Autism and Identity

via Autism and Identity


Happy Birthday, Sesame Street!!!


I love birthdays. I love eating cake and ice cream at birthday parties, I love to celebrate the birthdays of my family members, and eating ring bologna and cheese at birthday parties, with meatball sandwiches added to the meals. That’s what I love about birthdays. However, it’s neither my birthday nor any of my family members’ birthdays, today. Today it’s Sesame Street’s birthday. I’m a big fan of this show. It’s been my favorite since I was a little kid, and it’s still my favorite today.

I love singing along to the songs with the Sesame Street Muppets. I also love singing along to the theme song as well. I love going out to the book sale every summer with Mr Kiffer to get some Sesame Street books and DVDs. I love going to Walmart with my mom to get some Sesame Street DVDs. I can’t wait until I get my first Sesame Street book at Walmart. I can’t wait until the Thanksgiving episode of Sesame Street, too.

I love the songs of Sesame Street. My favorite songs from there are “Sing,” “Let’s Go Driving,” “Sing After Me,” “Rubber Duckie,” “I Love Trash,” “Spanish Me, English Me,” “Monster In the Mirror,” “Two Heads are Better Than One,” “Elmo’s Song,” “Imagination,” “Moonshine,” “The Sound That’s In the Air,” “Kids With Wings,” “Makin’ Believe,” “On My Pond,” “I Think That It Is Wonderful,” “Three,” “Love the Ocean,” “Everyone Makes Mistakes,” “I Love My Room,” and “One Fine Face.” These songs are wonderful. Most of the Sesame Street songs have the banjo joining in the orchestra that plays in the Sesame Street show.

When my grandmother was still alive she and I used to go to my cousin Dana’s house, and his son Benny was such a big fan of Sesame Street. I’m not sure if he is now, but when he was a little boy, he watched Sesame Street a lot. He watched the Elmo’s World: Wild Wild West DVD over and over again, amongst other DVDs. He used to own some Sesame Street coloring books. He especially loved the segment where Bert and Ernie went fishing, and Ernie said, “Heeeeeeeere fishy fishy fishy!” He even had a goldfish just like Elmo, and named it after Elmo’s goldfish named Dorothy.

My favorite Sesame Street Muppet performers are Peter Linz, Matt Vogel, Tyler Bunch, Frankie Cordero, Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, Stephanie D’Abruzzo, Paul McGinnis, Ryan Dillon, David Rudman, Eric Jacobson, Carroll Spinney, John Tartaglia and Carnen Osbahr. I also love Jerry Nelson, Jim Henson, Richard Hunt and Louise Gold. I also like Frank Oz too. But who could ever forget Jim Henson? Jim Henson was my favorite Ernie when I was a little girl. And now that Peter Linz performs him, I love Ernie even more now.

I remember when I was a little girl and I had a Sesame Street balloon that said “Get Well Soon” on it. It was with all of the Sesame Street Muppets on, and I had my eyes operated on from that menengitis that I had when I was a baby. I loved it so much. It had Big Bird, Snuffy and all the other Sesame Street Muppets on it.

I love Ernie’s kind heart and wonderful presence. I love that he’s so funny and his power of imagination. I love his songs “Imagine That” and “Rubber Duckie.” I love when he annoys Bert and his silliness and messiness. And I love Big Bird, because he’s tender-hearted and funny and awesome. Big Bird is my favorite Sesame Street Muppet. Abby Cadabby is another favorite Sesame Street Muppet too. She’s cute, funny, warm, wonderful, kind-hearted and sparkly. I like sparkly stuff, so Abby had become one of my favorites as soon as I saw her.

In the near future, I will have a lot of the Sesame Street DVDs, books and plushes. I want to get all of the Sesame plushes, DVDs and books. I can’t wait to get some more Sesame DVDs and books for Christmas this year. I also can’t wait until Muppet Wiki announces some more DVD releases on their website, which I go on every day. I get a new Sesame Street DVD a week or two after it’s released, but sometimes I get it on the day it’s released. As an autistic adult, I’m happy to say that I’m still a big fan of Sesame Street. And I’m glad that I am a fan. The Sesame Street Muppet performers are my friends because they have such kind hearts and loving spirits. I love all of my favorite Sesame Street performers so much and they mean so much to me.

I hope that someday Joan Gantz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisette read this, and I hope that one day I’ll get to meet the Sesame Street Muppet performers and the production team, and the writers and cartoonists and screenwriters. I am so thankful for Sesame Street, because it helps me go to sleep at night, it helps me learn different languages thanks to the international versions of Sesame Street, and it touches me in so many ways. I know I have said what I’m about to say before, but when I’m tired, scared, sad, upset, overstimulated or sick, I can always watch Sesame Street to see my Sesame Street friends. They always comfort me when I’m sad and crying or sick and they always cheer me up when I’m sad and crying. And they also cheer me up when I’m sick too. They either talk or sing to me through my TV or New Nintendo 3DS screens, and when they say “Hi!” I say hi back and when they say “Welcome to Sesame Street!” I say thank you to them.

