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Grown Up Autism

*EDITED~ Watch the AWARD CEREMONIES HERE!

SO Proud to BE Nominated! Take a bow everybody!!

SO Proud to BE Nominated! Take a bow everybody!!

Grown Up Autism…

That’s exactly where we are headed as a culture, shifting away from an outdated Autism ’thought bubble’ that people have been stuck in. The bubble that does not see Autism as it is. A bubble of thought that does not value Autistic children or adults enough… to honor their powerful Autistic points of view. A bubble that  does not even identify Autistic people as equals. A bubble we seek to burst!  This narrow view that has heretofore hindered the grown up Autistic vision we believe, perceive and offer the world.

A vision which includes a world full of “physical and emotional equality supports” for Autistic people at all ages and stages.

Our big beautiful picture of equanimity.

On the highway to the 7th Annual ANCA World Autism Festival this ‘thought bubble divide’ strikes me now more than ever, as the true cause of the Autism divide. A divide prevalent between most professionals together with some parents of Autistic people and the Autistic people themselves actively co-creating and advocating in the community for their own unalienable rights.

The "thought bubble DIVIDE"

The “thought bubble DIVIDE”

 

“Great Autism Divide.”

Equality for Autistic people is unequivocal. It is or it isn’t, you either get that…or you don’t. The schism of people that have juvenile ideas about Autism equality and how to interact with and perceive Autistic people VS the people that have very adult ideas about Autism equality and how to interact with and perceive Autistic people…

 

 

As I board the plane from LAX to the 2016 ANCA World Autism Festival in Vancouver this concept circles and hovers over my brain as if my mind is the airport runway control tower…

 

 

 

AutismHWY UNITED with ANCA Naturally Autistic

AutismHWY UNITED with ANCA Naturally Autistic

United Minds, HeARTS and Souls

After five years away, landing in ANCA territory felt like a warm welcoming home. The 2011 INAP Award’s Event we attended, meant the world to us. Connecting with young and old that respect Autism on joyful adult levels was the most refreshing thing felt then and again, in the  NOW! Every delegate and participant from 81 to 4 yrs. old traveling to Vancouver for ANCA’s festival is energetically changed forever. The full board of acceptance and understanding brings abundance to the table everyday of this gathering. It’s a visceral and sensual bounty of goodness for Autistic people, their families and the industry seeking to support them ALL. A naturally rich community brimming with the knowledge that we all have something wonderful to contribute with or without the competiton. Having that direct experience of connection to Autistic culture opens hearts, minds and arms toward the myriads of difference life gifts to us ALL. A natural unspoken knowledge of alignment exists within the participants of the ANCA World Autism Festival . Unleashing a co creative flow which is vibrant, successful  and unstoppable.

 

Co creating Autistic equality globally…

 

Uniting people that want to follow Autistic advice is a very powerful connection. People and companies that seek to employee Autistic people into the infrastructure of their organizations and events is what we seek. It is what levels the so called ” playing field.” It’s what has already been created in many instances. COMPLETELY in the instance of Naturally Autistic ANCA;

Autistic People creating a worldwide EVENT which becomes a platform for Autistic People to emerge from while launching careers and connection to culture!

 

This IS the future for Autistic people and most importantly the world. Respecting that there are differing ways of EQUALLY experiencing the world and that Autistic people are creating a world more naturally inclusive of the entire human experience. Experiences that many people in society have honestly glossed over and denied. Experiences Autistic people demand. Beautiful natural experiences vibrating in every moment of the ANCA World Autism Festival.

Every innovative and loving person can be involved in creating best practice for Autistic people by respecting Autistic people as EQUALS in this human experience regardless, of our systemic differentials. Creating new and innovative ways which make sense to and for Autistic comfort and success! That is what the ANCA World Autism Festival is really all about.

 

GROWN UP AUTISM…

 

Ayberk Aksu and Jenny Story

Ayberk Aksu and Jenny Story

 

Joshua Cochrane accepts his award and speaks of profound PEACE!

