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An Update About My Autism

Diagnosed with autism at 28 months old, my parents were given little hope that I would ever have a bright future. Non-verbal until the age of 4, my autism presented itself to the world through hand flapping, toe-walking, tantrums, and poor eating habits. As a result of my inability to communicate and socialize appropriately, I received help with speech lessons, occupational therapy and physical therapy. In addition, my parents put me on a gluten-free diet at 12 years old.

Although, this was a turning point for positive changes in my life, autism does not go away. My family and I learned to not only live with it but accept it. I am grateful for the support I continue to get from family and friends.

Often times, people ask me about my college years and why I didn’t finish my degree. For health reasons, I decided it was best for me to relook at a career that I felt will suit me better. I feel great success in what I have already accomplished. Because of my college, I am able to become a paraprofessional. While going to college, I had social anxiety and crazy obsession over studying. Even though professors probably didn’t expect everyone to be a 4.0 student, I felt I needed to be. My G.P.A is 3.75, which my mom tells me how proud of me she is, and she realizes how hard it really was on me.

Being a pencil artist is my gifted talent. I began to develop my talent around 13 years old. Unlike other children my age who were selling lemonade on the street corner, I tried selling my art. Although it didn’t go as well as I hoped, I continued to pursue my art in middle school, high school, and beyond. I received an exciting opportunity to display my drawings locally at the winery.

The inspirations for my drawings come from my passions. I am fascinated with the details of the Titanic, still life drawings, and animals. Depending on the topic, subject matter, and my mood, these drawings help me communicate with the world.

Lindsey Moreland
River Falls, WI

Pop Fantastic - And His Autistic Superpowers

Hi My name is David Fox and I'm the father of Ollie (Pop for short), an 11 year old little boy with autism.

Pop loves to read and memorise books and over the years we have acquired a huge collection of wonderful stories.

I noticed some time ago however that none of these stories featured a main protagonist who was autistic, so I've taken it upon myself to create such a story.

Pop and the millions of children out there on the spectrum have so many challenges to face in our world and many of the things that most people take for granted can be huge hurdles in life for those with autism.

What if there was a place, where those traits which set Pop and others like him apart here, were actually superpowers?

That is the premise for Pop Fantastic - a series of stories which will follow Pop as he enters a magical word and finds his autism traits will enable him to save the day at every turn.

I hope to create a world into which autistic children will love to venture; where they'll take great joy in seeing Pop overcome adversity with the help of his superpowers.

I hope to use the Pop Fantastic stories to educate and inform other children and adults about what autism is like and how it can be celebrated as something beautifully special.

We hope to see you there :) x

David Fox
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

An Original Epic Fantasy Novel Series with an Autistic Girl for the Protagonist Under Production!

Greetings everyone,

I am Jordan Lefaivre. I have high-functioning autism and I am an aspiring young fantasy author, who is working on a 5 novel fantasy/adventure/sci-fi series with a 13 year old girl with autism as the protagonist. I do this to entertain everyone with a very enjoyable and memorable story and as a tactical way of greatly spreading autism awareness and understanding at the same time.

Book 1 is ready to be presented to any literary agencies and Book 2 is edited enough for any literary agency or publishing company to look ahead of Book 1 if they feel they need to before deciding to publish the series. I also have all the rough drafts for books 3, 4 and 5 completed.

If you want additional information about my novel series, including its plot, and about myself, including my contact information, you can read it all here at this link to my website called JTL Dimension: http://jtldimension.weebly.com/

I will immensely appreciate it if you share my website on Facebook, Twitter or any other websites you are connected to. Thank you all immensely for your interest and your support!

Jordan Lefaivre
Chilliwack, BC, Canada

my story so far

I am a typical teenage boy who lives in a small coastal Australian city called Warrnambool, or at least that is what people thought before April this year.

