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Return to VROMAN’S !!

 

Southern California'sHUGE Bookstore historically and literally!

Southern California’s HUGE Bookstore historically and literally!

So happy to report we will be sharing our Making Friends with Autism Coloring Books at this extraordinary historic Bookstore for a second year!

Out latest and...GREATEST! Teaching moments every month!

Out latest and…GREATEST! Teaching moments every MONTH!

 

We had so much fun at last year’s event with our creative friends, Joel Anderson of Joel’s Vision Arts, Debra Hosseini from The Art of Autism and our friends with Unintentional Humor, Linda and Brent Anderson!IMG_8417

 

Fun friends joined us and new friends stopped by! We hope to see all of those folks and more on Saturday August 17th at 3 PM. This year I will again  have my trio of Coloring Books on hand. Debra Hosseini will return to share the Art of Autism and all of the great work she is up to.

77 Artists on the Autism Spectrum shine in this BOOK!

77 Artists on the Autism Spectrum shine in this BOOK!

 

Currently Debra has been penning a Memoir. Amazing adventures and life lessons learned by her Aspie boyfriend Kurt Muzikar, something very interesting to look forward to!

The Goddess Energy of Ms. Keri Bowers!

The Goddess Energy of Ms. Keri Bowers!

 

This year we are very proud and excited to have Keri Bowers joining us. She will have copies of her amazing classic Autism filmNormal People Scare Me” Keri has 24 years of experience using ART to help students and families on the spectrum. Her amazing innovations and accepting spirit will give you tools for success in every day situations and creative support for inevitable transitions! Please come out and meet Keri! 

Vromans_Book_Signing_2013_8x10

Joel Anderson’s NEW BOOK will be available: “ Medieval Trio Tales: Courage at the Concert” written and illustrated by Joel and Diana Michelotti! A delightful tale about being courageous and supporting others! Exactly what Joel does. The weekend of this event Joel will be traveling to San Jose State to implement a mentoring program for kids on the spectrum with the college’s Football team!! GO JOEL! Woot!!

 

Unfortunately, Dani Bowman will not be at the event. Her work with Joey Travolta and Inclusion Films takes precedent. She tirelessly works all across the country teaching others on the spectrum to excel at animation. Thank you for all of your hard work Dani! We hope you will join us another time!

So mark your calendars and head to Old town Pasadena for a delightful day with us!!

An impromptu serenade courtesy of Shane Mckaskle, Chris Iddamalgoda and friend.

An impromptu serenade courtesy of Shane Mckaskle, Chris Iddamalgoda and friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandi and Joel Anderson's colorful world!

Sandi and Joel Anderson’s colorful world!

Friendship Rocks!! Kai, Joel and brent Anderson with the "crooners"!!

Friendship Rocks!! Kai, Joel and Brent Anderson with the “crooners”!!

 

 

 

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Think UNIVERSALLY About Diversity!

Another chance to “Chalk Up” Awareness arose and I took it!!

Every chance we get!!

Every chance we get!!

Yesterday afternoon I was in downtown Alhambra for their Hot Spot Saturday ART. It was another excellent opportunity to do what I do! Have a look:

Mapping out my design.

Mapping out my design.

Working on my Universe.....

Working on my Universe…..

Urging others to "Think"....

Urging others to “Think”….

Plugging in the planet...

Plugging in the planet…

SMILE!

SMILE!

From all angles....

From all angles….

LOVE from AutismHWY & Making Friends with Autism!

LOVE from AutismHWY & Making Friends with Autism!

 

The impact we seek!!

The impact we seek!!

It's FREE and EASY!!

It’s FREE and EASY!!

Universal views are easier in this day and age!

Universal views are easier in this day and age!

AutismHWY is devoted to taking this message to the streets!!

AutismHWY is devoted to taking this message to the streets!!

Thank you Downtown Alhambra! What a great event!

Thank you Downtown Alhambra! What a great event!

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Yet another excellent adventure messaging goodwill. Many people seemed pleased to see this design take shape. Let’s hope they take it to HeART!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WHY DOES Wyatt…DO THAT?

…..Making Friends with Autism.

 

 

The book Title and subtitle idea that started me on this amazing….  AutismHWY.com website  JOURNEY. An excellent road-trip of creations for connection to deep understanding!

OUR Thinking.....EXACTLY!

