Tag Archives: 2011

Autistic Pride Day 2011 and a one on one Chat with Amy Nelson

My friends, Amy Nelson and her husband Gareth, are the founders of Aspies For Freedom, a website forum for people on the Autism Spectrum in which I am a member of. Her and husband are very unique and interesting people to talk to. They have different ways of thinking, a more positive way of thinking about the Autism Spectrum which is why Amy and Gareth created Autistic Pride Day, a day for any one on the Autism Spectrum to get to celebrate the strengths and unique intricacies about being on the Autism Spectrum. While chatting with Amy on Facebook, I asked her questions about Autistic Pride Day.

This is the Q and A with Amy Nelson:

When were you diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum (Aspergers, …)?

I was diagnosed in 1997.

How did you form aspiesforfreedom.com? When did you form the site?

Gareth and I formed the site in 2004, with 2 other aspies we know called Wolfy and Shadow. We wanted to create something proactive and positive, that wasn’t patronising, which many groups were at the time.

What was the idea for Autistic Pride Day on June 18?
The idea for APD was to counter the many negative autism cure events and dates that were happening at the time. We wanted to make something truly positive.

Why ask others to celebrate Autistic Pride?

We want people to enjoy the day any way they choose, including celebrate if they wish.

How can others feel more positive about who they are to celebrate pride in themselves?

It’s a kind of positive self-fulfilling prophecy. I think it’s wonderful that so many people are organizing and celebrating, and that alone makes me feel so happy, to be united with other autistics all around the world.

What is your biggest strength in your life that helps you through each day?

My biggest strength is my strength! Luckily I am very strong, and just keep plodding on through adversity.

Who is/are your hero(s) in your life? What do they do to help you?

I can’t think of a hero that is alive at the moment. But a wonderful inspiration to Gareth and I was our friend, Patty. Sadly she passed away in 2005. She was an amazingly intelligent autistic woman, a great friend and help to us. She is dearly missed.

What is your special interest? What do you like to do?

My main special interest is collecting dolls. I drive everyone crazy going on about them lol.

What positive features do you like about being on the Autism Spectrum?

I am really glad that I can be honest, not be swayed from honesty by trying to impress people and being worried about public appearances, vanity, etc.

How do you use these positive features to move forward in your life?

Hard question, not sure right now.

How do you want to help out other people on the Autism Spectrum?

The main thing I would love to do is to help autistics who are homeless or displaced in temporary accommodation. Having the security of a home is absolutely essential, but housing problems often arise as an issue for autistics at various points in their lives. Homelessness is terrible for anyone, but more so for autistics I feel. Facing the stress of communicating with strangers, moving treasured possessions, having uncertainty, etc. I would much prefer all the money being wasted on researching an impossible and phony cure would be better spent on helping adult autistics, and autistic families who are homeless.

What is success mean to you? Do you believe we can all succeed?

Success is a very personal perception. I can only speak for myself, I take one day at a time otherwise life can be too stressful. Small successes day by day add up to a lot.

How can other people (NT’s) understand people on the Autism Spectrum better?

I wish I knew a definitive answer. The best we can hope for is education, education, education.

Is it possible we can all live harmoniously?

Absolutely. However, world peace is a huge goal that we may never achieve.

Do you think people can really understand that there is no real “normal”?

Not until they experience it. Education, experience, honesty, if someone like Stephen Spielberg came out and admitted he was on the spectrum it would immediately improve millions of our lives. People who have that ability have a duty to act, in my opinion.

What do you look forward to in the future?

Tomorrow and APD!


Autistic Pride Day 2011 starts today June 18 and like any other Autistic Pride Day beforehand, we need to feel energized to fulfill our unique perspectives, intricacies, and build our self esteem to feel just as proud as any Neurotypical feels. It does not matter who you are and what you like, you really are who you AUT to be!!

More posts coming for Autistic Pride Day June 18 as well as The Second Annual Autistic Artistic Carnival!!


Seminar to Educate Counselors at VCS about the Autism Spectrum (Volunteer Counseling Services)

Here is a seminar I led which educated volunteer counselors at an agency in the town where I live in New City, New York. The agency’s supervisor Gail Golden wanted me to come in to her agency as a person who can give a first-hand experience of what it is like to be on the Autism Spectrum. I spoke to the counselors this past Tuesday during the afternoon seminar.

Here is the video from the seminar:

posting more soon,


Second Annual Autistic Artistic Carnival for Autistic Pride Day

In celebration of Autistic Pride Day on June 18, DMC will be holding its Second Annual Autistic Artistic Carnival (AAC).  This is a chance for anyone on the Autistic Spectrum to demonstrate their Autistic Pride and show off their talent.  I will accept submissions of all types including artwork, writing (essays, articles, creative writing, poetry, etc.), music, short film, or any other medium. This is a celebration of the spectrum of  Autistic people as a whole with a wide range of abilities.  You can submit anything you take pride in and want other people to recognize.  Anyone from any age group can submit their materials to me at autisticprideday@gmail.com.  I would like to receive submissions by June 1 so I can organize my AAC posts, but I will also accept later submissions!