Joshua Cochrane accepts his award and speaks of profound PEACE!

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Beau Brians and beautiful mandolins setting an accepting tone....

Beau Brians and beautiful mandolins setting an accepting tone….

 

Carissa Paccerelli SCORES an award ARTFULLY!

Carissa Paccerelli SCORES an award ARTFULLY!

 

Italian Artist Lisa Perini eloquently accepting her award with brother Alessandro's translating support.

Italian Artist Lisa Perini eloquently accepting her award with brother Alessandro’s translating support.

 

Phoebe Murer and MORE acceptance!

Phoebe Murer and MORE acceptance!

 

CANADA sweeps the SPORTS EXCELLENCE Category!! Kieran Stark's acceptance rocked!!

CANADA sweeps the SPORTS EXCELLENCE Category!! Kieran Stark’s acceptance rocked!!

 

Michael Savage's stellar acceptance!

Michael Savage’s stellar acceptance!

 

Tom Des Brisay awarded for the long-haul. Superb Marathon champion!

Tom Des Brisay awarded for the long-haul. Superb Marathon champion!

 

Vocalist Vell Baria overcome with emotion.

Vocalist Vell Baria overcome with emotion.

 

Jenny Story...

Jenny Story…

 

Olivia Cantu...

Olivia Cantu…

 

Joely Comer...

Joely Comer…

 

Leonora Gregory Collura speaking on the importance of cultural connection with Consulate General of Turkey!

Leonora Gregory Collura speaking on the importance of cultural connection with Consulate General of Turkey!

 

An amazing emerging culture!!

An amazing emerging culture!!

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Wise children/Joyous adults= Grown-up Autism

Wise children/Joyous adults= Grown-up Autism

 

So PROUD to be INCLUDED!

So PROUD to be INCLUDED!

 

"We must control our message. We must be the powerhouse behind our community as it expands." ~Leonora Gregory-Collura

“We must control our message. We must be the powerhouse behind our community as it expands.” ~Leonora Gregory-Collura

 

The MAIN element.

The MAIN element.

 

Grown up Autism personified in wise, joyous Autistic souls. ALL ages and ALL stages...

Grown up Autism personified in wise, joyous Autistic souls. ALL ages and ALL stages…

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How Low Functioning Can You Go?

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When you strive to ‘raise the bar’ for Autistic people sadly, you must prepare yourself to be ‘brought down’ by parents of other Autistic people. Apparently there are people out here that do not want the Autism information bar raised. (?) They actually enjoy using the low information bar on a daily basis as some kind of shield against deeper knowledge and cogent dialogue regarding Autism and the issues that can arise for Autistic people and their families. They seem comfortable in their lack of real understanding. Still using the harmfully inaccurate “high and low functioning labels” as a way to leverage things like attention and sympathies or worse yet sainthood and/or hero status. There are many examples of this on-line and in the blogosphere…where people co-opt Autism and create any dialogue they like. There are countless tragic and rude examples of Autistic people being willfully ignored and disrespected when trying to express their point of view to people that call themselves “Autism Parents” or “Autism Experts.”

 

Priceless Autistic points of view brimming with inside knowledge and strategies that will change the lives for future generations. When I am forced to watch parents of Autistic people disparage and scoff at these incredibly valueable ‘Autistic lifelines’ I find it horrendous. It’s as if the Autistic adult community is literally tossing out Autism life preservers for parents/experts to understand their children/clients and those parents/professionals are just too proud (or ignorant) to take a hold and float! It’s as if they would actually prefer to drown in their own flawed information.
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These very hard and honest conversations have frankly shortened the list of friendships I am able to keep. Watching people blatantly disrespect those trying so hard to help them is quite discouraging and I will not do it without voicing my deep concern, every time. I respect Autistic people and friends that actually risk their own well-being by pushing past comfort levels to communicate this vital information. When I see parents and professionals displaying complete bigotry against Autistic adults while claiming to support an Autistic family member or client, this simply does not compute. People do not want to admit that this disrespectful situation exists and persists. I have even been asked to never speak of it again by one of these Moms. (??)

