Tag Archives: autism debating

The Importance of Self-Advocacy

What is Self-Advocacy?  How do people define it?  I set out to define it for myself.    Here is my interpretation of self-advocacy:

Self-Advocacy empowers, Self-Advocacy is collective, Self-Advocacy inspires, Self-Advocacy gives us hope for a better tomorrow. Self-Advocacy discerns us at times when others realize we do have a “voice.”  Determination, Strength, eagerness to do well, and knowing who you are and what you can do is Self-Advocacy.

You may ask why I suddenly decided to define self-advocacy.  Well, what inspired and sparked my desire to define it for myself was when I read  Melanie Yergeau definition in her recent article and Colorado State University’s definition which I found to be the most useful and encouraging.

Here you can read what Colorado State University says about Self Advocacy:

 

Definition of a Self-Advocate

A Self-advocate:

  • Knows him/herself,
  • Knows what s/he needs and wants, and
  • Knows how to get what s/he needs and wants.

Self-advocacy is based upon a holistic model which looks at all the areas of an individual’s life. For example, a college student’s life might include the following areas…Daily Living, School/Work, Health, Relationships, Recreation/Leisure, Spirituality/Purpose. Life is not one dimensional therefore, it is important to acknowledge how each area impacts the functioning of other areas. It is also important to strive for some type of balance between life areas. This doesn’t mean that the same amount of time is spent in each life area, but it does mean that each area receives some attention.

Self-advocacy skills are essential in the college environment and in adulthood. However, becoming a self-advocate does not happen overnight. It is a lifelong process that is perfected as an individual gains a solid sense of who s/he is and an awareness of how to maximize strengths and work with challenges. Parents and families can play a key role in supporting and promoting the development of self-advocacy skills in their children before and after they go to college.

Melanie wrote an interesting statement in her blog which reads:

We are not trained to self-advocate; we are trained to be passive. What able-bodied people are taught is a right, disabled people are taught is a burden.

When a child is growing up, it is imperative for their parents to prepare them to be a functional adult in today’s world.  In preparation for this transition, parents will have to explore what their child’s strengths are and help build on them. The next step is teaching their child how they can use their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses in order to function in society.  When a child has any disability or specifically on the autism spectrum, the earlier detection of this difference, the more parents can work harder at future successes in the child’s life.  For example, when choosing to work with your child to know when to speak up, the child will have an easier time growing up in to adulthood. By the time these children become adults, they can really work on who they really are and not be enabled to regress.

It is better to teach any one to speak up at the right moment, then to teach them to shy away, notwithstanding teaching a child to self-advocate can be a difficult task since every child learns differently. When a child learns passive behavior, this  usually leads to passive-aggressive behavior when they are not taught to speak up right away and out of nowhere explodes in raging anger.

Can any one imagine teaching any child regardless of who the child is, to build up their strengths? It seems like having a full time job.  After careful teaching and planning, hopefully the child regardless of any disability speaks up  throughout adulthood and can handle most of their life on their own.

In retrospect, there are some children who seem like they need more help than other children with autistic spectrum disorders. In the end, they may not become fully functional adults like Ari Ne’eman, Temple Grandin, Michael John Carley, myself, or the many other people on the autistic spectrum succeeding joyfully.  Society needs to move forward as much as we can to give these children with either classic autistic disorder (multitude of sensory problems, seizures, and/or constant stimming) or children with a lesser condition of an autistic spectrum disorder to live in the world with some kind of success with strength they do have. Can you imagine if the people mentioned above didn’t receive the support they had when they were younger? They probably would not have succeeded at many things. Strengths are important for any one to acknowledge and the parents who continue to try to teach their children the right to speak up are proactively stimulating these children to be who they are.  Speaking for oneself is an important quality every one needs to obtain because every one requires the freedom to tell others what they want and need. Rather than thinking about all what is wrong with these individuals and fix society, parents should realize the repercussions of this idea and instead prepare their children for the future.  Isn’t it better for any one to be unique and different with creative ideas? What about every one in society receiving their rights to live? Every one should be chanting the phrase the Autistic Self Advocacy Network has been saying all along “Nothing about us, without us.”

What more can I say? Well, I hope you learn from what I am saying.

posting more soon,

OUT, J

 

 

Angels all around us so be careful what you do!

There are Angels all around us, we just have to feel them.  Respect others, Respect yourself, be patient, and things will come together soon.  Angels can help us all around, but people from Autism Speaks created a video “I am Autism”  to promote a cure creating an uneasiness amongst any one with a form of Autism.  Sometimes we just have to open our eyes and see an Angel in a person or beyond.  It is not right to close our eyes and shut our minds. The video does not respect others and claims Autism as a whole is worth curing, but Autism is something more than what Autism Speaks suggests.  It is different and in some respects different can be better at times when you can see interesting contributions to the world like it has in the past.  For instance, great inventors, poets, musicians, artists, etc. gave and continue to give good things to the world. It is a gift from god. On the other hand, some people who have this difference struggle more trying to deal with it.  Their  struggling can possibly be from not being able to handle the pressures of the Neurotypical world.  It is sad to hear these struggles going on, but Neurotypicals alike need to guide them through as much as they can.  The growth of any person with Autism varies, but it is up to all of us to work together.   Every body has different needs, but most importantly we work through them to achieve anything.

