Gratitude List as 2011 Flies Toward the Sunset 29

The year was difficult at times, yet looking back I find I am grateful for lessons learned, for people met, for relationships established, for friendships maintained, for faith, questioned at times but never lost, and for you, my dear supporters. I could not have made it this far without you. This is my final post-a-week for 2011 and while I will continue to blog, I am not committing to a post-a-week in 2012.

I have gotten to know many wonderful people during the year, some through Twitter, Linked-In, my blogs, and even a few on Facebook. I hope you will click on their names to learn more about them.

Mahalo to: Michele Borba, Annie Fox, Sara Winter, Laura Nagle, Susan Marks, Leah KelleyElise Stokes, Stephanie Crist, Eric B. Thamasma, Grace Hodgin, Eri Nelson, The Redhead Riter, Lydia, Sharon and Phil Dzialo and their son, Adam, Danette M. Schott, Tiffani Lawton, Lori Lite, Lisa Quinones-Fontanez, Lorna d’Entremont, Bobbi Sheahan, AspieSideChi Yon, Lisa, Fi, Leigh Merryday, Alicia, A. K. Butler, Floortime Lite Mama, Mama Fog, Solodialogue, Spectummy Mummy, Elise Ronan, Mommy Lebron, Heather McCracken, Trish, Sharon da Vanport, and I could go on and on, but I am going to stop here. Others are some of those I tweet about, I post about, I mention on Facebook, or the authors of the blogs I list in Special Peeps. You see there are too many to link.

Please also look at my Helpful Info section. You can view it by clicking on the title of this post and then clicking home page. Helpful Info is on the left or at the bottom of the page depending on your reader source. There you will find others that I am grateful to have gotten to know including Tony Attwood, whom I actually met in 2010.

Wishing all of you Hauoli Makahiki Hou (Happy New Year!)

With Aloha,

Sue

Mele Kalikimaka from Hawaii: Where Christmas Is Green and Bright 2

Green and Bright

Last year for Christmas I shared my dream for the future. I hoped and prayed for 2011 to be a year of change, where people made an honest effort to be more open-minded and to really try to educate themselves about differences. While some disappointments occurred in 2011, I am grateful for those who listened and I hope more will listen in 2012.

Like Martin Luther King, Jr., I have a dream. I still dream of a world where bystanders, parents, teachers, counselors, principals, and all people stand up to bullies and their parents and let them know it truly is time for change. I dream of a world that is bully free.  I dream of a world where we reward kindness and it is more highly desired than a football championship. I dream of a world where others understand and accept my daughter and others on the autism spectrum along with others with differences.

As I dream, I also try to help spread the word that we all need to help change the world. I am grateful for those who share my dream and help spread the message. Kindness, respect, understanding and acceptance of differences should have a greater value in our society and I pray I will live to see the day that they do. Until then, I wish you Happy Holidays and in the words of Tiny Tim, “God bless us everyone.”

Intriguing Last Minute Gift for the Booklover

Are you looking for a last-minute gift for the adventure lover, one that will arrive on time? How about an e-book?

I recently read Elise Stokes’ captivating YA novel, Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula and fell in love with her family friendly characters. Think of Cassidy as a reserved, awkward, fourteen year old girl who is still trying to decide who she is and where she fits in the universe, while her outspoken friend, Miriam confronts bullies head-on causing Cassidy to fear for their lives.

When Cassidy tags along with her journalist father to interview a brilliant scientist, an accident gives Cassidy superpowers her comic fan, five-year-old brother would love, along with strength and speed her twin brother would admire. Yet, she finds herself unable to tell even her mom for fear of placing her family in danger after she learns that said scientist has vanished.

The story is only beginning as Cassidy soon figures out that she must learn to trust the scientist’s handsome, genius, teenage son and rely on him to help her find his mother so they can return her to normal. Oh, she also has to pretend nothing has changed while they conduct their investigation!

When I finished this short novel, I found I wanted to read more and luckily for me, Stokes completed her second novel in the series just in time for Christmas. Guess what I am giving myself for Christmas?

One last thing, those of you with children with sensory sensitivities will appreciate some of Cassidy’s superpowers like sensitive hearing, high pain tolerance, and an acute sense of smell.

Small Voice in the Universe 8

Yes, the title is a knock off of Jojo’s “One small voice in the universe.” I just attended two performances of Seussical Jr. this past weekend to watch my son perform in his first musical, and Jojo’s song keeps running through my head probably because it is catchy. Then too, there are times when I feel like I am only one small voice in the universe, dreaming my dreams and trying hard to be heard just like Jojo.

And like the Whos, I sometimes feel like I need to shout, “I am here! I am here!” Like Gertrude McFuzz, the bird with her one feathered tail, I feel I have to get the Hortons of the world to notice me and to realize that I want to help too. Like Horton, I still try to protect those whom others fail to hear, and I endure Sour Kangaroos and others who do not understand. Yes, I too still believe “a person’s a person no matter how small” and no matter how different a person’s a person after all.

Many of my friends in the autism community see autism everywhere and at times I do too, but more often, I see kids who need to learn how to be kind and accepting of others’ differences or at the very least tolerant and respectful.

I see it on Facebook, I see it on Twitter, I see it on T.V., I see it in movies, I see it in real life, and I see it wherever I go, here, there and everywhere. I even see it in adults acting badly. And no, I do not like it, not here, not there, not anywhere!

I continue to dream of a world where kindness is the norm and some of you helped restore my faith in humanity this week by helping Laura Nagle fund her upcoming documentary, Vectors of Autism, which I wrote about on December 2, 2011. Mahalo for helping her to reach her goal!

Many of my loyal supporters also reached out this week via comments on various posts, via Facebook, via Twitter, and even via e-mail to let me know that they still believe in me. A couple of people even called me this week reminding me that although I sometimes feel ineffective, I do have supporters and there are still a few of you listening and even helping to fight bullying and to teach kindness instead. Leigh at Flappiness is… even stopped by and commented. Mahalo to all of you for lifting me up when I was feeling down!