen to me when I try to tell him something, all he does is ignore me and sing to himself every time I talk to him. That hurts my heart because he always treats me like a pile of dirt. If he thinks he can treat me like dirt, then I’ll be dirt. And he made an excuse for his rudeness. That really had me hopping mad. I couldn’t take it anymore.

I hate that he wants nothing to do with me. He is supposed to be my brother. He is supposed to be loving me unconditionally the way families do. I’m getting so sick and tired of this. That’s why tonight my heart is hurting. I can’t deal with his hate towards me any longer. We had fantastic conversations as kids, but now, he wants nothing to do with me. Nothing. I’m done here. He has hurt me enough.

I’m getting tired of being treated like filth all the time. I’m getting tired of being treated like I’m a pile of dirt, like I don’t matter. But I matter, I have a voice and I have a story to tell. It hurts my heart that my younger brother doesn’t seem to care at all. He doesn’t even care about me, and I wish that he would.

Parents and siblings, please remember, always love your disabled brothers/sisters/sons/daughters. Love them unconditionally. Never turn your backs on them, ever. Because they need it. We autistic/disabled people need it. Show them compassion, too. Because we mater. Autistic people matter, disabled people matter. We have a voice, and a story to tell. Because if you treat them like dirt, you have hurt the person who you are supposed to love. So always, always, always love them unconditionally, and find it in your heart to love them.

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We Weren’t That Resilient

THIS!!!

Maureen O'Leary

In response to the bell ringing that kids these days aren’t resilient the way their parents were growing up in the Wild West of the seventies and eighties suburban American neighborhoods and schools: I call bullshit.

We weren’t that resilient.

Those of us growing up in the seventies and eighties were not tilling Victory gardens and whittling useful things out of sticks that we found on the ground. I know. I was there.

I can only speak to my own experience, and trigger warning, I’m not prone to nostalgia.

Yes, we played outside with the neighborhood kids until the streetlights came on.

It’s true we didn’t have iPhones. We weren’t texting or addicted to screens.

We didn’t expect our teachers to give us A’s.

We drank from the garden hose when we were thirsty.

And it got pretty Lord of the Flies out there in the neighborhood and schoolyards before the streetlights came…

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#SayTheWord, Not “Special Needs”

Erin Human

The deeper I go into autistic culture and autistic rights activism, the more I find myself pulled to align my goals, my activism, and my identity with the broader disability rights community.

There’s a social media campaign going on right now to #SayTheWord – it was started by Lawrence Carter-Long, the Public Affairs Manager for the National Council on Disability, and is an active Twitter hashtag. The word, of course, is disabled.

The importance of this campaign is driven home to me over and over again as I see people performing ludicrous and painful contortions to avoid saying it. Reminder that when I make a criticism the way well-meaning people interact with disability, I am not attacking the people (parenthetical reminder that I was immersed in ableism myself not long ago), but inviting people to think about things in a different way.

Instead of saying disabled, nice people say things…

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A Crisp and Cool Tuesday

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As another year of choir practice has passed and summer begins, I’m looking forward to a lot of things. The book sale is coming up in July, my birthday is in August, and Autistic Pride Day is in June. I can’t wait for all three of these things. I especially am excited for the book sale in July, where I will be getting my Sesame Street DVDs and the rest of the season of Fraggle Rock. I am currently counting down the days until then. I will also be visiting Mr. Kiffer’s house this summer too, and go swimming at his neighbor’s house.

It is a cool and dreary day here where I live. Because of the changes of the weather I have my fuzzy pajama pants on. I’m glad it’s cool out, though, because I was never a big fan of super-hot weather in the first place. But I long to see the sunset again, because I miss going outside to see the sunset. I’m happy that I will be able to watch Splash and Bubbles at 10:30am starting next week, because I’m gonna be back at my wake-up schedule and breakfast will start at 10:06am once again. I miss my 10am breakfasts.

Yesterday at 1pm before lunch, I got to watch the Sesame Street movie called The Cookie Thief. I was really glad that I got to watch it, because I have never seen it before. Yesterday was my first time watching it. I can’t wait until I watch it again tomorrow afternoon. I hope the book sale still has it on DVD because I would love to have it in my own home. I also hope that the book sale has so much more Sesame Street DVDs.

Last week I watched Julie’s Greenroom, and I thought it was truly adorable. My favorite Greenies are Hank, Peri and Fizz. I was really excited about watching the show and I really loved it when I watched four episodes last Monday. I will be watching some more this week. I’m so glad that I finally found a website to watch it on other than Netflix because 1) I don’t have Netflix and 2) I’m not sure if I’ll ever get Netflix at all. Other than that, it’s a cute, cute show.

