Saturday, November 30, 2013

Autism Answer: Celebrate and Smile!

I woke up at 3:40 AM to the sound of Declyn and Shay laughing and playing a video game. They were working together trying to explore some unknown world, looking for some scroll or something. They were making middle of the night type jokes--you know, the ones that are only funny because of a drunk-like fatigue. Those jokes that when offered in the light of day fall flat and incorporate too many fart and penis references. Those ones.

At first I thought it was a dream, and I was happy. The sound of my sons laughing and enjoying each other remains my all time favorite sound. Even better than Three Days Grace live! After a few moments I realized that it was not a dream, and I became irrationally annoyed. What are they doing up at 3:40 AM??! How are they going to break the all night habit when school starts? Have they eaten all the food while I slept?? Boys will do that you know.

I stayed in bed for another minute, waiting for that annoyed feeling to go away. You see, I've been a mom long enough now to know that it will go away. And that we are all happier if I discuss any issue with my loved ones (husband, sons, brothers etc) if I just wait a moment.

~~One time, when my sons were small and a lot more work, I didn't wait for that annoyed feeling to go away and called them all "little shits." They've been taking advantage of that one for years!! Actually, it's become something of a family joke!~~

It didn't take long at all for me to no longer feel annoyed. Now that I'm good at waiting, I no longer feed my annoyance with proof of why I should be annoyed, but rather I starve it by reminding myself of just how many beautiful skills my sons are exercising while working together and joking (albeit, poorly!) at 3:40 AM.

Social skills, comedic timing, connection, cooperation, clarity of speech, and problem solving--not only regarding finding the scroll, but also working out what to quietly eat that won't be missed by mom in the morning!

Before I could get out of bed to ask my sons why they were still up, and to find out if they had been using my computer for anything... um... not appropriate.... Declyn came into the room where I was sleeping and asked,"Mom? Did we wake you up? Sorry, we're going to go to sleep now." And then he lied down beside me and passed out. And about an hour later, so did Shay!!!!

When I woke up this morning I was smiling and celebrating. Not only did the night end in a win for mom, getting snuggles from teen sons who just don't snuggle anymore, but it also ended in a win for my sons, who got to feel free and independent and in control of their own schedule.

My Point: There are always reasons to smile and celebrate. There are also always reasons to be annoyed and worried. Often, they can be the same reason.

When choosing what to do with a reason, don't be afraid to smile and celebrate! In the long run, the lessons and skills will still be yours to teach, but when we mostly smile and celebrate it's way more fun!!!

Happy Saturday friends!!!
Hugs, smiles, and love!!
Autism Answers

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Autism Answer: My Smarty Pants T-Shirt!

I'm wearing one of my favorite t-shirts today. It say's "Lead Actress in a Comedy" and makes me feel like wearing my Gosh, Life is Funny glasses. I have noticed a few interesting things about this shirt that I would love to share.

1. It doesn't really fit. You know when you see women wearing outfits that someone much younger, thinner, or photo shopped should be wearing? Some folks roll their eyes and think juvenile--but kinda fun--nasty thoughts? Ya. Me in this shirt. But I absolutely love it, even though it is slightly small and made for someone whose belly is flat and whose stretchmarks are not so purple and itchy!

. Not everyone gets it. I have had people come up to me in my small town of Two Old Men and One Tumbleweed, TX, asking excitedly what comedy I am in. I don't mind this at all, and enjoy sharing that it is referring to the comedy of life. Then, hoping they see the humor, I apologize for my autistic brother poking their boob and tell my fifteen year old son, who is cocking his arms like a T-Rex and making sounds like the predator, that he may not have a soda. 

It's smarter than me. It never forgets to challenge social norms or assumptions. It reminds me to be okay with the eye rolling of women--Observational Aside: Men don't seem to care about stretch marks or blubber, they just appreciate a peek of belly regardless!-- and to not worry or wonder about the assumptions of others. Like a good friend it encourages me to comfortably explain my idea of it's meaning to strangers when they ask for my autograph. With confidence it announces that I am the star in my life. It's not afraid to accept attention and be interesting! It always remembers that life can be seen as a comedy--which aren't funny in every scene, but are willing to pull us back from the painful moments with laughter. This shirt doesn't take life too seriously, while simultaneously offering an opportunity for serious learnings.

