Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dont Quit Poem

by anonymous

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road youre trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
When you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest! if you must; but dont you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Dont give up, though the pace seems slow;
You might succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to faint and faultering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when youre hardest hit;
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Good Ole Boys

The "good ole boys" is a term Ive used all my life to describe a group that Ive never written about in an effort to define what I mean by that. Ill attemt to do that here as well as write about what Ive learned is the best approach to deal with such a force.

The reason I feel the need to do that is because Im trying to educate myself about some issues that are happening in other parts of the world that have some attitudes and costoms that are parellel to the ones in the geographical location that Im accostomed to dealing with.

To understand this kind of thing I have to understand better whats going on in these other places better. However, I have already learned that this "good ole boy network" that I have always thought of as having its base in the southern U.S.,( at least the one I see and deal with) has begun to network in many other parts of the world. Thats important to know.

No one can ever say for sure how big any unorganised network really is but what I hope to write about in this essay is the underestimated power of the individual person and thier individual thoughts.

While Im not surprised at the size of this familiar network, it actually makes it a little easier to learn what Im trying to, by realising that although there are many aspects that need to be considered, the network that I know something about is at least part of what can be factored in as some kind of influence. All it really means to me is that in trying to learn what I am, there are at least some influences that Im already aware of. That means Im at least not starting from scratch. (Ill be more specific in future posts about my direction with all this.).

Speaking about this network (or any other)does not define the person who uses the term as either a conspiracy theorist or someone who is paranoid. What "the good ole boy network" means to me is a network of people (men and women) who have an established power that is unwritten an rarely acknowleged for what it is that effects alot of the decisions within in public forums and news sources without a clear definition of their influence.

I have known something about how all this worked from before I had even known that it had a name or had been defined by anyone. Like many such things, as I began to understand it, I felt more helpless and disempowered. These days Im leaning how to get around or through what, before seemed like, impossible obstacles.

One of the things that has disempowered me more than anything was the belief that because this was a well established network of public power that was in influencing certain decisions that I felt were wrong, I would never have but so much freedom or liberty unless I was a part of a similar network whose objective it was to counter this movement.

Because the good ole boy network derives its strength from being unorganised, one who has recognised thier power may begin by feeling that any attempt to counter their efforts would need to come from either another organised effort to protest them or that they would need to become a part of some unorganised network that wants to counter them. (Sometimes a network seems to be dependant on numbers of people and less dependant on independant thought.)

Today I am empowered by the reminder of the power of a PLAN. You see no one can stop someone with a plan because no one has a plan to stop them. This has everything to do with why diversity is importatnt and what supports my veiws of creativity.

I have always known that I was wired different but too often I have been thinking of this as a deficeit. Its not. Not at all.

This is not limited to those who born with different wiring. Anyone can do it. All of us are given different equitment and different experiances with which to create plans.

Too often we doubt the power of those plans because we see how powerful collective power can be. The thing is that what Im talking about here is where collective power is actually more vulnerable and less effective than personal power. Collective power (organised or unorganised) is dependant on the ideas of many people. No matter how much exchange of ideas their is within these groups, they will never reach the power of solidarity of the individual and an individuals thoughts.

Too often we doubt ourselves and believe that someone must know better than we do.

When people with an understanding of this personal power can agree on a common purpose or cause and network to achieve that common purpose without sacrificing their individualism, there is no way that anyone can stop them. Thats where our hope is.This kind of networking has great strength.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

She Loves Me

There are a couple of things about how my wife and I met that Ive never written about. Today seems like a good day for that.

The first time my wife and I spoke it was over the phone. All we talked about was nutrition since someone had told her I knew alot about that.

Next, she sent me a gift. It was a 1 oz. tincture of high grade kava. There was no card or letter attached. So....lets see a gift of chocolate means something....What does a gift of kava mean? Now, she did work at an herb shop at the time and she got discounts on such things, but still....Im just glad she didnt work at a pharmacy. Who knows what she might have given me. ( My phone skills are not great anyway and I was a more than a little bit nervous).

The next gift she gave me was when we met for the first time in person. Now, at this point all she knew about me was that I was someone who stayed at home most of the time, I knew something about nutrition, and from the phone conversation we had, she might have gathered that I was a little bit different.

The second gift was a drawing of Albert Einstein that she had bought at a craft fair. On it were written these words, "Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

The gift scared me a little. I mean, did she know something about me that I didnt know she knew? She still says she cant really say why she descided to buy it for me. She says that something just made her think that it would be an appropriate gift for me.

