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YOUR FAMILY TREE?

I’ll bet yours is branching out…becoming an Aunt ? or, an Uncle?… A Beautiful, ‘young Gramie’ ? . How ’bout… Grampa?! ( waayy before…your time!) Heck, it’s fun ! Its what life is all about! GROWING, CHANGING, BENDING, BREAKING & RE-GRAFTING…Just Like the Branches of an AWESOME TREE!

This tree sits on Colorado Ave. right here in Glendora, California! My stomping grounds. My older son Aaron was actually conceived literally 3 blocks east of “THE BIG TREE.” and … born in the hospital that sits adjacent to it ! Today, Wyatt and I were in the neighborhood after a nice lunch with, my Coloring Book illustrator Rachel Walker and her husband Dave! So we stopped and explored the big tree. Our… “Family tree! ” So fun!

Such a specimen!! Like most trees …full of nooks and crannies. It has branches and twigs going in all kinds of crazy directions! Oh and who can forget …the assorted nuts? Sound like.your family?! Sounds like …everyone’s family!! Shooting out to your future. The next generations!! With numbers of 1 in 100 dx’ed with Autism (in some instances below) Odds are your family tree will ‘spectrum shift’ if it hasn’t already! Autistic Mom’s, Autistic Dad’s, Aunts, Uncles, Brother’s, Sisters and Cousins! More people will recognize the spectrum in their tree.  

 This demands that we address AUTISM directly… and make a point to learn about it as a complete population. Hopefully, soon we will have no more sweet, embarrassed uninformed patrons at the grocer’s! When their child sees my Wyatt or another Autistic Individual they will already know about Autism…(best case-scenario) or , when they ask their Mom  & Dad …”Why does that boy do that?!”…Parents will have something practical to tell them and not anxiously avoid the subject (2nd best case scenario! ) This will empower people. Instead of getting that anxious feeling. You know ‘the feeling’… that feeling you get when someone asks you a question  you don’t have the answer for.  Especially your children. That anxiety you feel transfers to them. So get informed and be ready to answer.

 My Making friends with Autism Coloring Books want to relieve a bit of that anxiety. Arm you with a few tools to teach simple and helpful concepts to pave the way for friendships. Don’t feel bad, feel curious. Take the time to understand the diversities in Autism.  So don’t feel anxious about not understanding. People usually don’t understand someone else’s “tree.”  So let’s celebrate the brilliance of this BIG evolving TREE. Realize the family tree is there to support each and every one of us. As individual family trees recognize Autism they will look back and remember branches quite similar to the “new” diverse branches shooting off into the future! Autism is nothing new despite what people may believe. It is rooted in humanity!

While under the canopy of amazing differences and resilient similarities. We need to look to our future generations…our future family trees. Educate them for greater understandings and interactions. Autistic people need their families and peers to understand them, embrace them and realize we are all under this amazing canopy!

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QUESTIONING EYES…

LOOKING OUR WAY~ Each and every single day! As Wyatt and I travel our daily HIGHWAYS & BYWAYS ~ It is VERY Interesting watching these curious youngsters. I study them…study him. You can actually see the wheels spinning, SERIOUSLY! Think …Indy 500. They wonder? About Wyatt~ his actions, his autism …its an issue that has NOT really BEEN broached. Why is that…I wonder? THEY Wonder, I Wonder…WE ALL WONDER!??

Does it have anything to do with that HOT POTATO “Theory”I mention in the blog titled… “Why DOES Wyatt DO that?” PASS that PUPPY off! …” We just don’t have time right now”…”It’s too complicated…we’ll never be able to understand that”…”Oh yeah, and did I mention we were busy.” We know life is crazy, busy at times but, this REALLY IS important. The COMMON UNDERSTANDING is the first step we need to take. If the adults are TOO BUSY

No problem, I’ll skip right to a much MORE RECEPTIVE audience ANYWAY!! Why is it that CHILDREN are always much more open and able to recieve NEW IDEAS? Plus they are not running around trying to get a paycheck and a million other things done everyday. THAT HELPS lol! They definitely have the time to learn. So I will just see what I can do about that! The 3 stories I have written are WYATT INSPIRED...So you know they are SWEET !

I cannot WAIT…until everyone can see them!! We have been working closely on all the concepts and we are getting close to production for BOOK #1 “WHY does Wyatt DO THAT ?” ‘making friends with autism’ !! Working with…my illustrator, RACHEL WALKER is incredible! Not only does she have MAD SKILLS...she is just such a positive and naturally inspiring person! You will be AMAZED at the range of her TALENTS when you visit her website HERE> http://www.edgeoftheworldclothing.com

When we started the project Rachel had very minimal knowledge concerning AUTISM. She has not only understood my vision…She has taken it upon herself to learn as much as she can about the SPECTRUM! I will take a little credit on that front. Being exposed to the books explained some concepts to her & wet her appetite on others… I am hoping that this is the case with everyone that reads it! When the PARENT, TEACHER or CARE-GIVER read the book to their “charges” ~THEY WILL LEARN as well!!

Just a few cute discussions about SELF-STIMULATION…SENSORY ISSUES and SELF INJUROUS BEHAVIORS. 3 OF the ” BIGGIES“…I thought, a very good start! These things seemed SOoo MYSTERIOUS to me at one point in time! NO LONGER! I am over “IT” as they say! I no longer allow AUTISM to BULLY me …I have gotten aquainted with this PUNK! I’ve said it before ~HE was nothing I asked for…but, I accept that He is here.We will continue to expose his SECRETS & Our lives will be HAPPY, FUN and SUCCESSFULREGARDLESS !!

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WHY does WYATT do…”tHaT”?!!

That’s a GOOD QUESTION! Which is exactly what I tell the kids in the new books about “Wy-Wy” coming SOON! For years now I have seen so many beautiful little “QUESTIONING EYES” looking our direction. It’s always the same …Wyatt’s self- stimulatory hand actions will catch the youngsters eye. From there its eyes to me then back to him ,etc… etc… etc… just like watching a tennis match! Sometimes the child will ask their parent why Wyatt is doing what Wyatt is doing?? I’d say 7 times out of 10 the parent will “hush” the child and pretend the question was never asked.

I assume that they must feel uncomfortable. I have to ask those people…can you think of any other questions your child asks that you just don’t address?! Is autism the proverbial “Hot Potato” ? Keep passing that sucker off …can’t get caught with that. Don’t want to “Go There.” Whatever… you want to call it. It seems to me ,to be a …”too busy” thing. People have seemingly always been too busy to “try” and understand the syndrome. Heck how many years were wasted considering it mental retardation?

That’s annoying to think of. So, moving on …to my passion! (some may say… MY obsession.) The passion I have to see people understanding and accepting of our autistic community! There are alot of issues that can “layer-up” on these kids. Some will have higher degrees of “said” issues than others… and vice -versa. In the books I keep it fairly simple and describe self- stimulating behaviors & sensory issues. That is the best start in my mind. If we can get the children to understand that Wyatt’s behaviors are driven by his “need to feel”, rather than just random outbursts. I believe that a calm understanding can begin for everyone. Autism is intimidating to some people. YES , WE GET THAT!!

So it is impairitive to make the knowledge common! Strip the mystery and take away its overwhelming POWER. Taking away part of that mystery is how we can accomplish that…and so it starts with the education of everyone. Especially the kids! Our kids…PEERS. I trully believe that we can wait no longer! Once we shine the light on AUTISM the world will be a more a well- rounded place!

 

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