Three Voices of Inspiration: Promoting Accommodation, Acceptance and Appreciation of Differences 3

What is Inspiration? The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines inspiration as “the act or power of moving the intellect or emotions.” People who work to change the world to a place where we appreciate differences inspire others. They accept the challenge to heal society of its wrongs. They raise their voices to educate others as they work to forgive them for their lack of understanding.

I am among the privileged that heard voices of inspiration recently at the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities & Diversity. Their voices made me realize that they are not the ones disabled; society’s treatment of them gives this illusion. The truth is anyone who fails to see others soul to soul is far more disabled than anyone we call “disabled.” Society is wasting brilliant minds by failing to see this.

There was so much inspiration in one place! Three of the voices that inspired me the most were Keith P. Jones of Soul Touchin, Drew Goldsmith of IamNorm.org and Laura Nagle of Vectors of Autism. Click on the links for more information about them.

Keith P. Jones has cerebral palsy, but please do not feel sorry for him. He is one of the best voices for advocacy I have ever had the privilege to hear. He gave his presentation to a standing room only crowd while he cracked jokes and told how he handles those who inappropriately invade his personal space. Hint: Never ever ask to pray for him and then pray for the “sins of his mother.” His mother did not cause his cerebral palsy and she is no sinner!

Drew Goldsmith turns sixteen this month, but he has already accomplished much in his young life, so please No Pity when you learn that he is autistic. Not only is he a film creator, he also started a website I am Norm to educate others and change the perception of others about being “normal.” I love this young man and wish him all the best in the future. I know he can go far if society allows him to do so.

Laura Nagle is an Aspie woman who prefers being called an Aspie instead of Autistic because, “That man (Hans Asperger) got us.” I am proud to call her my friend. She found me on Twitter months ago and identified me as a “half-Aspie”, a term I have come to love. The movie Vectors of Autism premiers April 13th in Flagstaff, AZ on the NAU campus. She talks about how society holds people back much more than anything else does. She wants to heal society as do I. She does not like using the word disability and I understand completely. She and other adults give parents a better understanding of Aspie and autistic children in a way that no one else can.

Help Eliminate Bullying! Get Involved!

Dear subscribers,

The first posting had the wrong link. Please read this one to get the correct one. Mahalo!

Autism As They Grow: http://goo.gl/wJaXL8 

Listen to internet radio with SpecialNeedsTalkRadio on Blog Talk Radio

Mahalo To Bobbi Sheahan and Amalia Starr for inviting me to their show and for being terrific hosts!

Helping Fund the Dialogue to Improve Our Children’s Future

Ever feel like you are different, but you lack the sensory sensitivities and musical or artistic gifts of your child on the spectrum? Ever have a bad case of “foot in mouth” syndrome? Do you sometimes feel like you do not belong in either the neurotypical world or the autism world? Maybe someone called you a half-aspie and you decided that is not a bad thing! That’s a new term coined by Laura Nagle, self-described as professionally autistic and an autism advocate, and I’m the one she called half-aspie.

Truth be told that term probably applies to most parents of children on the autism spectrum. Those of us following the dialogue within the autism community know that we are not a cohesive community yet, although many on working towards this goal. We need adults like Laura to help educate the community at large so the world will hopefully be a better place for our children as they become adults.

Laura states on her home page, “True awareness requires some understanding of what autism is…I wish society to go beyond acceptance and on to appreciation.”

Laura found me recently on Twitter through the #youmightbeanautismparentif and #youmightbeanaspieif links. You can follow her @HardAspie, where she shares her hard-earned aspie insights. However, Laura’s story is also being made into a documentary that will add to the autism dialogue and hopefully help the younger generation like my teenage daughter. The short video explains this better than I can, so I hope you will watch it and decide to help fund this.

Laura needs to raise the money by the middle of this month. Consider it as a Christmas gift to our children’s future. Go to Vectors of Autism: A documentary about Laura Nagle — IndieGoGo to contribute.

If You Know About This Twitter Hashtag 4

#youmightbeanautismparentif, You might be an autism parent and even if you aren’t I hope you’ll keep reading and share the tweets on Twitter and share this post on Facebook, Google Plus, etc.

#youmightbeanautismparentif you miss those who decided to stop blogging.

#youmightbeanautismparentif your heart breaks for all the times your child has been misunderstood &/or mistreated.

#youmightbeanautismparentif you have been misunderstood too.

#youmightbeanautismparentif your wish for the future is a kinder, more understanding and supportive world.

#youmightbeanautismparentif you don’t have time for pettiness because you spend your time repairing damage done by misunderstandings & meanness.

#youmightbeanautismparentif your heart breaks because your child did not have support from family, friends or professionals until she was older.

#youmightbeanautismparentif your focus is on educating others so they avoid your mistakes.

#youmightbeanautismparent if you see sensory sensitivities and traits of autism in characters in novels and immediately recognize them as such.

#youmightbeanautismparentif you added more favorites to your Twitter profile in the last two weeks than in the last year including the following:

@spectrummymummy #youmightbeanautismparentif you’re doing the toughest, most rewarding job of your life- and you can never, ever go on #STRIKE.

@anne_barbano #youmightbeanautismparentif you have a beautiful singer in the house!

@spectrummymummy #youmightbeanautismparentif your child doesn’t just march to the beat of their own drum, they dance to their own symphony.

@fcsfinest #youmightbeanautismparentif you’ve felt like reciting this quote, “Autism is not a tragedy…ignorance is.”

@diaryofamom #youmightbeanautismparentif you know that autism is one word, but there is no one autism.

@diaryofamom #youmightbeanautismparentif the next person who tells you that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle might want to duck.

@bradsdad #youmightbeanautismparentif you think the world might be a better place if we all were more like our aspies!!

@AutisticSpeaks #youmightbeanautieif you wish people weren’t so hell-bent on curing you and would just let you be who you are!

@AutisticSpeaks #youmighbeanautieif “But you don’t look autistic” was old, like, the first time!

@outoutout #youmightbeanautieif You were frozen out of yet another ‘parent support group’ because you can’t fake NT if you tried. 😦

@SarahMPottratz @msoricel #youmightbeanaspieif #youmightbeanautismparentif you have learned the letters after the name don’t make them an expert.

@BobbiSheahan @manyhatsmommyMI @RaisingASDKids because they started the whole #youmightbeanautismparent thread and they deserve their own #ff for that! ❤

Join in the fun if you haven’t already! Those of you who are not parents of someone on the spectrum, but who still care to learn more can google all three.  People are continuing to add to them, so click on the links to learn more.

Mahalo to Jenny @manyhatsmommyMI who blogs at Many Hats Mommy for starting this and for creating a link for those who want to share the fun on their blogs and to Elise Ronan @RaisingASDKids who blogs at Raising Asperger’s Kids for creating the Twitter hashtag that has kept it going.