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“Pos~Autism” Book signing!

This Saturday, September 15th at 3 p.m. I am getting an early Birthday present! A slot for AutismHWY, Making Friends with Autism , The Art of Autism, Joel’s Vision Arts and Celebrate Autism to share center-stage at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena California!  A Southern California icon serving the community for 118 yrs. Growing up here in the San Gabriel Valley I am very proud to have this chance! I hope you will come out and JOIN US.

Join us for a chance to talk about Autism and meet some people thriving with it…Discover books describing the daily challenges the many talents,the comical moments and most importantly the hopes and dreams of acceptance and inclusion!

 

I will be sharing my Coloring Books: “Making Friends with Autism” and “Why Does Wyatt Do That?” PLUS previewing our new addition: MFWA “Awareness Every Month” Coloring Pages.  Which will be coming soon! Teaching Brain Awareness on the AutismHWY!

 

Debra Hosseini will be on hand with her fabulous book The Art of Autism: Shifting Perceptions. A visually stunning collection of Art created by 77 Artists on the Autism Spectrum. Hear about the Artists personal journey and see the inspiration of their work! Such an uplifting movement and most likely the largest collaboration of Spectrum Artists Internationally! Quite a mosaic of talent! Please come and be awed! All of you Artists out there on the spectrum: come out and meet a true champion for your cause! 

We are so proud to be joined by Joel Anderson! Artist, Advocate deluxe! Joel has many accomplishments and projects that never cease to slow down. He is on a mission to help Autistic children be understood and loved for who they are! He is an exceptional role model for all of us! Joel is available to speak publicly to any and all that need useful Awareness tools!! Schools, Communities and Families can all benefit from Joel’s good will and talent! Soon Joel will be traveling to Canada for a 3rd yr. in a row! In 2010 he became an ANCA Int’l Naturally Autistic People Award recipient for his excellence in Community Service. In 2011 he returned as a Host and Performer during the fantastic 3-day event. Next month he will return as an Ambassador for these excellent Awards joining the ranks of Temple Grandin! This young man has alot to offer the Autism Community you really won’t want to miss a chance to meet him and his creative business partner /Mom~Sandi!

Topping all of that will be Linda Gund Anderson sharing the literal mind of Autism and it’s “Unintentional Humor”!! In her hilarious book of the same name! Linda and her son Brent are Advocates and leaders in this positive movement ‘spectrum families’ are making! Working resource and information fairs, conferences and more criss-crossing across the entire country! Founder’s of the website www.celebrateautism.com Linda and Brent are a great team in our knowledge building efforts as we share our perspective from the AutismHWY!! See you  all this Saturday!

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Am I Amusing Myself with Awareness?

Another great day at San Fransisco’s Amusement park. Our third year attending  California’s, Great America Disability Awareness Day and I am asking myself the titled question.  Is anybody really listening? Many people campaign to sign you up and sell you services at these events that are dubbed Awareness Days. “Resource Fairs”…are resource fairs. On “Awareness days” I would love to see these resource companies providing some useable awareness. Set up for a day of info and experiential teaching. Real awareness should be free and easy to obtain for all people. You need not sign-up for a fee or join a program to get some later if you’re lucky. Yes, we all need to pay our bills by selling our books and our services/programs to keep afloat. However, I see more organizations selling than teaching at these events. Sell your programs at the “Resource Fairs” and teach the public on “Awareness Days.”

So, after attending another wonderful event at a mainstream BIG Amusement Park…I have to furthur question, is anyone truly becoming more aware? Sure Autism is more of a hot topic today. Mainly because the numbers of diagnosis have risen dramatically in the last 10 yrs. Everyone has now heard of ‘it.’ What they think they know about ‘it’…is a whole other story! Professionals included.

Teaching people about Autistic people is what constitutes Awareness in my mind. How do Autistic people experience our world? What brings them comfort? How are they processing information? What brings them success and happiness? How can we best facilitate that? The lists of questions and things to be explained about people on the spectrum is endless. To infinity and beyond. Give me an inch and I will go a mile. Trying to teach you something about AUTISM you can take to the streets. Road rules to understand those of us living on the AutismHWY! Not just attending to provide you with a brochure of my services or a pencil with my company info printed on it. I talk the talk for Awareness because, REAL Awareness is the first step. If we don’t get people educated in a more functional manner the acceptance and comfort we crave will simply never follow. 

 Each year we have had a unique Awareness experience with teaching opportunities arising organically!

This year was particularly intense.Living up to our 2012 coloring book: “Why does Wyatt do that?” There are always many reasons and ever changing areas of concern in regards to our ‘famous title’ question! Today my 13 1/2 yr. old needed some very deep pressure, deep meridian tapping along the sides of his skull. Most folks would not understand that so…I only showed my hand slightly. (Moving to a more private location for the intenser moments) When I say meridian tapping , most would probably say head-banging. Wyatt feels pressure from the input he is experiencing (environnmental or physiological) and will not feel calm until it is literally banged out of him, up and down the sides of his head in repetition. One hour or so before the end of the event this occured. Wyatt became stressed, began whooping then screaming and was in intense pain. This momentary intense pressure builds up outwardly through a series of self injurious behaviorial pinchings of his arms head and chest ( &*importantly anyone who may try to stop him.) He grabs my wrists and then directs my hands to clap his ears and head. Up and down with gradating intensity. The finger pressing claps (kinda like the way I used to flip my killer softball pitch) gradually become karate chops  (as directed) and seem to re-boot his being. Hitting, tapping and finger-rolling massaging these pressure points has become a sometime daily occurance over the last year. It can happen in any time of day in any condition and can last 20 minutes or longer. Are people ready for this? Most likely not…especially when he is in that intense zone but, when you know what your child needs you must ‘go there.’ I am coming-out proudly as a full fledged head-wrapping, meridian tapping mama unconcerned what anyone may think of it. However, quite willing to rap about it so you and many others can begin to wrap their heads around it!