 

When parents and professionals declare that they do not want to use the word Autistic in conversations about Autism or that they are ‘not interested’ in Autistic adult perspectives…I become incensed. Being asked to not address dismay about this, to in essence just look the other way in order to ‘get along’ with this bigotry is beyond ridiculous to thinking people. So WHY does this pattern of events recur again and again in conversations asking for the Autistic voice to be honored and implemented? I can only come to one conclusion after seeing this play out each of the six years we have been on-line.

 

It IS straight discrimination and BIGOTRY against Autistic people from within our own community.

 

 

Horrific. If I was a parent or a professional wanting to learn how Diabetes is affecting a diabetic person’s system I would ask that person. Just as an Autistic people can be queried about Autism. Do I define the person with Diabetes as nothing more than, Diabetic? Does everything else about a person fade away when they have a condition with a known name and subset of traits that are attached to their neurology? Only when bigoted people place disparaging meanings to the word “Autistic” does it become stigmatized. Shame on parents and professionals that continue to do this.

Watching other parents create and perpetuate this negative stigma is hard to take. AutismHWY has created an environment to help others be tuned into the Autistic perspectives and needs for comfort in this uber busy 2016 world.

 

We have been evolving with the Autistic perspective and will continue to do so despite the curves, bumps and BIGOTRY bang-ups we still see regularly on the AutismHWY.

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The Autism “R” Word: Is not what you think…

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While we have come so far, blazing forward with the information that Autistic people need to be heard. We have also hit brick walls trying to create these ’inroads’ to listening within our own community of Autism ‘stakeholders.’ When I say stakeholders I naturally refer to Autistic people, parents and loved ones of Autistic people and the professionals working within the Autism ‘industry.’ I specifically place these stakeholders; within the ranks of Autism into this order. Autistic people first, parents/family/friends second and professionals; making a living third.
 
AutismHWY believes this stakeholder order-shift is correct and crucial to the future of Autism and Autistic people. Parents and professionals that have heretofore defined Autism are being told those definitions were never on point. They are being told that they need to step down a rung or two in the reigning order of Autism dialogue. This causes resistance, denial and major deflection. Non Autistic stakeholders that have enjoyed the privilege of running the Autism ‘services and possibilities industries’ without Autistic people are being TOLD to be inclusive and they don’t seem too happy about it.
 
What could be more confusing and ironic than THAT? Non Autistic, Autism stakeholders continuing to ”speak for and over Autistic people” after being told repeatedly that they (Autistic people) can and will speak for themselves?
A prime example of NOT FACILITATING COMMUNICATION….loudly and clearly.
 
It goes completely against all common sense. Non Autistic people should be supporting Autistic people to be exactly who they are by honoring their communications. Not using the Autism “R” word on them when they ask for respect. The fact that Autistic people are struggling to be heard by the stakeholders within their own “community” proves one thing. It is NOT truly their community. If it were, these non Autistic stakeholders would be elated by the communications coming from Autistic people all over the internet and in real life. They would be working as furiously as they could to implement Autistic insider knowledge into REAL Autism futures, programs and successes.
 
Yet we don’t see that? Instead we see people continuing to control the conversation by focusing on the discord this shift in hierarchy causes. Decrying a ‘growing intolerance of one another, our differences, & growing biases of anger/resentments.’ Never talking about the actual issues of concern JUST the tone, volume and temperature of the conversations about the concerns. (?) I wonder how people pointing to this ’bias of anger, intolerance and resentment’ within ’Autism’s global community’ believe it was grown to begin with?
It was grown through cultivating years of omission. By professionals and parents being considered the only source for Autism information. By the creation of harmful practices purporting to help Autistic people. By many parents and professionals jockeying for money and attention while actively ignoring the words coming from #ActuallyAutistic people themselves. By the use of the Autism R -word to minimize and silence Autistic people. That’s one wicked garden I can  readily trace… 
 
If Autism stakeholders genuinely seek to expand and enroll outsiders to be more accepting of Autistic people…MORE parents and professionals will step down from their high horse to listen. Listen to the Autistic people they have misguidedly believed are silent or incapable of communications. People that speak volumes in ways hard to comprehend for those that don’t actively listen with all that they are.
 

