Friday, July 28, 2017

Autism Answer: Diversity Matters

 [dih-vur-si-tee, dahy-]
noun, plural diversities.
1.the state or fact of being diverse; difference; unlikeness:
diversity of opinion.
2.variety; multiformity.
3.the inclusion of individuals representing more than one national origin, color, religion, socioeconomic stratum, sexual orientation, etc.:
diversity in the workplace.
4.a point of difference.
*Definition borrowed from

Diversity matters. 

Diversity is valuable and rewarding. Diversity is necessary for a sustainable world.

It also challenges us. It, quite rightly, can trigger nervousness and fear. That's okay. It's not wrong to feel nervous or unsure, but we are safer when we are aware of ourselves and our reasons in those moments. Diversity and difference stretches, reveals, and shows us things we are unlikely, and often unable, to understand on our own. This is an important place to be; where new perspectives and possibilities live. Often we will choose to walk away; often we will choose to change and stay. Let that nervousness wake you up, don't let it make your decisions for you. 

Seek diversity! Go out of your way to find it! In your films, friends, and books. Don't be afraid of seeking it on purpose. It feels weird at first to seek, specifically, a film from another culture. It feels like you're being prejudice or creepy almost, when you ask for books or blogs written by people you will likely label incorrectly because, right now, you don't know them well enough to know how to ask. It almost feels inappropriate in the beginning, to go looking for stories about things you don't like.

Do it anyway! Watch foreign films, read books written by writers with opposite-than-you views of the world, make friends with people you are inconvenienced by. Do it all with an open mind. 

Often, you won't stay friends, or you won't fall in love with the films, or you won't feel compelled to share the content, or you won't be captivated and changed by the books. But sometimes, you will.

It's for the sometimes that we need diversity. Because the sometimes becomes us. We teach our children and loved ones from the sometimes. Sometimes is memorable. And so we are inclined to share it.
We humans are a fantastic balance of different and same. We are unique, we crave different sensory stimulus and we work with different abilities and we believe in different reasons. But we are also very much the same. Love, acceptance, freedom, food, shelter. We crave these. In different ways, and different types, but we are all pretty much the same under, under, under it all. 

This is fascinating stuff! This is sustainable and necessary to appreciate and explore! 

Diversity matters, friends. 

Seek it! Appreciate it! Don't be mad at yourself when you fear it, but don't let the fear do more than wake your awareness. Fear is not useless, friends! It's a tool. Use it well! 

Make a new friend, seek a unique story, explore a culture you catch yourself judging without experiencing. Get to know something new! 

It's important.
It matters. 

Have a fantastic and diverse weekend, friends!

Hugs, smiles, and love!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Autism Answer: New Life, New Roles, and Home

On a shuttle headed to the airport thinking about home.

Well, friends, I've made it home. 

I flew alone, from Texas to California, and I spent a month there. Going to California for the summer is not unusual for me, as most of you know. My mom and sister and nieces and a couple of my brothers and a couple of my sons all live there. But going alone is rare. My youngest sons almost always join me.

And, certainly, going to California in order to be there with my oldest son and his wife while they have their first baby is new! My first granddaughter! 

It. Was. Fantastical. 

Talk about new! A new life, a new role for me, a new role for my son, new roles for everyone!

Birth is always miraculous. And when it happens to your family, when it's personal, it changes and effects and shifts your world. It discombobulates and redefines and renews your sense of self and purpose. 

It's spectacular and beautiful and exhausting and invigorating. 

It's life; new, remembered, shared, shifted, edited, and all-encompassing.

All of our roles are being redefined and built fresh. And all because of one perfectly tiny little girl.

Our perfectly tiny little girl! 

It's good to be home, but I also miss her and the intensity of it all. 

But, it's good to be home. With my husband and younger sons. With my books and my bed and my coffee maker. It's good to be home. 

And my granddaughter's home is her mommy and daddy. (Boy, she's got a beautifully loving home!) So my new role includes the necessity of me leaving, of me going home. As her grandma, as my son's mom, I want to get out of the way while my granddaughter explores and demands from and helps build her new home. I want that for her and for her mom and for her daddy. 

Her daddy: my son: their home.

It feels not long ago that I was his home. 

New roles for all of us, friends! New roles, yes, but consistently and always we are one great big strong supportive loving family!! 

Don't believe me? Here, let me show you!!! 

(Sneaky "check out my pictures" segue! tee hee!)

Hugs, smiles, and love!!!! 
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook) 

Daddy and daughter

My sister, her two youngest daughters, and my granddaughter. New roles!
Grandma time for me!
My mom, The Brain Broad, loving her great-grandma role! 
My brother, Dar, wondering if maybe THIS time he'll have clear language first. :D
My second oldest son relishing his role as uncle!
The new family - Home

It's nice to love your home. Sweet dreams!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Autism Answer: Being Present (Lessons From My Granddaughter)

With my granddaughter

Holding my granddaughter I am often transported back in time. The feel of her is similar to my sons. 

Also, it's new and special.

With my sons, I was less present. I wondered differently; I wondered with worry. Not much, but some. I worried most about my own inabilities, the cruelties of the world, and their possible eventual self-esteem issues.

With my granddaughter I am different. I wonder, I watch, I allow, I enjoy, but I'm not worried. I am too present for worry.

Life will be hers, her way. The world will have its protests and power struggles, the semantics of things will be argued and replaced, the education she receives will be imperfect.

But I'm not worried. I'm ready.

I'm comfortable in a new way. With my granddaughter, that is.

But for her mom and dad, for my son and my daughter-in-law, I'm finding little previously unexposed worries. Like, how will I help them through the millions of little mistakes, scares, and disagreements I expect - from experience - are waiting down the line? Waiting for them in the near future. Moments that make a parent feel so, so, so alone even when there are gazillions of others admitting to similar moments.

Yet, as I share these thoughts with you I feel a truth. I'm ready for this also. I'll let go of expecting and hold on to experience.

I've already seen, in only a short week, overwhelming reasons to let go of worry. My son is in love with his new family, deeply in love with his new daughter. His wife is strong, smart, and loving. They have both been wanting exactly this their entire lives.

So I'll be present. Not only with my gorgeous granddaughter but with my son and his wife also.

A lesson I have tried to example and teach to my own children becoming truly mine, brought to me as a gift from my granddaughter. Being present.

I'm not worried. I'm ready.

Hugs, smiles, and love!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)