Perhaps if I hadn't had to learn all of these tips and tricks as a child growing up with four autistic brothers, I would just think the shirt is too much trouble and throw it away. Perhaps if I hadn't already been encouraged to learn the value of not worrying about stranger stares or being approached with incorrect assumptions, I wouldn't find such joy in my shirt. But I love these lessons! And now that my brothers are either off the spectrum or in California, and my own spectrum-y son is not much of an attention grabber, I rely on tricks like silly t-shirts to remind me not to forget these lovely lessons. 

To always remember these Autism Answers!

To always remember that I'm the lead actress in a comedy!!

Hugs, smiles, and love!!!

You can kinda see my muffin top and stretch marks.
But I just totally love the shirt!!!

I'm not trying to say "Look at my boobs" with this pic. Promise!
But, I mean, it's fine if you wanna.
While you're there though, please also notice the caption.
tee hee!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Autism Answer: Because My Mom Was Autistic Our Answer Was Autism

Author's Note: This piece originally appeared on and can be seen HERE. I wrote it over a year ago and only now remembered that I should totally share it with you!! I have many posts at OpEdNews, most of which at least make a mention of autism, but this one is absolutely up our Autism Answers ally!! Hugs!!! ~Tsara

Themes. Hollywood takes advantage of them. It’s much easier to tell a story when sticking with a theme.

It can be much easier to understand a life when thinking in themes, too. Our family has a few, but the big one for us is: Autism.

My mom was an undiagnosed autistic. Being her daughter could be frightfully embarrassing, heartbreaking and eye opening. I struggled for years with guilt over the way I treated my mom in my head.

Autism is a funny thing. You can’t see it. It’s very much the same symptoms in individuals (communication difficulties, social disorder, repetitious behaviors and sensory sensitivities) manifesting vastly differently in each. Much like society’s view of depression, there are those who want to believe that it’s something people are choosing, or taking advantage of as an excuse.

My mom grew up hearing she was crazy, an underachiever, cheeky, a psychic, a slut, and more and more and more. When she would excitedly share the colors of sound, her mom would hit her. When she answered rhetorical, “Who do you think you are?” type questions with the correct answer, “LynetteLouise”, a punishment and lecture she couldn’t understand would result. She promised herself that one day she would be the mom of many children, so that she could treat them with love and fairness. If she couldn’t understand a world of unfairness, she would create one that made sense. Her autistic perseveration became: Fairness.

As the (very) young mom of two little girls (me and my sis) she had to have a hysterectomy. The depression that followed was short lived but clinical. Because of me and my sister my mom refused to give in and searched with intention for an answer.

The answer came in a crazy and frightfully feral little three year old boy waiting for a bed in a mental institution. My mom became his mom.

He became our brother.

Our answer was Autism.

My mom eventually adopted three more boys on the spectrum of autism. She had an innate gift with my brothers. She believed in them in a way that no person (including their birth parents) had believed in them before. She saw herself in them.

But I intended for this article to be about having an autistic mom, and so it shall.

As the daughter of an undiagnosed autistic my world tended to revolve around how my mom’s weirdness' affected me. If a situation arose at school and teachers were to be contacted I would do anything to be somewhere else for the confrontation. To begin with, no matter how many times my mom had met the teacher it was quite likely she wouldn’t recognize their face and would rudely not remember them. Mom’s vision was pixilated and she had a sort of face blindness. Then once the grown-up in question had been reintroduced, my mom would begin insisting on a fairness that systems and schools just don’t have room for. My mom’s hyper-focus on a fair world left no wiggle room. And although my mom was always kind in the delivery, she was relentless and insistent on the end result. My mom’s kindness believed in compromise, but her autistic intensity insisted on a fair one. One that saw the human needs in everyone, in all of her kids. Yes, even the crazy ones.

For example, when only two of my brothers were permitted to ride the school bus, because they were the only ones broken enough to do so, my mom said absolutely not! She would not have two of her boys forced to walk because they weren’t "disabled" enough while the other two’s disabilities were reinforced by having them not trusted to walk. Mom’s solution? Tie one higher functioning child to one lower functioning child with a shoe lace so they could walk all together to school. The solution was brilliant and when done with explanation gifted everyone with important learnings that believed in a future. The only snag, it wasn’t normal or socially acceptable. My mom’s solution was rather autistic.

No mother could love her children or believe in them more than my mom. Maybe the same, but not more. No matter what child services, doctors or nosy neighbors said, my mom saw us kids as people with unlimited potential.