OUR Thinking…..EXACTLY!

 

 

My journey from a literal “lightening bolt moment” during prayer for my ailing brother in 2009  sending me in a new direction and toward a new purpose in life. That voice in my head urging me to combine all of my life’s artistic experience, knowledge, old and NEW friendships- together for good use! An informative artistic mission really. A mission to teach children exactly “WhAt” they are seeing when they look in the direction of my brilliantly different Autistic son, Wyatt! Our Making Friends with Autism children’s coloring book series describing Autistic traits and my son’s Autism to the countless ‘questioning eyes’ we encounter daily!

#1″Making Friends with Autism”

#2 ”Why Does Wyatt Do That?” and our latest edition…

#3  “Awareness EVERY Month” Coloring Pages.

Advocating for brain diversity through engaging imagery and useful information.

Out latest and...GREATEST! Teaching moments every month!

Out latest and…GREATEST! Teaching moments every month!

My whole life I have enjoyed trying to talk sense with children. Listening to the perceptions they have and expanding on that. I imagined myself having thousands of conversations with my 2 boys. Conversations that have never yet come to fruition. My oldest son Aaron (who is 10 yrs. older than 14 yr. old Wyatt)  grew up and away so fast he seemingly had no time to talk…perhaps whenever he settles down we will have that chance. Wyatt’s speech disintegrated after age 3. It is an ever changing art interpreting his  tones, vocalizations and  emotion filled communicational movements. I want others to understand that just because a child does not communicate or express themselves in the typical ways, friendships are still attainable and FUN! The whole purpose of this heart-filled project. To disarm and engage people in a positive fashion. To undo some of the Autism mythology that misleads and dissuades friendships. To ‘get over’ the stumbling blocks to understanding and acceptance!! Our everlasting mission in life.

Making Friends with Autism ROCKS!!

Making Friends with Autism ROCKS!!

My mission...to understand.

My mission…to understand.

Creating conversations that pave the AutismHWY of friendship! Conversations that are finally starting to evolve! Exactly what we want to be doing in this great “Decade of Change” for Autism!! I have felt this positive energy surrounding my son since his birth even if I had no clue where it was driving me. Since my advocating mission began 4 yrs. ago I am seeing so much more positive and encouraging change in dialogue! I see it in many, many  amazing organizations old and new. It is happening, it is tangible. It is so very exciting to see the movement on these multiple levels driven by families and Autistic Activists. All of us ascending in this positive and much more effective direction! It feels magnetic. We live in an excellent age.

An age where we as a community an emerging culture are finally sending positive messages to society. What Autism really is and how even if, it may shape some things about people, it does not define nor count them out.  Autistic people are people first, with all of the fantastic individuality that each and every person on this planet is born with.  It is funny how such obvious information can escape generations of thought. But those days are gladly long over. The floodgates  of useful information regarding the Autistic condition / thought process are opening and the energy is overwhelming!  Overwhelmingly pragmatic with a side of natural innocence. To me a more meaningful way of being by dropping pretenses and communicating purely. A lot of people’s true character has been tampered with in this overtly social society and somehow long forgotten. People must return to a more  socially direct and honest self, finding more authentic pathways to friendship. Understanding the deeper less superficial give and take of communication. How we all experience that differently and most importantly what works for each person in that regard. This will help people define who they truly are without outside pressures. Understanding Autism and those communication differences can define a more authentic way of expression and being for each and everyone of us.

Always and Forever.

Always and Forever.

We all have our OWN ZONES !!

We all have our OWN ZONES !!

 

Each of our three, 20 page books are designed to empower children and adults with simple information to ease fears and  erase stigmas regarding Autism.

When you can understand a few concepts about Autism and how differently Autistic people are built, connections are that much simpler.

We want everyone to understand that Autism is just a thing in life, something to understand, accept and validate as part of the human condition. We all need to be understood and accepted in order to be comfortable with who we are.

Because truly, WHO ELSE CAN WE BE?

 

 

BOOK SIGNING August 17th at VROMAN’S in Pasadena:  http://vromansbookstore.com/connecting-friends-autism-spectrum

See YOU there!

 

 

 

 

 

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Walking the Language Tightrope

You can't please ALL of the people ALL of the time. But, you can try!

You can’t please ALL of the people ALL of the time. But, you can try!

