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Autism Awareness Antics

As another April winds down and all of the amped up Autism awareness antics die down we MAY resume our normal lives.

 

There was a time when I believed that “awareness” was a worthy cause. It quickly became very clear however, that what I considered Autism awareness was very different than the ribbons and gaudy puzzle piece fanfare streaming on line and in the world. In 2010 our idea was to provide useful awareness. Information that children and adults could naturally utilize in every day life upon meeting or trying to make an Autistic friend. Not just a shallow icon or blue light directing you to empty “Autism awareness.” Not silly campaigns that do little else than exploit people as puzzles and point to Autism. As if we still need to ‘spotlight’ that Autism exists once a year. (?) Everyone is aware that Autism is in the world. What everyone may believe about Autism and what Autistic people experience or don’t experience…  is where the awareness has gone all kinds of wrong.
pzpc flame

 

Awareness as cheerleading. Rah Rah Rah instead of A~HA HA!

 

That is exactly what we saw early on in our on-line activity. A lot of color and enthusiasm with very little to ZERO useful information. Looking at puzzle pcs emblazoned onto every item imaginable does absolutely nothing to help my son navigate the world. More importantly it does nothing to help the world “navigate my son.” This black-hole of useful knowledge was precisely why we wanted to create informative art in relation to the Autistic cause. Using art as a vehicle for information is what AutismHWY is really all about and why we were in fact imagined and created. Meeting the Autistic community enhanced and expanded what we were  universally feeling!

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Partnering with actually Autistic people has empowered us and has strengthened our mission beyond belief. Listening to the Autistic voice is the platform we stand on and build upon. There is NO AUTISM AWARENESS with out information provided by actually Autistic people. The city of Covina has heard that authentic truth and has generously supported that amplification by partnering with us and helping us produce our annual CHALK FESTIVAL. That is  what ACCEPTANCE and platform building look like. Not blue light shining and ribbon waving empty awareness campaigns driven by folks raising money while excluding Autistic architects and partners.

 

 

We NEED society to understand that the parents of Autistic people are really NOT the one’s that should be driving Autism Awareness. Many parents are stuck in that ‘main stream societal rut’ filled with misinformation which non-Autistic experts have delivered to us, concerning all things Autism. It’s time to LISTEN to Autistic people.

 

On MAY DAY 2017 AutismHWY continues our call for ALL parents and professionals to “gather” their awareness from Autistic people and to AMPLIFY their very valid and crucial VOICES. This is what will prove vital for the future generations of Autistic people …to be authentically welcomed into the world.

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believe

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The AutismHWY Blog: What it’s ALL About

In late 2009 the AutismHWY website was in the factory tuning up and preparing to plug into our brand-new electric HWY, the world-wide web! How exciting to find ourselves in a whole ‘new head space.’ In fact…a lot of whole new head spaces. Talk about mind expanding! WoW.open mind2

Only knowing my Autistic son and a handful of his Aut classmates throughout those 10 years before the website existed we were ready to get on the HWY to real Autism information. I wanted to meet and greet Autistic people of ALL ages. The things that teachers, professionals and other parents were telling me never rang true. True to the instinctual connection my Autistic son and I have. We knew this new journey  would be something spectacular, something unimaginable. Our GPS system was never quite equipped for the vast galaxy of Autistic people… friends, partners and icons we would be on the AutismHWY with. Stellar universal navigations indeed. A vast neuro-universe unto itself. A universe of thought and beautiful patterning. Super natural people we were excited to befriend, work with and learn from.

So, what is this blog all about besides life changing connections to fantastic people? sticker AA

Is it about me, KellyG? Yes.

anca awards 2011

Is it about my artful attitude? Yes.

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Is it about my son? Yes.

 

 

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Is it about his attitude? Yes.

Not LESS!

Is it about what we do to move the Acceptance ball forward in this indescribable ‘game changing decade’ of Autistic culture connecting? Yes.