 

This particular Awareness is not amusing and somehow I just love the irony of explaining something so serious at an Amusement Park! Guess, I just answered my original question!

BEFORE…

AFTER…

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Have You Ever Seen a ‘Color-Blind Rainbow’?

I believe most families living on the Autism Spectrum have. It is a very splendid thing to experience. As families take their journey on the AutismHWY you often  find that comforting place. A place of acceptance, of love and celebration of diversity. This is what I am talking about. A pure belief in the human spirit not colored by others expectations and the ever-shifting standards of “human normalcy.” Barriers must be broken down to get to this place we will ALL hopefully travel to. To “see” and experience this incredible phenomenon.

How many years have people struggled with differences? Some will say going all of the way back to the beginning of time, perhaps when that ’1st apple’ was eaten. It seems so ridiculous that we as “thinking” people cannot accept diversity. We freely admit we are all ”like snowflakes.” We seem to enjoy that fact, repeating it as a mantra  and passing it down  generation after generation. Why then do we fall short living up to that precious belief? Is it fear of the unknown?  Is it narcissistic ranking and status seeking? Our hearts and our minds tell us that  tolerance is the kind and gentle way to live. Yet, everyday examples of intolerance surface all over the world.

 Intolerance is something Aut-families walk through everyday like a minefield…sometimes it is NOT just intolerance. It is intolerance peppered with a great amount of ignorance. (A quite rancid seasoning to add!) Autism has a way of humbling a family. The family soon realizes that extra supports are needed and adjustments must occur. Soon you realize what we should all, already know. That being of service to others is a very rewarding and noble way to live your life. So often we see siblings and friends of the Autistic population growing up to be super people. Kind, loving and tolerant! There is no room for the “Me,Me,Me” mindset it just doesn’t fit into our big picture!  I often wonder is that the reason that we see so much more Autism…this colorblind rainbow?? Is Autism bringing the world together? Teaching the world tolerance on a whole other level…one family at a time?

I was lucky enough to have a chance to speak about this April 22,2012 on the Lisa Ann Walter Radioshow on Clear Channels KFI. Dana Commandatore from www.rethinkingautism.com  and I were happy to start clueing listeners in to our BIG PICTURE….our ‘color-blind rainbow!’ About 30 minutes into the show Dana and I had an hour block of time to chip away!! Click this link and listen in:

http://www.kfiam640.com/player/?station=KFI-AM&program_name=podcast&program_id=LisaAnnWalter.xml&mid=22020324

Learning to accept an alternate lifestyle can be hard for many people. Afterall we are spoon-fed what we should expect in life. The problem with that is the many hands and many interests holding those spoons. Many people have lost sight of so much in the fast paced world that we live in. It seems we will “eat” anything!

I would like to think that people will wake up when Autism joins their family and set their tables for diversity. The bounty you will find there may be unexpected and perhaps not what you ordered but, it will feed your soul like nothing else you have tried.

Am I crazy to believe that Autism is a way for the world to see the proverbial “forest through the trees”? A way for people to get a hands on experience to a type of diversity that will change their lives. Opening your eyes to the ways we are all different and how those differences teach us great truths about who we are as people and how we should be living. How we should be treating our families, our neighbors, our friends. Serving others to gain a better insight into humanity. This is the ‘Color-Blind Rainbow’ Autism has brought to my world that we should all be grateful we can see!! 

 

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CHALK heART!!

Whew….I am soO happy and still processing all that occured during our 2nd Annual AutismHWY.com Chalk Festival!!  Wyatt and I feel especially blessed to have this fantastic spectrum of friends! The day was a true success in every sense of the word! Making friends with Autism was on all of our itineraries for FUN.

I do believe that happened for all in attendance including Mr. Kevin Stapleton the mayor of Covina!! 

 He was having a grand time meeting the many talented individuals the Chalk Art attracted. He heard the many stories from families and friends. He spoke eloquently when Exceptional Minds was given their 2011 ANCA Naturally Autistic Award, and he was down with the Artists as they colored perceptions experientially! Truly awesome. He took the time to talk with most every person there. It was a pleasure to see the expressions of joy, validation and self worth this triggered. I am wishing for April 2013 already!! Funny just how contagious this chalk-joy is!!  Have a look for yourselves…….  I want to thank everyone that made it to the event!! A very special thankyou to multi talented artist/actor/singer songwriter Michael Harding for taking the time out to sing his awesome  Autism anthem” Change a Life”…you Rock Mike!!

PLEASE MAKE PLANS TO JOIN US IN 2013!!!

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