Lots of days, I hated that.

My mom’s intense belief in fairness (and before you go thinking that at least her perseveration was fairness, remember that a desire to see everyone treated equally drove her into a depression that could have killed her. Her experience of needing fairness hurt her, and she is amazing for reminding herself daily to smile, keep on putting one foot in front of the other and be the change) and teaching the world—as a comedian her fart jokes always led to ozone information and her penis jokes led to hilarious and important jokes of judgments and intentional self-healing—could be exhausting. Her willingness to forgive us kids while coupled with perfectly appropriate punishments was so different from any of my friends’ families that I was often left wondering if my mom was brilliant or crazy.

Because of the autism in our house we prioritized different than most. The question was never, “what will be the easier mess to clean-up after” but rather “what will benefit most of the family the quickest”. Hence, we were a loud, messy, laughing, and crazy group.

There just wasn’t a lot of room for cruelty in our home. Unfortunately, it happened anyway, in my head.

Sometimes my mom would stand up in the middle of a conversation at a coffee shop and exclaim, “It’s too cold. I have to go now.” No gradual easing into it. Just “Gotta. Go. Now.” What we didn’t know at the time was that up until that point she had been dealing with a myriad of sensory overload. She couldn’t tell us because as far as she knew the world she was experiencing was the same as ours. I would be embarrassed at her rudeness in these moments and blame her—always in my mind—for needing attention. When my mom could not stand casual conversation with my friend's parents and therefor walk away rudely, I would despise her snobby attitude. When my mom would drive past our destination six or seven times because she was hyper-focused on an idea that might come together and make the world a fairer place, I would charge her with trying to seem like an absent minded genius.

I had these thoughts and more. Worse were some of the things I thought about my brothers. Suffice it to say that when my mom would insist I see adorable little boys struggling with challenges they could overcome, I considered my mom to be playing the role of martyr, wanting to feel persecuted against by a world who saw disabled children with no future and refusing to see the truth. Everyone else believed my brothers would never be able to be independent. Everyone but my mother. So I chose to believe everyone. 

I’m not proud of these thoughts, but they were there. What I am proud of is that I was mostly able to be kind. That I have almost always been very supportive to my mom and willing to open my eyes to the beautiful possibilities she always insisted were there.

I am proud that three of my four brothers are no longer diagnosable as autistic. That my brother who still is at home is happily learning, albeit very slowly. I am proud that my mom has been able to turn her passion for autism and fairness into a global autism/brain expert career, one woman musical comedy show, books, popular podcast, and the international reality series FIX IT IN FIVE with LYNETTE LOUISE aka THE BRAIN BROAD (showing on The Autism Channel). 

I am proud that I have taught my own boys the value of kindness and believing in everyone despite appearances or difference. And the value of forgiving your self-centered childish brain for having self-centered childish thoughts.

Our theme for learning these important lessons was autism. Having an undiagnosed autistic mom taught me to be fair, kind, and unassuming.

It taught me to see outside the box, because a box is no place for a person.

It taught me to forgive myself and learn from my mistakes.

Because of autism I have started writing, sharing and being myself loudly.  I have chosen a motto for my Facebook page that rings true and reminds me daily how lucky our difficulties can make us.

Motto: Autism asks challenging questions, begs us to think outside the box and then, Autism Answers.

Hugs, smiles, and love!!

Our wonderfully wacky family!!

Tsara Shelton is a writer, coffee addict, and proud mother of four always eating teenage boys.  Random thoughts and pleas for more food can be read daily on her Facebook page Autism Answers.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Autism Answer: Teens, Autism, and Abusive Boyfriends--Oh My!

Living with a teenager can be like living with an abusive boyfriend. 

He wakes and you wonder, "What kind of mood today?" and "What should I do to make sure today goes well?" 

When he's home you're on edge and when he's out you're on edge. 

There are some significant differences. 

You walk on eggshells to avoid a meltdown, but with your teen you know it's your job to teach him and ask him to grow. So when you've had enough coffee, you allow the eggshells to break purposely, as a teaching tool. 

With the abusive boyfriend your job is to leave him. *Please leave him! By staying you're only saying with your actions that you like it and want it to continue!*

With the teen your job is to stay, and teach him by exampling and putting your foot down and raising the bar.

