Monthly Archives: February 2015

The #AutismSpeaks10 Hijack: Twitter Humanity Takes Over

Yes, yes, yes, and YESSSSSSS!!!! 😀 Thank the Gods and the Heavens for Twitter!!! 😀 From me, who is #ActuallyAutistic. 😀 ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Keenan Wellar

autism

It’s a complicated story, but I’m going to oversimplify because you should really get on Twitter (even if you don’t have an account) and check out #AutismSpeaks10 and experience this phenomenon for yourself.

The organization Autism Speaks (I’m not linking to them because wherever you try to land on their website they try to procure a donation with a page that you have to decline) was attempting to host online celebrations of its tenth anniversary, only to find the campaign hijacked mainly by individuals who identify as autistic (using#ActuallyAutistic) along with a number of neurodiversity allies like myself.

The world’s largest autism-branded organization by budget, Autism Speaks is known for a focus on autism as a type of disease to be prevented and eradicated, in stark contrast to the approach of many advocates who see autism as a part of humanity, and want to focus on barriers to…

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Crossing the line: The Danger of Compliance

This piece says it all, and so very well, that ABA and other compliance therapies that make an Autistic child into “normal” implies that we are broken and damaged goods, and that it is not okay to be who we are. I am not okay with any therapy that does not respect a child’s autonomy and personhood. I am not okay with ABA.

Thirty Days of Autism

As Amy Sequenzia so eloquently states: “ABA is not only abusive to Autistic children, it makes ableism and abuse acceptable. “Experts” want 40 hours/week of this and parents who don’t comply can lose their children. ABA creates a culture of normalized abuse.”

~

The following is a guest post composed of a series of writings by Bernice Olivas, who has generously agreed to share her experience. Hers is a harrowing story, but one that illustrates the dangers of demanding compliance on so many levels – and it is a story that needs to be understood.

It’s been two years since Nebraska’s Child Protection Services threatened to take away her children because she refused to place them in full-time (40 hrs/week) compliance-based training.

She and her husband were never accused of abuse or neglect, the only reason CPS was involved with her family was because her children are autistic and some…

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Sorry I Haven’t Been Blogging Lately–And A Sort Of A Review Of The Past Year

I know i haven’t been writing lately, but that is because things have generally been going better for me ever since the New Year has started. For one thing, i feel like i have grown and learned a few things from these past three years of traumatic events that i have gone through with friends and caregivers and doctors and hospitals.

For another thing,——drum roll, please—— i am still with the same caregiver that i have had since March 4, 2014, Connie, and i am still very, very, very, VERY happy with Connie. Connie has become a good friend, and yes, she does really and truly have my back, and we are like sisters now.

Yes, we did have some rough patches in August, and then through the holiday season, but we have worked through each and every one of those rough times. It has been a real growing experience for both her and i, because i have learned now that not all caregivers are bad, mean, abusive, and dishonest. Some caregivers, like Connie, sincerely love what they do. They love helping others. And she, in turn, has learned alot about me, and about Autism. Our issues mainly stemmed from my left over insecurities and fear of the past repeating itself yet again. To be honest, my body still hasn’t recovered from the traumas i have been through, beginning with Roger, and even before Roger with others, and the horrible way he turned on both me and my mother, who were both nothing but good to him, and then all of the horrific nightmares i went through with a long string of caregivers that left me even more shaken and reeling. So shaken that i gave up driving and sold my little white toyota Tercel coupe. I haven’t driven since, and am now petrified of ever going outside of my house without Connie or someone else with me. I have not driven since April 9, 2012.

At this time last year, i was still going through such hell with the caregiver i had at the time, named JuJu, (not her real name) and i was contemplating an actual move to Michigan, seriously, because at that time i sincerely felt that if i continued to stay in Santa Maria CA, that i would end up dead from the abuse and neglect that just kept happening.

At that time, i was working with two ladies, two ladies who called themselves my best friends and advocates, two ladies who both said they had my back, and that they both were never going to give up on me—-ever. And then things with JuJu escalated to the point where i could no longer handle having her come to care for me. She appeared at my house on the night of Saturday, February 28, 2014, all happy, and she commenced to order our dinners. I had to get my dinners for that night and the next night, and was also treating her to dinner with me that night too. She seemed really happy that night because she no longer had her days taken up with her other client. She was dressed up and made up to the nines too that night, like she was dressed to go out.

She ordered our dinners. Then she went to the bathroom, still giggling and laughing and talking to me. We were making plans to maybe go up to Pismo Beach even.

Next thing i knew, i could hear her coughing through the bathroom door. Suddenly she was sick, too sick to even go get our dinners for that night, and my Sunday night meal……I panicked.

Yes, people can suddenly get sick without warning, but this was not the case with JuJu that night. Read on, and you will see why.

She proceeded to sit at my other desk, moaning and crying. I had to call into the restaurant and cancel all three dinners. And the ladies at the restaurant were not happy. When i finally, and reluctantly told JuJu she could go home, she suddenly jumped up, suddenly re-energized, giggling, and thanking me and telling me that she would make it all up to me that following Monday, all with a huge smile on her face, as she sailed through my living room to go to her car. Her sudden exuberance was glaringly obvious to me. I was crushed. I knew she had faked her sickness to get out of having to work for me.