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Is it about the innovative people we merge with on our AutismHWY? Yes.

 

 

An amazing emerging culture!!

An amazing emerging culture!!

Is it about our hopes and dreams for the world to stop misunderstanding and over-reacting to Autism? Yes.

 

 

Different is in fact needed!

Different is in fact needed!

Is it about our ICONIC Chalk Festival Free Expression Bonanza? YES!

Lori Antoinette W. serves us up a SWEET surprise!

Lori Antoinette W. serves us up a SWEET surprise!

Is it about the wish for a world more interested in people than things? Yes.

 

 

 

ASAN's Daniel Obejas recites his powerful poem: Points in Space.

ASAN’s Daniel Obejas recites his powerful poem: Points in Space.

5th yr. participant! KING Jeremy of J.J. Jewelers

5th yr. participant! KING Jeremy of J.J. Jewelers

Dylan Arragon's performances were fantastic.

Dylan Arragon’s performances were fantastic.

Daniela interviewed wearing a T-shirt by her own design!

Daniela interviewed wearing a T-shirt by her own design!

 

Is it about the long awaited platform Autistic people need to shift the Autism industry? Yes.

 

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YES-Oct2010
Yes-sand-line
Yes!

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Touchy, Touchy, TOUCHY!

When I was growing up in the 70′s…I remember hearing this common ‘threepeat phrase’ being said to people in school, in the community, at home, in the media…pretty much anywhere and everywhere. You would hear it most often when someone was having a reaction to something bothersome. When someone voiced an opinion on how they felt about something, someone older or in a perceived position of power would say, “Touchy, touchy, touchy” as a way to stop that person from feeling and through intimidation, those listening as well.

 

A way to close the door on pronouncements of someone’s heartfelt concerns and perceptions. Making the person feel inadequate or guilty to have shared those honest feelings. To completely and essentially shut them down and shame them from having and voicing those feelings ever again. It never occurred to me what a violent SLAM that truly was and still is… until now.

Victoria Astorga's Best of Show (amateur) 2016 AutismHWY Chalk Festival

Victoria Astorga’s Best of Show 2016 AutismHWY Chalk Festival

Until, this time in my life where I am an older and wiser person with 5 decades of humanity to draw from. Now that I am the mother of a seventeen year old non-speaking very vocal Autistic young man. Now that I am friends and partners with countless other speaking and non-speaking very vocal and verbal Autistic people. People of ALL AGES, abilities and myriads of amazing ideals.

 

Now that I see how stifling someone else’s natural central nervous system causes harm. Harmful, painful physical and emotional damage. Because, we are in fact sensitive and touchy humans and we should all be accepting, honoring and nurturing of that TRUTH. Not pretending that we are tough as nails or that we should be non feeling super heroes with impenetrable armor for souls. Why was it ever a good idea to impose parameters on one and other by denying the basic humanity of our individualized systems? Why have we been told we must hide our humanity and keep a “stiff upper lip”? Demanding that other people squash their feelings by ignoring their natural systems is a horrific form of bullying. Truly.

 

Labeling someone as “touchy” by guilting them from their own reality in this manner needs to be a thing of the past. We as loving people must validate our friends, family and all others by honoring what they communicate to us about their own unique system. No matter if you understand it or if it somehow causes you discomfort. It is unacceptable to shape someone else’s reality and message for them in this way. We all have systems that operate in specialized manners that can be harnessed respectfully.

 

My portal on humanity through my son and his Autistic system has been an eye-opener for me wymagnify1It allows me to see through so called social structures. Seeing through to these false ways in which we are “social” with one and other.  How people so often try and control the way people speak to them and to others. How people shame each other from speaking freely and feeling safe to be who they really are. Asking people to ignore their system and behave in some ‘desirable fashion’ is cruel and brutal. When we try and shape the tone and content of someone else’s words and ways, that is the ultimate betrayal in cooperative, accepting loving communication. A systematic betrayal.