The picture was framed and still hangs on the wall of our home today. It is a constant reminder to me that she knows me and she loves me.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Anna The Cat

Anna is not too complex. Of course I cant be sure what shes thinking but she usually lets me know if she wants something.

The vet said we should feed her the same amount every day at the same time. She gets fed every day at 3:30 pm each day. She begins to sing to me every day at around 2:30 pm. Its not like she has to sing for her super. Still she seems to sing me the same song for me every day. After dinner shes very quiet.

Since my wife and I eat a really heathy diet, she get the best organic food along with a supplement called Greenies.

She get her hair brushed (which she likes) and her teeth brushed (which she is less fond of).

Some cats are aloof but Anna is never that way. I try to find some time to play with her some every day. She actually has one game that is kind of like fetching. She has a stuffed mouse that she will drop in front me if Im at the computer or watching T.V. Once she has droped it she hides behind the furnature, runs after it, drops it in front of me again, and then immediatly hides behind another piece of furnature waiting for me to throw it again. When she gets tired she just stops and chews on it for a while by herself.

Since when we got her, she climbed on me when I was trying to sleep, she gets her own room at night. Each night I convert the bathroom into her room and change it back during the day. In her room she sleeps on a large stack of floor pillows with those fleece mats for cats on top. Her litter box and water are in there and there is a night light in case we need to get use the room during the night.

She is less thas enthusiastic about the occassional trip to the vets office.All in all she seems happy and Im glad to have her around. One thing about her is that she is never shy. Thats a habbit that Im learning from her. I really like the way she handles herself.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

January is for New Starts

Today Ive made a decision about how I want to use my blog.

When I first started blogging I remember reading a blog post from someone who told what blogging is. They said that blogging was a place for people to give their opinions and get feed back on them. I hated their veiw of blogging then but now what I hate it even more is that I see that there are so many others who feel the same way.

You know what. Blogging is a very new medium and it can (and will) become whatever people make it. In the age that we are living, we need to be very careful with what we do with something as unregulated as blogging. If we dont govern ourselves in ways that make people safe, those who are threatened will choose to be in an environment that is more regulated. In other words. If we dont acknowlege peoples vulnerability, those who truly are vulnerable (for whatever reason) will choose ways to protect themselves that will result in a bigger, stronger, and an even more dangerous government.

I know very well what Im talking about. I have lots of real experiance with it. Im telling you this is dangerous! Trust me, I know.

When I say people who are vulnerable for one reason or another, Im not talking about people who are weak and/or fearful. Some threats people have are very real and people who are dealing with these things is something people to need understand. People need to acknowlege and respect these real threats these people deal with before they make quick, callous judgements about how the person should change to adapt to their environment. Sometimes its just the environment that needs to change (not the person) and if people want fight about something....they should fight to change that. Individuals dont respond to well to judgement anyway. Large networks and governments can absorb critisism from the strength that comes from their support and this is where critisism needs to
be directed. This actally can bring about real change. This actually can be productive.

My wifes son may soon be sent back to Iraq. We dont need any extra drama. If you want to tell me your religious or political veiws, I dont want to hear it. Ill try to tell less of my opinions. People need to fight the decisions that are being made in Washington but if you want to say something to me, just tell me that you are praying for the soldiers that includes my wifes son. Anything else, I really dont want or need to hear. Ill tell you what, with each passing day, (for me) opinions become less important and prayer becomes more important.

In every culture since the begining of time, when people have not had the right to express their veiws, the majority of people who are already disempowered become less empowered. People need to be able to express themself with art, poetry, film, literature, and even blogging. I dont think that our world is becoming more free, I think its becoming less.

Blogging is an opportunity for people to have a voice. That is very important. However, this is the very reason that we need to be responsible with how we use it.

Some people who have been disempowered by not having a voice before are glad to get the opportunity to do so by way of blogging. Unfortunately, since this feeling of freedom is new to them, they are abusing the blogging opportunity and abusing everyones rights by what they feel is their new-found liberation. No one has rights that include anything that extends beyond having compassion for others. Words are very real things. People need to be careful how they use them or all of us will be less free to use our words in the future.

Some of my prayers have been answered lately in a way that is nothing less than miraculous. Ive learned to do things on the computer. I appreciate the help Ive gotten. Im setting up several blogs and begining to join groups. Im getting some programs set up on my computer that allow me to somethings like reading that I wasnt able to do before. Im more sure than ever that I will be able to get a formal education but Im also finding ways that I can really be of help to others as I do this.