Again I just want to say that I’m thankful for Sesame Street. I’m thankful that it’s brought so much joy, comfort and laughter to my life. I’m thankful that I got to watch the show when I was a kid, and as an adult, I still enjoy watching it now. Thank you so much Sesame Street for all the comfort and laughter and joy you’ve brought to my life. Happy 48th birthday!

We’re Still Here and Not Going Anywhere


I’m glad to say that as an autistic adult, this is my second year participating in Autistics Speaking Day. Our voices are still valid and we are not going away anytime soon. People take away our voices and that’s not a good thing, because we NEED to be heart. We need to be speaking out against ableism, when ableists try to stop us from saying something.

People say they want to erase autistic people from society. But we autistic people are here for a reason. We autistic people are here to remind you that we need to feel loved, validated and treated like people with respect, kindness and compassion. Unfortunately, we aren’t treated with compassion. We are mocked, ridiculed, beaten, murdered, teased, tortured and bullied. Our rights are being denied and we are forced to be normal. We are called names including the R word.

When we are not included in sports, jobs, etc. it can be tough. When we are not allowed to flap our hands, rock back and forth, or do other forms of stimming, it can be heartbreaking. We are being stared at, teased, and called names. Also, when we aren’t invited into our families’ homes, that’s the hardest because they don’t invite us to dinners or birthday parties or Christmas celebrations.

This world needs to be more autism-friendly. Please show us autistic people compassion, love and acceptance. Treat us with kindness and please be respectful. Please make us feel loved instead of bullying, murdering and making fun of us. We notice the stares, whispers, and abuse. We notice when somebody is taking advantage of us. We are sick of our voices being silenced and we are not going anywhere.

Please be patient with us, and don’t take advantage of us. We are not here on this earth for you to bully us, to take advantage of us and to tease or torture us. We are here because you need to hear our voices and listen to us. You need to listen to us because this is the right thing to do. Accept us and love us for being ourselves. Because we are not monsters. We are human beings who want to feel loved and wanted. This is what we want, and this is what we need.

The world doesn’t want to accept us autistics because society doesn’t want us to be ourselves. It’s a shame because there are caregivers and parents of autistic people and children being abusive to them. It hurts my heart so much. I hope that one day there will be a better world for autistic people, so that they feel loved and wanted here in society. I want a world that can be accepting of autistic people. I want a world where love and compassion is shown to the autistic person. Hate and fear are not the answer for having autistic children. Love is.

Please treat us autistic people with love and respect. Because we are still here. We have a voice and a story to tell. And we will never go away. Always make us feel loved and wanted. Because unfortunately, people are cruel and they make us feel unwanted and unloved. Love counts. Perfect love casts out fear.

A Summer Review and More Updates


On August 6th, two days before I got my new Elmo’s World DVD, I had a meltdown over the Muppets. I say this because I didn’t get to watch Muppets from Space on August 6th. I cried, screamed and swore until I was blue in the face. I wanted to watch it on KissCartoon but unfortunately, I didn’t get to on August 6th, because there was a problem with the media player on there. I stayed home that day to recover from the meltdown. I watched Sesame Street and a couple of Disney movies that day.

Last month, I went to Ocean City, Maryland with my mom and my younger brother’s girlfriend’s friend. It was on the first day of choir practice, and I really loved it there. I went to the boardwalk and had this yummy crab sandwich at Bull on the Beach. I also went to a Japanese seafood restaurant, and I ate some French fries, chicken, shrimp, a yummy sugar biscuit, and some clams. I went to the beach and took lots of pictures. I was so happy that they had free Wifi in some of the places in Maryland. I thought that was awesome because I got to watch Sesame Street in the condominium that we stayed at.

Walking all the time around the boardwalk was really tough for me and my legs were hurting, but I made it through okay. I didn’t like the summer heat there, but it was good to get back home like I did.

Now that it is October, I have a new choir teacher named Mimi. Mimi is so much fun and so cool. She gives away prizes, plays games with us and does lots of scales and arpeggios with us. I’m so excited to see what she has in store for us choir members. Yesterday she played a game of “Getting to Know You Bingo” with us. It was a fun game. I also can’t wait until she plays more games with us in the coming months.

Mom made some yummy chicken-cheese quesadillas last summer, too. They were so good. They had lots of cheese in the middle and man, it made my mouth water!!! The chicken-cheese quesadillas are sensory heaven for me, because man, they have so much cheese in them. I would love to eat them again one day if I could.

I am now going on walks with my mom, because she figured I needed the exercise. I don’t like it but we’re still gonna go anyways. I wish Mom and I could go to the public library together, but I don’t have a library card and I still have to pay the public library back for the book I borrowed from there.

I have been watching the fall-themed episode of Bear in the Big Blue House lately. Tutter is one of my favorite characters because he’s played by my favorite Muppet performer named Peter Linz. I can’t wait until I watch it again on Sunday after I watch an episode of Muppets Tonight.

I know I haven’t blogged in a long time, because I didn’t know what to blog about. I’m sorry it took a while but I didn’t fit in the time to blog until today. I can’t wait until I participate in the Autistics Speaking Day event coming in November. As an autistic adult, I enjoy participating in autism acceptance events.

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.

We Weren’t That Resilient


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



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


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.