I will be doing some summer drawing too. Maybe I’ll be doing some pottery, painting and more crafts. When it gets warmer out, I’m gonna be watching Sesame Street outside if it’s sunny outside. I really enjoy watching it. On Easter I got to watch The Tale of the Bunny Picnic outside. I loved it and I can’t wait until I watch it again next Easter season. And on June 8th, I’m looking forward to singing with the choir at the baseball game. I’m also excited about that this summer. I hope that it doesn’t rain that day because I really would like to go so badly.

On Sunday night fireworks displays were going off for Memorial Day. I hated when they went off, and I’m so glad that they were finally over when they ended, because I never really liked loud noises in the first place. I’m also glad that there were no fireworks last night, because the noise was too much for me and I’m glad that there were no fireworks displays like they were on Sunday. I’m looking forward to watching the 4th of July fireworks on my local NBC station.
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Close of Another Choir Year

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It’s been five years since I joined Grace Bible Fellowship Church’s choir. I’m glad that I joined the choir and am also glad that I am in the choir. It’s also been a while since my last blog post. I got my Elmo and Cookie Monster Supersized Fun DVD last week, and watched it over and over again on Sunday.

Summer vacation has finally begun for me and the GBFC choir members. I have finished up my fifth year at choir practice, and can’t wait to sing the anthem on Sunday. Harriet says that she’s not gonna be teaching choir next year, and M will be teaching choir when we are back from vacation. I will miss Harriet because she really was a good choir teacher. She was one of the best choir teachers I ever had. In my sixth year, when M takes over, I’m sure that she’ll be great and will do well.

Anyway, it has been raining for several days and I’m staying indoors these days because when the gray skies are here, I don’t go outside to take pictures of the sunset because it’s hard to see a sunset when the skies are gray. I’m thankful that at least I got to take some pictures of recent sunsets. When there are a couple of clouds and blue sky together, I like to take pictures of the cloudscapes. They look so pretty in the sky. I also like to take pictures of flowers and blossoms on the trees in springtime.

I also have the 2011 Muppet movie finally and it’s truly adorable. I love watching my favorite Muppet Walter, and he is just adorable to watch. The cast and crew of this movie did a fantastic job. My brother and his new girlfriend bought it for me at the store. I was so excited when they handed it to me. It was only for five dollars, and I watched it the night I got it.

I’m so glad that I finally get to post some video blogs on YouTube. It makes me so happy, because I’m thankful for my New Nintendo 3DS. If I didn’t have my New Nintendo 3DS, I wouldn’t have posted video blogs on my YouTube and I wouldn’t have shared my autism story through video blogs.That’s why on Christmas Day 2016 I was so excited about getting the New Nintendo 3DS for Christmas, because now I’m able to post video blogs on YouTube, share pictures of sunrises, sunsets, cloudscapes and nature on the Internet.

I’m thankful that as an autistic adult, I make my story go viral. Because there needs to be more understanding of autistic children and adults. Because we have a voice, and a story to tell. I can’t stress this enough. Don’t dismiss our feelings and try to silence our voices. Don’t judge, mock and ridicule us. Because there’s nothing about us without us.

I’m Baaaaaaaaack!!!!

It’s been four months since my last blog post. I finally got my New Nintendo 3DS for Christmas. I was so happy and excited that I got it, because I bit my last one and it was completely broken, so I got a new one. I’m glad I now have it because I get to take some sunrise, sunset and cloudscape pictures. I had a four-week internet outage, and I was supposed to write a blog on the second week of February, however, the plans fell through due to the four week internet outage I had. As an autistic adult, it’s hard for me to keep myself calm if an internet outage lasts for four weeks or more than that.

I haven’t been feeling well lately. I’m dehydrated, so I’m supposed to be drinking lots of water. I now take some fish oil and spash only a little bit of juice in my water. I’m no longer allowed to drink any juice.

Anyway, so much has happened since the last blog post I’ve written. I have just recently made some springtime decorations. It was fun and I enjoyed doing that. I also have been watching Sesame Street late at night to help me go to sleep at nighttime. I started watching international versions of Sesame Street in January, and it was so much fun to watch. I learned different languages, and it was really cool to see Muppets from a different country, especially a foreign country.

Now that I have my New Nintendo 3DS, I can watch Sesame Street on YouTube every night before I go to sleep, and I also watch Muppets Tonight every Sunday to help me stay calm before I go to church. I love to watch videos on Dailymotion, Vimeo and YouTube. I like watching the Judy videos, the Samika Vlogs and the JakeBoys vlogs. I also like to watch crafting tutorials on YouTube.