Luckily I've had practice, because living with a teen is also a lot like living with autism. And I grew up surrounded by autism! I grew up watching my mom encourage a change in routine for my autistic brothers, ask them to handle it and believe that they could. She insisted they eat foods that were healthy even though it meant sitting in the kitchen for two days patiently and lovingly coaxing and reminding them that eating the food was the only way to leave the table. The key words here: patiently and lovingly. Like teenagers being told they could not go out with friends they screamed, twisted their bodies, and tried to inflict bodily harm on themselves. I watched my mom believe that they could learn with unwavering certainty and conviction. I watched my mom honor their challenges by playing detective and following clues to find out why they were having a hard time, and making helpful changes. Insisting, too, that everyone in their world do the same. 

Her abusive husbands she left behind, her teens and autistic rug-rats were gifted with a love, strength, and insistence that we are forever grateful for. 

So, living with a teen can be like living with an abusive boyfriend.

But being the parent means not being like the victim living with an abusive boyfriend! 

We mustn't tip-toe around our kids and then complain or commiserate behind their backs. And we must never try to change or fight the hormones or autism out of them. 

We should, however, ask them to learn, and then be ready for the meltdowns--but don't assume or expect them. Our children feel our expectations. We should always believe they can do it! 

Autism Answer: Parenting is a lot of work! It's supposed to be. But when you remember to take on the role with intention and your big-girl or big-boy pants, it is also fun and infinitely rewarding!! 

*My son was rather cranky one morning. You have him to thank for this post! tee hee!

Three of my four teens, enjoying a board game together.
Ahhhh.... the honeymoon period after a meltdown!!
It's beautiful!
And totally worth it for our children.
NOT abusive boyfriends!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Autism Answer: Make A Connection Rather Than An Assumption

When you see a child screaming and a parent giving up, don't assume autism, lazy, alcoholic, special needs, uneducated or anything else. Offer help or a suggestion, make a connection rather than an assumption.

When you see a young woman push her way past others in line and head to the cashier as though she matters most, don't assume rude, sensory overwhelmed, racist, socially challenged or anything else. Offer help or a suggestion, make a connection rather than an assumption.

When you hear your child tell you about a friend who always smells bad, don't assume uncaring parents, poverty, fear of water, global warming alarmists, or anything else. Offer help or a suggestion, make a connection rather than an assumption.

When your co-worker sleeps with all kinds of women and talks about it far to openly, don't assume player, sex addict, low self-esteem, mental health issues or anything else. Offer help or a suggestion, make a connection rather than an assumption.

Here's the thing. Very often you won't be able to help or offer a suggestion in the moment. Very often the suggestion and connection will be made with someone other than the specific offender. Very often one or more of your possible assumptions would be correct. But still, I suggest making a connection rather than an assumption.

When we assume, we are less open to a different truth. 

Perhaps if we are always aware of all the possibilities, of all the differences in our world, we will be more comfortable and curious, more willing to make a real and lovely connection. 

My brother often feels overwhelmed and steps in front of people without noticing. When they yell at him he feels defensive. When they pity him and allow it because he seems disabled, he doesn't learn. When they point out his mistake without making any assumptions as to why he did it, he apologizes and offers a smile and allows them to go first. Sometimes they chat. Sometimes not. Always they have just made a comfortable connection.

Rather than make an assumptive judgement as to why people do what they do, maybe offer help or a suggestion, make a connection rather than an assumption. 
I'm not assuming you don't already do that, I'm just offering help and a suggestion. You know, making a connection!! tee hee!

Hugs, smiles, and love!!!
Autism Answers

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Autism Answer: It's about the doing, not the result!

I have this thing. Perhaps you've heard of it? It's fear of rejection. Yup! I'll admit it (do you still like me?). I've noticed that it manifests in so many different and surprising ways. 

As a mom, it's reared it's ugly head over and over. With my neuro-typical boys I could ignore or justify giving up on creative parenting choices when I was afraid they wouldn't work or I would look like an idiot. However, with my not so neuro-typical boys that just wasn't gonna cut it. Thank goodness! 

When Shay was refusing to learn language I took him from doctor to doctor hoping that they would have an idea I could hold onto. That way, if it didn't work it wasn't my idea being rejected by my child, but theirs. To make a long story short, their ideas were stupid. Both my child and I ended up rejecting them! 

Eventually, I asked my mom to come up with ideas. Her's were great, and they worked! Using sign language by our mouths, emphasizing the fun of words, celebrating small sounds and playing out the words they could become, and inventing games that were silly and at the same time encouraged clarity. The problem there was that Shay is my son and I wanted to be the one with the ideas. 

