By Conner Cummings
So much has happened in 2019. This issue of Zoom is all about health. How appropriate for the new year. Each year for their New Year’s resolutions, most people hope for good health, to be in shape and to live healthier lives.
Autistic people are no different.
This issue will hopefully give you tips on how to make it easier for you to go to the doctor and will share with you, perspectives from some amazing writers. We will also follow a new friend named Daniel. Daniel is an amazing singer who is working hard to take his passion and learn to balance his life, his way. Daniel will take us on his journey as he strives to make his dreams come true.
2019 gifted me with three Disney trips.
Two were to Disney World in Florida and the other was to Disneyland in California. While in California, we also celebrated my mom’s birthday with two of her closest friends. I brought along my professional camera and had the opportunity to take amazing pictures of the ocean, the mountains, parks, and so much more.
Exercise is very important for health, and staying active helped me add another state to my ‘visited states’ total.
We flew to Birmingham, Alabama to compete in the Theatre on Ice representing Virginia Special Olympics. This year our team won first place! We were all so excited. Every team that performed was so talented and we were blessed to take the gold this year. Ice skating is one of the exercises I enjoy doing to stay healthy. I also walk or run on the treadmill for an hour most days. To help keep my mom healthy, we run in place while we watch movies or television shows together. When the weather is nice, we go for long walks and talk to each other the entire time, which is not always easy for me, so sometimes my mom does most of the talking. Last month in December, my mom and I had a few days with over 30,000 steps on our Fitbit. I also know that drinking 8-10 cups of water a day is recommended. I almost always drink at least 8 cups of water a day.
Another important factor for health is eating healthy.
I have read many articles about the recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables, which varies depending on the writer — but one thing they do agree on is that fruits and vegetables are important for your system. I like fruits and vegetables, so it is easy for me to eat them. I prefer raw vegetables and I add them to my lunch and dinner plate.
Depression and other health issues will be discussed in this issue.
I believe these conditions are so important and we will need another issue in the near future to discuss these topics further. We even have a medical doctor writing from her viewpoint what information she thinks is helpful that we can all provide when we go to our doctors.
This issue of Zoom was not completed at our target date, due to exactly what this issue is all about — health. A few of our contributors had some health issues and we worked with them to ensure everyone’s success to write their own story and at times around their own timetable in order to complete this issue.
2019 had a mixture of happiness and losses. Hope and a fighting determination. I am ready for 2020!
We will be working on creating a law to protect small businesses from large companies that using their services and do not pay. We will get back to enacting and advocating for Conner’s Law state by state. We will also work with many people we admire to improve the state of Virginia and beyond for people with disabilities and people who simply need some help so they can have the best lives possible.
All of us at Zoom hope that 2020 will be a very healthy and caring year for you. We can all take a few extra moments and be kind to each other by supporting each other and respecting who we are!
Together We Can— Happy New Year!
Thank you and I look forward to connecting with you again in our upcoming issue which will be on jobs/careers/working. If you are interested in writing or answering our ‘big question’ for any of our upcoming issues, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org look forward to hearing from you!
A Healthy and Happy New Year!
Conner Cummings is a professional photographer in the Metro DC area and our Zoom Autism Ambassador and Photographer. Conner speaks his written words at local and national conferences, town halls, corporations and churches. As an autistic self-advocate Conner changed a law in the state of Virginia. He is the 2015 Autism Society of America’s ‘Advocate of the Year’. Conner and his mother worked diligently to have Conner’s Law passed which would replace a poorly written child support law that provided a loop hole for adults with special needs and other disabilities over the age of 18. The law passed unanimously in 2015. A week after its passing, at least six families have used Conner’s Law in court and won. The Virginia House and Senate both voted to give Conner a Commendation Award as a sign of admiration for his advocacy. He is the first autistic individual to receive this honor in VA. The mother and son team are continuing their advocacy by working on taking Conner’s Law state-by-state. Conner also enjoys writing for his popular Facebook page Conquer for Conner.
Read more articles on “How Self-Advocates are Changing Health Care” in Zoom Autism Magazine, Issue 17:
Feeling Comfortable and Understood by My Medical Community by Chloe Rothschild
Includes Chloe’s Tips for Self-Advocacy in Health Care
- Why I Became Passionate About Autistic Advocacy in Health Care by Lydia Wayman
A Letter from our Guest Editor
- A Physician/Mom’s Tips on Making the Most of Your Office Visit by Ann Oldendorf, MD
- Health Care Self-Care on the Spectrum by Delaine Swearman
- How Serious are Health Care Issues in the Autistic Community? by Campbell Teague
- Showing My Body the Grace It Deserves by Gretchen McIntire
- THE VIEW FROM HERE: A Glimmer of Hope for Those Who Struggle by Daniel Derrico
- How We Manage the Fear and Anxiety of Doctor Visits by Megan Amodeo
Discover more Zoom Issues:
- Issue 13: Family
- Issue 14: Trailblazers
- Issue 15: Powerful Women
- Issue 16: Traveling the Spectrum Way!
- Archived issues on the Zoom Home Page