Promoting Acceptance of Differences

Today I read an article from The Salt Lake Tribune about an amazing person named, Dora Raymaker who happens to have an autism spectrum diagnosis.  She gave insights as to how important the people in her life are to her, and she also noted that the misconception held by some, that those on the spectrum don’t have feelings, leads to a lack of accountability for atrocities committed against people on the spectrum.  See the link to this below:

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50340283-76/autism-experience-autistic-relationships.html.csp

I hope to change these notions by educating people about how amazing those on the spectrum can be, and by emphasizing the importance of holding everyone accountable for their actions.

EarthMy ultimate goal is to change our world one person at a time to a place of acceptance of differences, so that all people can reach their full potential.  I know that just because someone expresses themselves differently, it does not mean they don’t feel just as deeply as those of us who cry openly.  Please help me to pass on the message of teaching tolerance.

Mahalo,

D. S. Walker

The Positive Side of Asperger’s

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There is so much information out there about the struggles associated with an Autism Spectrum Disorder that I feel the need to devote today’s blog to the positives and to other blogs and  websites that are also about the positives. I think there are many positives including the fact that my child, who is now a teenager, has taught me patience, understanding, and to keep reaching for my goal. I know without a doubt that I can trust her because she is honest, trustworthy and reliable. She also is intelligent, talented, and kindhearted. She has excellent rote memory along with the ability to focus for long periods of time on subjects that interest her. She is good with details which is another plus and like Mia in my story, she has amazing insights. Overall, I’m very proud of her but then I suppose most mothers are proud of their children.

Please note that while each site below shares something positive, they are all unique and as with people of all walks of life, each author expresses their own point of view.

My Beautiful Bow — An Adoption Story | Wallingford – seattlepi.com.

When Autistic Children Become Adults – NYTimes.com.

Girls with Asperger’s Syndrome

Purchased Clipart Collection Version 1.2 (2.2) Copyright ©Macmanus. All rights reserved.

Purchased Clipart Collection Version 1.2 (2.2) Copyright ©Macmanus. All rights reserved.

Yesterday parentdish.com posted the above article about Angie Dickinson’s daughter having been misdiagnosed by the psychiatric community at a time when Asperger’s was not a recognized diagnosis. The story was heart breaking as Ms. Dickinson was blamed for her daughter’s behaviors, and due to lack of understanding she received little to no support while raising her daughter.

I wish I could say things have changed drastically, but  mother’s still have to fight for their daughters. At a time when Autism has gotten so much media attention, girls with Asperger’s are still frequently misdiagnosed and they are still misunderstood by their peers and families. I firmly believe that with understanding, tolerance and getting the correct type of support for these girls and their families, they can live fulfilling lives and make wonderful contributions to our society. I know someone on the spectrum who is truly amazing and who I love dearly. She inspired me to write the novel.

I also know that with understanding and support, the temper tantrums so many report as symptoms of Asperger’s can be avoided. There are also so many wonderful qualities of Asperger’s that are rarely reported. I cried when I read about how Ms. Dickinson’s daughter composed music at an early age, and yet her father did not see the talent she inherited from him. Her family instead saw her differences including her reactions to loud noises. Would our society destroy the great classical composers and artist if they lived today and what about the great inventors?  I hope we wouldn’t but at times I wonder. Let’s protect our children so they can accomplish great things.

Excerpt From the Novel

Delightfully Different Book CoverBelow is an excerpt from Delightfully Different. Several people wrote books about kids on the Autism Spectrum having spiritual gifts, and they do seem to know things well beyond what their age and “limitations” would allow. Some parents believe that their children chose them which is why I chose to have Mia start out as a spirit watching her mother from heaven. This also allowed family history to be included in her story which I felt was important, as girls are frequently not diagnosed until they are older because their symptoms are more subtle like Mia’s.

I was with Mom before I was born. I watched her from heaven for years waiting for her to have a child so I could be born.
I first learned about Mom when she was only twelve years old. She had many losses in her life that year, including her Grandma Laura. When Great-Grandma Laura died, she and I became friends. She told me how Francesca was such a sweet girl that she hated to leave her. She said she knew that Francesca was special the day she met her as a newborn baby. The two of them had a special bond. Great-Grandma Laura learned I would get to choose my mother. She begged me to observe Francesca for a time to decide if she should be my mother.
So unbeknownst to my future mother, I studied her from heaven. Great-Grandma was right; she was special. She had flyaway, silky, copper-colored hair and beautiful green eyes that lit up when she smiled. I observed how much she loved all of her family and her pets. …
I did want to be her daughter.