Awareness…very funny.

Here we are again. April. Autism Awareness Month. [Though I will preface with the bigger issue of the COVID-19 virus.] I’ve been getting those wonderful emails from Autism Speaks almost on a daily basis. I used to have some respect for the organization until the curtain was opened and we’re finding out that a huge amount of money is either going to the people that run the place or the scientists who are trying to find that magical cure to autism – which if you’ve been doing your homework…knows that this isn’t something you catch {like a virus}. I did my very best to push the book I wrote about how us workers who have the autism disorder {not disease} are being severely bullied by coworkers and managers on our jobs. On a $.99 book in the USA and UK, I sold a grand total of….1. Yep, I sold one book. I honestly have no idea why I crashed and burned. Heck, I even tried to get the work out to the people on the sub-Reddit of Aspergers and one of the moderators stated I broke the rules and was suspended for 3 days! No joke. I basically told them that ‘you wouldn’t be hearing from me on the book any more because so far I had just one purchase. It’s irritating when I read people’s testimonies about the bully issue at work but, aren’t willing to do anything about it. In the book, I don’t just tell my story, I tell you how the HELL to fight it!’ Any response from Reddit? No. I almost don’t want to read anymore from that sub-Reddit. By the way, back at Christmas time, I actually made the 1st version free. Not too many takers, but I thought it would get things rolling.

I guess I could just ask the question – Do we want the general public to be aware of our disorder or do we care about our own awareness? When I found out I had this in the summer of 2004, I wanted to know everything I could about my condition because I knew I was going to have to make some serious adjustments. I cared. I have a wife, children and I needed to know how to properly interact with them as their husband/father. This year really is a mood point because of the worldwide virus. As we move forward, all I can hope for is if those of us on the spectrum have issues, we need to learn all we can about our liberties and our rights – many of which can be found in books. Sad.

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PRIDE, PTSD and AUTISM…oh my!

I completely realize that June is the official month of PTSD awareness and PRIDE celebration. I’m glad to see that these two important things in our society are getting their just dues. I’m not here to knock the PRIDE people or the PTSD folks, my beef is with my own cause…Autism. We’re now more than half way through the month and this really feels like a TRUE month long party or ‘active’ educating the public on these causes. So my question is…what the hell happened to Autism Awareness month back in April?!!!!! I’ve noticed each year, this gets less and less attention. The month starts out great with the international day of autism, but after that the flame goes out and the meager smoke snakes its way in the air. It’s not like we have just have a few organizations. Unless there is a renewed story line about the absurdity of immunizations causing autism in children again, we get put back on the shelf until next year.

If we really want to change and create a stronger voice then we need to look at the Pride folks. I have to give them all the credit in the world, they know how to get a message across and hold it all the way through the entire month! They have parades, guest speakers, news stories with educational material, flags, and lots of merchandise. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and many other social media sites pour out all kinds of Pride and PTSD information and affirmations. The bottom line is we need to do better. I’m not sure if we’re fighting hard enough or many in main stream media tend to ignore us after awhile. Are we afraid to come out of our own closet? Listen, the bullying at work or anywhere else will not stop until people understand our condition. The public needs to be educated on us and our disability. I just feel like our cause has lost a lot of its steam. The only thing that seems to stick out are charitable run/walkathons for autism. That’s great we do this, but it just doesn’t seem enough. Again, I believe we need to steal a page from the Pride group and fly those flags, have all of that memorabilia stuff on, have those parades; get famous people who have our condition to step forward and talk to the people like the Temple Grandin’s, Darryl Hannah’s, Dan Aykroyd’s! We’re getting a bad wrap and our situation is getting worse. Health care, Life Insurance, the Job Market, are just a few examples were we are losing the battle. We need to better plan and execute OUR time of the month!

PRIDE MONTH!!!

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PTSD MONTH!!!

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Autism Awareness One Month Later

I realize that April was Autism Awareness month and right now as I write this…it’s May. The reason I waited is because during the month of April, there are several news stories and lots of media that surround our disorder but, then what? It’s not like I have Asperger’s for a month then it goes away! Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy that there is an entire month dedicated to the awareness of Autism. I guess I wonder, once the lights have gone down and the press head off to the newer stories to be told…does anyone that doesn’t have this disorder care any more? For us, this will always be a constant battle on the idea of is anyone really aware? I try my best to self advocate for any reason, just to remind people that I’m a little off and I’m not like everyone else. I almost feel like I need to wear a reflective vest that says ‘Caution, I’m autistic.’ The problem is regular people treat other people like they are all the same. Unless the people visibly see that I might be in a wheelchair or missing an appendage, they don’t see the disability in me. Autism Awareness is really, an all year event. This is a battle myself and many others have to deal with every day.