So, at the risk of being "rejected" by my children I began discovering my own beliefs and parenting choices, putting them into action and allowing for the time it takes to see the change I was aiming at. I was surprised to learn that some of my ideas were great. And, like so many doctors, professionals, and parents before me, some were stupid. But, interestingly enough, the stupid ones done with intention and love would invite clues from my children, clues that I could follow when I wasn't afraid of the rejection, until eventually I'd find the good idea hiding behind the seemingly stupid one!

I discovered that the answers lie in the doing! 

Taking chances, making guesses, and being willing to look like a foolish mom while trying strange things has been the most fun time in my life!!

Dealing with this fear of rejection and learning to be willing to try, despite the possibility of failure, has made me a much more intentional mom. It's also made me a better friend, wife, and citizen. 

So, once again, thanks autism for challenging me to find the answer!!

Also... I hope you still like me!!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Autism Answer: Think Outside The Box And Allow Others To Do The Same!!

Author's Note: This is a post I wrote for my Facebook Page around this time last year. I want to mention that the teens in this story remain to be some of the most amazing young adults I know. With thoughts and ideas that impress and make the world a beautiful place! ~Tsara

Last night my teenage son had a few friends spend the night. This morning while I was sipping coffee and doing dishes I could hear them chatting in their early morning (it was about 9:30, but they are teens!) sleepy voices about autism and the spectrum. 

My son had taken on the role of "expert" while his friends asked questions and shared insights. Some of the facts were wrong, a few assumptions and generalizations were perpetuated, but the intentions and underlying themes remained very "we can make the world a better place by appreciating difference"

I chose not to pop my head in to make factual corrections or add my own insights. At first it was because I would hate to take the fun out of their musing by adding my "mom" element.

But also because, what do I know? And HOW do I know? That's one of the mistakes made by educators and professionals. They work so hard to know, taking classes and tests and reading studies and more, that they often inadvertently stifle free thinking and creativity in parents and students. 

What I know, HOW I know, comes from living with and loving people on the spectrum. It comes from listening to them, listening to me, listening to mom--who is both an international autism therapist and individual, consistently learning more and changing my mind about what I thought I knew. 

Allowing the teens to think freely encourages them to think for themselves and to enjoy doing so. It also allows for thinking outside the box. Perhaps they will discover an answer that others hadn't yet explored. Who's to say?

Not that I never add my two cents or share what I know. Ask my boys, I share a lot!! Ask their friends, I tell them what I think and believe often!! However, it's important to step away and allow often as well. 

It reminded me of the importance behind sharing our knowledge with the world, reaching out and learning from others, and then bringing it all in. Out and in, out and in.... like breathing.

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I can't help but be thankful for all the difference, kindness, and open minds I'm surrounded by. Studies, facts, and specifics be darned!!

 Hugs, smiles and love!!!

The Sleep Over Free Thinking Teens!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Autism Answer: The Person Behind The Label

My best friend is a brand new fifth grade math and science teacher

We make it a point to get together once or twice a week to walk and talk, although with her schedule and stress about being a newbie, it's been a little bit more important for her to prioritize family. I get it! However, our walk n' talks are important too. 

As a new teacher she looks at her students grades for signs of how well she is doing. How they behave in her classroom and how they do on tests is one way for her to give herself feedback and judge whether or not she's finding creative and fun ways to make the stuff she's trying to teach stick. Again, I get it. 

During our walks we talk about her progress, the test results of her students and discipline issues. And as a mom that is not a teacher, I can't help but always bring it back to the kids. Together we explore the person behind teachers, students and parents. It's good for us. 

I was with my friend when she decided she wanted to become a teacher, was with her while she visited counselors and experimented with psychopharmaceutical meds for herself and her boys, was with her when she went to school and insisted on remembering the plight of the student

It was her Teaching Philosophy that inspired the writing of my Parenting Philosophy

She insists on remembering the person behind the student but struggles because of the person behind her teaching. We remember during our walks that it isn't us against them. But it is us who sometimes has to remind them. 

It's our job to advocate for ourselves and for our children. We will do a better job, I believe, if we always remember the person behind the label. All the labels!

Hugs, smiles, and love!!