This is exciting. I have never felt so empowered. Its a humbling feeling. I must use it wisely.

There are plenty of people who are being responsible with their blogging and the are fighting for good causes. The future of how autistics are seen in the future is something that is very important to my future and everyone elses too. I will support the people I feel are doing this as best I can and I encourage you to also. However, all you will hear from me in the future are positive encouraging statements and that is all Im trying to encourage on my blog(s) and thats really all I want to encourage other to say to me.

I believe that this is what truly empowers people and this belief is well-founded. My goals and path will be much clearer in the future. Im getting some help with this. Im very grateful for that help. Ive needed it for a long time.

The words Im posting here are ones that I feel are very important and I will be posting this entire post again to keep me on track.

I have found some people who have been very encouraging to me in my blogging. You know who you are. I am sincerely grateful. I hope we can continue to encourage each other and find others who are wanting to participate in this as well.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Learning Curves

Ive always been seen as different
Im learning more about how and why
Things make better sense
When I know how to get by

People are different in many ways
And difference is nothing to fear
There is so much to be learned
When I really listen to what I hear

Parents teach their children
And the other way around
There are many sources
That wisdom can be found

Learning never seems to take the straight path
But Im learning as I go
That people want to know how much you care
Before they care how much you know

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Fly's and Bee's

There was a fly
It did not like me
But better a fly
Than a bee

Bee's will sting
But fly's arent that way
Eventually they all
Will go away

Flys and bees
Are friends of mine
We co-exist
And thats just fine

Once I name one
It becomes my pet
Its behavior doesnt change
But it no longer makes me fret

I cant get rid
Of some frustrations
But ownership and design
Make them my creations

We are one big family
As you can clearly see
We must live together
In some kind of harmony

Monday, January 08, 2007

One Hand Washes the Other

This is about how sometimes industry (and society in general)is less accomidating for difference.

For the purpose of this post, the way Im refering to left-handedness as being like autism, is that it is a difference in how the brain is equiped to do certain tasks.

The picture here is from a book of my wifes called "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards. The picture shows how the right hemisphere of the brain controls the left hand and the left hemisphere controls the right hand. The book has lots of illustrations of how the brains work.

http://www.baylorhealth.edu/proceedings/12_4/12_4_flatt.html This is an article that tells some about some people who have been left-handed and some about how this has effected history.(I just learned how to make links like that.Cool or what? : ) Ill be explaining what I find out as I learn such things on my new Learning Blog.)

The point is that left-handers have always had alot to contribute to society and sometimes industry has found it inconveinient to accomidate their differences to (for instance) put left-handed machines in factories. The people deciding these things have said that it cost too much to do that. Im saying that *not* accomidating peoples differences, is very expensive. Especially in the long run.

Now, I have some difficulties that are different than autism(although Im autistic also) and its taken me a long time to understand what the difference is and how these things *are* different than autism. However, Im convinced that autism (apart from other things) *is* just a difference.

Actually, it is expensive for society to look at things about people as being broken. It is cost effective as well as compassionate and practical to look at people in the ways they are different and find ways to adapt to these differences.

I have worked for many years to get vocational programs to adapt to peoples differences and I continue to do so. I believe that ultimatly companies themselves (aside and without aid from vocational programs) need to do the adapting but one step at a time.

Now, Ive always known that people are uncomfortable with people who are different. When I walk into a store, everyone turns around to look at me. (I hate that) Some of it is my appearance thats different and some of it may also have to do with my energy level or whatever.... The thing is that I dont hide very well. I mean I REALLY stand out in a crowd. Ive always wondered why people are so uncomfortable with difference.

What I didnt know (that Im now learning) is that in addition, there is a serious campaign to get rid of the difference of autism (and autistics). This makes me angry and actually more than a little bit afraid of what may happen if some things dont change. Ill help more with this as I learn more. Im very grateful to the people who are addressing this issue and teaching myself and others.