When I was 9 years old I was diagnosed with autism which changed how people perceived me. I was no longer just Bryce, now I had a new label that defined the person I was. In Primary school, I was separated from my peers and was put into a special education class that didn’t give me the education I needed and wanted. By the end of Primary school, I feared being different from everyone else as my diagnoses defined everything about me and took away my right to define my own future based on my abilities.

When I reached Secondary school, I decided to hide my autism diagnoses from everyone including the school staff as I wanted to be treated as an equal. I hid for 4 years until the 10th of April this year when I decided it was time to tell everyone. Since April I have started to be an advocate for autism students as I believe everyone should have the right to the same quality of education. I have even started up my own Facebook page utilising the articles I write regarding autism acceptance. I advocate for future generations so that they can gain a quality of education equal to their peers and so they can live in a more accepting world.

you can find my articles at: www.facebook.com/bryce.pace.autism.advocate

Bryce Pace
Warrnambool, Australia

Transformation from "lower-functioning" to "higher-functioning."

Aaron Stuart was was told leave a third adult day training program in January, 2015, for once again exhibiting "behaviors" considered too difficult to manage. Aaron was 24 years old, and built like a football player. He has the personality of a teddy bear, but suffered from digestive issues his parents didn't know about at the time: hiatal hernia and ulcer. He couldn't speak of his pain; only act out by grabbing someone's arm in desperation. That was all it took to have him ejected from three well-known programs in Florida. Michael and Harriet Stuart had had enough of this treatment of autistic individuals, and, after saying a prayer, started a program in their home that is unlike anything offered in Florida to date, or most of the nation. Operation Meaningful Life was born that February, 2015, with a unique goal: train the developmentally-disabled adult population in skills they were not receiving in schools and day programs, which would enable them to lead productive lifespans. Using unique and individualized methods and approaches individuals would be taught career, vocational and life skills; and the special emphasis would be on those rejected and ignored by society: the so-called "lower-functioning." The program has been amazingly successful. Aaron is now employed part-time by two national restaurant chains; and works part-time for a large regional supermarket bakery chain that makes up-scale products. His language propelled quickly and became functional. He is now considered "higher-functioning," and happier because he is being productive, and feels accomplishment every day. OML operates a "Home Base" in Jacksonville, Florida, where it professionally duplicates numerous career and vocational environments and skill sets to successfully transition the disabled individual to the actual work setting. The program is so efficiently run that, unlike other programs, financial donations have not been accepted nor sought. Being "higher-functioning" is merely, to OML, a matter of appropriate training and instruction; something most adult training programs do not recognize, nor understand how to accomplish. Operation Meaningful Life now has a Facebook page that is dedicated to inspiring families and professionals around the country to accomplish the same results.

Michael Stuart
Jacksonville, FL

Learning About Autism Through Kids

I recently wrote a children's book named, "Learning About Autism Through Kids" to teach children who

aren't autistic how to interact with children who are. It also helps adults

identify with the many characteristics and behavior of autism.

Each short story is about characteristics associated with autism. They are

also narrated through the voice of a child. The readers get to spend time

in the mind of the little girl that's non-verbal, the little boy who's

having a meltdown, the child who nearly has a panic attack from the sound

of a pencil tapping on the desk, and more.

We can go on a 1000 charity walks, hashtag every *Autism Speaks Awareness*,

and the list goes on but until we experience what that child is

experiencing, we can't really relate. This is why it's so important to me

for this message (book) to get out. I can honestly guarantee if you read

this book you will have a new outlook on autism. Yes, it is a children

book, but every reader will be rewarded and educated. You can purchase this book directly from Amazon.

Rasheema Kearney
philadelphia, PA

Autism Survivor now Composer

By four years of age, Christian had attained several labels including autism. With the guidance of neurodevelopmentalists, his mother worked with each of her son's function and sensory problems with exercises that created auditory/visual processing and development, normalized tactile and auditory sensitivity and eliminated stuttering. Christian is now a twenty-one year old composer, traveling, performing and speaking out about how to find hope and help for the journey with his mother, Stephanie Anderson. They just released a book, "From Unlikely to Unlimited!" and music CD "Unlimited" through Tate Publlshing/Music Group.

