My Life-changing Second Awakening of Truth

By Rochelle Johnson The air around me is suddenly crisp and clear and real and natural. I can taste it anew. Taste it in a way I don’t think I ever have before. Every drop of morning dew and a blade of grass, each little squawk of birdsong, is fresh and new and more real than it has ever been. I’ve undergone an awakening. An awakening of sorts that is so incredibly momentous that it is so almost impossible to put it into words. And yet, there is a word for it, there is even a word for the time of life I am in, there is even a sentence to … [Read more...]

Dealing with Failure is a Learnable Life Skill

By Megan Amodeo Life can be beautiful and wonderful. Life can also be disappointing and frustrating. Many of us on the spectrum see life as black and white or right and wrong. There often isn't any room for those in between ‘gray’ areas of life. You either make the baseball team or you don't. You get a good grade on your term paper or you don't. These seem like clear cut outcomes. Unfortunately, everything in life is not always so literal. Even when things are very black and white, there is always a little bit of gray. Gray areas … [Read more...]

My Unenchanted Evening was a No Meltdown Triumph!

By Rochelle Johnson The needs of our children don't let up. No matter where we are at emotionally, physically or whatever. One of my girls needed a lift to her weekly small group she attends so I gathered up my energy and motivation and headed out the door even though I was tired and a bit fragile. It was an unexpected disruption to my inner plan for the evening and the rest of the day. Trigger point one had been breached - Change of routine in unexpected ways. This was particularly pertinent, I had already dealt with a few of these … [Read more...]

Why Mentoring is Magic

Growing up, I was involved various groups and activities, such as dance, Girl Scouts, school musicals, color guard, and church groups… in other words, I did what most kids around me did. But I was never quite part of the group. I would get overwhelmed and step out to get a break from the noise level and social interactions. I could never follow the loud, fast jokes and conversations. It was hard to tell a joke from a sign that someone was angry at me, even if I didn't know why they would be. There were some groups that flat out bullied me … [Read more...]

Today I Threw a Carrot Cake

Today I threw a carrot cake. Today I threw a carrot cake. Luckily it was in its box so it was ok. It was a rough week. Early this morning my eldest son went to ask for an autism assessment, the GP declined which means I have to go down there with him and attempt to explain to the doctor what my son was not able to communicate. My daughter had terrible anxiety and vomited as she started her induction week at college today. I asked the local family support library for permission to film an upcoming news interview on their … [Read more...]

Making and Keeping Friendships

In this episode of 'Tud' Sense, Aspergian James Sullivan answers a question about making and keeping friendships. Here is a summary of his suggestions: Find someone you click with−that means not only do you have to like them but they have to like you too. Don't crowd your friends. Be careful about over-texting, over-Facebook posting, and over-bothering your friends. You don't want to be annoying. Only give your phone number to people you can trust. Find the right balance between keeping in touch and not-keeping in touch−It's okay if … [Read more...]

Happiness, Comfort, Love – Why Autistic Routines Are Important

This month Lydia Wayman, Autistic Speaks, writes about autistic routines and how her mother meets her where she is in her world instead of trying to change her. She's never felt more loved.  There are a lot of people who are admirably good at following my train of thought (or pretending they do until they are outed when I ask a question and find out they have NO idea what's going on), but my mom is the best. She knows that when I'm on a rampage about obscure topics, "mmhm" will not suffice when I ask what she thinks because "what do you … [Read more...]

Autism Honesty: The Truth Tellers

In this essay, autistic mom Megan Amodeo writes about autism honesty and the importance of teaching social cues and 'appropriate' honesty. Honesty is such a lonely word (thank you Billy Joel!). Although we are not all alike, it is a spectrum after all, many of us on the autism spectrum often share similar qualities. Honesty seems to be a common trait among us. Telling the truth isn't necessarily commonplace in our society today. Politicians, celebrities and athletes (even everyday folks) frequently lie without consequences. Not to say … [Read more...]

Chloe Rothschild…Just Imagine

Chloe Rothschild gives us a glimpse into her world as she asks us to "just imagine..." Just imagine having so much to say and not always being able to express it. Just imagine having so much to share with the world but not always knowing how. Just imagine being upset, sad, scared, and not always having the words and ability to describe it in a way others can understand. Just imagine this being a small piece of your world. Just imagine the effort it takes each and every single time. Just imagine, how hard it is to hurt,yet not … [Read more...]

Autistic Detail: The Other Person First

This month Lydia Wayman, Autistic Speaks, writes about her extreme autistic detail and how facts, for her, are easy, comfortable and exciting. "You're thinking way too hard about this!" "Oh my goodness, it really isn't that big of a deal." "Come on, close enough is good enough." I think what people fail to realize is that, for me, extreme detail, precision, and in-depth analysis is interesting and even exciting. My favorite artsy endeavors involve hundreds of colors of embroidery thread, the tiniest weave of needlepoint fabric, and a … [Read more...]