 

I never envisioned walking this fine line, but I am. I don’t have the PhD’s or the circus credentials to accomplish this with perfect skill. Yet, I strive to improve and edit as I go!

 

It only stands to reason that AUTISM, a ”different way of being” so vastly misunderstood, misdiagnosed, misdefined and seemingly invisable until the 1940′s would come along with a heap of problematic language. Even some 70 yrs. later we are no where near getting it right! The professionals have their clinical labels and jargon for their DSM-5. The advocates both self and parent have ever changing and shifting dialogues over what is and what isn’t Autistically correct.  The struggle seems immense but, I do see great change coming.

 

                                                        AutismHWY “Road Rules”

I have been craving them for the world!! That guide book will hopefully be written in the very near future by the brilliant  and eloquent Autistic Adults emerging in our community.

                                                       You know who you ALL are!

 

People have been so mystified by Autism that sometimes it seems they will just say anything. We have all heard the phrase, “He or she speaks, just to hear the sound of their own voice.” Right? Well, I find that to be true about Autism. No one wants to feel out of the loop. We all want to feel knowledgeable don’t we? So when Autism is brought up in conversation surrounding my son people tend to grapple for what to say. If the person has no first hand experience with Autistic folks you literally see the sweat begin to form. People become flushed with anxiety and nervousness about what to say.  Often you get a garbled re-hash of catch phrases and media driven stereotypes  mixed in with whatever happens to be the news of the day. This usually leaves me feeling shell shocked, not sure which myth to dispel first….and as I begin to speak to explain a bit about Autism as it pertains to my son. I will be asked, “What  is Wyatt’s “Special-talent?” Because I have heard they all have a special talent.”

Cross OVER!!!

Cross OVER!!!

 

 

I understand this as  human  nature. A reaction to deflect a person’s fear and discomfort with the subject. So many negatively charged signals have been sent to society about Autism from many different factions. Never from an official or unbiased source. Until the Autistic Self Advocacy Network was formed there had been no supreme  source teaching the world what’s, what from an Autistic point of view! So with no “official” knowledge people have had a tendency to first pity you and then recite the above ‘script’ as if the more they talk the less you will realize how uncomfortable they are!

A big majority of people do not want to seem  uninformed in this day and age of massive access to information. So when they regurgitate the messages they have absorbed about my son and Autism, it can vary greatly, from sweet and understanding to tragically misinformed to insulting to downright disturbing. All of the while the person speaking is unaware of the language they choose to use and the connotations of what they are really saying. In their minds they are proving to me that they are “up on” the news of the day concerning Autism and at the same time showing me that in the moment they care about “my situation.”

Words to denote the separations are entrenched in our vocabulary like bad habits. Often times we do not even hear them or realize we are saying them. Sadly even the word “special” can be seen as condescending when attached to a differently abled individual.

 

Danger....tread lightly, words can hurt.

Danger….tread lightly, words can hurt.

 

“My situation. ” Two words spoken to me this week that to most seem completely inconsequential. But, when you listen to the context in which they were used, those words were meant to “other” me.  Placing me in a different subset. “Oh, I can understand why you might think that because of your situation.” As if my situation supercedes my humanity. Seemingly pointing out that my opinion is now somehow less than as the mother of an Autistic person.  Somehow discounted. Somehow different than everyone else’s.

 

This is how Autistic people have been regarded: as a separate set of people that have no say. Their lives and fates largely and sometimes completely decided by others that do not understand them, their systems or how they need to navigate the world. People planning their lives for them and around them without regard to their thoughts, desires and needs. Assuming that they are not capable of making those choices on any level. In the past, and still- for Autistic people the “Father knows best” mentality becomes “Anyone else but the Autistic person knows best.” Think about that and please let it resonate. It is completely wrong headed thinking and needs to cease. It is the ultimate oppression.

 

The oppression of thoughts and desires about ones own future. We need to cross the language barriers and define new ways to differentiate for our inclusive futures. Autistic people are just like Allistic people ; human with all of the exact  random combinations of personality traits and pathologies people will have or will not have. The defining difference is that Autistic people operate under a differently processing central nervous system that has varying affects on their being. So as we define our futures and move forward toward deep understanding and acceptance let’s think carefully about the language we choose.

 

Are you seperating people with words or are you working toward realizing we are; ALL ONE very “special” human race!

 

 

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