Allow people the space to be who they really are. Come to that space supportively with no preconceived notion of who anyone is or who anyone should be in …THEIR lifetime.

 

 

 

We believe it is wise to value being “Touchy, Touchy, TOUCHY” because, that is who we truly are. Sensitive people that think and feel deeply!  People that want to communicate freely. People that want to be touched and to touch others deeply, inside and out. Autistically and otherwise no matter the moment in time and space.

 

Ladles of LOVE and ACCEPTANCE...

Ladles of LOVE and ACCEPTANCE…

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The Art of Authenticity

Art is authentic. It communicates, it calms, it vanquishes…it can do just about whatever you need it to. That is why ART is truly crucial to all people even if they are often unaware of it. Sometimes people feel they “own Art” as if they were the first person to put paint on a child’s fingertips or the first person to paint x, y or z. Art will not be owned like that. It’s too big to be contained. It belongs to the human spirit, it belongs to us all. Art is something people have been doing from the beginning of time. Art is a gift for all people to use and express as they will. Life demands artful release constantly. Those of us really ‘tuned in’…know this with every fiber of our being and we enjoy watching it play out DAILY. Before words there was ART. After words there is ART that needs no words. ART is infinite.

 

cave painters

Ability does not always matter in ART. The process of working out your emotions through artful mediums is cathartic. ART is even prophetically placed into the very word which means emotionally purging. Purging your emotions through ART is always good even when it’s bad. Thus, there really is no bad ART.

 

 

Many ART projects are so immense that vast amounts of people must be employed to work on them as apprentice artisans carrying out the piece, project or performance. A master Artist may have designed the entire concept yet many workers fill out the vision. Think about bridges and amazing architectures throughout the world and history, epic artful productions of all types that require armies of artisans and art apprentices working together.

A big crew indeed!

A big crew indeed!

People are enlisted to help Artistic dream become reality. That is awesome and an authentic truth that we all know. Some artists work in pairs and in teams. We see this often at our AutismHWY.com Chalk Festival Event every year! Disabled Artist’s sometimes need facilitation and perhaps collaboration to bring their dream to reality. Others are able to create completely independently, however may need and/or appreciate supports marketing their ART.

My Chalk design becomes....

My Chalk design becomes….

...this digitalized ART with Rachel's help!

…this digitalized ART with Rachel’s help!

 

There is no shame in artful collaboration. I work with an Art partner. The very talented Rachel Walker is my Art partner and illustrator. I create Art designs and lay-outs and Rachel facilitates them into digital versions we can use, print and distribute into coloring books, pages and decal forms. People should be aware of how many people work together to create the ART they may purchase or support. This way they will not be upset to realize that an Artist they believed was creating the ART all alone…simply was NOT.

They will not feel deceived or fooled into believing that one person is solely responsible for the ART which they love.

 

 

Facilitated ART is fabulously valid and very much needed as stated above for many great projects to reach fruition but, what becomes problematic is when facilitated ART is marketed and sold as independent ART.

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If an Artist uses supports to create their masterpieces that is nothing new in the world of ART. It is in actuality, quite common. It’s simply not authentic to deny this ART truth. If you purposely lie about the process of the Artist in order to create emotional attachment to the ART, you have no integrity. When ART is used to manipulate it’s purchaser’s, fans and admirers it is a sad day in the ART WORLD. Real Art does not need that type of manipulation. Authentic Art just IS. It happens by coming from within and it expresses itself outwardly in oh so many glorious ways. Created authentically by one individual or by any number of individuals in artistic collaboration. It is not machinated to be sold as something it is not.

 

 

Earlier I claimed that there was no bad ART. Perhaps, I will re-think this concept that indeed there is bad Art. The kind of ART sold as a lie. Art created to manipulate others by falsifying who created it and/or how they created it. Art sold with sugary sweet lies.

In my mind THAT is the only BAD ART on the planet.

 

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