Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Fixing" Me

When I made the “Fixing” Autism video, I knew it rang true for me. I wasn’t sure how others would perceive it, but I thought it might help other families affected by ASD know that they are not alone. Even more importantly, I hoped that people outside the autism community would see it and perhaps understand what it meant to be touched by the disorder.

The feedback to my “Fixing” Autism video has been astounding. When I made the video I thought that I had something special, but I thought it was special for ME. I put the video on YouTube because I wanted others to see it, but I figured viewership would be limited to my Facebook friends and some people who might stumble upon it if they did a YouTube search for “autism”. I shared it a couple of times on the Autism Speaks Facebook page thinking that people visiting that page would understand the frustration and anger that inspired me at 4:00 AM to silently scream at the establishment.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

So funny I forgot to laugh.

One of the goals of my advocacy is to create an open dialogue. This is the first post in which I am asking the reader to contribute and share ideas. Please participate. The more the merrier. This could be a complete disaster, or very interesting. Please keep it respectful and civil.

Since my decision to dive into advocacy, I have learned a great deal about social media; How to target interests, how to promote, how to have fun with, how to do research and gauge people’s reaction.

One of the tools that I use is TweetDeck. It is a great program that allows me to monitor several different interests. I have a sports stream for work and for my own personal enjoyment, and I also have an autism stream that I watch very closely. Through that stream I have met a lot of great, involved parents that are fighting like hell for their kids. It lifts me up every time I fire up TweetDeck because it is a constant reminder that my family is not in this battle alone.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Oh Poop!

My autistic daughter who is almost 6 and not fully potty trained will at times play with, paint with, and/or eat her own feces.

There. I said it.
Is it embarrassing? Sure.
Is it sad? Extremely.
Why bring it up then? So that I can let it go.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Flying High

When I think back to when I was a kid, there are moments that I can recall that take me right back to that time and place in which I was truly free. Free of responsibility, free of stress, free of worry… I suppose it is called innocence. One of those moments is riding on the back of my mom’s bike along the Chicago lakefront. We moved from Chicago when I was 8 but when I returned as a young man and would ride my bike or rollerblade along the lake it would take me back… every time.

Have you hopped on a swing lately? Try it. Don’t be afraid of what others are thinking or saying. Just go to a park one day, hop on a swing and fly. I guarantee your senses will take over. It is truly remarkable. I believe that it is the closest to a time machine man will ever get. The breeze in your face, the squeak of the chain, that little jolt that happens when you test the boundaries and soar too high… all of these things can’t help but take you back. You had the phase on the swing where you always wanted your parents to push you because it made you feel safe and secure. You knew they would be right there to catch you if you ever fell. You didn’t even have to kick to keep your momentum going. Your parents did it all for you.

Eventually however, you reached a point in which you didn’t want your parent’s assistance. You wanted to be independent. You hopped on all by yourself; you pushed yourself back and then threw your legs forward. You learned how to maintain control and what your limits were. Your parents, though willing to give you that push, were now no longer a necessity. It was still nice to know that they were there for you, but their mingling in your affairs was no longer vital to the cause.