My Parenting Philosophy

My children are the four most important people in my world. I will always observe, listen and ask questions so that I can know them as completely as any outsider could. However, it is important to remember that I will always be an outsider. It's important to remember this so that I don't make the mistake of assuming. Assuming I know what they mean when I listen, or assuming they understand what I want them to learn when I teach. 

So I will listen with all my heart, not just to their words but to the nuances and clues; and remember to teach by example. To be the person I can always be proud of presenting to my children. A person who laughs, reflects, make mistakes and laughs again! To be the me that I love and respect, and in that way remember to expect and teach it in return.

Parenting is loving by example. Parenting is praising accomplishments large and small, and asking for more. It is sharing a life with people who you desire to know so deeply that you are willing to truly know--and love--yourself. Because you would ask it of them.

Parenting with intention is the greatest way to discover yourself. And you are the ultimate gift from the Universe.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Autism Answer: When you're at a loss, play!

When you're wondering how to help your child, or hoping to connect. When you find their behaviors perplexing or want to know their thoughts. When you feel confused and at a loss, or just have a moment free and are wondering how to fill it.


Get down on the floor or up on the couch! Get in the dirt and imagine new worlds! Ask for ideas from your child (even the non-verbal folks will show you!) and include them with interest and passion!


Put on the music and dance! Allow your loved one to show you some new moves! Try a stim or two and see if you can choreograph a dance or create a play while incorporating them! Search for interests in magazine photos and share your own childhood dreams, tell stories about why you went after some and why not others. Climb a tree and look for bugs! Ask your kids what they would do if they were suddenly tiny, then pretend that you are all suddenly tiny!! 

You don't always have to do the best thing or the smartest thing or right thing. Give yourself (and your loved ones) permission to just play!

You might be surprised by how often that is the best, smartest, and right thing!!

Hugs, smiles and love!!
Autism Answers 

Hmmmm...what would happen if we put water on the trampoline?
I dunno. Let's see!
Just play!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Autism Answer: Challenging, Not Sad--The Difference Is Everything!

This morning my youngest brother called me just as I was about to make my coffee. I thought about telling him I'd call back later so that I could brew a pot first (we have a phone with a cord--no multitasking here!) but decided not to let my addiction get in the way of family. Of course, it is an addiction, so I had to think about it.... 

Anyway, we chatted for a few minutes and then he said,"I think I'm really lucky that mom worked so hard to adopt me. She helped me learn to be a hard worker and learn to like myself more than any other mom would have. Plus, I got really good sisters."

"Thank-you, Rye!! You know, us sisters were really lucky too. You boys are the exact right brothers for us. We are all really happy, because of each other. And because of mom telling us that we better be or she'll hang up!!"

We laughed and loved a bit longer, and then said our goodbyes so we could get to work.

Today there are a lot of people speaking and blogging and writing letters to Autism Speaks--who will be holding a conference in Washington this week-- hoping that they will at last hear our plea to stop infusing insidious lies disguised as caring. To stop telling our autistic loved ones that they are hurting us and exhausting us and more...

In writing this I recycled the title I used on a post I wrote for Autism Positivity Day. Because it matters. There is an important difference between challenging and sad. 

There is no doubt in my mind that having autism is challenging. That it makes navigating the world difficult for many people that I love. There is no doubt in my mind that discovering ways to help those I love find comfort, gain skills, and communicate comfortably is worth every moment I take to do so. Even if that means waiting for my cup of coffee!

However it isn't hurting me, or making me sick. It's helping me see things clearly. It's helping me open my eyes to truth. And though my autistic loved ones are often challenged, even unfairly so, I would never want to talk about them as though they are harming me. Never. They are not. 

Sometimes I'm tired of the same obsessions, sometimes I'm annoyed with moods and having to explain something that I've already explained a gazillion times, but that's because I'm human. It has nothing to do with autism or my autistic loved ones making me unhappy. They are not. 

But when the world is taught to see in that way, we do harm them. There is nothing but harm that can be done when approaching anything with such an attitude.

I don't know much about Autism Speaks, or any other autism group to be honest, because my mom (who is an international, playful, and happy expert! taught us to just love and help using our own organic ideas and instincts. But I do know that using scare tactics and woe-is-me type talk only hurts everyone.

And I refuse!

Now... I'm going to brew myself some coffee and smile a lot!

Hugs, smiles, and love!!!
Autism Answers

My Family:
So much autism
(and a heck of a lot of challenges,
some of them having to do with autism)

so little sad!