Any Autism is a phenom.  Every thing happens for a reason and may be the reason for having people with any Autism is to help the world through the tough times because some one with any Autism may have the answer.

Take a look at the video from Autism Speaks “I am Autism” and think about how Autism Speaks makes a video just to promote a cure for Autism. Then, take a look at someone else’s video on “I am Autism Speaks” which is based on the perspective people with Autism have a voice.  Finally, watch the video Angels by Robbie Williams to think about any struggle by any one in the world to see how we should think back to our true missions in life for our final achievement to reach heaven.  We can all make it with just a little help.

Respect every  body!  “Nothing about us , without us.” ASAN statement!  There should be more Adaptations around the world which promote positive healthy living.

posting later on,

OUT, J

Finding Truth to this called ‘Life’

Life is an amazing journey of self exploration in to the soul. As many of you may see today, there is a poll question about life. Please answer the poll question. Symbolizing our lives can be hard and difficult process to handle. Some people may feel their life is worthless, but deep down inside there is meaning to life. For instance take a look at this picture:

The picture symbolizes the question we all need to answer. We make decisions in our life when we reach a fork in the road every day. Every day there are decisions to make and each decision we make affects us. Whether its a consequence or a reward, in the end, we make these decisions. At the end of our life, we reflect on the good and bad decisions we made. When we make a decision, we must first analyze it completely without feeling emotions. It can be very hard, but we need to do what is best for our individual self. At the end of our life, we capture each moment in our head to evaluate how we did. Just like a test in school, we want to make sure we can correct any errors we made.

A long journey of 100 years can be difficult at times and we are put on the spot just like in school. Come on, you have 20 minutes to take the test and fill in the answers as fast as you can. By the end of the test, you hand in your paper to see what grade you get. If you get an A, you are excited and filled with happiness. If you fail the exam, your head creeps down and you are told to try again. You either decide to give up or try again, but most people try again.

The test of life is the same thing as a test in school. We are tested to show if we learned the lessons of life. Sometimes it takes a lifetime of 100 years while other times it takes a much shorter time. We need to accept many things in our life. One thing we need to accept in our life is when we know someone has died. Death is just the end of the journey on Earth because the person who died lived the tests given to them. They are ready to be graded. If they grade well like in school, you are honored, but if you fail for whatever reason you have to try it again.

We also need to accept every body needs to learn lessons in life. There are people in the world who strive to cure Autism. This is a very hot topic where many people debate about curing Autism. If you look at the logic of Autism or even Asperger Syndrome, Neurotypicals need to help guide us sometimes. Sometimes we need to try it on our own to learn certain lessons, but other times we need guidance. It is very important to for us to learn early so life gets easier rather than learning later and struggling. In the end only one person takes the tests and the grade we each get stays with us forever.

Every one may have different lessons to learn, different tests to take, and different forms of success on Earth; but when the time comes to be graded, we win. It is time to get up and be amazing. Don’t be emotional, don’t get angry, just be happy. It is a journey of thousands of days on Earth, so make them meaningful.

Each day we see new babies being born and we also see older people who have lived long lives die peacefully. There are many tasks to be done, lessons to be learned, and tests to be taken…  I am determined to grade well and live my life the to the fullest to learn the lessons.

Take it easy and I’ll be posting again soon…


OUT, J

Thinking of ways to change the thinking in people’s minds when bickering goes on

Many people stigmatize people with Asperger Syndrome and Autism. It is not right, it is not fair, and nor is it the right of anybody to feel we should not be able to live a life just like anybody else. The debates in Autism go further than we all anticipated. The Vaccine and Curebie Activists feel they are right because they feel Asperger Syndrome and Autism is wrong. It is not wrong, it is just another contribution to the world. People with Asperger Syndrome and Autism are more special than one would think. A common ground needs to be set. Stop the bickering and screaming. Stop all the threats on people. Adults like myself, children with Autism/Aspergers, and Seniors with Autism/Aspergers need the support now. We need to stop and think about why we are fighting so much. There is a true positive to someone like myself with Aspergers and there are also positives to having Autism as well. Autism is a good thing, but also a very broad term. I feel people with any disability especially Aspergers or Autism can bring more joy to this world if Neurotypicals would only listen to us. Instead they push us away and think our voices don’t count.

I know I have not posted in a week or so, but I am still trying to fix up my site. Anyway, I am so excited because when I helped out Hugh Dancy play the part of Adam in the movie ‘Adam’, I really did a great job. The Sundance film Festival really applauded the film with an award.

I wonder if any of the filmmakers or the actors are seeing my website still, and if they are I’d like to say “I want to see this movie.”

Anyway, I have more posts coming up soon. Today is a busy day for me.

OUT, J