I could write a great deal more about how society has accomidated left-handed people and the benefits that have occured. The point is that difference is not something to be afraid of. It is something that must be embraced. People who are different have so much to contribute to our society and its very important that we all find more ways to include and be more accepting of peoples differences.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Learning Blog

This is a new supplementary blog that will focus on my formal education and track my progress. I havent found out how to set up the link yet but this should work in the meantime. To go to that blog click on http://learningblog-ed.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 05, 2007

Story Time

The more I hear where people have been
The better I know why they do what they do
But who people are is not a set of responses
Cicumstances just change your veiw

You see everyone will experiance
What they cant control
Thats what effects who they are
The rest is just their role

Tough or better is just an illusion
It creates a false sense of pride
Strong is hard to see, Caring is true
All other appearances have lied

If you want to know who someone is
Forget about what you think they have done
You cant know what choices they have had to make
Or how many battles theyve won

Judgements must be made
Each and every day
But to really know who someone is
Its takes time and effort to know why theyre that way

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Protected Speach

First of all let me explain that the Protection and Advocacy lawyers (or at least the people called Protection and Advocacy advocates who work with my lawyers) who are working with me on my case to help me and make things better for other autistics are reading this, my blog page. They are commenting on it by Email rather than directly on the page but because I think this is a good thing, thats good enough for now.

They have alot to learn. They have admitted this. I want to facilitate their learning. They can be stubborn and difficult to work with at times but the same has been said of me so Im trying to be patient.

One of the most difficult things to get across to them is that, most if not all, of services they are supposed to be set up for helping autistics are heavily influenced by the misperception that autistic means a trajic epidemic of 1 in 166 being born with are terrible affliction and that then there are nerds that want to prevent the others from getting cured. WRONG.

Since I know the truth, for the first time I AM THE ONE WHO IS COMING FOM THE POSITION OF BEING EDUDATED. Thats exciting! (being a teacher aint easy).

Ive been too conveinient all my life thats changing. Am I in a fighting mood? Damn right I am!

Based on the epidemic veiw that is controling alot of politics and beaurocrats, they would be glad to put me in the catagory of a nerd who doesnt need any accomidations or a behavioral problem that needs the services of having my behaviors fixed. They cannot do either. They have never been able to do this. Pathology is still very much how autistics are seen by programs (and I mean LOTs of programs.... not just the ones that people think). Just yesterday a P&A lawyer was using a method of speaking to me that I happen to know that even Lovass said 30 years ago was inappropriate and didnt work. Thats O.K. she gets to learn.

Yeh, I know I have more time to get educated on blogs of autistic self-advocates than lawyers. Once I get formally educated and am in a vocation, I will have less time for that too. At this point I get to share what Im learning and later I get to take my education with me.

My phone conversations often dont get very far but lately Ive been able to get across some good points. Another P&A lawyer told me two days ago that although it was obvious to him that I spoke differently that there were no laws that could help to advocate for allowing me to get across what I needed to. He said that if I was blind, we could agree on a type of communication (brail). If I was deaf we could agree on sign language. He said that autistics language had no laws that provided them anything. (I rarely say what I want or need to on the phone but this time I had an answer) I said, " That means we get to write those laws so they will be in place for me and others". (or at least I said something to that effect) He was less than enthusiastic. Thats O.K. He gets to learn.

Ive been fighting this stuff all my life but until I got married, no one was listening and fights were short lived because I was over-ruled and/or dismissed by my lack of being able to express myself. Now because there is an autistic self-advovacy movement that Im learning from and because people cant get around my wife like they get around and dismiss me.... Im becoming much less conveinient and Im finally making progress. It aint over yet. Actually, Im just getting started!

My mother isnt able to help in some ways but because of my mother and my wife, there are now, educators, autism specialists, and even P&A lawyers and advocates reading this blog site. (This may have been the case before but now Im sure if it.) Welcome to all of you. Anyone who wants to participate in helping me educate them so that they can help me and others....you are more than welcome to do that as well.

As for these people that Im talking about that are finally reading my page, they are already sending me Emails that comment about it. Who knows.... Eventually they may start commenting right on the page. Come on. Dont be bashful. There is no shame in seeking an education. Even if you already have a formal education and have to unlearn and relearn some things.

Maybe Ill write another poem about compassion later....Right now Im not in the mood.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Moment

Life is filled with moments.
In a moment a person can say what someone has been waiting to hear their whole life.
In a moment a person can decide to listen to what never seemed important before.
In a moment a sitiuation that is bad can be made better by a someone deciding to help.
In a moment a person can find courage to face their fear because someone showed them compassion.
In a moment a person can find a whole new perspective about what before seemed like the biggest problem in the world because someone showed them they cared.
In a moment someone can smile at someone who that means the world to.
In a moment someone can tell someone else they love them....when sometimes hearing that means everything to to them.
Every moment there is someone who needs me to care about them or about something that is valuable to them.
It only takes me a moment to make the right decision that and I should and in that moment that I do what I should, it can make all the difference in the world.