I got a Sesame Street DVD that was released in February. I’m happy that I got it too because I really wanted it, so when Mom and I went to WalMart on the last week of February, I got it and watched it twice in a row on the day I got it. I’m really excited to be getting another Sesame Street DVD, which came out a couple of weeks ago.

I had a meltdown one day in either January or February, and my younger brother told me to shut up when I had the meltdown. I was so mad at him for doing that. He could have at least been a little more supportive and asked me what he could have done to help me. It made me sad that he did that. I wish that people would understand me better, but sadly, they don’t. I’m misunderstood by people and it’s really not fair. Whenever I have a meltdown I always get told to shut up, and people dismiss my feelings like I don’t matter to them or something. It hurts. It breaks my heart to have to deal with all the mistreatment and ableism.

But I am so glad that there are some people that understand or are willing to understand what it’s like for me to be autistic. I do wish that people could walk a mile in my shoes while I tell them my story. I’m still here. I’m not “missing,” a tragedy or a burden. I have a voice and a story to tell. Don’t judge, criticize, mistreat, abuse, make fun of or ridicule us autistic/disabled people. We autistic/disabled people are human beings. Walk a mile in our shoes and listen to our stories. Listen to us. Because it is nothing about us without us.

45, Autism Speaks & The Future of Our Activism

Autism Speaks Hurts. Real People Speaking.

We want to take a moment to acknowledge all the progress we have made since our grassroots efforts began. As one of our founding organizers has said:

“This is not just a boycott, this is a civil rights movement.”

It is important to see our progress but we must remember that it’s equally important to keep the pressure on Autism Speaks and their financial sponsors. We must continue to speak out against hate, ableism and fear. For over a decade, Autism Speaks has dominated the conversations about autism while ignoring the needs and wishes of the autistic community.  They have created an environment where we are feared, where our civil rights and autonomy are ignored, where we are told that we are unable to speak for ourselves as Autistic people. They have made this common place. Is it any surprise that our current president has adopted so much of their…

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Not In Love With Julia

As a fan of Sesame Street and the Muppets, I agree with this. Sesame Street needs to realize that there’s nothing wrong with being autistic.

Erin Human

Everyone might be tired of hearing about Sesame Street’s new autistic muppet by the time I post this, but before I wrote up a full review I had to make my way through all of the materials at the “Sesame Street and Autism” site. I watched all of the videos, either when the kids weren’t around or with headphones while they were otherwise occupied, because I wanted to screen them first before I let them view of it – and, yes, it is weird to have to screen Sesame Street, of all things, for harmful messaging, but such is the state of the mainstream dialogue on autism that I knew there were likely to be some things I would not want my kids to see or hear. And there were.

What is Sesame Street and Autism?

First, a brief explanation of what Sesame Street and Autism is and isn’t. There’s been…

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Thanksgiving Plans and Update on My Right Leg

Today is Thursday, and it is a week before Thanksgiving. I’m so excited for Thanksgiving because I get to watch the Muppets on the Thanksgiving Day Parade on my local NBC station, and I also get to watch the Thanksgiving parade on my local ABC station, then I get to watch Mr. Peabody and Sherman on Thanksgiving night at midnight. I’m also looking forward Thanksgiving Eve because at 6pm I get to watch The Muppets before Thanksgiving Eve service. The calf of my right leg is feeling better. There’s not a black and blue mark on my leg anymore.

I didn’t go to choir practice because my friend’s mom is sick, and my mom didn’t feel like taking me. So I took a day off and watched the Thanksgiving episode of Speechless. When I saw that show I thought it was pretty awesome. I fell asleep early last night because I was so tired. It is going to be warm out on some of this weekend. On Tuesday I got to take pictures of the sunset. It was really beautiful, even if it wasn’t fiery like I thought it was. I hope that tomorrow night’s sunset is fiery, same as tonight.

Again, I’m really excited for Thanksgiving this year, because then I get to eat turkey, potato filling, corn, green beans, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. This is going to be the best Thanksgiving ever. I think my family will be eating out this year. This means that I will watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade at 2pm, and the Dunkin’ Donuts parade at 8:30. They have repeats of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade at 2pm every Thanksgiving. I can’t wait until Thanksgiving Day.

I got my essays published for Autistics Speaking Day and Autistic History Month. I’m so excited for that, too, because this year is my first year of participating in both events, and I’m very glad I participated in both. Because we as autistic people need to have our voices heard. As autistic people, we are valid. As autistic people we need people to realize that it’s okay to be different and that it’s not okay to silence, dismiss, bully, tease, torture, gaslight and murder us. We as autistic people need to be loved and understood. As autistic people our voices need to be validated, because people need to realize that we have feelings and they need to validate our feelings, too.