After JuJu left, i ordered delivery from a local Mexican restaurant, and then i talked to my two advocate friends and four others in my private chat. Then i suddenly looked up to my picture of Jesus and began to cry out to Him praying. Not to be a Holy Roller, but yes, i do have a faith, and i do believe in prayer. Suddenly i saw an ad for a local classified group on Facebook, and i joined. I posted for a new caregiver, which the admins of the group let me keep up, and they even pinned it to the top for several weeks for me. and right away, several people answered my ad, Connie included.

I fired JuJu that night, and hired Connie on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, after interviewing her and two other ladies. Like i say, because of how i still to this day, have deep-seated trust and abandonment issues, due to my growing up years with my dad and most of my family, being bullied through school, and all of my relationships with people through the years…….i have also had some misunderstandings with Connie too, and Connie has had to get to know me. It has been hard for both of us, because i know that i am a very complex and difficult person, because i am full of quirks, hang-ups, phobias, and fears.

During my time with Connie, CA had several unusual heatwaves too, which also made it hard for me to get through many of my days. The heat makes me shut down, and running my air conditioner alot, ran my electric bill up too, so i had to learn to only run it when it gets past 85 degrees for two or more days in a row.

But Connie has stuck with me. We always talk things out. During one misunderstanding we had back in August, she still refused to let me go without a fresh hot meal that night. Earlier this year, she and i sat down and we had a really long talk. I have learned that it is okay for me to speak up and say what i am feeling, and to not be afraid. She and i still have lots of talks. She and i are truly growing in our friendship…..and i have grown to trust her deeply. Yes, we can both get in grumpy moods. But we all have grumpy mood days sometimes. It is what it is….LOL!!

Sadly—i did lose my two advocate friends. And yes, those two things did add greatly to my hurt, and my trust and abandonmernt issues. Losing those two friends has made it alot harder for me to make new friends and get close to people now. But i feel much more secure these days because i have a caregiver who truly wants to be here for me. And as of this upcoming March 4th, we will have our One Year Anniversary.

Needless to say, i am still here in CA. I decided that a move to Michigan would not be my answer. But i am still hopeful for my future. I still have my life story that has been written via MS Word. I now doodle and draw via MS Paint. I also love to take my sunset and sunrise pictures. I am also going to be 55 years old in May, so i am going to be looking into 55 and older senior parks as a way to finally be able to move from here.

So yeah. Me. What i’ve been up to, and what was on my heart to write today. Thank you to all who read this blog. 🙂

What You’re Doing When You Take Labels Away

The Ace Theist

For the people who think labels are unnecessary, who think there are too many, who think the world would be a better place without them, who regard them as an interference or an obstacle to be done away with, or however you want to phrase it: this post is for you.  This post will focus primarily on orientation labels, especially the ones I relate to, but if you can apply this same idea to something else, go for it.

In a hypothetical world where you could wish away the entire use and existence of words like gay, straight, bi, pan, and ace, here is what you would be doing.

1) making it harder to combat oppression

You don’t need a to use the word “gay” to reprimand your employee for mentioning her girlfriend.  You don’t need to use the word “heterosexual” to uphold romantic relationships between men and women as…

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We aren’t your scapegoats. End of story.

Chavisory's Notebook

I am oh so glad to see the anti-vaccination movement finally seeing some serious public blowback, and very, very sorry that it has taken a lot of sick kids to do it.  And alternately thankful at writing like this (Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism, But That’s Not the Point.  Stop Being Ableist.) being all over my Facebook feed, and ambivalent about some of its logic.  (It is still well worth reading.)

IF vaccines caused autism, even in some tiny percentage of vaccinated children, then whether the tradeoffs were worth the risk might be an ethical discussion worth having. (In which I would still give a hell of a lot of weight to “Measles encephalitis will straight up kill you, autism won’t.”)

But it isn’t. Vaccines don’t cause autism, period.

A hypothetical situation: If there were some form of medical treatment that carried a risk of turning me non-autistic, I…

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An Open Letter to Anti-Vaxxer Parents from an Autistic Woman

An Aspie's view on Christianity, Aspergers, Bullying, and everything inbetween

Dear Parents:

Your presence on Facebook and on the internet has been quite prominent lately. I can barely make it through one day without seeing a post from one of you shared on Facebook or elsewhere on the internet.

Let me introduce myself. I am a 21 year old woman. I’m currently studying forensic science in college. I have a passion for science (particularly chemistry), reading, and video games. But above all else, I am autistic.

I have been diagnosed officially with autism spectrum disorder, after a battle that ensued over several years. I have always known I was different, but I never understood why I was so different from my peers. Yes, I have had many struggles when it comes to socialization. Yes, I’ve spent much of my life having attempted to fit in with my classmates. Yes, I’ve had a tough time dealing with sensory issues that have…

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The Silencing of Carly Fleischmann

Aspie Catholic

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I recently read a book called Carly’s Voice, written by Arthur Fleischmann. It’s about his struggle to connect with his autistic daughter, Carly. My mom saw the book online and thought I should read it.
I was ecstatic to read it because like many on the autism spectrum, Carly is non-verbal. Because of this, her family did not know how to communicate with her. Arthur shares many of the struggles he had attempting to comprehend her. He put her up for Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), in an effort to curb many of her autistic behaviors. I’ve heard very few positive things about ABA, mostly because it’s used by people who do not realize that behaviors that are considered stimming, like rocking back and forth or flapping arms, are actually just part of being autistic. He even admits that he installed a security system to curb her frequent wandering.
Then…

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