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. Helpful Info is located at the bottom of my blog if you are viewing the full version instead of the mobile view. 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,


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.”

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!

Yes Virginia It Is Okay to Say Happy Holidays! 11

Dear Readers,

Generally I avoid discussions about religion. I am a Christian, but I believe in tolerance in all forms, and I am grateful for those who understand the need for tolerance of differences, so yes Happy Holidays is correct. I know some of my Christian friends are going to disagree with me on this one. I only hope you will hear me out before you attack.

I watched Have a Little Faith, the movie inspired by Mitch Albom’s book by the same name, earlier this week and I fell in love with two deceased men, Rabbi Albert L. Lewis and Pastor Henry Covington. When Albom asked Rabbi Lewis why he supports others of different faiths he replied, “Why Tree’s….Why not one prefect tree for the whole earth?” He went on to explain there are oaks and elms, etc. Then he said, “Many trees, the branches all leading to God.” He explained that hate is wrongly engaged in the name of religion for all religions teach, “Honor thy neighbor!” Did I say I love this man?

Yes, Christ is in Christmas and he should remain there; however, even some Christians celebrate more than just Christmas during December. For instance, December sixth is Saint Nicholas Day. In German culture: Europeans celebrate St. Nicholas Day activities (pictures) – National Germany Headlines |

December eighth is Feast of the Immaculate Conception | Saint of the Day |

Another Feast Day – Our Lady of Guadalupe | Saint of the Day | starts on December twelfth. Yes Christmas is the basis for these, but they are not technically Christmas.

Then, we have other religions that are practiced in the United States and around the world that should also be honored. December fifth was The Day of ‘Ashura, a religious observance marked every year by Muslims. The word ‘Ashura literally means “10th,” as it is on the 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the Islāmic year.

The Buddhist community celebrates Bodhi Day on December eighth. You can read about it at: How To Celebrate Bodhi Day |

The Jewish community celebrates Hanukkah from December twenty-first through December twenty-eighth. Read about it: Rabbi Barry A. Kenter: Hanukkah: Not Quite the Jewish Christmas.

Then there is the religion I know the least about, BBC – Religions – Zoroastrian: At a Glance. They celebrate Zarathosht Diso on December twenty-sixth.

December twenty-second is The Winter Solstice Wicca and Pagan Festival: Wiccans Celebrate Shortest Day at the Celtic Festival of Yule |

You might notice I left the Hindu and Taoist religions out. They do not have celebrations in December although they do in other months.

I wish all of my readers around the world Happy Holidays!