I can’t wait until Thanksgiving Eve service, because then I get to sing the anthem with the choir, and I get to share my testimony with the rest of the congregation. I like to share my testimony with the rest of the congregation, because it makes me feel glad to be a part of my church. I hope I get to go this year because I never got to go last year. I was really disappointed that I didn’t get to go last year but I’m okay now.

Tonight I will be watching football, drawing, blogging and making some crafts. I’m tired, and lunch will be soon.

I Am Autistic, and I Am Valid #AutisticsSpeakingDay2016

This is my first Autistics Speaking Day essay. I wanted to do an essay last year, but my computer didn’t work and it had viruses on it, so I couldn’t use it. I also tried using my Nintendo 3DS but unfortunately, that didn’t work either, but I am thankful my computer is back up and running again, in time for Autistics Speaking Day.

Today is Autistics Speaking Day. I am glad that I’m participating in this day, after weeks of having no computer, which is now fixed. Autistics Speaking Day is important to me because as autistic people, we are awesome. We are the coolest people that you’ll ever meet. We are tender-hearted people who are valid and have feelings. We don’t lack empathy, and we have a sense of humor.

Unfortunately, people seem to want to silence our voices. It makes me sad that there is so much hatred for us. They don’t even realize that we are human beings. They dismiss our feelings, they torture us, tease us, mock and ridicule us. And they also abuse us and even worse, they murder us. They even make us drink chlorine to poison us. The way society treats us autistic people just hurts my heart. They even tell us to shut up whenever we autistic people speak. And they demonize us, thinking that we are dangers to society. But we autistic people will never be a danger to society. Sometimes we draw, paint, and do ceramics. Sometimes we build stuff out of cardboard boxes or cardstock paper.

I believe that people need to start caring about disabled people, and that includes us autistic people. People need to realize that we autistic people have value, and our feelings are valid. People need to start treating autistic people with love and acceptance and not try to hurt them with words, actions, MMS or chlorine. As autistic people, we need to be treated with unconditional love. We need to have our voices heard. Sadly, our voices aren’t heard and we are treated like we are a disease, burden, tragedy, a broken appliance, and treated like mosters too. But we are neither of these. I am not a curse. I am not a tragedy, a broken appliance, a monster or a burden. We are not these at all. We are never tragedies, burdens, monsters, curses, or broken appliances. We are human beings just like everybody else and we need you to love and understand us. Please don’t be quick to judge us, condemn us, mock, ridicule, torture, or spit on us. Because if you do, you take away our voices. You take away our dignity. You take away our rights to be ourselves.

I am very sad that there is a lot of ableism that goes on in this world. So many autistic people are getting locked in nursing homes and institution, and others are getting murdered or bullied by so many neurotypicals. It hurts my heart. I remember hearing about a young autistic man who was killed by police officers who wouldn’t understand him. I also remember hearing about Issy Stapleton being abused by her mother, Kelli Stapleton. The world says that we are violent and dangers to society, but that is completely false. We autistic people are good, kind people. We are NOT dangers to society at all. The world, unfortunately, wants us to believe that way.

We autistic people need people to listen to us when we speak to them. We need people to stop talking over us and instead talk to us. People ignore us and say that we’re better off dead. But we are not better off dead. We are still here whether people like it or not. People need to realize that we need to be loved and understood. It hurts my heart when people mistreat us constantly.

When I was on a Christian page and a Christian told me that I’m not autistic, I felt like they were talking over me. I felt like they made me feel unwanted, and unloved. Another Christian told me to claim my healing and that they were going to pray my autism off of me. These things they told me were hurtful. I hated what they said to me, and so I left the page and didn’t want to come back. I believe that churches need to start caring about us autistic people, too. And churches need to realize that we autistic people need to feel welcomed at church. I wish that more churches would do this, because we autistic people are human beings, not tragedies, burdens, broken appliances, monsters, demonic people, or people who are better off dead. Churches need to treat us with love and acceptance. Churches need to stop demonizing us and dehumanizing us. I’ve been bullied on the Christian page on Facebook which is talked about above.

To the people who have an autistic/disabled friend or relative, please listen to us. Please love and understand us. Please know that our feelings are valid and we are also valid. Please don’t judge, condemn, tease, torture, ridicule, mock or throw us in the garbage can. We are not trash, we are human beings just like you. We have a voice, and we have a story to tell. Please take the time to listen to our stories before you eliminate us and judge and condemn us. Because we are still here, we are not going away, especially when society tells us to go away. We are not wrong. We are the right fits.