Stephanie Anderson
Helena, MT

"I don't like being defined. I just am who I am." How Asperger's Syndrome changed my life for the better

My name is Christopher, and I'm a recent high school graduate. I've been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome since the age of three. As a kid, I had trouble socializing, I did certain repetitive behaviors, (Repeating a part of a video or song over and over again), and just to put it short, I was, different, for lack of a better word. I've had a somewhat rough childhood because of my problems alone, but also having to take care of a physically handicapped parent since middle school didn't help either; but during that time I learned basic life skills like making my own food and cleaning my own clothes without outsiders telling me how to do so. I'm generally a fast learner, and I'm thankful for that; because I wouldn't be where I am today.

High school felt so much more better. While I still disliked school, I learned a lot and I know how to manage my time, and also just how to work hard in general. One day during freshman year, the last year I was still in all special education classes, I sat there, and thought "If I'm going to invest my time into college several years from now, I need to take much harder courses." Sophomore year that exactly happened. It was stressful; and the high school that I went to is well known for its academics. It was self-discipline for me; but I learned one thing. It's better to take a hard course and get a C then take an easy class with an A. I was B-average student, and I graduated with an overall GPA of 3.2. I've also made so many friends during high school, because I learned that I really could connect with people. I felt awkward at times, but I was a well loved and respected student. Of course, it can only keep getting better. Right now I'm taking a gap year, to decide which part of the STEM field I want to major in, that will make me happy. To my friends and family, thank you, for everything. <3

Christopher Barth
Bryn Mawr, PA

update on story of my our life

hello I wrote about three years ago I would like to give you an update about my brother and I he is currently in high school am currently 27 years old now my brother is 20 year old we still living at home mom dad if you do find out that you have autism just remember that god made you this way he will always show you the way of life their be people out their that will not understand what you going threw but god dose I do to had people tell me that autism is nothing or we act this just because we want to have friends who think other stuff worse part ever have a meltdown in pubic and no understands I have new stuff that am currently interested in Florida sate football and rocky balboa crabs and outside lot of other stuff that we are interested in did lean the color purple and black make a child or adult go into a met down !!! really didn't want inn one my family have deal my brother and I being born with it but we made it god we love us thanks read our story hope this helps you family out

Anonymous
fayettville, GA

ERIC'S FIRST FISH

Eric was born March 17, 1998 he was smart, active crawler, he could grab the sofa walk along the side. We were so proud that he could say dad, mom, agua (water), papa (potato). Eric would crawl fast his little knees were always red.

His mother calls me that Eric need his yearly vaccination and that she would take him. That evening she called me told me Eric was not feeling good, that he had a high fever. I went over picked him up raced to the McAllen Medical Hospital.

They gave him something for the fever, they took all his cloth off so that his body could cool down. After hours they told me that he could go home, that we should take him to his pediatrician in the morning. When we arrived we had to put him in a tube with normal tempter water. She took him first thing in the morning his fever was still their. Eric stop talking, stop crawling, became a very sad baby just lied in his bed, he could not even swallow his food. After a few months with stimulation therapy he started to come back to us. He was totally different he could not say words he would just make noises, he started dragging his body a cross the floor, he could not crawl on his knees. He did this for about 2 years, Eric took his first step at 4 years 6 month. He is now 18 years old, 6'1" tall, 185lb, has never learned to talk, but he can write, read, use computers, Just Graduated from high school May 28, 2016. I am so proud of him because he has been through so much, doctors therapy, medications. Thanks Edward

EDWARD DOMINGUEZ
EDINBURG, TX
Hearts and Puzzle Pieces Stainless Steel Ring
Tie Dye Dragonfly Bag
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