The Autism “R” WORD is RADICAL!

 

Sadly, It is in fact RADICAL to expect equality for the masses of growing numbers of Autistics & those of us who love them.

 
Resistant people can STOP dragging their feet by continuing to control the Autism conversation using the “R” word against Autistic activist’s that push the change envelope we see shifting…

RADICALLY!  

 
 
 
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2016 and BEYOND…

Toot~Toot!!

Toot~Toot!!

Z! Marks the spot...

Z! Marks the spot…

 

Toot~Toot!

The AutismHWY has been full of more twists and turns than “normal” in this past year and we do not expect anything less for 2016! Bring IT on!! Horn tooting and ALL…just make sure you have ear-plugs and noise defenders if needed!

We have often compared Autism and the landscape around it to the Wild Wild West! Untamed and unregulated with too many sheriffs that don’t know what the heck is going on in town! A vibrant array of self-made salespeople tooting horns and hawking toxic snake-oils and so much MORE. People claiming to be the first this and the only that. Honestly, a lot of people that tell you what you want to hear, what they want you to hear and plenty of things that you don’t want to hear.

 

Not a lot of Autism honesty. Honestly.

In that kind of wild and wooly environment Autistic people have amaZingly made their honest mark. Like ZORO with a blazing sword marking out that letter Z. I love how Autistic people can think-jump straight to Z and work back towards A. It’s a gift, just a bit hard to follow at times! However, when you catch on the learning comes quick.

 

 

Think fast!!

Many Autistic people are seeking to reframe the world for the future generations of Autistic people in this way~ from Z to A. Turning conventional thinking on it’s head! Where has conventional thinking landed us anyway? We say on OUR collective heads. The community of parents and professionals supporting Autism can count on quick thinking honesty when reading the words of most, some, all (insert your favorite adjective) Autistic people. These words are not costing you more than the price of a book or your time on the internet. Isn’t expanding your AutismIQ worth this minor investment? This life changing leap of faith should be warmly embraced more than a million scrolled past and over-shared memes.

 

People not tooting their own horn…

Will bring you the most bang for your honest buck. People paying attention recognize this. Those banking on seizure inducing flashing lights, grandiosity and “Autism quick fixes” miss the entire Autism picture. The books and writings of Autistic people are rich with what your family needs to create their own unique Autism road-map. Individualized compass’ created for each person by picking and choosing from this honest information will be much easier to focus in on. Everything coming from pure source from the ground up. The source of love that Autistic people have for other Autistic people. How can you go wrong from this grounding point? Learn about Autism from those that live it. Base your Autism equations on Autistic source knowledge added to the instinctual connections you have with your loved ones and any other useful information you have found.

 

In source more, out source less…

So in 2016 get in the fast lane. Why pussy-foot around? Look at your “sources.” Are they re-hashed and re-worked words and methods out sourced for Autism by people of another generation? People that do not truly understand the Autistic system? People not considering the Autistic perspective on any level? On multiple levels? (The more the merrier.) Have they updated with the rapid changes? Are they Autistic based or driven, consulted? Raising these bars are how activists seek to force change. Questioning the status quo. Creating change that hasn’t truly happened in their favor. Until NOW.

 

NOW, is where it is at!

NOW more than ever it is time to amplify the information Autistic adults share regarding Autism. This paradigm is shifting and information is quickly expanding and this will only increase. Let’s toot the horn of Autistic people for a GREAT CHANGE! It’s their turn to be heard. Their turn to conduct and orchestrate the melodies we need, to indeed harmonize life for the futures of Autistic people. Their chance to enlighten and guide the world in understanding Autism and Neurodiversity!

CHEERS to 2015! BRING IT On to 2016!

 

 

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