The State of the Union Address given by President Barack Obama was Sensational

President Obama delivered the State of the Union address last night.  It was truly inspiring for the American people. His message was urging all Americans to unify in order for the country to move ahead and regain our strength.  He stated that the American Dream still exists. He acknowledged  with great admiration the strength and tenacity of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head by a senseless shooting of a misguided individual in Tucson, Arizona a few weeks ago. She is miraculously recovering from a gunshot wound to her head.   It is unfortunate that a tragedy is what is bringing this nation together. Ms. Gifford has inspired many of us to show how tragedies bring us together to give each other hope and continue to love. Every thing happens for a reason?

Our founding fathers fought and developed the laws of this country in order that we have basic human rights and freedoms that are not available in other countries.  President Obama stressed that the way to move forward into the future is developing innovations and creating opportunities for Americans.  The most important piece of obtaining this goal is through education.  We must realize that education is important in developing talents for our future. As a country we must enhance our educational systems so we can compete with the world.

As an American I am proud to have the opportunity to have my dreams become real.  As Americans we can feel proud of whom we are. That is why it is very critical for all of us to listen, open our eyes, and cooperate with whoever is helping us.  This can be accomplished by developing more patience, understanding of who others are no matter what.  We are all too critical of other people that are not like us.  This can be your neighbor, co-worker, friend, or a family member.  In order to come together as a whole we must remove the branding and labeling of others.

President Obama wanted every citizen to know that we may have separate political parties that may divide the American people, but we are still one nation.  Although the Congress is lead by Republicans and Democrats who have opposing views on certain issues they owe it to their constituents to work together for the good of the country.  The President reminded Americans how we inspire the rest of the world to value its citizens, appreciate basic human rights, and live a genuine healthy successful life.

posting more soon,


An image of Dr. Martin Luther King, JR: (As January comes to a close, we remembered a man this month who helped fight for our human rights as well)

A New Year 2011 drawing near and What do we have to look Forward to

The New Year is drawing very near and as we close out the year 2010, we move forward to 2011!

It sparks an interest in many people to look to a new beginning, but as I stress all the time a new beginning can start at anytime. Who created New Year’s Eve anyway? Was it the 20th Century crazy media who pushed it forward or was it something more than that? When does the year begin and end for real? Is it really December 31? OR Is it another date? Does it really matter when we start our new beginning? Every one is born on a specific day and the new year begins differently for every one.

A mark we make in our lives only occurs when we are enthusiastic enough to do what is necessary to succeed as well as doing the job we like. My sense is the world around us discovers what is necessary to live on this planet. Money, money, money, M-O-N-E-Y!! If you don’t have money, you can’t do much. The only way to obtain that money is by working hard in a field you are passionate about to reap your rewards.

The New Year or any day you recall as a New Beginning in this case December 31, all of us will be striving to make things better. And it will!! We just have to believe what will happen for any one (hurting from years past) will be working their legs to be crazy enough to be the man in the mirror creating change. The only way change can occur is by creating it!

New Years is approaching and I have had an up and down and up year. It all started on January 4, 2010 with PBS’ This Emotional Life and speaking at the Autism Society Conference in July to having Open Heart Surgery to repair an Aortic Aneurysm. The butt of the year ended by getting laid off, but you know the story already. Life is really a roller coaster of ups, downs, and even loops going as fast as the speed of light.

Things happen for a reason, but I feel we always have choices when a fork appears in the road. You can continue one way or go another. You can be an Adult taking responsibility every step of the way or be a child the rest of your life. It’s OUR choice!! Life is not a straight Happy route that will lead us straight to where we ought to be; there are many curves, swirls, and mountains to climb. Just take each day slow, steady, and every thing will turn alright.

I have many things on my To Do List I need to follow. The book I am writing on Autism Spectrum and Surgery; and a Picture book on Ultrasound Technology for Children to learn about when they need an Ultrasound. As well as finding a Job either teaching Ultrasound, clinical Ultrasound, and/or Advocating.

I have been drawing wondering how I can put it on DMC. May be I will just take a picture of it and show it that way. Autistic Pride Day 2011 comes soon on June 18 which is also my Birthday. I will be doing an Artistic Spectrum of art and writings again to be posted on DMC. I will be posting more details very soon so that I can get more Autistic and Aspie people to submit to DMC.

Happy New Year from Drive MOM Crazy and remember Drive MOM Crazy is only a Metaphor. It does not necessarily mean what it says. The New Year looks very promising for ALL of US so don’t worry. Let life just flow…_____________________________!! We have many things to look forward to.

posting very soon,